The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, which was originally
opened in 1865, spent much of its first 100 years of
existence known only to the West Yorkshire community it
was built to serve. Then, during the 1960s, branch lines all
over the country were closed as part of British Rail’s
streamlining policy which also saw the replacement of
steam locomotives with diesel and electric traction.
The Worth Valley line itself was closed in 1962 but local
people teamed up with railway enthusiasts in an effort
to save it.
Their determination saw the setting up of a
preservation society which was the first to purchase a
standard gauge railway from BR. Many years of volunteer
toil resulted in the line reopening on 29th June 1968 since
when the railway has been managed and operated by
qualified volunteers who have now provided services for
over three decades and justifiably celebrated forty years
of operation in 2008.
The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Preservation
Society is rightly proud of having preserved the branch
line in its entirety and the decision to recreate and
maintain the superb late 1950s – early 1960s house style
found along the line.
In this pocket size album Mike Heath takes us on
a photographic journey along the route which starts
alongside the BR station at Keighley and climbs through
the diverse West Yorkshire landscape to the line’s terminus
at Oxenhope, highlighting the magnificent Bronte
countryside and the affect that the changing seasons and
weather have on it.
Stepping back in time at the beautifully
restored stations at Ingrow, Damems,Oakworth and
Haworth along the way he celebrates the many and varied
events that the railway holds creating a ‘WorthValley
Experience’ enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.
For well over 25 years Mike Heath has
enjoyed combining his hobbies of
photography and visiting preserved railways
all over Britain. In that time he has
amassed a vast collection of stunning
photographs covering all aspects of the
railways across all four seasons, day and
night. He is the author of more than ten
railway titles, all for Halsgrove.
Imprint: PiXZ Books. ISBN 978 1 906887 80 3, hardback, 110x155mm, 64 pages. Published March 2010.