Save the date!
Our Steam Gala returns in 2022, taking place over the second weekend in March, the 11th to 13th. While we can’t confirm what locomotives will be visiting the railway, we hope that as much of our home fleet will run as possible.
You’ll be able to ride behind our guest locomotives & home fleet engines across the three days, with intensive passenger service running on the railway. Across the traction packed weekend they’ll be freight services and unique double headed trains.
Home Fleet Engines
*Subject to availability*
London Midland & Scottish designed Ivatt Class 2MT 2-6-2T No. 41241
No 41241 arrived at Keighley under its own power in 1967 in good running order, having been in storage at Skipton shed since its earlier withdrawal from service. It is perhaps the most typical original branch line engine on the KWVR, making it ideal motive power for the railway.
When the engine arrived on the Worth Valley it was painted maroon and, along with USA Tank No. 30072, double-headed the “Re-opening Special” on 29th June 1968. Resplendent in its distinctive red livery, 41241 wrote itself into Worth Valley folklore on the Re-opening Special.
41241 is now a regular member of the operating fleet and should be seen on the Railway until 2028 when the next overhaul will become due.
London Midland & Scottish Railway Class 5MT (‘Black 5’) 4-6-0 No. 45212
Running from Preston to Blackpool, 45212 has the distinction of heading the final steam-hauled revenue-earning service for British Railways on 4th August 1968 before entering preservation directly from British Railways.
Withdrawn in August 1968, 45212 was purchased by the late Ron Ainsworth for use on the KWVR where it arrived in October of that year. On arrival it was covered in wallpaper as part of an advert for Solvite wallpaper paste.
In April 2017 45212 headed north to Scotland to operate the Jacobite steam hauled trains on the West Highland line. 2018 saw the locomotive based at Southall as a standby for Cathedrals Express and was found operating over various routes in the south of England. Having taken part on Southern metals, 45212 headed north to once again operate between Fort William and Mallaig on the West Highland line.
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Class 25 ‘Ironclad’ 0-6-0 No.957
As 52044 this engine became subject to one of the earliest private locomotive purchase schemes established in the country and was one of the earliest arrivals on the nascent KWVR. Affectionately known as ‘The Green Dragon’ in ‘The Railway Children’ film, 957 is being restored to working order at Haworth with the target of it being ready to take its place in the 51st anniversary celebrations of The Railway Children in 2021.
The engine has a long list of film and television credits and is probably best known for its appearance in the 1970 feature film ‘The Railway Children’ when, in green livery, gained the unofficial name of the ‘Green Dragon’. The engine has also featured in BBC’s ‘Born and Bred’ and the remake of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.
Having been the star of the show in 1970, it wasn’t long before its age took its toll and was taken out of traffic in 1975. It remained sidelined until a bequest came to the locomotive’s rescue. Now owned by the Bowers Trust, the locomotive returned to full working order in 2001 following an overhaul costing £150,000. On withdrawal at the expiration of its boiler certificate, 957 was put aside at Oxenhope in 2012. In 2016, with a view to a return to active service, the locomotive was moved to Haworth and is currently in the process of restoration by a small dedicated team, intentionally in time for the 51th anniversary of The Railway Children in 2021.
British Railways Standard Class 2MT 2-6-0 No. 78022
Encouraged by the progress made with the rebuild of 75078, the Standard 4 Locomotive Society returned to Barry in 1975, purchasing 78022, a locomotive ideally suited to the Worth Valley branch. It was offloaded at Haworth on the 11th June 1975 and laid aside to await the day when restoration would begin, although it was to be another 18 years before this locomotive was restored to running order.
After laying untouched in Haworth Yard, 78022 was eventually the recipient of an extensive restoration from Barry condition which was completed in 1993, the locomotive proving popular with footplate crews, being capable of handling five coach services on off peak turns of duty.
Having languished at Oxenhope since withdrawal in 2003, 78022 came to the head of the overhaul queue in 2015, was moved to Haworth where stripping commenced to determine the extent of work required. That work has been thorough and this useful locomotive returned to service in November 2018 in a lined out BR green livery.
London Midland & Scottish Railway 5XP ‘Jubilee’ Class 4-6-0 No.45596 ‘Bahamas
As steam was drawing to a close, British Railways made one last attempt to improve its steam fleet. In 1961 ‘Bahamas’ was chosen by BR for its very last experiment, the culmination of steam power development started with ‘Rocket’ in the 19th century.
Rather than being sent for scrap however, the loco remained at the back of the shed until purchased by the Stockport (Bahamas) Locomotive Society in mid 1967. The engine then moved to the Hunslet Engine Company in Leeds for overhaul and was restored to service in LMS Crimson Lake Livery.
When steam was allowed back onto the mainline by British Rail, ‘Bahamas’ was one of the selected few engines to grace the new steam scene and between 1972 and 1994 operated many railtours across the national network. Retired from mainline duty the engine ran on preserved lines until its boiler certificate expired when the locomotive was committed to Oxenhope Exhibition shed as a static exhibit.
Work progressed to the point that on the 28th September 2018, a fully restored and resplendent 45596 steamed at Tyseley. Returning to Ingrow early in 2019, ‘Bahamas’ made its mainline debut on the 9th February hauling a sell-out commemorative special from Oxenhope to Carlisle, its first mainline outing since 1994. The feat was repeated a week later on the 16th February, their success raising hopes of future Oxenhope – Carlisle excursions, followed by participation in the Spring Steam Gala in March. On the 29th March 2019, a special rededication ceremony took place at Ingrow West to officially relaunch ‘Bahamas back into traffic. Later in the year ‘Bahamas’ was operating on the mainline around the Midlands.
Taff Vale Railway Class 02 0-6-2T No. 85
Built for service in the Welsh Valleys north of Cardiff, no. 85 was deemed surplus to requirements at the time of the grouping in 1923 and was withdrawn by the Great Western Railway in 1927. In 1929, now numbered 426, it made the long journey north to the Durham coalfields where it remained in service, as NCB no. 52, until 1968.
Salvation came in 1970 when 85 was bought by the KWVR and brought to Haworth for a new life on passenger services.