It feels like it’s been a long week…

In a week dominated by the news that Mallard is moving to Shildon for a year or so, and that has been greeted with mixed feelings, I will begin with a rare break from my decision not to state personal views and add this short statement about the matter which I hope will make critics think again about the move of the loco:

We have tried for a long time to achieve a sort of “Treasures of the NRM” rotation of exhibits between the two NRMs, so 4472, Truro, 92220 and the V2 have all spent time at Shildon. Some folk speak as if Shildon is the poor relation and doesn’t deserve to have Mallard on show for a time (and it won’t be forever!) – far from it, and should there be further outstations in future, who knows what will go where. The exhibits belong to the nation and the nation has a right to see them – wherever – hence our very active loans programme. Shildon is less than an hour by train from York if you get the right connection – and makes a different visit. A step too far? I think not, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? It has been thought about for a long time – and has not been a decision taken lightly.

So, stepping off my soapbox, here’s my recent round and about from York and Shildon.

On 25th February, Scotsman’s front bogie went in and a press call occurred, and set forward a timescale for the rest of the restoration, which can be read here: http://www.nrm.org.uk/AboutUs/PressOffice/PressReleases/2010/February/flyingscotsmanrestorationsteamsahead.aspx

Elsewhere in the workshop, the second replica Liverpool & Manchester Railway 3rd class open is being painted and lined out after completion of body repairs and fitting with new air brakes. The 1st class replica “Huskisson” has also had air brakes fitted at Alan Keef Ltd and will soon be in traffic for the first time in many many years. It arrived back at the NRM today.

Every time I arrive in York by train and walk over to the museum, I see this relic on the wall of what is referred to as the “bullnose” building just outside the NRM gates. Once part of the goods depot, this must be one of the last remaining pieces of British Railways North Eastern Region tangerine painted notices still in situ. I wonder how long it will stay there?

Wandering through the museum this morning having spoken to Ray Towell, I thought I’d include a quick picture of the Class 20, undergoing engine and radiator work. Our diesel fleet have a very bright and active future and I’ll hope to reveal more in the coming weeks.

After removal from the paint shop (and no, it isn’t finished yet!), class 40 No. D200 awaits a slot in the workshop for work to be undertaken on a disintegrated bearing which should then hopefully herald a return to active service. Outside, D1023 is also under repair with the help of a crane which has removed damaged transmission parts for examination and mending.

Meanwhile, up in Shildon, Richard has had the prototype HAA Merry Go Round hopper wagon shotblasted prior to repair and repaint and it is currently living in the workshop pending further attention.

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About Anthony Coulls

Anthony is Senior Curator of Rail Vehicles at the NRM and has been an active heritage railway volunteer since 1988
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