A new Appointment
The good news this week is the appointment of a new Footplate Superintendent. With effect from last Monday, 16th December, Steve Conway took on the role of this post. As an existing MPD volunteer Steve will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ as far as resolving some of the difficulties that that have beset footplate staff in recent months. Probably high on the list will be the the training of new volunteers into the department and their progression up the ladder of promotion from cleaner to driver. Record keeping of training and competency demonstrated by individuals will be a close second. Steve comes in with very best wishes from all and we look forward to improvements in morale and working relationships as a result of his appointment.
Whitby Platform 2
Back in October Siemens was awarded the signaling contract for Whitby, covering design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning, with completion scheduled for May 2014. Siemens, this week, has appointed Indian company Infotech to undertake the signaling design work to increase capacity at Whitby station. The Railway Gazette in an article on the outsourcing of this work reports Siemens comment as follows:
'Although we have worked closely with Infotech for over seven years, previously we have outsourced only selected elements of design work', said Siemens Delivery Director Rob Cairns on December 12. 'However, given the company's proven track record, we took the decision to place the whole of the design work to the Hyderabad-based team for this project.
Those in the know had a slightly wry expression on their faces on reading this. The impression given is of some major re-signaling scheme at Newcastle or Doncaster whereas it is believed to be only a matter of a ground frame, connections and an additional token instrument on platform 2! Grosmont North re-signaling appears much more complicated and is being undertaken by NYMR staff without any of the song and dance of the Whitby contract.
This is the final weekend of the 2013 Santa Specials with almost all trains and additional services being fully booked. From Friday next, 27th December, until Sunday 5th January there will be a daily service of four trains each way between Pickering and Grosmont.
Finally to all of you who take the trouble to read these weekly notes - thank you and very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.