Hard graft and optimism
Once the Government eased restrictions which allowed our volunteers, under strict distancing rules, to return to the Railway, not just the Civil Engineering team returned to work, but every department stepped up to the mark under a phased plan to return the railway to operation. Not having turned a wheel in four months, our steam and diesel fleet had to be receive essential maintenance and our carriage fleet had to receive attention to make them fit for traffic. Station staff returned to spruce up the stations ready for a hoped for influx of passengers.
In these current conditions, it was essential that our plans included, not just the running of trains, but providing an environment in which our visitors and staff would feel safe and in conditions that follow Government rules and guidelines. With everything in place the whole process of running trains once again and managing our visitors through the two points of entry needed to be tested to ensure the safety of passengers and staff. An initial trial took place between Oxenhope and Keighley and, once Bridge 11 had been completed, between Oxenhope and Keighley with our volunteers as passengers. These latter trials took place over the last two weekends with the first passenger train over the new Bridge 11, the 10.00 from Oxenhope northbound and the 10.40 from Keighley southbound, on Saturday 8th August.
With these trials successfully concluded, the Railway is now set to open to the public on Wednesday 19th August. Tickets for our trains are only bookable online with all the details of our ‘Back in Steam’ program can be found on this KWVR website.