25/07/1999 – 01/08/1999 Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Due to our earlier than expected arrival at the railway , we were offered the chance to operate the DMU turn on Saturday 25th July with 5580….! Knowing that the railway has a small fleet of ex Kings Cross suburban non – corridor coaches which 31s regularly worked in the 70s , the question had to be asked………and yes was the answer ! On the day , we were provided with a rake of 4 Suburban coaches to work 3 round trips which made a passable recreation of a GN Moorgate / Kings Cross train of that era…. The day was a huge success with 20 – 30 Goyle cranks appearing for the first train ( which according to station staff was normally empty ) !. A cool morning , the crew didn’t take much convincing it’d be a good idea to get the boiler going …. and it wasn’t long before passengers were complaining because of the heat……..doh !

Filling the boiler water tank on Haworth shed prior to the days proceedings…25/07/99

Three storming return runs over the line were followed by piloting a steam engine from Oxenhope to Haworth in order to get us back to the depot. A ‘ dreadful ‘ and memorable day and one which witnessed the first runs of a Class 31 on this scenic line.

Following arrival at Oxenhope , 26004 & 5580 run-round their train…31/07/99photo M Skidmore

The Gala itself was a 2 day event over the following wekend of Saturday 31st July & Sunday 1st August. DRS sponsered the event providing some 20s as well as 37604 & 37612. The resident 20031 & 25059 were in action as well as 26004 & 27001 from Boness. We commenced the Saturday by piloting 26004 from Haworth to Oxenhope then working 2 round trips solo on load 6. Our 31 was then stabled at Oxenhope overnight in readiness for the following day . The trains were heaving , the weather superb with the temperature hovering around 29 degrees celsius……and 5580 was storming ! As is usual on Gala visits , the beers were flowing in the evening but an early wake up call by 25059 at 0800 was most unwelcome as our first train was not until 1415… This afternoon round trip from Oxenhope was paired with DRS 37604 and following some liason with its crew , both locos were able to take it in turns to do their bit…! Following this run , 37604 once again accompanied 5580 for the final round trip of the weekend. Another superb event .

More ‘running-round’ , this time at Keighley as 37604 & 5580 position themselves ready for an Oxenhope departure…01/08/99 photo M Skidmore

Following the Gala , 5580 was moved to Doncaster RFS once more on the Monday morning by 37612 and staying there until Thusday 12th August when 37612 re-appeared for the final movement back to Butterley.