The Blog Returns

Article text
LNER Class A4 60007, 'Sir Nigel Gresley' arrives in Pickering 20th June 2014
General

It’s been some time since I have been able to put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keys!) mostly due to the demands of my consultancy and working away in Essex for a couple of days a week since July. However this work has gone into a ‘fallow’ period so I can catch up on doing all those things that I like doing but don’t help to pay the bills.

I haven’t been totally ignoring the NYMR in this period and have continued working my turns in the Pickering Booking Office and attending Trust Board meetings. Since the new platform at Whitby was brought into use in mid - August patronage at both ends of the line has soared.

Locomotive availability has finally reached acceptable proportions and I notice that today we are fielding 7 steamers (but it is war weekend!) NELPG’s 63395 returned to traffic in time for the main season and that has been a big help. The mainstay of the service has been the 2 ‘Black Fives’, 44806 and 45428, the B1 61264 and the Standard 4, 75029.

Galas

In September we staged two gala weekends, one for diesels on the 13th and 14th and one for steam on 27th and 28th. Guest locos at the Diesel Gala were the NRM’s Deltic 55024 and the first production Class 37 D6700. Also visiting were Class 31 31466 and Class 50 50015 ‘Valiant’. For the steam gala we had ex GW Castle Class 5029, Nunney Castle, 2800 class 2-8-0 2807 and pannier tank 1501.

The results for the Diesel Gala were disappointing despite all the hard work put in by so many people to make it happen. The steam gala was much more successful with results comfortably above budget. As I mentioned earlier, this weekend (11th & 12th October) is War Weekend and, if past results are anything to go by, it will be the busiest weekend of the year.

Personnel

Over the summer there have been some personnel changes. Jeff Armstrong has become Operating Superintendent and Laura Solomon has become the Commercial Services Manager.

Departures have included the Pullman Chef, Colin Kitching and the Chief Booking Clerk, Angela Ward. The Railway can’t afford to loose long standing members of staff like this and many of us are wondering why more effort wasn’t made to try and persuade them to change their minds and stay on.

Locomotives

76079 was reported as entering the paint shop last week so hopefully we will be seeing this useful engine back in traffic before the end of the season.

30926, Repton, has been dismantled and tenders have been invited for the overhaul. Work continues on 80135 and this is likely to be back in traffic at some point in 2015.

Trust Board

The next meeting of the Trust Board will be on Friday 17th. Amongst the many interesting items on the Agenda is the consideration of the Trusts’ Corporate Strategic Plan ‘Steaming On”. First published in 2011 it proposed that we do a ‘refresh’ to reflect the Whitby situation and consider the relevance and priority of some of the other major items.

For me there are two things that need urgent attention at Pickering. One is the desperate need to provide more customer parking and the second is to get some adequate resources and equipment into Carriage and Wagon so that the supply of operable carriages keeps up with demand. For some not very comfortable reasons this isn’t happening at the moment and needs to be addressed.

More next week after the meeting...

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