Another Founder Passes Away
Having mourned the loss of Founder Member Tom Salmon and his wife Erica last Christmas, we were all saddened to learn of the passing of Charlie Hart, another Founder Member, last Tuesday in hospital. Charlie was 91. I first met Charlie when I started on the NYMR in 1975 and he was a constant source of encouragement in the many tasks that I undertook that had to do with operating. Later when I became General Manager he was always there with sage advice, which sometimes I didn't want to hear, but on reflection recognised that he was right and a newcomer such as me couldn't possibly know better about things that he had spent his entire working life learning. In later years he was to be seen on the trains almost on a daily basis selling guidelines and sharing his wealth of stories with our passengers.
Charlies' funeral is at Scarborough Crematorium on Thursday 20th February at 14.00hrs.
RIP Charlie - we will all miss you.
The last week of no train service has seen feverish activity to return the railway to operating condition. Ballast has been arriving by road at New Bridge Depot and by rail at Grosmont. All has been laid down at Hunters Bridge and on Levisham Straight and the 'new' tamper has been busy bringing the track up to line and level. Still more ballast to come and a TRS of 10mph is in force on both jobs. After the half-term weeks running the newly laid track will have settled and be ready for more ballast and another session of tamping and lining.
The half-term running commenced yesterday as planned with four round trips daily between Pickering and Goathland. B1, 61264, newly returned from some mainline running with the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express and appearances at the East Lancashire Railways Winter Gala, was working turn and turnabout with Class 24 D5061, itself newly released from major engine work at Grosmont MPD. Services continue until Sunday 22nd February.
Newly acquired Black Five 44806 was in steam when I visited Pickering on Friday and was assisting C & W with testing the steam heating on the two sets that were to be used on services this week. She has now been turned on the Pickering turntable and was moved to Grosmont MPD yesterday.
The photograph at the beginning of this post shows 76079 in happier times at Levisham. I mentioned last week that her return to service has been delayed by the theft of most of the non-ferrous cab fittings and I now understand that some of the fittings from Standard 4MT 80135 are to be used on 76079 to speed up her return. Unfortunately, as one observer put it "the Standards weren't that standard!", so there will still be a delay.
Pickering Station Strategy Group
A new initiative to move forward the continuing development of facilities in the Pickering Station Area was the subject of a meeting of interested parties on Friday afternoon. Items under discussion included improvements to the Tea Rooms and Shop, providing activities for visitors when no trains are in the station, better facilities to enable more Pullman Services to start from Pickering (which has a far bigger customer catchment area than Grosmont) and the proposed Carriage Storage shed. More information when things have developed further.