Happy New Year

It’s been a busy TwixMas at Apedale, with not much let-up in activity. Apparently the site was not operating on Christmas Day, but that was about it. For the first time, we ran trains – “Mince Pie Specials” on the Saturday between Xmas and New Year. Planned for diesel haulage, they were actually steam operated with the exception of the last two trains. The last two trains were run using the newly restored Motor Rail 1320. Per the last post, we were determined that, after a long and difficult restoration, the loco would haul a passenger train in its centenary year. And it did, and it was good! We also decided that it would be a good moment for a team photo. The reason for using steam was that we were assessing a new steam driver; this was quite a big moment for the organisation. All of our existing steam drivers have come to the organisation with significant previous experience, professionally or from other heritage railways. Simon Jones came to us with neither – he works for Lichfield Diocese – and he has climbed the competency “ladder” from the basics to the top of the tree. So, a big well done to Simon, and it shows what diligence and engagement with the training programmes can achieve. He’s the one on the left in the photo!
It just remain to wish everyone a happy New Year. We will re-open for public trains on April 6th – but there’s lot to be done in the meantime!