Monday, 10 February 2014


A week in North Yorkshire to recharge the batteries

I spent all last week in Settle, ostensibly to make a start on my latest book project, but also to let my various limbs recover from some intensive recent DIY at home (why did I ever tell my wife that I was good at plastering?!). On the way up, on a crisp but sunny Saturday, I stopped off at Keighley for a ride up to Oxenhope and back.

It's a while since I've been on the KWVR line, especially to Oxenhope as we usually take a round trip to Haworth. A gentle plod up the hill on the M&W rail bus, with a free mince pie, seemed the perfect start to a holiday, although I had to fight to stay awake having been up since 4am. The coast back downhill was even worse, with the sound of the steam loco and a lovely warm Mk1 combining to send me off to the world of nod.

It was a surprise to see the USA S160 out working, looking superb in its new paintwork and BR adornments. Mind you, I suppose any loco will suit plain BR black. It seemed to be running well although the crew were checking the axle boxes at regular intervals.

Built in Lima, Ohio USA- Rebuilt in Haworth, North Yorkshire!

Also managed a ride on the S&C as far as Appleby. Again, I'd not been there for quite a while, although there wasn't much doing in town, with a lot of shops and cafes having closed - maybe I picked the wrong day? Anyway, I did manage to have a look at the old Appleby East station, now a large scrapyard (hence why no photos), but the building is still intact and the rails and level crossing gates in place, although most of the surrounding land is now under new housing.

Appleby West - typical S&C style buildings, but built out of the lovely local brick - providing a contrast with Settle's stonework (below).

The staple traction on the S&C these days: shabby Class 158s with an extra 153 car at busier times. The line deserves better than this - if anything, the 156s were better. All of the trains I caught and observed were pretty full - not bad for a chilly week in February - surely warranting better 3/4 car units.


  1. Hey, u been to my neck of the woods :) i live in Haworth, n its very fortunate having the sheds down the rd!! If id hav known i cud hav met the famous George Dent ;)

  2. I have never seen the S160 working in it's present guise. But have it on a Railscene video on the K&WVR in 1986 when it was painted grey. It had an American 'bullroarer' whistle. Does it still have that whistle George or is it a more refined British one these days.

  3. Hi Roy, The S160 had a distinctive sounding whistle from what I can remember, so it must be the original. The safety valves were blowing off at ear-splitting volume while it was standing at Oxenhope and that's what I remember more than anything!


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