Like countless other branch lines, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway spent much of its first 100 years of existence known only to the community it was built to serve. Then, during the swinging Ď60s, branch lines all over the country, including the Worth Valley line, were closed as part of British Railís streamlining policy. The replacement of steam locomotives with alternative forms of traction, completed in August 1968, also being part of the same exercise.
However, while the Beatles were writing and recording songs that were to revolutionise the music industry, groups of individuals around the country were hatching plans and raising funds to save sections of our railway heritage which were to develop into major preservation centres providing both educational and leisure facilities for the enthusiast and tourist.
Among the pioneers of this movement was the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society. The Worth Valley line was the first standard gauge railway to be bought from British rail and has been preserved in its entirety. The railway is managed and operated by qualified volunteers and they have provided services every weekend for over three decades. The line has become famous as the location of much film and television work, including the original Railway Children, filmed in 1969/1970.
Mike Heath has been visiting and photographing the railway for over twenty years recording all aspects of the line, day and night, across all four seasons. Here in his first book, he takes us on a photographic journey along the route highlighting the diversity of the landscape through which it passes, the effect that the changing seasons and weather have on it, and the various events that the railway holds, capturing the Worth Valley experience enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.
ISBN 1841144428, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages.