In 1812 the Middleton Steam Railway became the first commercial railway to successfully use steam locomotives. John Blenkinsop the colliery's viewer, or manager, had decided that an engine light enough not to break the cast iron track would not have sufficient adhesion, bearing in mind the heavy load of coal wagons and the steep track gradient. Accordingly he relaid the track on one side with a toothed rail, which he patented in 1811 (the first rack railway), and approached Matthew Murray of Fenton, Murray and Wood, in Holbeck, to design a locomotive with a pinion which would mesh with it. Murray's design was based on Richard Trevithick's Catch me who can, adapted to use Blenkinsop's rack and pinion system, and was called The Salamanca.
Haworth Village is just a short walk away from the Railway station. The area is rather hilly and the easiest pedestrian route to the Parsonage and Old Village is to go out of the station, over the railway footbridge and straight up the cobbled lane.
Step back in time and enjoy a train ride through the heart of Brontë country. Most services are operated by steam trains, but the railway also serves the local community, with many people using the morning diesel railcar services to do their shopping in Keighley.
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. 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 Brontë.
This 1812 locomotive was the first to use two cylinders. These drove the pinions through cranks which were at right angles, so that the engine would start wherever it came to rest.
The line thus entered the history books, in 1812, for it was first to operate successfully, and with three more locos built later, remained in use for another twenty years. In 1881 the railway was converted to 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge.
Keighley railway station serves the town of Keighley in West Yorkshire, England.
First opened in 1847 by the Leeds and Bradford Extension Railway (although rebuilt on the present site in 1875), the station is located on the Airedale Line 17 miles (27 km) north west of Leeds. It is managed by Northern Rail, who operate most of the passenger trains serving it. Electric trains operate frequently from Keighley towards Bradford Forster Square, Leeds and Skipton. Longer distance trains on the Leeds to Morecambe Line and Settle to Carlisle Line also call here.
Keighley is also the northern terminus of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. This is a heritage branch-line railway run by volunteers that was originally built by the Midland Railway and opened in 1867.