Engineering consultancy steams in to look after valuable transport heritage
Dudleys consulting engineers has been appointed to safeguard the building legacy of the Keighley Worth Valley Railway.
The important part of the UK’s industrial heritage was made famous by the 1970s film of Edith Nesbit’s ‘The Railway Children’, with the film sequel set to premiere today – 15 July.
Opened in 1867 by local mill owners, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a preserved standard gauge line which joins the national railway network at Keighley and runs five miles up the valleys of the River Worth and Bridgehouse Beck to Oxenhope.
When the line was closed by British Railways in 1962, The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society was formed with the aim of returning a daily passenger service to the Worth Valley area.
The Society re-opened the branch line from Keighley to Oxenhope in June 1968 and has since operated steam train journeys every weekend, daily during the summer, and also runs special events.
The railway has played host to many film crews, the most notable in recent years has been the First World War drama Testament of Youth, the children’s classic, Swallows & Amazons and the successful TV series Peaky Blinders.
Leeds-based Dudleys is advising Keighley Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society on its buildings at stations in Haworth and Oxenhope.
It is providing structural inspections and surveys and advising on maintenance required to preserve the buildings in good order for the next 50 years.
James Barlow, civil engineer at Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Ltd, said: “As a volunteer organisation we rely on the skills we have available at the time.
“Our current civil engineers manage the railway civils and drainage but inspection of large buildings is not something we have the capability to undertake.
“Dudleys has stepped in and supported us with this and we are very grateful for the work that the team is doing to allow us to start to build a long-term maintenance strategy for our Haworth and Oxenhope sites.
“We are really pleased with the work that has been produced and look forward to working with Dudleys in the future to develop plans for the sites and other areas of the railway.”
Andy Walker, managing director at Dudleys, added: “We feel honoured to be working with the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society in its mission to preserve these important heritage sites for the future.
“We are providing our services at charitable rates since the Society relies on volunteers and donations to keep operational.
“As well as the iconic public buildings, we are assessing functional buildings on each site where mechanical works take place and parts are stored.”