Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Announces Major Bridge Replacement

in Haworth in Keighley

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (KWVR), a well-known heritage steam railway and popular tourist attraction in Yorkshire, has announced a major bridge replacement project scheduled for this year. The railway’s line will undergo a partial three-week closure in September to replace the 135-year-old Bridge 27, an essential structure spanning Bridgehouse Beck, a tributary of the River Worth.

the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

The Project’s Scope and Timing

The project involves a three to four-week shutdown of the Haworth to Oxenhope section, during which Bridge 27 will be replaced. Passenger train services will continue to operate on weekends between Keighley and Haworth during this period. The shutdown will occur after the summer holiday season to minimize disruption for visitors.

James Barlow, the Chief Civil Engineer at KWVR, stated that the bridge replacement had been on their agenda for over a decade due to the deteriorating condition of its abutments, pier, and girders. The project marks the end of almost ten years of planning and preparation by the railway’s volunteer engineering team, with support from specialized designers and contractors.

Engineering Details

Designers Cass Hayward have been working on the project since 2019. The track will be removed in the spring of 2024 to install twelve 16-meter reinforced concrete piles, ensuring the track is restored in time for the summer services. The bridge’s replacement will begin on the evening of September 1st.

The current bridge will be demolished and replaced with a new, more durable structure designed to require less maintenance. This will enable volunteers to focus on other aspects of the railway’s upkeep.

Impact on the Community

Preparatory work for the project is set to occur between May and September, impacting car parking around the Haworth Station and Bridgehouse Mill area. Despite the inconvenience, the KWVR team appreciates the support of its volunteers and the local community.

The project has received funding from the Government’s Community Ownership Fund, with a grant of one million pounds.

About the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

The KWVR is a five-mile heritage railway in West Yorkshire, operated by a team of over 500 volunteers. It runs steam and diesel trains through the scenic Brontë countryside and has been featured in films such as “The Railway Children.” The railway operates services every weekend, with additional services during the summer and holiday seasons.

See the full press release here:

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