Civil Matters – Civil Week September 2017

When leaves were still on the trees and the temperature was somewhat higher than it is now as Winter approaches and the Santa Steam Special season is only a week away, the Civil Engineering Department held their annual working week when major engineering work is undertaken that necessitates the closure of the line.

In another of his excellent reports, James Barlow gives an in depth report of the superb work that the “gang” undertook in September 2017. Following on from the major relaying of Oakworth level crossing in 2016, work was once again concentrated on the area around Oakworth and the bridge 17 to the south. Here is James’ report.

Oakworth Continued…

While S&T week was very different to previous years, Civil “Week” was very much as you were, although this year we had two weeks due to the works at Bridge 17 requiring a 12 day closure.

A significant amount of effort has gone into the maintenance, repair, and renewal of the infrastructure around Oakworth over recent years. In my time at the railway (seven years this October, how time flies!) we have undertaken:

  • Three bridge refurbishments along Mytholmes Curve.
    • Bridge 18 & 19 waterproofed and masonry/brickworks repairs.
    • Bridge 17 waterproofed, abutment masonry/brickwork repairs and painting.
  • Renewed the level crossing deck.
  • Installed drainage along part of the track.
  • Repaired a collapsed culvert running beneath Oakworth Yard.
  • Construction of an embankment toe retaining wall with gabion baskets on Mytholmes Curve.
  • Repointed two retaining walls.
  • Renewed the turnout into the yard.
  • Cleared spoil from the Mytholmes Tunnel landslip site.

Continue reading

Civil Week 2016 – A Roaring Success

Every year the Railway dedicates a week (or two) to undertake large infrastructure projects when the Railway closes down to all but essential traffic in connection with the work being undertaken. And 2016 was no exception. This year there were 3 locations where activity took place, the  most major being the replacement of the road surface on Oakworth Level Crossing, necessitating the closure of Station Road. In addition a collapsed culvert was repaired north of Oakworth and down at Keighley, beavering away almost unnoticed, were a small team repainting the station.

James Barlow has yet again put his virtual pen to paper in  a report on the work at Oakworth and, contributing for the first time, James Horrell gives his take on the work at Keighley. Continue reading

Civil Week 2015 – Oakworth

Week commencing 14th September was earmarked for the Railway’s annual Civil Week when major infrastructure work is undertaken requiring closure of the Railway to passenger services for the whole week.

This year the work was to take place at 2 sites – Oxenhope Loop Bottom Crossover, i.e. the points at the north end of Oxenhope Loop and at Oakworth.

At Oakworth the work was to install drainage for Oakworth Level Crossing and track opposite the station platform which involved a small excavator and a digger and a small band of willing(?) volunteers. Society Director, David Petyt was on duty and give us this insight into the ‘gang’s’ work for the week, and his own less physical, but extremely important role, in proceedings.

Oakworth'2-DP“During our “Civil Week”, I was seconded to Oakworth where a small team was already in place but struggling.  There was a digger, driven by Dave , who kept filling a dumper truck driven by Cyril which, when full, had to go through the crossing gates to deposit the load.  My job was to open and close the gate and endeavour to keep the traffic flowing​. This seemed to happen every few minutes an in-between times there were calls for tea and coffee on a regular basis (you can’t have enough tea and coffee!) plus “David, can you fetch so and so”.  Alistair was in charge and we also had Mark the builder, who sorted out the sump pits. He was only five foot nothing and we kept loosing him in the six feet deep trench. The weather was kind, the work was hard (for the workers), the camaraderie was excellent!”


Fish & chips keep the lads happy!

However before the last few inches of the trench were infilled, David performed the most important task of all, planting the daffodil bulbs. Look out next Spring for a magnificent display of daffodils opposite the platform. The rumours that David had the team digging the trench just so he did not have to get his own spade out to plant the daffodils is, he assures us, totally without foundation.



Hopefully a report on the Oxenhope work will follow shortly.