Extra detailed news from and for the volunteers and supporters.

If you want to receive these fortnightly reports as "Word" files attached to emails before they appear here, please contact gcmudd@ntlworld.com


08 October 2010                WEARDALE RAILWAY UPDATE : No.46

WEARDALE RAILWAYS OWNER ANNOUNCES NEW ACQUISITION
 MORE BBC TV FILMING ON THE RAILWAY

 EASTGATE PROJECT LOSES FUNDING 

·         WEARDALE RAILWAY ON TV : As previously mentioned the ‘George Gently’ detective series episode featuring the Weardale Railway was shown on BBC 1 on the 3rd October. It was filmed near Bridge 32 west of Stanhope station (see Newsletter No 38 for details). Although the loco was in use from 6am to 7pm – it travelled as far as Eastgate, the segment in the programme lasted only about 15 seconds, it did however show Norman Swindle, the driver, looking ahead for dead bodies.

 

  • WEARDALE RAILWAY ON TV, AGAIN : On the 27th September the BBC were out again filming on the Railway. This time it was for the ‘Countryfile’ programme. Again a special train was commissioned utilising the Class 73 and the Mk1 coaches running to Stanhope. Steve Race was the driver and he was interviewed in the cab of the Locomotive, further filming took place on  Stanhope station. The theme of this item is centred around the former mining industry of Weardale, The filming crew visited Killhope  as well. The Weardale item will appear in the ‘Countryfile’ programme on Sunday 10th October at 6.30pm on BBC 1.

 

Julia Bradbury from the BBC’s Countryfile programme speaks to
the 
camera on Stanhope station platform on September 27th .

                                                                     ( Photo : Ruth Carroll)  

No 40 on Bridge 34 during the filming session for the
‘George
Gently’ programme. It was converted to BR 69692
for the day.                             (Photo : Norman Swindle)

·         BARS ACQUIRES HANSON TRACTION : Weardale Railways majority shareholder, British American Rail Services has just announced  the acquisition of Hanson Traction, Garcia Hanson, Hanson Traction’s managing director and principal owner, will become British American’s Commercial Director for all business units, with particular responsibility for rail freight, locomotive hire, and locomotive maintenance operations. Hanson Traction is based at Washwood Heath near Birmingham and currently owns seven locomotives (Classes 56, 31 and 50).  Mike Fairburn is now appointed as Operations Director.  Ed Ellis, president of British American, said that “Adding Hanson Traction to the portfolio of our rail-related operations will substantially enhance our ability to serve the market. It will support British American’s goals in rail freight and simultaneously increase the company’s ability to maintain and repair its locomotives in-house. In addition, we are particularly excited about having Garcia Hanson join our management team, as he brings a wealth of commercial expertise to the company.”  The full Press statement and some details of the fleet are attached to this Newsletter.

  • WAR ON THE LINE 2010 : The event this year was held on the 18th and 19th of September. The Saturday was a reasonable day weatherwise but on the cool side, but Sunday, normally the busiest day, was misty early on and cloudy with showers later in the day. This resulted in lower attendances than last year and also meant that the Red Arrows flying display team were not able to carry out the fly past on their way from the display at the Great North Run.  The steam loco hired in for the weekend, a Peckett 0-6-0, No 2000, performed well pulling four coaches on four separate return trips. The 5th and final trip on the Saturday was hauled by the Class 73, as the Peckett had developed a warm wheel bearing – this on the downhill run-which may seem counter intuitive, it seems that the constant forces on the bearing are more prevalent in downhill  mode and cause the problem. It was a busy day for the railway and General Manager, Malcolm Dean, wishes to thank the principal organisers ( Kevin Hillary. Clive & Wendy Elsdon and John Askwith) and their many volunteer and Junior Club helpers for making it a successful weekend.

War on the Line 2010 : The Peckett No. 2000 hauling the Heritage coaches on Saturday18th September,
seen passing Rogerley on its
way to Stanhope.                                                      ( Photo:; John Lewins)

·         COAL PROJECT UPDATE : Since the last Newsletter the ‘No’ group have initiated the Judicial Review process over Durham County Council’s approval of the Coal Loading Depot at Wolsingham. The first stage of this process is for the initiator  to convince the Judge that there is a case to review, only if he decides there is a case will the review go ahead. Meanwhile the Project team, under Manager Dave Million are proceeding  with all the preparatory detailed implementation plans and obtaining the various consents required under the planning approval. Work is also underway on clearing the ground so that work on the depot can commence.

 

·         EASTGATE PROJECT : Prior to the formalisation of the pending Budget cuts, One North East has announced a series of project cuts which includes £1 million for the Eastgate Eco village Project. As it now seems unlikely that the project will continue, at least in its presently planned form, the Company is exploring other possible  alternative options to utilise all or part of the site

 

·         SANTA 2010 : David Million reports that bookings are continuing to roll in, with now over 90% of the booking being made online. One trip the 13.30hrs on November 27th is already fully booked. So please tell friends and family to book now if they want a choice of dates. To book online or download a form click here.

 

  • INFRASTRUCTURE WORK : Work has continued in providing lighting at Bishop Auckland WR platform. Steve Raine, John Hargreaves and Trevor Hewitt are amongst the volunteers helping out, assisted at weekends by Junior Club members. A generator and six lighting  poles are now installed, some minor switch-work remains to be carried out. Attention is now turning to the cabin at Broadwood Crossing which Paul Allinson of Sherburn Stone, the Quarry owners, have made available to the Railway. It needs some renovation so that it can provide a suitable shelter and base of operations for the Crossing Keepers. Otherwise Jeff Smith and his RMS crew continue with re-sleepering and the Sunday gang have been working on vegetation clearance at various points along the line.

Wartime scene at Stanhope with Mark Woodhams looking after
s
ome of the re-enactors.                     ( Photo : M Woodhams )

The two Class 31’s mentioned in Newsletter 45 en route to Wolsingham, caught by John Lewins at Eldon Lane on September 15th.

·         DEPOT LATEST : No. 40 -- GOOD NEWS : The last two wheel bearings have now been re-machined and returned to the depot and should be fitted to the locomotive by the end of this week. This work has been completed by Richard Campbell of Stanley who has also carried out the work on all the other bearings and on reprofiling the axles. Now that all the bearings have been re-machined to the high standards which Richard employs we trust that the Locomotive will be able to stand up to the demands of working the Weardale Line – a much harder task than it faced either in its NCB days or on the short, flat Colne Valley line. Once it has been passed fit to run it is planned to utilise No. 40 on the weekends around the October half term holidays working the Heritage portion of the timetable.  Steve Race also reports that he hopes to complete work on the Griddle car after which attention turns to fixing the steam heating on the Mk 1 coaches.

 

·         JUNIOR CLUB : PARTNERSHIP WITH KING JAMES 1 SCHOOL : On Thursday this week, Junior Club members are attending King James 1 School in Bishop Auckland as part of the school’s year 6 open night.  The open night, which is aimed at potential new students for 2011, will be railway themed as part of a partnership link up between the school and the Weardale Railway.  Each school department will be given a Weardale station name and the prospective students are invited to “take a train journey” through the school, having their Weardale Railway Day Rover clipped as they visit each station.  The railway launch day video will be shown on a large screen in the school reception and the Junior Club members will run a G scale model layout and a promotion / recruitment stand. The long term relationship between the School and the Railway includes a school based WR Junior Club and visits to the Weardale Railway and Iowa Pacific railways within the United States.

  

  • OCTOBER, NOVEMBER FARES PROMOTION : BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE : After the successful August evening cheap fare promotion the Railway is introducing a two for one voucher promotion. Buy any Community service Return adult ticket and you will be able to receive a second ticket of equal or lesser value for the journey. This voucher will be valid on all community service trains until the start of the Santa season (i.e. until Friday 26th November), The voucher will be promoted in the local press, on the website (here), on Twitter and Facebook  where it can be printed off. Both passengers must travel together. There is no limit to the number of vouchers a group may use; therefore, a family group may present more than one voucher, however, only one free ticket is to be issued against each voucher presented. The vouchers are acceptable printed in either colour ink or black & white. The Vouchers are not valid on the planned special services for Halloween.

Here is how affiliate railway the Rio Grande Scenic
promotes traffic – who says its only steam that sells? 

The second DMU -141113 gets a day out on September 12th 
on an afternoon
train from Stanhope. ( Photo : John Lewins)

FROM THE INTRAY :

Dear Sir,
I visited Weardale Rly earlier this year and would just like to say how impressed I was. I have some involvement with preserved railways myself and to my mind most of them have entirely the wrong ethos. That is to say they have a piecemeal attitude towards development and seem mainly motivated to recreate the atmosphere of the 1950's when they were boys (or girls). As such what they end up creating is full size toy trains which do not provide a transport service. They also charge far too much such that they can only ever be used as special treats on days out. Weardale is I suppose lucky in that it goes from "somewhere" to "somewhere" and travel is more likely to be generated by members of the public wanting to get from A to B rather than merely experience a train journey. You do seem to have the right idea in encouraging community use with realistic fares. A recent check on your website does appear to reveal that you are achieving that aim. Thanks to you and colleagues for all you have achieved.
John

Dear Sir,
Please find enclosed a cheque for membership of the Trust. My son and I travelled on the line last week and were greatly impressed by the following : --  The extent of the line – an 18mile line is a huge undertaking. The  potential of the line to serve the communities along its length. The value offered by the fares. The plans to introduce freight.  The friendliness and cheerfulness of the staff. We travel on many Heritage Railways but have to limit memberships. In this case I think it is deserved.
With best wishes for the future.
Rob

 AN AMATEUR RADIO EVENT WAS HELD AT STANHOPE STATION ON SEPTEMBER 26th 
Ruth Carroll looked after the participants – here is their response :-

"I attach the certificate awarded to Matt and yourself celebrating the special event at Stanhope yesterday. All stations who worked over the weekend will get a personalised copy of this certificate from us. Ruth, thank you and the Railway for the great hospitality shown to Matt and I - it was really first rate. Thanks also for allowing us to use your photo. Hope that Weardale Railway will be able to join in again another year."
Bob
G0OCB

EDEN VALLEY RAILWAY and

BISHOP AUCKLAND RADIO AMATEURS' CLUB

RAILWAYS ON THE AIR WEEKEND

25th and 26th of September 2010

 

THIS CERTIFICATE IS AWARDED TO

GB0WR

For celebrating the birth of the steam passenger railway and the application of amateur radio by
successfully contacting or hearing radio stations at preserved railways throughout the world.

Signed on behalf of B.A.R.A.C.

Thanks to The Weardale Railway and Ruth Carroll for permission to use the photograph showing Peckett Number 2000 arriving at Frosterley Station.

 

Edited by Gerry Mudd : Please send your queries, comments, suggestions , photos and submissions to :-
gcmudd@ntlworld.com  or call 01932 889811  // 07773800554

  • PRESS RELEASE : OCTOBER 4th 2010

British American Railway Services, Ltd., today announced that it has acquired Hanson Traction Ltd., a leaser of mainline railway locomotives. Hanson also provides locomotive engineering and maintenance services to third parties. Garcia Hanson, Hanson Traction’s managing director and principal owner, will become British American’s commercial director for all business units, with particular responsibility for rail freight, locomotive hire, and locomotive maintenance operations.

Ed Ellis, president of British American, said that “Adding Hanson Traction to the portfolio of our rail-related operations will substantially enhance our ability to serve the market. It will support British American’s goals in rail freight and simultaneously increase the company’s ability to maintain and repair its locomotives in-house. In addition, we are particularly excited about having Garcia Hanson join our management team, as he brings a wealth of commercial expertise to the company.” 

Hanson said that “I am delighted to be able to build on the track record Hanson Traction has established in locomotive refurbishment and hire operations. Our proven record in rail freight haulage will enable British American to provide fully integrated solutions for both new and established customers. My team and I look forward to working with British American’s managers and staff to grow and expand the scope of the company.”

Note :-

British American Railway Services acquired the rail operations of ECT Group in September, 2008, and today has operations that include:

• Rail Management Services, Ltd. (RMS Locotec), which provides: o Railway track construction services;

Railway track maintenance services; and

Shunting locomotive hire and maintenance services.

 

      • Weardale Railways, CIC, which provides community rail services in County Durham, and expects to begin freight services in early 2011.

      • Dartmoor Railway, CIC, which provides community rail services in Devon.
 • Devon and Cornwall Railways, Ltd., which has an application pending with the Office of Rail Regulation to become a licensed train- and freight-operating company.

Fleet details : Source – Wikipedia

 

Number      Location/Home Depot                                     Notes

56114             Washwood Heath AC                             Stored unserviceable / Source of spares.
56128             Wansford MPD, Nene Valley Railway    Stored unserviceable / Source of spares.
56311              Washwood Heath AC                               Returned to traffic after repairs in April 2010.
56312               Washwood Heath AC                             Currently operational.
31190             Washwood Heath AC                             Currently operational.
31602               Derby RTC                                            Currently operational, on hire to Network Rail.
50008             East Lancs                                              Operational, awaiting return to mainline use.

 

 

 

16 September 2010                WEARDALE RAILWAY UPDATE : No.45

WOLSINGHAM AND STANHOPE SHOW SERVICES SUCCESSFUL
 RAILWAY ANNOUNCES STRONG TRAFFIC RESULTS

 WAR ON THE LINE WITH STEAM  ! – AND THE RED ARROWS
TWO CLASS 31s HEADING FOR WEARDALE

  • WOLSINGHAM AND STANHOPE SHOW SERVICES  : Malcolm Dean the recently appointed General Manager of the Weardale Railway  reports : The operation of a special service to serve the showgrounds at Wolsingham and Stanhope posed several challenges. On the first day of the Wolsingham show we had to plan for a charter train from Dundee to Stanhope as well as operate the augmented service between Bishop Auckland, Wolsingham and Stanhope. The Timetable for these days involved some intricate planning by Operations Manager, Donald Heath and it also required the assistance of a greatly augmented number of staff and volunteers working over the four days. I would like to express my thanks and gratitude for all the hard work and effort involved and which contributed to the operation of a smooth and on time service each day and a special mention to Steve Race, Jeff Smith and Brian Mills and their teams, including the Groundwork staff, for all they did in installing and moving the temporary platform. This was very much a test exercise to get experience of the operating challenges and logistics involved and all arranged at very short notice. Now we have this experience we can start to plan for a much improved and expanded service for such events in the  forthcoming years.

Two views of the temporary platform in use for the Wolsingham Show on Saturday 4th August. 
Christened ‘Wolsingham
- Crook Lane’ for the weekend it saw a steady flow of passengers            
alighting directly onto the showground and was used
by twelve trains from either Bishop Auckland
or Stanhope during the day.                                                                        ( Photos : F Routledge)

  • PERMIT TO OPERATE NOW MADE PERMANENT : In issue 43 we mentioned the that the  Railway Inspector granted his consent last May for the Company to run trains  between Bishop Auckland and Stanhope conditional on some further works being carried out. The Inspector revisited the line on August 4th and found other than  two very small items everything was in accordance with his requirements. Subsequently these items were dealt with and Safety Manager Dave Payne now reports . “ Permanent permission was granted by the ORR on the 18th August, following the  visit by the inspectorate, to operate passenger trains on the Weardale railway infrastructure.  This of course does include the running of freight as well.”

 

  • STEAM RETURNS FOR WAR ON THE LINE : The Company has arranged for the Peckett No 2000 0-6-0 saddle tank engine to be used for the Heritage services between Wolsingham and Stanhope on the weekend of the War on the Line event. The loco was built in 1942 and is one of  the maker’s B3 class with two outside cylinders 14” diameter x 20” stroke. Delivered new to British Sugar Corporation Ltd., Nottingham Factory, Colwick, working there until 1955, then sent back to its Bristol manufacturers for repair. On completion of the repair work the loco was dispatched to the Ipswich factory of the BSC, remaining there until entering preservation, initially at the Nene Valley Railway, Peterborough in 1977.Nowadays Peckett 2000 is more usually found at its new home at Barrow Hill, near Chesterfield but is sometimes hired out to other railways. The loco should arrive (by road) at Wolsingham on Thursday 16th September.

The Peckett loco Number 2000, built in Bristol in 1942 which is 
coming to  Weardale for a short term.             (Photo : A Booth )

Class 31 loco number 31608 non a Network Rail engineering train.
It is owned by Weardale Railway affiliate D & C Railway.             
                                                                     (Photo : D Sellers )

·         TWO CLASS 31s COMING TO WEARDALE :  Due to arrive by rail on Wednesday 15th September are two Class 31 locos, no’s 31608 and 31468. The 31608 loco, which is in Devon and Cornwall Railway livery, will be hauling 31468 which is currently non operational. The arrival of 31608 will enable the railway to operate Heritage services between Stanhope and Bishop Auckland by top and tailing with the Class 73 as well as No 40 when it returns to service. 

 

  • WAR ON THE LINE : SEPTEMBER 18 AND 19 : With all the commemoratory events associated  with the Battle of Britain of 1940, this years War on the Line event on the Weardale Railway takes on special significance. We are pleased to announce that following a suggestion from Mike Richardson  taken up by our Marketing team of Clive and Wendy Elsdon the renowned Red Arrows RAF display team will make aspecial fly past over Stanhope on the Sunday (19th)   at approximately 11.00.  This is, of course subject to the weather conditions being satisfactory.  This is the Weardale Railways biggest event of the year and a special appeal for extra volunteer help has been issued and is copied below.  

WEARDALE RAILWAY PRESS RELEASE : WAR ON THE LINE

The Weardale Railway is set to be become a 1940s war zone over the weekend of the 18th and 19th September with the Railways biggest event of the Year! During the week building up to the event, on Saturday, 11th, a week-long Shop Window Dressing Competition takes place in Stanhope, Frosterley and Wolsingham.
Monday, 13th, sees children from Frosterley Nursery “evacuated” to Stanhope on the 10.02 am train from Frosterley Station.
On Tuesday, 15th , in conjunction with North East Theatre Organ Association, patrons will be entertained with a special 1940s evening of music on the mighty Wurlitzer organ, at the New Victoria Centre, Howden-le-Wear. at 7.30pm. For enquiries and booking, tel.01388 764267.

WW2 British and American military units will be engaging German Wermacht forces during Saturday and Sunday, provided by members of Yesterdays Heroes and the Military Vehicle Trust.
On both days, at 12 noon, the French Resistance will engage in a scenario with German soldiers at “occupied” Frei-Sur-Lee (Frosterley Station). Stanhope Station will be the scene of skirmishes between opposing military units, as well as re-enactments, a fashion shows, military vehicles, musical entertainment, weapon demonstrations, dioramas and side stalls. 

On Sunday a church service to be held at Stanhope Station at 1pm.

Saturday evening brings a 1940s dance to the Masonic Hall, Greenbank, Stanhope from 7.30-midnight, with musical entertainment from the Spot On! (three part harmony vocals) and Woody with his 1940’s style disco.

One of the highlights of the event takes place around 11am on Sunday when a flypast by the worldwide renowned RAF Red Arrows Display Flight will take place. (subject to weather conditions).

Visitors are encouraged to wear period clothing.

Trains will be running all weekend between Bishop Auckland and Stanhope, despite there being a war on!
WAR ON THE LINE : CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

 

·         You will be aware that we are fast approaching one of our busiest events of the year “War on the Line”. 

·         The event takes place over the weekend of Saturday 18th / Sunday 19th September and we are looking for volunteers to help out on both days. 

·         In addition to the event itself, we are also looking for help in setting up on Friday 17th September and setting down on the Sunday evening. I would be very interested to hear from you if you are available to help. 

Friday 18th September (setting up) – anytime from 1000 until 2100
Saturday 19th September (daytime event) – 0800 until 1700
 Saturday 19th September (evening event) – 1700 until 2300
Sunday 20th September (daytime event) – 0800 until 1700
Sunday 20th September (after event) – 1700 until 2100

·         We are looking for volunteers to help in the following areas:-

 Entrance gate staff 
Car park stewards
 Catering staff
 Litter pickers
Station gift shop
Station café
 Operating station tannoy / sound effects
  General station assistance 

PLEASE CONTACT : David Million : Telephone: 01388-747683 or Mobile: 07711-017980
Email: david.million@wrjc.org.uk

 

 
Weardale Railway owned 141 class DMU ( 141103 ) on the left using the second platform at Stanhope on the first Wolsingham Show Day.
ramps
were provided to allow easy access to platform level. The intensive service required use of both DMU’s.  
The photo on the right is taken from on board the 141113 unit forming the 12.12 departure from Wolsingham which was shunted into the depot siding to allow the 11.35 ex Bishop
Auckland, operated by 141103,  to pass.                    (Both photos : F Routledge )

·         WEARDALE RAILWAY PASSENGER SURVEY : Our Marketing team leaders, Clive and Wendy Elsdon, conducted a passenger survey between August 13th and 24th . The results are still being analysed, however some of the major findings are : 60% of the passengers were new to the Weardale Railway, Stanhope and Bishop Auckland are the major points of origin/destination. 17% of the passengers connected to/from Northern Rail at Bishop Auckland and 58% of passengers were 51 or older. The majority of passengers were making return journeys, were travelling for pleasure and felt the fares were reasonable. A  joint BARS/WRCIC Marketing meeting was held after the Board meeting on the 31st August at which the results of this survey and the recent fare promotion in the Dale were discussed. Such was the success of the  evening low fare promotion that plans are being  developed  to try to develop more passenger traffic from Darlington and Bishop Auckland.

 

  • JUNIOR CLUB COACH- “NEARLY THERE” : David Million reports “Apparently I have a reputation for looking on the bright side when asked about the progress of the Junior Club coach (5226) by always saying “we’re nearly there”, well now I can say with some conviction that we are, nearly there!” During the school holidays some real progress has been made by a committed bunch from the Junior Club to the extent that both the training room and the model railway room is just about complete, all that is required is the varnishing of the wooden bulk head panels and the completion of the new lighting fixtures. The accompanying photo shows the training room complete with National Express East Coast picture boards and retained Mk 2 coach seats.  Carpets and blinds are currently stored by suppliers and will be added soon.  New furniture is stored locally. One area that we are struggling with is the exterior, we desperately need the assistance of anyone that can weld and grind. Once the remaining body side repairs are complete we will be in a position to start painting. If you can help I would be very pleased to hear from you! Don’t forget, the name the coach competition is extended until the 30th of September. See below :-

 

  • NAME THAT COACH COMPETION : For an entry fee of £2 (with profits going towards project 5226), the winning entry will receive a goody pack including Weardale Railway Tie, set of 4 GNER branded wine glasses (heavy version), 4 rare GNER branded tumblers, National Express ice bucket, National Express mug and an East Coast trains mouse mat.

Entries with cheque, payable to “WRJC” should be sent to:- Project 5226 Competition, Weardale Railway Junior Club, 
Stanhope Station, Station Road, Stanhope, Co. Durham. DL13 2YS

 

War on the Line – two members from ‘Yesterdays Heroes’ 
re enactment group,
Ann Browning and Elaine Kerr          
waiting for  a train to take them back to the 1940’s
        
                                         
( Photo : J Askwith )

Weardale Railway Junior Club –coach 5226 :                
the now refurbished interior of
 the training room with    
National Express picture boards and Mk 2 seats in 
place. 
                                                     ( Photo : D Million )

·         SANTA SPECIALS BOOKING FAST : Dave Million reports that bookings for the trains are coming  in at rapid rate.  So far this year 85% of the bookings are being made online. Please remind any intending passengers you may meet that early booking is advisable if you want your choice of dates.

·         WEARDALE RAILWAY ANNOUNCES STRONG TRAFFIC RESULTS : In a statement issued  to the press British American Railway Services, Ltd said its Weardale Railways unit has experienced strong and growing demand for the community rail service it launched on May 23 upon reopening the line, providing local and connecting rail service in County Durham between Bishop Auckland, Wolsingham, Frosterley and Stanhope. Since the start of service on 23 May, 16,384 passengers have been carried.  In the week ending 28 August, 1,689 passengers were carried, or an average of 241 passengers per day during the week. Weardale Railway operates five Stanhope – Bishop Auckland return trips daily Monday – Friday, and three return trips Saturday and Sunday, in addition to heritage services.  Many services are staffed by volunteers.  Weardale trains connect with Northern Rail trains to and from Darlington at Bishop Auckland.  There is a short walk between the Weardale Railway and Northern Rail stations in Bishop Auckland.  BARS and Weardale have substantial American ownership through short line-railway operator Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC.  The American short line model integrates track maintenance, traction and rolling stock maintenance, and freight and passenger operations under a single entity for cost-effective, locally-managed light-density branch line operations, and that model is being rolled out on the Weardale Railway with a combination of the community service, heritage services, and a new coal-loading terminal which will open in late 2010.  County Durham and the Weardale Railway Trust are also owners of Weardale Railways, CIC. 

 

  • WEARDALE RAILWAY PRESIDENT, ED ELLIS, Comments on the performance of the Railway :  We are extremely pleased with the performance of the community service to date.  After many years with the line closed and no scheduled passenger services, it is very encouraging to see the positive reception to the new trains.  This success has been achieved despite Weardale trains operating from a separate station at Bishop Auckland from Northern Rail, and not being able to offer through ticketing to mainline services.   The next steps are to improve the service through integrating the station facilities at Bishop Auckland, and to identify sources of funding for making investments that will permit operation of faster and more frequent service.

 

Autumn (or should we say fall) is the season when the spectacular scenery on our affiliate railway   
the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is enhanced by the colour changes of the aspen trees and makes this 
a popular time to ride. Their website includes a peak colour leaf meter.                                             

 

  •  HALLOWEEN SPECIALS ? : Some initial plans are being developed to  operate special trains on Halloween ( October 31) this year. Planning is in  an early stage – if you would like to help in any way – please contact :  Wendy or Clive Elsdon on 07887 591 628

 

  • STATION LIGHTING : The time is drawing nigh when all our stations will need platform  lighting to enable the community train service to operate after dark. Stanhope is already equipped and the lighting at Wolsingham has recently been upgraded . Bishop Auckland presents special problems as the temporary nature of the present platform location makes investment in a new electricity supply connection uneconomic. The favoured solution is a small generator in a secure cabinet – a similar solution may be used at Frosterley at some station. 

 

  • NORTH EAST RAILTOURS ANNOUNCES TWO MORE LOCAL CHARTERS : The first to the Cumbrian coast runs on October 9th and pick ups include Newcastle and Hexham, then on December 3rd a charter runs to Lincoln Christmas Market, pick ups include Newcastle and Durham. There are Standard and First Class Dining options. See : http://www.srps.org.uk/railtours/programme.htm

 

Class 47 ‘Roy Castle OBE’ at the head of the returning SRPS Charter
 to Dundee on the 4th August, in the main platform at Stanhope, while  
DMU 141113 approaches with a service
from Bishop Auckland.          
                                                   ( Photo : F Routledge)

At the country end of the charter West Coast Railway owned Class 47 :
47804 (Railway Herald )
 awaits departure with the 10 coach train       
which included dining cars                   (Photo : F Routledge.)               

  • LOCOMOTION GALA - SEPTEMBER 25, 26 : The National Rail Museum at Shildon is staging a gala weekend to mark its sixth anniversary. The theme will be centred around the LNER A4 class locomotives and their designer, Sir Nigel Gresley. This month is the 75th anniversary of the inaugural journey by the first LNER A4 class locomotive, No. 2509 Silver Link, built by Sir Nigel to pull a new train called the Silver Jubilee from London King’s Cross to Newcastle.The steam gala will also feature LNER A4 class 4468 Mallard, guest locomotive LNER D49 class No. 246 Morayshire, which was built at the LNER Darlington Works in 1928 and is the only surviving example of the class, and the last remaining GNR N2 class locomotive, No. 1744. The North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group’s J72 class locomotive 69023 Joem, the Furness Railway No. 20, and historic model Orion – owned by the Stephenson Locomotive Society – will also be on show. The event runs from 10am to 5pm on both days. Entry and parking are free.

  • FINALLY : A reminder from Wendy Elsdon that all the takings from the sale of secondhand books go towards the Weardale Railway Trust.

WAR ON THE LINE DETAILS HERE

 

Edited by Gerry Mudd   Comments, suggestions, contributions, corrections all welcomed.
                                      gcmudd@ntlworld.com  or 01932 889 811  or 07773 800 554

 

Pevious Supporters' Snippets


Volunteering with the Weardale Railway

 If you have ever visited or contacted the Weardale Railway then chances are, you will have been helped by one of our volunteers – simply put we couldn’t exist without them!
Volunteering for Weardale Railway is a great way to get involved with your local community, make new friends and learn new skills (which could even help you find work or develop a new career). Whatever your age, whether you’re male or female, if you have a couple of hours to spare or can make a more regular commitment, we need your help. Our normal age range is from 11 – 70 (but there is no upper age limit).  We now have a Junior Club with members of school age who will be able help under supervision.

So what can I do?
We always have regular and one-off projects that we need help with, so whether you are working, at home, studying or looking to develop your career or skills, volunteering with Weardale Railway is a fantastic way to spend your time.

We are always looking for help with a whole host of tasks and roles including:

  • Ticket sales
  • Book-keepers
  • Guards and ticket inspectors
  • Promotion and marketing
  • Administration
  • Station maintenance

 

  • Café
  • Gardening and planting
  • Drivers
  • Crossing keepers
  • Controllers
  • Painting and plumbing

 

  • Track maintenance
  • Depot maintenance
  • Track patrollers
  • Gift Shop
  • Organising events

 

And the benefits…
Great company, a friendly working environment, free travel on the railway and a quarterly newsletter.

 Interested?
Potential volunteers must first become a member of the Weardale Railway Trust in order to provide protection under the Trust's insurance. Once this has been done new members can apply to become a volunteer. 

Please click on the following links for each form: 

Weardale Railway Trust Application Form Volunteer & Junior Club Application Form
For more information about volunteering please download this volunteer recruitment pack.

 


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