HomeBusinessKeighley & Worth Valley Railway benefits from a Northern storage problem

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway benefits from a Northern storage problem


Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic struck, and lockdown began, heritage railways have effectively been closed, with fundraising activities, gala weekends and even normal running suspended or cancelled.

That has caused major financial problems for most of them.

Some, such as the Severn Valley Railway in Worcestershire and Shropshire, have been fundraising from enthusiasts, offering ‘adopt an engine’ schemes and promoting the sale of souvenirs from their shops.

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (KWVR) in West Yorkshire has also been fundraising hard. It’s ‘Worth Saving’ appeal has now passed the £130,000 mark and is aiming at £200,000.

KWVR’s ‘Worth Saving’ appeal is aiming to raise £200,000.

But the KWVR has also found an extra source of income.

Northern Trains, like may other front-line train operators, has reduced its timetable and is running fewer services.  It is also phasing out its fleet of Pacers, which have recently become the butt of many jokes, although they have done sterling service for the last 34 years, and currently have dispensation to run only until August 2020 as they don’t meet the Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Interoperable Rail System) Regulations.

Andy Carey, Sam MacDougall and Christopher Haley with 144 011, which will return to the KWVR for preservation once it finishes its service at Northern.

Five of the 23 Class 144 Pacers (two and three-car units) not required during lockdown could be stored at the Heaton depot. But where to put the other 18?

The answer was at Keighley on the KWVR, a solution that would solve Northern’s storage problem and give KWVR some much-needed income.

Noel Hartley, KWVR.

Noel Hartley, KWVR operations manager, explained: “We are storing the Pacers for Northern whilst the crisis is ongoing. It is helping us too, by providing some income for our Worth Saving appeal.”

It’s not the first time the Class 144s have been at Keighley. They used to call there in service until the Airedale line was electrified in the 1990s. And, fittingly, number 144011 is due to transfer to the KWVR for preservation once Northern has no further need of it.

More of Northern’s Class 144 at its temporary home at Keighley.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Rail engineers strike gold in sustainability school

Multidisciplinary engineering business Dyer & Butler has earned Gold level status from the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS). This is the highest level of membership...

Tunnel operation takes flight with help from a helicopter

Essential work on a tunnel in the Peak District got some help from high places. Helicopters helped airlift construction materials into position as part of...

Rail review author calls for rail fares reform

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan For Rail white paper, has urged for fares reform – arguing there has never been a better...
- Advertisement -

More news

Iconic arrows get a dash of green ahead of environmental summit

The famous National Rail double arrow has turned several shades of green ahead of the COP26 UN climate summit, which takes place in November. The...

Digital signalling for East Coast main line tested on Thameslink

A test of the digital in-cab signalling system ECTS level 2 (European Train Control System) has been carried out successfully using a Govia Thameslink...

Potential union of unions across the Atlantic

In what is a possible world’s first, London-based transport and travel union the TSSA is in talks with America's International Brotherhood of Boilermakers on...