Unlike many organisations connected with railway preservation, COVID-19 has not had a significant impact on the Trust, the main impact being the loss of income from our sales stall at Oxenhope. 

Firstly, our Bogie Brake Third carriage 1474 based at the Worth Valley has been examined for potential more extensive use.  It was found that significant repairs to the bogies and body side bearers were necessary.  Currently carriages with individual compartments like 1474 are in demand to satisfy COVID-19 social distancing requirements, a situation which may last into 2021.  Unfortunately the Worth Valley carriage workshops do not have the facilities to carry out the work, so we have arranged for the work to be carried out commercially by the East Lancashire Railway at their Bury workshops.  1474 has already been taken to Bury by road and detailed evaluation of the work is in progress.

Secondly, the initial stage of potential restoration of Pug Saddletank 19 is to be removal of the boiler from the frames and subject to a detailed examination to establish whether the more expensive full restoration should be considered.  There was a trial steaming of 19 over 50 years ago after which it was decided that it would become a static exhibit, but recent evaluation shows that the overall condition may be better than thought. 


Bogie Brake 1474 – the expected total repair project is likely to be at least £10,000 plus £4000 for road transport to Bury and back to the Worth Valley.

Pug Saddletank 19 – the detailed boiler examination is expected to cost in the region of £1500.


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Second Lockdown November – update

Updated 28th November Both railways where our stock is based are now expecting to operate services when the new tier settings of the UK Government come into use – despite both being in Tier 3.

Our third class six-wheel carriage 1507 is scheduled for use in the (fully-booked) Worth Valley ‘Santa’ services at the end of November and Saddletank 752/51456 may see use on services at East Lancashire Railway. The trustees have also agreed that the first class six-wheel carriage 279 can be also used on the Worth Valley over the Christmas and New Year period in planned services, although Government reviews of the operation of Tiers may affect this.

Work on our Bogie Brake 1474 at East Lancashire Railway has been delayed (see other Latest News), by important work on their operational stock may take precedence, currently no work is scheduled on our stock at the Worth Valley other than preparation of six-wheel carriage 1507.

Initial investigation work has been approved on Pug 19 at East Lancashire Railway to remove the cab, tank and boiler to enable Non-Destructive Testing to be carried out on the boiler. When the test results are known, a further review of restoration plans will take place.

For the latest information from each railway you can check on the web:
Worth Valley here East Lancashire Railway here

Brake 1474 – mechanical work

Bogie Brake 1474 has been the subject of investigation and repairs to the bogie springing during 2019 and 2020. The main issue was that 1474 rolled quite a bit when in use, probably indicating that there was weakness in the suspension almost certainly due to its age.
This had prevented its use in most service trains, although the Worth Valley agreed that it could be used for a filming contract in 2019 (see news item Filming for NETFLIX) and permission was given for its use and on their initial post-COVID-19 services in August and September 2020.
The bogie suspension consists of primary and secondary (or auxiliary) components. The primary suspension comprises large coil springs located in the central bolster, the secondary being the leaf springs located over each axlebox together with a pair of auxiliary coil springs located at the outer end of each leaf spring.
The coil springs and tie bars on the bogies were replaced by August 2020, which showed a marked improvement, the the Worth Valley Direct of Engineering arranged for the chassis and body to be lifted from the bogies and it was found that further mechanical work was required on the bogies and their mountings connecting to the chassis and body.

November 2020 – 1474 is in the East Lancashire Railway workshops and initial evaluation of the work has progressed, but further work has been delayed by requirements for work on their operational carriages to be used in their forthcoming Santa services.

October 2020 has seen 1474 being taken by road to the East Lancashire Railway workshops at Bury to have extensive repairs to the bogies and body mountings following the recent detailed examination at the Worth Valley. Their workshops are not suitable to carry out the work mainly due to the need to keep the body separate from the bogies but for reassembly to take place as necessary at various times during the work.

September 2020 during this month the carriage was used on 5 days of Vintage Services and the riding was definitely improved. However further use of the carriage will not take place until extensive mechanical work has been completed, the trustees are currently establishing the best method of carrying out the work, almost certainly using external contractors.

August 2020 saw the detailed examination completed in Haworth Yard using the Bahamas Locomotive Society (BLS) steam crane, we are extremely grateful to the BLS for the efforts with this exercise. Various findings have been reported which indicate further work is required but the Brake has been approved for the currently planned services.

July 2020 has seen the suspension work completed but the detailed examination of the carriage has been delayed as a result of the lifting gear being located on the wrong side of the bridge replacement work near Ingrow, its relocation will take place shortly after the bridge work is completed in early August.

June 2020 has seen the resumption of work and the arrival of newly manufactured securing tie bolts and their associated fittings, see some photos below. The carriage has been relocated to the Worth Valley’s carriage and wagon workshop for final assembly to take place and for a detailed examination of the carriage involving lifting the body from the chassis, which might not have taken place for over 80 years.

March 2020 saw some springs removed for testing and temporarily replaced with steel tube. Examples of the auxiliary coil and leaf springs can be seen below along with an example of the securing tie bolts. Just before the Coronavirus lockdown, new coil spring manufacture was completed and some fitted, then work had to stop. However it was possible capture some photos as below.

January 2020 it’s been established that the auxiliary coil springs in the secondary suspension have insufficient strength so 16 replacements are now on order thanks to a very good response to a fundraising request, and there is also sufficient funding to cover replacement of the 16 securing tie bars and fittings. Copies of the original L&YR general arrangement drawings of the bogies were obtained in 2019 via the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Society and it’s been found that the full specification for the replacement springs was detailed on the drawings. The material used over 100 years ago is now hard to obtain, so an alternative design has been established and approved by the Worth Valley’s Director of Engineering.

The photos below are supplied by the Trust’s team of of Jim Hindle, David and Daniel Winters as well as Trustee Peter Eastham and the Worth Valley’s Engineering Director, John Reddyhoff.
Click on any image to view large version and as a slideshow and

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Carriages in use on Worth Valley – update November 2020

Sunday August 23rd 2020 saw the first use of our 3 compartment carriages on the Worth Valley’s relaunched public services, the photo shows them in use on trial running with 2 Vintage Carriages Trust carriages at Oxenhope. They will operate on Sundays through to 27th September inclusive as well as 2 Saturdays in September.
After September they will not be in use except for Third Class 6-wheel 1507, which the Trustees have agreed can be used by the Worth Valley’s special Santa services to satisfy the need for compartment carriages.

November 2020 – the trustees have now agreed that the Worth Valley can use both six-wheel carriages in planned services during the Christmas and New Year period, although it is possible that reviews of the Tiers operation by the UK Government may result in changes.
(photo copyright Craig Philip Szlatoszlavek supplied by Worth Valley Railway)

Regular viewers of photos on the site will observe that our carriages are now running the opposite way round – they have been turned on Keighley turntable.
This has been done to help with the carriage of passengers in wheelchairs and people accompanying them, as on our brake carriage the area with double door access is much larger than those of the other carriages, also providing easier access on Oxenhope platform.

752 used on ELR public services

Following an issue with the loco rostered for 15th and 16th August, 752 (still running as BR 51456) came to the rescue on East Lancashire Railway public services between Bury and Rawtenstall, the photo from Liam Barnes was taken leaving Irwell Vale. Details of services can be found on their website here.

Also there is a Youtube video from LMS VIDEO’S taken from a drone which covers some of the journey. This can be found here and opens in a new window.

Expected use of our stock

(updated on 28th November)

CARRIAGES AT THE WORTH VALLEY RAILWAY – from the end of September, the use of our carriages was to be confined to the Third Class six-wheel 1507, which the trustees have agreed that the Worth Valley can use in their Santa services running at weekends from late November through to Christmas.
In November the use of both six-wheel carriages has been agreed for planned services in the Christmas and New Year period, details have still to be made public and are subject to change as a result of the UK Government reviews of operation of the new Tiers.
The mechanical condition of the Bogie Brake 1474 is such that it has now been relocated for the winter to the East Lancashire Railway works at Bury for some major repair work for which the Worth Valley workshop facilities are not suitable.
PLEASE NOTE – due to constraints of post-lockdown operation Worth Valley train services are subject to advance booking via the Worth Valley website. Accomodation on the trains is booked per compartment in advance, unfortunately there are no concessions for Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust or Worth Valley members.
Most services will only pick up passengers at Oxenhope with a return non-stop return trip. Full details of services are available on their website – see here

The Worth Valley used our six-wheel and Brake compartment carriages for Vintage Train services operating on 6 Sundays and 2 Saturdays from 23rd August to 27th September inclusive. Our Brake carriage was approved for use on these services following detailed examination and provided facilities for carriage of wheelchair passengers and people accompanying them. To make our carriages more convenient for boarding at Oxenhope, they have been turned on Keighley turntable and the Brake end now faces south – as it arrived in 1965.

LOCOMOTIVES AT THE EAST LANCASHIRE RAILWAY – Saddletank 752 has been in the ELR workshop receiving attention to the steam leaks on the cylinder glands, this was caused by pitting that developed on the piston rods during the long overhaul, initial testing indicates that the repairs have been a complete success. Steam heating equipment is also being fitted and 752 may be used on some services from December onwards.
During August and September the ELR resumed steam services although last-minute government changes prevented running on 1st/2nd August, then on 15th and 16th August an unexpected loco failure led to our 752 coming to the rescue to run public services – see other news item – and from December 2020 the ELR now plan to run each weekend, as advertised on their website – see here

Our other loco at the ELR, Pug 19, is in their workshop under evaluation for restoration and is therefore not on public display, the first stage of the work is now to proceed, this is removal of the boiler and a detailed examination of it to evaluate its condition, which is believed to be better than first believed.

March 2020 Steam Galas

The Worth Valley and East Lancashire railways held Steam Gala weekend events on 6th to 8th March, both of which were a success.

The Worth Valley Gala used only our Club Carriage 47 in one of the service trains – for operational reasons our 6-wheelers could not be used.
The East Lancashire Gala featured our loco 752 in the guise of 51456 on its first public service trains. Our Pug 19 has been temporarily relocated from the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston and was on static display in the guise of 51241.

Videos of the Galas can be found on our Video online web page, most of them from YouTube
Photos can be found on or Photos -stock in use web page, most of them from Flickr

L&YR Saloon 12 rescued

In 2019 we advised in ON TRUST that we had inspected Saloon 12 which had been owned by the late Dave Lewis, which was for sale by his widow.  We had decided that we could not take on the project but a few months later there was a threat of destruction, so it has been rescued and put in safe storage pending looking for some charity or society who can take it on for full restoration.
Below is a photo of it in storage prior to being covered with a large waterproof cover.

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