Wednesday 7th March 2018

We now have Tornado running this week after the recent somewhat previous snowy weather. As with most places in the UK, the weather has been the main talking point but many of you have had it far worse than where I live, even so I couldn’t get the car out and even had to walk to the local shops! I am told the road down to Levisham station from the village is still blocked with 8 feet high snow drifts.

Last time I said we had started the 12 length relay near New Bridge foot crossing back towards Trout Farm. Just have to include photo A taken on the 26th February for no other reason than the sun is shining!

Work progressed very well with the job finished ready for ballasting almost a day ahead of Martyn’s plan when it snowed and iced up. As with car washes, unless you have them in a warm heated building, they freeze up and stop working, so it is with ballast and hopper wagons. After a whole day trying to get the 24T of ballast out the Dogfish they had to give up and wait for the predicted thaw. This eventually came on the Monday before Tornado was running as we had to cancel it over the previous weekend as people couldn’t get to the railway which rather defeats the object!

Remarkably nearly 150T of the ballast on the ground in New Bridge was loaded and successfully tipped on Monday this week as seen in photo B with the regulator’s buffer in view.

The tamper is shown in photo C, the headlights on give a clue to the time with D giving the game away. 

The foot crossing panels had to be put back as seen in E with Marty and Duncan doing some “technical” adjustments” before Peter who was driving the excavator gave them a good thump; needless to say they then stayed down.

When you relay track, the rail joints have to have track circuit bond wires fitted by our S&T. Needless to say when they are fitted, the P Way tamper can sometimes knock them off again and if that fails to dislodge them, dropping more ballast and regulating it usually does! It’s no surprise that throughout the railways, there is a love-hate relationship between P Way and S&T so I include them in photos F and G.


When this relay was tamped ready for Tornado the following day, Martyn, Duncan, Peter, Bryan and Nick then went down to the previous relay to give it another tamp finishing about 9 pm. I would like to say I stayed until then but skived off an hour earlier.

And on Tuesday this week Tornado is seen running over the foot crossing in H. Now, never mind looking at Tornado, just see how smart the foot crossing is!

All for now, next week the remaining section from this relay to Trout Farm level crossing will be relaid and at last we will be getting rid of the ex GWR tunnel rails.

As ever, on behalf of everybody, very many thanks to all who struggled in the severe weather and then afterwards to keep this magnificent railway of ours going.

With best wishes

Nigel Trotter
NYMR Civil Engineer

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