Nick Simpson, MPD Manager, give us an update mid-June on the work being done by the staff and volunteers at Grosmont Engine Sheds.

As the weather alters and the rain is forecast (and falling at time of writing), on shed we are heavily preparing for the return of steam operations across the moors when we get the call from operating. As a railway, during the prolonged dry and hot spell through May and June we have managed to keep Grosmont - Whitby part of our operation as steam traction with the diesel fleet providing excellent service on the rest, keeping our passengers moving on their visits.

In the works during this time the staff and volunteers on shed had been making use of the bonus maintenance time we usually wouldn’t have with the engines in the shed at this time of year. So that we have the fleet ready to go, up to and through gold timetable some works have been brought forward including, a replaced bush on the 9F motion (above), retimed Repton after a full measure of motion and valve heads, the team have overhauled and rebuild various components including the J27 manifold shut off valve, cylinder relief valves on No. 5428 and ashpan and hopper repairs where necessary.

The Boilershop has been thrown lots of unplanned work which sees renewing mesh in spark arrestors on the whole running fleet, fabrication of a new spark arrestor in the j27 with part solid screens and doubling up meshes on locomotives with self cleaners.

Other work sees washed out boilers and both sides rebuilt motion on No. 80136 and hot steam tests with the boiler inspector completed for its running, when we can run as usual, this engine will be up and down the bank on a period of examinations before hauling services once more.

This altered running does give us a chance to upskill members of our team so that we have an improving flexibility of skills, as members of the steam fitting team are being trained to perform diesel exams and refuelling which helps with rostering and shift cover no end. We have also opened up footplates to visitors to the shed, it is great to see families get up close with the engines that would usually be out in traffic and really makes their visit memorable.

I am pleased with the progress rate this work has been undertaken, seeing the staff both paid and volunteers rise to the challenge as usual, in the heat.

Nick Simpson, MPD Manager

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