50th Anniversary Gala – 24th June-1st July 2018

29th June 1968 is the date when the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, re-opened for business under the control of a group of railway enthusiasts hell bent on ensuring that the Worth Valley branch of British Railways did not go the same way as so many other similar lines in Great Britain.

This is an event that both the public and enthusiasts will not want to miss. EIGHT days of celebration are likely to produce the most spectacular Gala the Railway has organised since the opening day in June 1968.

Our 50th Anniversary is a week long celebration showcasing all that we’ve done as a Railway over the last 50 years, from humble beginnings with smaller engines, to bigger locos and even diesels.

A recreation of the ‘Re-opening Special’ will take place on Friday 29th June, intended to have one of the original re-opening day locomotives at its head, Ivatt 2-6-2T 41241 resplendent in LMS Maroon livery, just as it carried in 1968.


In 1968 the Re-Opening Special was hauled by two ex-British Railway tank locomotives and because of the continued existence of steam locomotives on the national network, the KWVR was not permitted to run steam locomotives in their British Railways livery.

In response to this, the 2 locomotives, BR numbered 41241 and 30072, were turned out in 2 striking colour schemes. 41241 was painted in LMS crimson lake, numbered 41241 with the KWVR crest on its side tanks, whereas 30072, being of USA build, was painted in pseudo-American style as no. 72.

Both locomotives have been out of traffic for some time and 30072 has now left the Railway. 41241, known as the Ivatt tank, however, is an icon of the Railway and has been the subject of an appeal to return it to steam in time to haul the celebration 50th Anniversary Re-Opening Special on the 29th June. Sunday 24th June has been chosen as the day that will officially launch 41241 back into traffic, in preparation for the 29th.


The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is once again offering a one off experience. We are excited to be able to welcome a true Icon of Steam, Royal Scot to our railway between Monday 25th June and Wednesday 27th June 2018.

Royal Scot will be hauling passenger trains between  Keighley and Oxenhope each day. This is YOUR chance to ride behind Royal Scot which will haul your train from Keighley to Oxenhope and one of our resident steam locomotives will take the train, with Royal Scot on the rear, from Oxenhope to Keighley.

For all the details of this not to be missed opportunity visit the ‘Royal Scot’ page of the website >>>


Throughout its early life the KWVR relied heavily on smaller tank engines. With shorter trains than we have today, these engines, whilst not entirely suitable to operating a 5 mile passenger railway, where the mainstay of the Railway, and this day is dedicated to the small engines that kept us going in those early days.

We will have visiting tank engines from other railways as well as the smaller locomotives from our own fleet. Full details of this day will be published nearer the time.


Our big celebration day. 50 years of volunteer effort in delivering the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway you see today. Full details are still being finalised, but we will be operating a re-run of the original re-opening special with Ivatt 2-6-2T no. 41241 at its head. Keep a lookout for the details once finalised.


The Railway has never just been about steam locomotives. In the late 1950s even before the Railway was closed, class 108 Diesel Multiple Units were often seen on the line. The Railway is also proud to host many ex shunting locomotives, as well as prototype D0226 and class 20, 25 and 37 diesels alongside our impressive collection of steam locomotives. This day will feature both steam and diesel trains and should be something for everyone with some late evening running and an early start!


Just as day turns to night, steam on BR made rapid switch to diesel power. The KWVR was one of the first Heritage Railways to host a ‘Modern Traction’ Event – which then became ‘Diesel Galas’.

In 1988 the first ever event featured class 55 Deltics and Hydraulic locomotives, in the shape of a class 35 Hymek and 52 Western. Our plan is to recreate some of those type of locomotives that ran in 1988.


We are delighted that the Deltic Preservation Society’s Class 55 ‘Deltic’ 55 019 ‘Royal Highland Fusilier” will be in visiting the Railway over the weekend and will operate some trains on both June 30th and July 1st.

Final details of the event are still being arranged and will be announced as and when those events for each day are confirmed. Keep a lookout on the website and on our Social Media feeds for further announcements.