Sorry to have left a gap between the last Diary and this, but have been busy with writing things for the Heritage Lottery Bid, especially for the bridges at Goathland and the trackwork for the Pickering carriage sheds. We have also been running trains in what is often called “half term” but with schools now doing their own thing, half term now seems to be anytime you like!

However, with trains running we were able to sort out materials in New Bridge with some 60ft long rails going out by road to a dealer for scrap.  It was a little trying as there was gas main work in Pickering with traffic diverted (and generally stationary) with Pickering Main Street being only one way.  This was OK until you turn up with the first load of 60ft rails!  So our dealer decided to turn right and go via Sutton Bank duly escorted by the Police.  The following week he decided that discretion was better than valour so he chopped up the rails into 30ft lengths in New Bridge, which was no great problem as they were scrap anyway.

The relay at milepost 14 was tamped after the first load of stone was delivered by DB Cargo and looked superb.  It then had another load delivered on 1st March and after more tamping and regulating it is even more superb, if that is possible. We are now letting it bed down under traffic and will then take off the temporary speed restriction in a few weeks’ time. We will be having a final delivery of stone, for now that is,  on Wednesday this week. 

We will be dropping some stone in selected places for tamping later and also on the bridge 14 to Yorfalls relay where it is little short in places as seen in photo A with Mark Tommo doing a track patrol in between posing that is.

At New Bridge it is just about time to say a final goodbye to tamper No 73214 seen in B with its nether regions on the left. We are keeping the bogies and some other parts but the rest is destined for the big scrapyard in the sky.  Also waiting to go was LMS tender No 9615 we borrowed from another Black 5 somewhere (image C), but we didn’t chop that up! 


S&T gang have been very busy doing both essential maintenance on all their kit but also putting a bit more on the banner repeater as seen in D.  If you look carefully in photo E you won’t see signal NB1 on the bracket as Craig has taken it down!  The reason is that Beck Siding is being removed so we don’t need the signal.  At present the siding is covered in coach wheelsets and bogies as Kieran in C&W needs the space to stable the coaches out of Beck Siding.  Martyn is just plain lining the turnout into Beck Siding for now, hopefully so trains can only then go in and out of platform 1.  When we completely relay No 5  Points just North of this turnout in November we will then fully remove the remains of Beck Siding turnout, dig out the fouled ash ballast etc. and relay in clean new track – so no dropping dirty things or oils on it then Mr Steam Engine!


The track from No 6 crossover just north of High Mill up to New Bridge is all planned for renewal in the next year or so and we have made a little start working back from New Bridge.  This is a tricky bit to dig with all sorts of thing buried including old cables and a 12 inch diameter cast iron pipe crossing the track at a strange angle.  It is shown on the 1908 North Eastern Railway diagrams and after much head scratching yesterday we decided to leave well alone as it is below where even our track tampers don’t reach down to (fingers crossed!). It is where our excavator is standing in photos F and G.  The clean stone in the right hand pile  is being reused as bottom ballast by the way.


As we have to close from time to time the Occupation Level Crossing that provides road access to New Bridge hamlet on the West of the railway we have distributed letters to them all explaining what we are doing and when we be closing it.  So far we have hardly affected them and worked around their needs.  When we lay the track across it we will have to have another short closure while we also put in the new Rosehill road panels, but more on that next time.  We are only relaying to just short of the foot crossing seen in the distance in H and I as we have to have the railway open for Royal Scot. 

All for now


Nigel Trotter