Full steam ahead for park railway

Preparing the miniature railway in Royds Park for its first ever Easter Sunday opening,
Preparing the miniature railway in Royds Park for its first ever Easter Sunday opening,

It may be 50 years since Dr Beeching swung his axe, signalling the end of the railways in the Spen Valley, but enthusiasts are still keeping steam transport going – albeit in miniature form.

Spenborough Model Engineers – which has been going since 1950 – operates the miniature railway at the top of Royds Park in Littletown, and opens to the public every alternate Sunday from April to November.

However this year it will be opening in March for the very first time.

Member Keith Ainley said: “As this weekend is Easter Sunday, and people will be looking for something to enjoy, we thought we’d give it a go and open up a week early – weather permitting of course!

“Last weekend our volunteers came down to the park to get everything ready for the opening, and had to dig it out because of the snow! There were about six or seven inches over the tracks, but we got stuck in with our shovels and cleared it.

“After this late snow, you can bet this weekend it will be red hot!”

The miniature railway has been in operation for over 30 years and has provided the communities of Spenborough and now Kirklees, with enjoyment and entertainment.

Visitors can also see the members at work restoring and maintaining the engines in the workshops at the site. It is hoped a new engine which has a special carriage to cater for passengers in wheelchairs will be arriving at the railway soon.

The railway will be open for rides between 1pm-4.30pm, and the next open day will be on April 14 at the same times.