Self Drive Train Hire

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NELPG's K1 62005 at the Railfest in 2004
Self Drive Train Hire

Earlier in the week the NYMR website announced a new concept - Self Drive Trains! This certainly caused a bit of a stir. The offer was a 2-week holiday, the first week comprised the Gold steam Drivers course at the end of which the participant would be able to drive their own holiday train comprising a sleeping car and restaurant car with the freedom of the line outside normal train service times. Sounds like an ideal holiday for a steam enthusiast but the downside was the date on the bottom of the post - 1st April. Ah well seemed like a nice idea!

Congratulations to Danielle Ramsey, Marketing Manager, who was the author of the piece. Managed to mention a number of serious offerings cloaked in a gently humorous cover. Produced some interesting reactions on Facebook about the H&S issues!

Whitby Platform 2

Work continues on the construction of the new trackwork at Whitby and the centre road is now well on the way. This trackwork is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. The foundations for the platform are currently ‘on hold’ as the Railway is waiting for a small piece of land to be obtained from the Co-Op to allow the necessary platform width to be achieved. This conveyancing has taken longer than expected but, as anyone who has been reading the news headlines in recent weeks will know, the Co-Op has had ‘bigger fish to fry’. Completion of the conveyancing is expected in the next 2-3 weeks. Some photographs of progress can be seen by clicking HERE

Services in the first week

As I mentioned in my last post, the final week of the winter timetable became daily running between Pickering and Goathland. The new summer timetable started on Friday 4th April with services across the full length of the line and to Whitby. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to run on Friday 4th due to outstanding permanent way works. This comprised ballast tipping, regulating and tamping on the Levisham relaying job. After a further period of running the 10mph TRS is expected to be removed shortly. This will give an enormous boost to timekeeping - over a mile at 10mph adds about 6 minutes to each journey, so by the end of the day, a jaw dropping 72 minutes of late running has been incurred.

The week was further compromised by the non-availability of the rostered steam engine on Thursday. We must hope that things will settle down from now on.

Trust Board Meeting 5th April 2014

There was a meeting of the Trust Board on Friday evening 4th April. Matters discussed included Finance, Security, Communication and providing covered accommodation for the Essex Loco Groups S15 (825) and WD 2-10-0 Dame Vera Lynn. Paul Brown and Nigel Trotter were confirmed as Plc Board Directors and there was a discussion on the failed recruitment of a Production Director.

Pickering Booking Office 6th April

I worked my first turn of the season in Pickering Booking Office on Saturday. Surprised how ‘rusty’ I had become over the winter period but after the first train had departed it was all coming back to me. The day was quite busy and trains were well loaded so much so that one elderly gentleman came back and asked for a refund as the train was too full of noisy children for his liking! Everybody seemed to be in a good humour despite our poor timekeeping (the 16.00 was over an hour late due largely to the Levisham TRS, see above) and there was little comment on the new fares that we are charging. Three steam engines were in use - 29, 61264 and 75029.

Moors Express draft

A draft copy of Moors Express was circulated at the Trust Board meeting by editor John Bailey. It is now nearly four months since the last issue and John is hoping that this will be the last of the lengthy versions as an increased frequency version is planned - see below.

Volunteer and Staff Survey 2011

I have made reference to these two surveys in a number posts since early January this year. It seems wrong to me that these important surveys have not had the attention they deserve. At the request of the Trust Secretary I took a report with a draft action plan to the February 8th Board meeting. The Board set up a task group to look further into what needs to be done. This task group met on 29th March and recognised that the most urgent item outstanding was improving communication. To this end the group agreed that a weekly (or near weekly) news sheet should be prepared with a rotating ‘host’ editor drawn from a pool comprising: the Managing Director, Commercial Director, Infrastructure Director, Production Director and the two Chairmen. It is hoped to start this after Easter and will probably be issued under the banner of Moors Express.

The task group also agreed to prepare a report on the progress that has been made and to conduct a new set of surveys in the early summer of this year. This three point plan was reported to the Trust Board on Friday and approved as a way forward.

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