Diesel Railcar Services

Throughout the year the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway operates steam hauled passenger trains every weekend and daily in the late Spring and Summer months. However in addition to our steam locomotives we also operate a small fleet of diesel railcars on some services throughout the year.

Midweek Diesel Railcar Services : 19th September – 17th October 2018

 
These midweek trains operate to the Yellow Timetable. Click the link to see the train times.

Whilst these diesel units may not, at first glance, have the romance of steam, they have a unique feature not found when travelling behind a steam locomotive nor on modern trains out on the mainline. These early diesel railcars have windows the width of the train and passengers can see over the shoulder of the driver at the line ahead (or, if travelling in reverse, at the line over which you have now passed). This gives a quite unique view, not just of the Railway, but also the surrounding countryside.

KWVR and Diesel Railcar Service Thoughout the Year

 
Throughout the year the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway operates steam hauled passenger trains every weekend and daily in the late Spring and Summer months.

However in addition to our steam locomotives we also operate a small fleet of diesel railcars. On most Saturday mornings when the Green timetable is in operation, the first 2 trains of the day in Spring and Summer and all Saturday trains in Winter, are operated by one of our diesel railcars. In addition, at certain times of the year (generally Autumn and Winter) we operate a midweek diesel railcar service over the full length of the line.

Prior to nationalisation the train companies had experimented with diesel powered units but development was curtailed at the outbreak of Word War 2. After nationalisation, British Railways (BR)revived the concept in the early 1950s, at a time there when there was an urgent need to move away from expensive steam traction. Following the development of many prototype designs using diesel propulsion, the 1955 Modernisation Plan authorised the building of a large fleet of diesel multiple units (DMUs). As well as the introduction of DMUs, single coach diesel railbuses (DRBs) also formed part of the initial stages, these being used on the most uneconomic branch lines.

Diesel railcars were therefore introduced throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s to replace steam hauled services not only on the main lines but also on branch lines, like the Worth Valley branch, as the photographs above, taken prior to closure at Haworth, illustrate. However, despite their obvious success in reducing costs, the fate of these uneconomic branch lines was sealed and many, just like the Worth Valley, were closed by BR.

On the KWVR we have examples of both DMUs and DRBs. In the busier times, Spring, Summer and Autumn, you will usually find our Class 101 diesel multiple unit (DMU) operating these services. This is a 2 coach train typical of the units used both on the main and branch lines.

In Winter, with patronage lower in the colder months, we use our single coach, 4 wheel DRB.

Currently the Railway has 2 operational diesel railcars, the Class 101 DMU built by Metropolitan Cammel and a DRB built in Germany by Waggon & Maschinenbau.

So, even if there is no steam locomotive hauled services when you wish to travel, on the day they are operating, hop on board one of our diesel railcars for a different experience of travelling the length of the Worth Valley branch.

Follow the link to find out more about our Class 101 and our operational DRB, M79964.

In addition to the Class 101, we also have a Class 108 DMU, under restoration at Haworth, and a second Waggon & Maschinenbau DRB, E79962, which is now in the care of the Vintage Carriages Trust at Ingrow and is in the process of being fully rebuilt to original condition.