It was a beautiful summer’s evening and as we drove over Haworth Moor, I could hardly contain myself at the thought of my maiden voyage on a steam train.
My love of trains had slowly diminished as I’d reached the ripe old age of nine. Now, I fully appreciate the fact that everybody tends to have some form of guilty pleasure in life.
“Just one of the many initiatives that Keighley and Worth Valley railway have to offer”
However, the noting down of specific numbered trains or the fascination of a glimpse of an old “puffer” pulling away from a well-kept platform have never done it for me. That said, the look of marvel on my face as we pulled in to the car park at Oxenhope station would not have looked out of place on even the most ardent steam enthusiast.
I had been invited to experience a welcome on board the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway’s special curry train, aptly named The Keighley Korma. The curry special is just one of the many initiatives that Keighley and Worth Valley railway have to offer. They also run a very successful Steam and Ale Trail where a bar can be found at each station with a selection of real ales from a variety of breweries across the country, as well as a more genteel afternoon tea experience.
As the majestic locomotive pulled away from the platform I could not help but admire the sheer symmetry of the experience. Here I was travelling on one of the oldest forms of transport, against a backdrop of Jenny Agutter and her fellow railway children and the rugged West Yorkshire countryside, about to be served the nation’s favourite dish in the nation’s curry capital…well next door to it if I am being precise (Bradford).
After a few drinks courtesy of the onboard bar on coach C, the poppadums and mango chutney duly arrived as a perfect accompaniment. The Keighley Korma meandered its way from Oxenhope via the likes of Haworth and Ingrow and arrived in Keighley station approximately 25 minutes after setting off.
A choice of curries was on offer, expertly supplied by a local curry house upon settling at Keighley station. Passengers were then entertained on the platform with live music and were encouraged to dance the night away, along with some of the calories they’d taken on board!
The iconic steam engine rolled back in to Oxenhope after a few hours of merriment therefore offering a full night out. The experience was certainly well attended with a 40th Birthday celebration in full swing alongside potential first dates and in my case, a well overdue, family get-together.
On the whole a wonderful experience, where not only the rice is steaming! The next adventure on The Keighley Korma will take place on Saturday September 2nd departing at 7.30pm and featuring local band The Pretend Beatles. The station is under cover so you don’t need to worry about the weather.
Fares: Adults £22.50; Concessions £19.50 (KWVR Members, Retirees, Local residents); Children £11.50 (5 to 15 inclusive).
To book tickets and for further details contact Keighley and Worth Valley Railway on 01535 645214 or visit www.kwvr.co.uk