The steep gradient up the Worth Valley from the Keighley terminus has been a challenge for locomotives ever since the line opened on 15th April 1867. The sound of a steam engine tackling this climb echoes from the steep sides of the valley, while great clouds of steam and smoke add drama to the scene. Many of the woollen mills that once stood close to the line have been demolished, but a few remain as reminders that the textile industry was the reason why the line was built. Like the railway, the mills relied on coal, and the trains were able to bring hundreds of tons up the valley each week to keep the looms working by steam power. When British Railways closed the Keighley & Worth Valley line in 1962, local people and railway enthusiasts joined forces to try and save it. A Preservation Society was formed and after many years of volunteer struggle the line re-opened to passenger traffic on 29th June 1968. The Line was built in 1867 by local mill owners, but with the operation of trains 'franchised' to the Midland Railway which operated the adjoining Bradford/Leeds - Skipton line. The Midland Railway eventually bought out the KWVR Company.
The Line became part of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway in 1924 and British Railways (BR) in 1948. BR's economies closed the branch in 1962, but local opposition was such that a preservation society was formed which created a Company to buy the Line outright, lease access into Keighley station and operate a regular public service. The five mile journey is a powerful reminder of our industrial heritage, as well as being a unique way of enjoying the beautiful countryside immortalised by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte.