The steam powered commuter

Today saw a visit by three of our team to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, me to Pickering for meetings and Richard Pearson and Johnny Molloy from the workshop at Shildon to Grosmont to collect and steam crane parts. The NYMR is in the final stages of a learning and archive project called “Train of Thought” with a new centre on platform 2 at Pickering. Here’s the fantastic new archive store and workroom – purpose built and with 70% capacity for growth of the archive collection. Fantastic!

With my meetings finished and Richard (with the van) not yet done at Grosmont, there was only one thing to do – take the train to Grosmont during which time he’d hopefully have finished loading the van! So, I obtained a ticket for the 1pm train and awaited its arrival, behind S15 number 825, arriving at Pickering just after half twelve.

It seemed almost to be a Southern themed day as on arrival at Grosmont, Schools class “Repton” number 30926 was waiting the incoming Whitby train, which it would then take on to Pickering, whilst 76079 seen alongside would work the next Whtiby departure – that will have to wait another time!

Walking through the loco yard to the John Bellwood shed to meet Richard, I passed Standard 4 number 75029 over the wheeldrop, in the throes of a heavy overhaul. The engineering facilities on the railway are second to none – they have to be for a 20+ mile line with some steep gradients to contend with.

In the meantime, 825 arrived at the shed for servicing and is seen under the working coaling plant, which saves a lot of effort. I don’t believe that there are any other mechanical coaling plants in operation in the UK, other than the coaling stage at Didcot, though several others survive.

Thus I met with Richard and Johnny and headed back to Shildon to unload the van – an eventful and unexpectedly enjoyable day – and lots of emails to deal with this evening!

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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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