Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

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Family including children under 16

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During the school holidays, a vintage bus service is run as part of the timetable. Weather permitting this is an open top Southdown bus from 1965. For a bus and train mad grandson this was his idea of Heaven.

We only just made the first train of the day – we were a bit later leaving home than intended and all the traffic lights from Halifax to Haworth were red against us. We arrived at Haworth station car park with less than 10 minutes to buy the car parking ticket and the train ticket.

The first train of the morning was a single unit diesel rail car. There were half a dozen people waiting to get on at Haworth and only two people on it when it arrived at Haworth so grandson managed to get a seat behind the driver. It is a nice run down the valley to Keighley where there is a 10 minute layover. Visibility from the rail car is excellent, much better than the usual BR coach.

Keighley station was busy and the train was soon full of families and push chairs. For the return trip we sat at the back and had a marvellous view back down the line. We could watch level crossing gates being shut behind us and also see the tunnel entrance getting smaller.

At Haworth a few people transferred to the vintage bus which was waiting in the station forecourt. This is free with the Day Rover Ticket. It is a 20 minute bus ride to Oxenhope. This takes you across the railway bridge and through Howarth to a stop at the top end of Main Street (for the Bronte Museum, church and shops – saves the steep walk up from the station). It then climbs up onto the moors over the top of Penistone Hill with marvellous views before dropping down through the tiny hamlet of Marsh to Oxenhope. It is an exhilarating ride on the open top, but can be breezy and a sweater needed.

We decided to catch the steam train (Loco 41241) back to Keighley and got off at Haworth for our lunch. By now the trains were getting a lot busier. By popular request we went back on the bus to Oxenhope and then down to Ingrow West. This is a less interesting ride as it is through a built up area all the way.

We headed to the museum and the small loco for the children to climb on and work the various levers and knobs. As you step on the footplate an audio tape is triggered with information about how to light the boiler. Grandson nodded and found the shovel for the coal.

We caught the last train back to Keighley and then returned to Haworth for the car and to head for home.

It was a great day out – for all ages.

Read my review for a previous trip in June which has more information about the run and the museums and exhibitions.

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