As the evening shadows closed in over Haworth station a small band of staff ‘clocking’ off for the day and some attending a Society meeting later that evening, were privileged yesterday to witness 34092 take its first tentative steps along the branch mainline. Not exactly the ‘Golden Arrow’, but a light engine movement down the branch to Oakworth and back – a small but significant step in its return to service.
Those present either basked in the nostalgia of the occasion, having witnessed 34092’s exploits first time round, or looked in amazement, not having been born when the engine was last out on the branch.
Hopefully these photographs convey what is now just round the corner when, rather than light engine, ‘City of Wells’ pulls into Haworth with packed carriages behind the tender.
Steam being raised in Haworth Yard alongside LMS 5MT 45305. Steam raised, 34092 appears from under Bridgehouse Lane bridge with the evening sun reflecting off the polished paintwork and finally arrival, tender first, into Haworth Station.
Having eaten his ‘tea’ in the tranquillity of a deserted station, owner Richard Greenwood, becomes the first ‘passenger’ and the locomotive sets off down the branch and out of sight ….
…. to reappear some minutes later with a storming run up the grade.
The run showed up a few minor adjustments were needed before a second run was made as the evening shadows got longer.
The next step will be a loaded test run on the full length of the line, and then it is watch this space for the announcement of its first passenger turn in 25 years.
Photos: 2 & 3 Trevor Gower; all others News@KWVR