Santa Specials sold out

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The NRMs' Super D 0-8-0, 49395, approaches Yorfalls Wood Crossing with the Moorlander in 2006
I mentioned in my last post that the Santa Specials have been booking well this year, so much so in fact that all the remaining services are now fully booked! This is very good news and will ‘warm the cockles’ of Financial Director Stephen Hoggs’ heart.

At the Trust Board meeting on Friday evening (6th December) Stephen reported a much improved situation when compared with last year and he now expects us to break-even on the operating account (or perhaps a very small loss). This is very good news.

Permanent way works

The continuing favourable weather is helping our P’way gang to to continue to make good progress. a full report on the weeks activities can be found here:

and some pictures here:

Locomotive Overhaul Programme

With the permission of the Grosmont Shed Master a feature on the locomotive overhaul programme has commenced on the NYMR Unofficial Forum. It is being compiled by Mark O’Brian and the first edition makes interesting reading and puts the record straight on a number of issues. You can find it here:

Moors Express

In my last post I suggested that the long-overdue edition of Moors Express would be out last week. Ah well you can’t win ‘em all. Hopefully we will see it this coming week.

Trust Board meeting Friday 6th December

We had a number of issues that we could get our teeth into as always and these started with further discussions with the Environment Agency in an endeavour to reach agreement over protecting the Railways position in the event of future flooding. (The Stemming the Flow project) A meeting took place on Friday afternoon and some progress has now been made.

The Board were shown a plan of the proposed works which are to be carried out at Hunting Bridge north of New Bridge level crossing. In essence a water storage lagoon is to be constructed alongside the Railway into which the Pickering Beck will flow. A sluice at the south end will control the volume of water that can flow down and through Pickering at any one time. When excess water comes down from the hills it will be stored in the lagoon until such time as it can be released into the Beck. If the Environment Agency engineers have got their calculations right (and we have no reason to think otherwise) we should see an end to flooding in the town and particularly in the Station when the works are completed. Work is due to start in ernest in January and will mean a temporary break in the track. It is planned to have this break restored in time for the half-term running in February.

At the Boards previous meeting there was much debate and agonising over the level of fares to be set for 2014. In the end the Board resolved to increase the principal return fares (Pickering - Grosmont and Pickering - Whitby) by £1. The Board also decided to increase the family fare from £48 (Pickering to Whitby) to £54. This latter increase caused our Marketing Manager to suggest that this was too big an increase to be able to market in these straightened financial times. A report was brought back to this Board meeting suggesting that we consider a lesser increase to £52. The Board was not to be moved on this issue and, by a majority vote confirmed the increase to £54.

An agreement was put forward for the operation of 44806, currently based on the Llangollen Railway. It was clear that some changes needed to be made (so as to be fair to our generous benefactor). The Chairman and Secretary to sign the new agreement when it has been revised.

Further good news on the financial front was the receipt of a cheque for a little over £24k as an additional payment from a major legacy. The finance committee were recommending that this should be used to provide a concrete apron outside the C & W shed at Pickering and also a pit if the funds were sufficient. The Board readily agreed to these proposals and reflected on the poor conditions that some of our staff, both paid and volunteer, have to work under to keep the railway operational.

The Essex Locomotive Society were asking permission to be able to construct a shed at Grosmont to enable them to continue with the overhaul of S15 no 825. The Society was willing to pay all costs of construction and obtain the necessary planning permissions. The Board agreed in principal to the proposal.

Finally the Board considered the procedure for the elections in 2014 for the Chairman, Archivist and Board members. The vacancies will be advertised in the Winter Moorsline and nominations will need to be in by around 25th April 2014. A special Board meeting was agreed to consider the nominations.

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Bernards' Blog - A regular digest of things happening on the North York Moors Railway