Whitby Trackwork Complete
14/04/14Whitby Platform 2
Rapid progress has been made this last week with the new trackwork at the station. By Friday both the platform line and the centre road had been installed, ballasted and connected to the new turnout installed in the main line a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, as I understand it, there will now be a delay (as mentioned last week) whilst the conveyancing of a small area of land from the Co-Op takes place. Once this has been completed the platform foundations can be completed and work can start on the support walls. No doubt when construction of the platform starts it will be constructed quickly and within a matter of weeks it will look as though all is ready for the train service. Again due to the sequence of construction the signaling location cabinets cannot be installed until the platform is complete because they sit on the platform. We will have to be patient!
Progress pictures can be seen by clicking HERE
The train service seems to have settled into the routine of daily running quite well although there have been some timekeeping issues. The removal of the 10mph TRS south of Levisham has helped a great deal in this regard. Inevitably other things have cropped up to cause minor delays and this does nothing for our relationship with our passengers when they are kept waiting at Levisham for half an hour on their homeward journey. I can’t help but think that all of this would improve if the duty manager was to be more visible and to encourage matters along.
Locos in use have been B1 61264, Standard 4 75029, LHJC 29 and D5061/D7628. On Saturday, 29 was swapped for the ‘new’ Black 5, 44806.
Looking at the booking office takings for the week, most days seem to be showing an improvement on last year which is encouraging.
The guest locos for the Spring Steam Gala are starting to arrive. 62005 has been here for over a week, the IRE Black Fives 45407 and 44871 were due to arrive yesterday (Sunday) and ‘Bittern’ is due on Tuesday 22nd April.
Grosmont based A4 60007 (Sir Nigel Gresley) was in the south west last Thursday when it hauled an excursion from Westbury to Kingswear and in doing so became the first steam locomotive to traverse the recently reopened section of line along the sea wall at Dawlish.
The latest edition of Moors Express was released today and gives the official version of the news stories that I have been covering in these weekly posts since the last edition of ME came out before Christmas.
Down the line
I had a friend staying with me last week, no ordinary friend this as, until his retirement six years ago, he was Managing Director of a major tourist railway in the south west, so a trip down our line was inevitable! To give time for lunch in Whitby we travelled on the ‘Coastliner’ bus from Pickering, going via Thornton Dale and Goathland. A splendid journey it was too, and took about an hour.
After the traditional Whitby fish and chips we made our way on to the platform to await the arrival of the NYMR train. We were very impressed with the new trackwork being installed (see above) and the excellent progress that is being made. My friend was surprised that we could make this sort of investment in a Network Rail station and was somewhat taken aback when I said what NR were contributing and that the bulk of the remainder was being provided by the Coastal Communities Fund.
The train duly arrived with the class 25, D7628, leading and the Standard 4, 75029 on the rear. Departure from Whitby was prompt, as it was from Grosmont and Goathland although I was a little surprised to hear the TTI announce, as we left Grosmont, that things would go dark for a short while as the lights were not working. I was really quite surprised as I thought we had sorted this problem out some months ago.
When we arrived at Levisham the TTI made another announcement to the effect that the train prom Pickering had left 15 minutes late and we would have to wait for its arrival before we could continue our journey. We stood for over half an hour and some of the passengers, particularly the children were getting a bit fractious. However we eventually made it back to Pickering and my friend was immediately impressed with the restoration of the overall roof. “I suppose you are going to tell me that you didn’t have to pay for this either,” he said. “You bet,” I replied!