Easter Holiday Traffic
This last week has been the second of full line operation and things generally have shown an improvement on the first week. The lifting of the 10 mph TRS on Levisham straight has made an enormous difference to timekeeping although on some days things seem to have conspired against us. Last Monday for instance was planned to be a day of restricted services to allow S & T to do some essential testing of the new signaling at Grosmont. Unfortunately a tree fell across the line at Darnholme and later in the day a block failure at Whitby turned the day into one which most people would rather forget!
Tuesday was much better until the middle of the afternoon when a points failure at Levisham delayed the 14.00 ex Whitby by 25 minutes and caused all following services to run about half an hour late.
Fortunately the weather has been kind and the Easter School holidays have provided a buoyant level of passengers.
Pickering Booking Office
I was rostered for a turn in the Pickering Booking Office on Tuesday and was working with Angela Ward and Les Mason. Two more experienced NYMR booking office staff would be hard to find so any of my earlier ‘faux pas’ were easily resolved. Opening up at about 08.15hrs, trade for the first service to Whitby was brisk with takings at high season levels for this departure. No sooner had that train departed than passengers started to flood in for the 10.00hrs to Grosmont and we remained busy all morning with takings for the day probably the highest up to that point for the season so far. Interestingly no one seemed to ‘bat an eyelid’ at the new season fares and unlike my previous shift I had no ‘walkaways’.
Spring Steam Gala
The ‘Jinty’ 47406 arrived at Newbridge on a low loader on Thursday afternoon and was noted piloting 44806 to Grosmont on the 11.00hrs ex Pickering on Saturday. The final guest locomotive, A4 ‘Bittern’ is due to arrive from Crewe tomorrow, 22nd April, at around 21.00hrs.
In a weeks time ‘Bittern’ will be handling a very prestigious Pullman working on 29th April. The electrical giant, Samsung, has chosen the NYMR to host the launch of its latest range of CCTV equipment and has invited industry professionals from across the rail industry to take part in the launch. CCTV cameras will be set up all over Pickering Station and possibly other parts of the Railway with a ‘control room’ established in the Learning Centre on Platform 2. After a morning of talks and demonstrations the delegates will be taken onto the Pullman Train headed by ‘Bittern’ and shown the delights of our scenery whilst enjoying a meal of our finest fare. As Commercial Director Paul Brown put it “this is one train that MUST run to time”! This is very good corporate business for the Railway and if we can handle this one successfully we can enhance our already good reputation still further.
Whitby Station Enhancements
The new trackwork is now virtually complete and we await the resolution of the land conveyancing from the Co-Op so that the boundary wall can be moved back to allow a minimum width platform to be constructed. A short piece of video shows the problem wall quite graphically and can be viewed by clicking HERE
NYMR Gloucester DMUs
Those of my readers who are of a certain age will remember the two, two-car Gloucester Carriage and Wagon DMUs that were the mainstay of services in the early days from about 1975 until sometime in the 1980s. I was taught how to drive these venerable machines by Chris Cubitt and the picture at the head of this post shows a very youthful me posing in front of the 4-car set. The last time I saw or heard of them they were on the West Somerset Railway in the 1990s although only one set was working and the other was derelict.
I was surprised and delighted to hear that one set at least has survived and is undergoing restoration on the Llangollen Railway. The post on the Unofficial NYMR Forum reads as follows:-
“Some of you may be aware that one of the Gloucester DMUs which was at the NYMR in the early days is being resurrected from an early grave after more than 40 years in "preservation".
A great deal of effort is going into Driving Trailer 56097 which is undergoing a monumental rebuild, including dealing with structural issues arising from corrosion.
The plan is to complete the body overhaul of this vehicle and then move on to power car 51118, to ensure that both vehicles are structurally sound.
Although another AEC engine has been bought for the project recently completion will, alas, be some years off due to the size of the task. However, the good news is that the owning group have tackled such restorations before with success and are confident that it will be finished one day.
Updates on progress are provided at http://www.LlangollenRailcars.com on the "Newsfeed" page, which is revised every Monday.
There's also an on-line donations button if you fancy chucking a fiver at the project!”