Vintage Carriages Trust (VCT)
The Vintage Carriages Trust (VCT) is a volunteer body formed in 1965 by a group of volunteers interested was in wooden bodied carriages. They saw there was a need to concentrate on the preservation of these historic items which were in grave danger of disappearing due to the weather and vandalism damage and unsuitability for regular use on preserved railways of the day.
The Trust became a Registered Charity (No. 510776) in 1981 and a Registered Museum (No. 1202) in 1992. The Collection held by the Trust is at present nine historic railway carriages, three small industrial steam locomotives, a 1950’s diesel rail bus and a collection of railway posters and other miscellaneous railway items. The carriages can only be seen occasionally out on the Railway due to their antiquity but can be viewed and explored inside the Museum where video presentations tell the tale of rail travel through the ages.
The Trust owns and operates the Museum of Rail Travel at Ingrow West which is open everyday except Christmas Day. There is a small charge for entry to the museum but is free to passengers on the railway who hold a Day Rover ticket.
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Trust (L&YRT)
The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Trust owns a unique collection of steam locomotives and carriages built by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. Its origins can be traced to 1964, when a group of railway enthusiasts in Rochdale formed the L&Y Saddletanks Fund and acquired 3 locomotives, a carriage and 3 wagons. In 1987 the ‘Fund’ changed its identity to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Preservation Society and looked to become a charitable trust which was granted in 1991.
During the 1990’s the collection has been enhanced by acquisition of three more carriages, and the Trust also appoints one of the Trustees of the Bowers 957 Trust, The Registered Charity which owns the ex-L&YR locomotive 957, well known as the ‘Green Dragon’ in the 1970 film version of ‘The Railway Children’. Carriages from the collection have often run with 957 when it was in service, creating a unique opportunity to travel on an Lancashire & Yorkshire train.
None of the Trust’s locomotives are currently in working order but 3 of its carriages, now wonderfully restored to former glory, can found in the consist of the Railway’s summer Vintage Train set. Use on regular service trains is prohibited in order to protect these precious carriages over 100 years old, from the rigours of heavy use. When not in use the carriages can normally be found in Oxenhope Exhibition Shed
Bahamas Locomotive Society
The Bahamas Locomotive Society (BLS) was formed in 1967 with the aim of purchasing and maintaining in working order the former LMS Railway ‘Jubilee’ Class 4-6-0 steam locomotive No. 45596 ‘Bahamas’. BLs subsequently established the Dinting Railway Centre in Derbyshire, as a working museum to house ‘Bahamas’ and their ever-growing collection of locomotives and rolling stock. During this time the locomotive was returned to main line condition and chosen as one of the engines to spearhead British Rail’s ‘Return to Steam’.
A time came for the Dinting site to be vacated and in the late 1980s the Society moved to Ingrow West and took over the old Midland Railway goods shed. Since 1990, volunteer members of the ‘Bahamas’ Locomotive Society transformed the original building into two distinct areas. The Museum houses the BLS collection of items of railway interest and two of their steam locomotives ‘Nunlow’ and ‘Tiny’. The Workshop area provides for the maintenance and overhaul of locomotives and rolling stock. Visitors to the Museum are able to view the Workshop from the upper gallery.
Pride of place in the BLS collection, other than ‘Bahamas’, is the National Trust’s LNWR ‘Coal Tank’ 1054 which can be seen at the head of the Railway’s summer Vintage Trains and very occasionally on lightly loaded service trains.
The Museum aims to open on all days when trains are operating on the Worth Valley line, including most Saturdays, weekdays, Bank Holiday weekends, and Sundays throughout the year. Visitors to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway who hold a Rover Ticket can gain access to the Museum free of charge, otherwise a small entrance fee.
Photo: Robin Lush