Oxenhope railway station
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The platform at Oxenhope station
|Area||City of Bradford|
|Managed by||Keighley and Worth Valley Railway|
|Key dates||Opened 1867
|Stations on heritage railways in the United Kingdom|
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Oxenhope railway station serves the village of Oxenhope, near Haworth, and within the City of Bradford Metropolitan District of West Yorkshire, England. It is the terminus of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, with trains to Haworth and Keighley.
Oxenhope village was not included in the Midland Railway's original plans for the branch line, with Haworth being the proposed terminus. However, a local mill owner successfully campaigned for the railway to be extended to Oxenhope, and the station opened on 13 April 1867, as the railway's terminus. On the original plans the railway was to extend into Lowertown, and there is still a bridge (used as a road bridge) which was constructed as part of the railway to allow this; however, it was decided to terminate the railway at its current location.
As with the rest of the line's facilities, the station was closed in 1962 by British Rail due to road competition, but was re-opened when the line was preserved in 1968.
The site complex now houses an exhibition shed, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, where some of the locomotives that are not currently used on the line are stored. There is also a station shop, buffet and a car park, and links with local bus services to Bradford and Hebden Bridge.
When the railway was reopened, it was envisaged that as the terminus of the line, Oxenhope would be the ideal place to base the locomotive department. To this end, the goods shed was extended with a two-road building including an inspection pit.
However, the locomotive department once settled in Haworth never moved, so the intended locomotive shed is now the headquarters of the railway's Carriage & Wagon department, having workshop facilities, carriage-lifting jacks and extensive stores.
Thanks to a £600,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2000, there is now also a large two-road, twelve-coach 'running shed' used to stable coaches normally used on service trains. It also has facilities for servicing coaches and provides a more hospitable environment for light maintenance.
Also located at Oxenhope is the railway's 'Beer Store'. When the railway reopened, it had the facility to serve 'Real Ale' on board trains as a Jibe at British Rail, who were unable to do so on their new Inter City buffet cars. Because normal cask ale cannot be used on a train (the movement would shake up the sediment in the barrel and result in an undrinkable pint), the beer is stored at Oxenhope and decanted into containers for use on trains.
Recently, this part of the railway has grown almost explosively, with an annual 'Beer & Music Festival' now a firm fixture in the railway's calendar. Held in late October, what started out as a weekend event is now a three- or four-day extravaganza, with four days' worth of live music, consistently offering over 100 different beers to choose from. However, to some degree the event is a victim of its own success. Despite hiring in extra catering and toilet facilities, congestion is an issue and it is not unknown for emergency orders of extra beer being necessary on the Saturday to prevent the Sunday being a "dry" event.
- Bairstow, Martin (1991). The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway - a guide and history. Halifax: Bairstow. p. 5. ISBN 1-871944-04-X.
- "Oxenhope Conservation Area Appraisal" (PDF). Bradford.gov. p. 14. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- "History". Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
- "Rail enthusiasts saved little gem from oblivion". Yorkshire Post. 5 November 2001. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
|Preceding station||Heritage railways||Following station|
|Terminus||Keighley and Worth Valley Railway||Haworth|
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