FLY­ING SCOTSMAN rewrites the rule book at keigh­ley

Un­prece­dented event meant reg­u­la­tions had to be al­tered so WD 2-8-0 could bank celebrity ‘A3’.

Steam Railway (UK) - - News -

It en­tailed rewrit­ing part of the rule book ‑ but Fly­ing Scotsman’s visit to the Keigh­ley & Worth Val­ley Rail­way was worth the ef­fort. For the seven April op­er­at­ing days of its nine‑day visit, the Na­tional Col­lec­tion ‘A3’ was as­sisted at the rear of its train by WD 2‑8‑0 No. 90733 ‑ some­thing not pre­vi­ously per­mit­ted in the York­shire line’s reg­u­la­tions. Pro­vi­sion had only pre­vi­ously been made for diesels to bank trains ‑ it­self a rel­a­tively re­cent change, in re­sponse to heavy snow dur­ing ‘Santa Special’ op­er­a­tions ‑ or for steam lo­co­mo­tives to be ‘dragged’ at the rear. “As one of the ear­li­est pre­served rail­ways, we had to do ev­ery­thing as sim­ply as pos­si­ble,” com­mented KWVR Chair­man Matt Stroh. “Our found­ing fa­thers would never have dreamed that we’d need to as­sist a ‘Pacific’ on eight coaches!” It was the first time that No. 60103 had hauled pas­sen­gers over the Ox­en­hope branch. Its only pre­vi­ous visit ‑ on Fe­bru­ary 20 1980 ‑ was for a film­ing as­sign­ment at Keigh­ley, dur­ing which it also trav­elled up the branch to Ha­worth for coal­ing. This time, it was dis­played at In­grow West for April 1/2, be­fore work­ing trains be­tween April 3‑9 ‑ with other ser­vices hauled by ‘4F’ 0‑6‑0 No. 43924 and ‘4MT’ 4‑6‑0 No. 75078. To­tal vis­i­tor numbers were over 17,000, of whom 12,500 trav­elled on Fly­ing Scotsman’s sell‑out trains and a fur­ther 2,200 on the other ser­vices. On the week­end of the In­grow dis­play, 1,080 bought tick­ets for the ‘Scotsman foot­plate tour’ and there were a fur­ther 2,200 pay­ing vis­i­tors to the rail­way. A KWVR‑pro­moted rail­tour from Ox­en­hope to Carlisle be­hind the ‘A3’ on March 31 (see story be­low) was also fully booked, with all 540 seats sold. This is a record for the line “in terms of con­sec­u­tive days,” con­firmed Mr Stroh ‑ ‘Santa Special’ numbers are within 10‑20% of such fig­ures, but are spread across four week­ends. “To put it into con­text, the pre­vi­ous two week­ends had around 1,000 pas­sen­gers each.” He summed up: “The at­mos­phere on the rail­way was great, with lo­cal people com­ing to see ‘Scotsman’ in their val­ley,” and paid trib­ute to the “in­cred­i­ble” ef­forts of 75‑100 vol­un­teers who turned out each day to help.

BEN COL­LIER

an un­usual early morn­ing view from above Mytholmes tun­nel on april 3, as Fly­ing Scotsman ap­proaches with the first train of the day from keigh­ley. ap­pro­pri­ately mar­shalled be­hind the ‘a3’ are the rail­way’s two ex-lNer ‘k’ class Pull­mans.

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