Contracts with both Network Rail and the main Contractor for the alterations at the Network Rail Whitby Station are likely to be signed this coming week allowing a start on site to take place which is currently scheduled for 24th February. The Northern Rail Sunday service on the branch recommences on 30th March so the opportunity will be taken to install the turnout that will give access to Platform 2 the previous week, 23rd March. Work on the main scheme is scheduled to be completed at the end of June.
Environment Agency 'Slowing the Flow' (Note new title!) Project at Hunters Bridge
Jacksons, the Environment Agency contractor, finished their work on the Railway formation on schedule on Tuesday 4th February and handed the site back to the Permanent Way Department. Relaying with new materials commenced pretty well right away and is expected to be completed today. Ballasting, tamping and lining will take place over the next few days and should be ready for the half-term services due to start on Saturday 15th February.
Levisham Straight Relaying
All track was in place by the beginning of the week and on Wednesday 5th February 66001 delivered 12 'Seacow' wagons of ballast for the site. Unfortunately only eight and a half wagons were actually loaded so a further delivery will probably be required. With the ballast on site, tamping and lining can begin and will continue into next week. As with Hunters Bridge all works are on schedule to be completed in time for the commencement of running on 15th February.
Grosmont North End Resignalling
Although little news is emanating about this important project I happen to know that the dedicated NYMR team led by Dave Torbet are making good progress and are hoping to have the work completed in time for the commencement of the enhanced Whitby service.
Black Five 44806 is still languishing outside the Pickering Carriage Shed. Hopefully she will be moved to Grosmont shortly and will be able to take part in the half-term services commencing next Saturday.
The intermediate overhaul on Standard 'Four', 76079, due to be completed by the end of March has now been set back to August due to the recent theft of many non-ferrous pipes and fittings.
Trust Board Meeting
The Trust Board met yesterday, Saturday, considered the 2014 Operating Business Plan and budget and gave it their approval. Other matters debated included the issues outstanding from the 2011 Volunteer Survey and Staff Survey. Although an Action Plan was tabled the Board chose to defer a decision on this and to set up a Task Group to consider the matter further.
An progress report was given on the Management Restructuring that is currently taking place. A recent appointment is causing considerable unease amongst footplate staff and the management team seems to have difficulty taking on board the strength of feeling and the effect that this could have to volunteer numbers.