50 Years of Santa Steam Specials – Part 1, 1965 – 1990

In 1965 the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway ran, what can be described as our first Santa Steam Special, a humble Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway 0-4-0ST no. 51218 which brought Father Christmas on the footplate from Haworth Yard to Haworth Station to bring goodwill to a small gathering of children and parents.

However it was in 1967, just over 6 months before the Railway re-opened that the first Santa train rumbled up the Valley hauled by a J72 class 0-6-0T 69023 ‘Joem’ and from these humble beginnings we come to the modern day with 6 or 7 coach trains hauled by large powerful mainline locomotives.

Over the past 12 months we have appealed to our membership and general public to send us their photographic record of those 50 years and we are pleased to showcase almost, but not quite, every one of those 50 years. Below is a sample from the first 25 years, with 1991 -2015 to follow. Just follow this link to see a large selection of our gallery of photographs Santa Steam Specials – Part 1, 1965 – 1990.


3 comments on “50 Years of Santa Steam Specials – Part 1, 1965 – 1990

  1. Could I claim my copyright for pictures 22 and 29 in Santa part 1 – USA and 1241 leaving Keighley and arriving at Haworth respectively, please? I’m impressed with the excellent collection you have gathered together. I have some of 92220 somewhere, which I’ll let you have once I’ve found them.

  2. Wonderful, some truly atmospheric photos and great to see the combinations of double-heading. I especially remember 92220 doing all the work pulling the WD, 7 coaches and the diesel (equal to 12 coaches!). It’s interesting to see how things have changed in the valley itself, at Keighley station and the approach to Ingrow. How nice it would be to see a Crab working on the railway again. Look forward to the next in the series.

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