50 Years of Santa Steam Specials – Part 1, 1965 – 1990

When a small 0-4-0 saddle trundled into Haworth Station with Father Christmas on board, no-one could have envisaged that 50 years on, the Santa Steam Special is the biggest event on the Railway’s calendar, and has carried thousands of happy little children over those 50 years. This is our photographic record of the first 25 years with more to follow.

In 1965 the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway ran, what can be described as our first Santa Steam Special, a humble Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway 0-4-0ST no. 51218 which brought Father Christmas on the footplate from Haworth Yard to Haworth Station to bring goodwill to a small gathering of children and parents.

However it was in 1967, just over 6 months before the Railway re-opened that the first Santa train rumbled up the Valley hauled by a J72 class 0-6-0T 69023 'Joem' and from these humble beginnings we come to the modern day with 6 or 7 coach trains hauled by large powerful mainline locomotives.

Over the past 12 months we have appealed to our membership and general public to send us their photographic record of those 50 years and we are pleased to showcase almost, but not quite, every one of those 50 years. Below is a sample from the first 25 years, with 1991 -2015 to follow. Just follow this link to see a large selection of our gallery of photographs Santa Steam Specials - Part 1, 1965 - 1990.