THE KWVR was one of the first standard gauge heritage lines in the country, running its first official trains on
June 29, 1968 – a few years after the Bluebell Railway (1960) but ahead of its nearby neighbour the Middleton Railway in Leeds (1969), as well as lines such as the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Severn Valley Railway (1970) and the Great Central Railway (1973).
The five-mile branch runs up the Worth Valley in West Yorkshire from Keighley (where there is a main line connection) to Oxenhope, with intermediate stations at Ingrow, Damems, Oakworth and Haworth. It is best known to the general public as the setting for the 1970 film ‘The Railway Children’, as well as countless other appearances in film and TV productions.
The branch was built to serve local mills, opening to the public in April 1867. It thrived for most of the following century, but growing competition from motor vehicles saw the passenger service end on
December 30, 1961 and goods traffic soon after on June 18, 1962.
Read more in the August issue of RE.