Class 101 DMU to be hired
09/06/14Class 101 DMU
News emerged this week that the Railway is to hire in a 2 - car Class 101 DMU to help with the motive power difficulties and to be sure of being able to provide warm trains in the Autumn and Winter period. It is planned to use the Railways own centre car with this set and as and when our own power cars are fit for service they will be substituted for the hired vehicles.
The matter was given a good airing at the Trust Board meeting on Friday last and approval was given to the PLC Boards proposals. There is to be an urgent assessment of the options that are available to bring our own Class 101 up to a serviceable standard.
Steam Locomotive Availability
It has been another difficult week on the steam loco front with the majority of departures from Pickering being diesel hauled. However Class 5 45428 is to return to service on Monday 9th June and Class A4 60007 is expected back from Southall on Wednesday 11th. The addition of these two locos will ease the pressure on the remainder of the fleet.
Whitby Platform 2
Now that the land transfer from the Co-op has taken place the contractor has wasted no time in demolishing the protruding boundary wall and the foundations for the remainder of the platform are now built with construction of the platform supporting walls started.
The sliding buffer stop has been installed and this is designed to stop a train hitting it at any speed up to 10 mph. Because of the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) it is not possible to approach the buffers at a speed higher than this.
Pressure is on now to complete the platform to allow the signaling system cables and location cabinets to be installed on and through the new platform to allow the signaling testing to take place overnight in the first week of July.
Provided the current momentum is kept up it is planned to introduce the enhanced timetable from 2nd August 2014.
Grosmont North End re-signaling
The work at Grosmont is now approaching completion but before the alterations can be brought into use the revised arrangements need to be thoroughly tested. Ideally this needs to be done without any trains running but at this time of the year that is well nigh impossible. However to facilitate the work only trains to and from Whitby (and the Diner) will be allowed to pass through Grosmont during the period 25th to 27th June. Other trains will terminate at Goathland during this period.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the closure of the Whitby to Stockton line on 13th June 1954, a series of excursions are being run between Whitby and Battersby (the remaining section of the Whitby to Stockton line). Two ran in May and one ran yesterday with a repeat on 21st June (the Railways AGM day). B1 61264 is the locomotive of choice masquerading as 61034 ‘Chiru’ the engine that hauled the final train. There are not many places where you can experience a heritage railway journey at speeds of up to 45 mph, so, with a return fare of £29 from Pickering these trains are not to be missed.
Trust Board Meeting Friday 6th June
As mentioned earlier there was a meeting of the Trust Board in Pickering last Friday and a number of decisions were taken:
Approval to purchase ‘Seacow’ ballast hoppers to replace life expired wagons currently in use by the Pway Dept. This purchase will be funded entirely from the income received from the sale of scrap metal.
Approval to go ahead with the contract to construct a concrete apron outside the C & W workshop at Pickering using funding from Foundation.
Approval to apply for funding from the Community Asset and Services Grant Programme for the development of facilities at Mulberries in Pickering.
Approval to allow the Essex Loco Society to construct a shed at Grosmont to aid the overhaul of Class S15 No 825.
Pickering Booking Office Saturday 7th June
I was working in the Booking Office again last Saturday with Angela Ward. Although the day wasn’t one of our busiest we were kept busy in the run-up to the departure of the Whitby trains, particularly as there were connections to the Battersby service.
Shortly after the 09.00hrs service had departed a gentleman and his wife came to my window and asked if anyone had handed in a wallet. He was quite concerned as he had lost it sometime after he had boarded the Whitby train and he had had to get off and continue his search on the platform. He explained that the wallet contained about £100 in cash, credit cards and his bus pass (like me he was a senior!). I suggested that he try the shop and the enquiry offices and we would ring Levisham to get a message to the guard on the Whitby train to see if it had been handed to him. Angela rang Levisham and primed the signalman.
About five minutes later the gentleman was back with a relieved expression on his face - he had found the wallet! It turned out that he had given it to his wife for safekeeping after making a purchase in the shop, she had put it in her handbag and forgotten all about it. Must have had a ‘senior moment’ he explained! Pity about missing the train he said. I suggested that he drive to Grosmont and intercept it there. He said he couldn’t do that as they had come on the bus. I asked him if he would like me to check the Coastliner bus timetable. ‘Yes please’, a quick look at the timetable showed a bus to Whitby at 09.34. I asked him if he could get round to the bus stop in Eastgate in the next 10 minutes. Yes, he said and with that he set off with his lady in tow and offering profuse thanks for the help. Nice to be able to help restore someones day out!