Civil Matters – S&T Week 2017

It is a while since the last report, but we are delighted top publish once again an insightful report from James Barlow on the activities on the Railway during S&T Week. Yet again we start with an apology to James, who although himself delaying the report, holidays and other matters have delayed publication even further. It gives us great pleasure to now reproduce another of his superb articles. (Some of the to-does that James highlights have, by now been done.)

In stark contrast to previous years, no S&T work was undertaken this year at Keighley, with work continuing in the background to allow for physical works on the ground to continue. Therefore the opportunity was taken to undertake other important S&T Jobs around the Railway.

The main work for the week took place at Haworth. The token machine for Haworth Yard was moved, yet again. Initially the token machine was moved from in the shed to besides the crossovers exiting the yard. It was moved to increase the speed at which tokens were restored when engines went back on shed, reducing waiting times at Damems Loop at the end of service for example. It has been moved again, now it is adjacent to the stop await orders board and the 3-way points on the entrance to the yard. This was completed successfully with a new mains supply dug to the area too.


In addition, the points at the South end of Haworth Loop (Top Points) have now been connected and are operational again. These points have been out of operation for nearly 3 years after partial renewal in Civil Week 2014. Finally the stars aligned and we found ourselves in a position to finish with the S&T connection, much to the appreciation of our DMU crews who no longer have to change ends when locking in at Haworth!

Elsewhere Damems Junction Signal Box finally had the electric shutters I have been promising since the last year. While some snagging still needs to be done the work is certainly a big improvement for our signallers with the laborious task of pulling up manual shutters now over. A big thanks to R. N. Woolers for arranging Skipton Scaffolds to provide access and to Fox Industrial Doors for undertaking the work. As you can see in the photos the final product is a signal box that looks smarter with the shutters both up and down and a much friendlier working environment for us. The only bad thing is that it is now more obvious that the box needs some TLC and an external re-paint. While we had people on site, the electrics (I know no more than that) have had an upgrade to allow for the shutters and the toilet has continued its path to being finished. The sink for the box was unblocked, my initial hopeful attempt with the pipes under the sink extended down into the depths of the signal box and eventually led to us digging out the end of the pipe in a soakaway and removing the debris. It was a very unpleasant job and I was very thankful to those who came to the rescue to help and do most of the digging.


Another job I hope many of you will have noticed is that the signals have been painted!!!! After many attempts to get them done using volunteers it was time to bring someone in to do the job. So during S&T Week and the subsequent weeks all signals on the branch were painted. I think you will all agree that the branch looks much smarter now! Thanks to Bagnalls who undertook this work.

Moving away from S&T matters the Thursday gang used the possession to continue their work in refitting handrails to our bridges, 29 & 30. Metallic versions have replaced the previous wooden handrails with the hope of having a much longer service life.

And finally, scaffolding was erected around Keighley Water Tower to begin the external refurbishment of that building. In this case the tank has been refurbished and painted, again by Bagnalls. The windows have also seen repairs undertaken. Further works are being planned but as with everything, watch this space!

I would also like to personally thank everyone who helped make the week a success from us in Civil and S&T to the works train crews who taxied us, our materials and out tools around the railway. Now to start planning next year.

‘Till the next time.

James Barlow – Civil Maintenance Department Secretary

There is a constant and substantial amount of work required to our infrastructure to keep the trains running safely, and extra hands are always needed to complete the tasks. If you can spare time to help the Civil Engineering Department, please contact the Railway’s Volunteer Liaison Officer, by calling Haworth Station on 01535 645214 or by email to

One comment on “Civil Matters – S&T Week 2017

  1. Many thanks for keeping us updated, and the results are very well worthwhile. As an aside exactly 50 years ago today I managed to travel on five steam hauled summer Saturday trains between Leeds and Manchester shortly before the end of steam in West Yorkshire. 45212 was one of the locos in action that day!

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