Last week a course for shunters and drivers was held at Locomotion for Richard Pearson and the team – plus recertification in both grades for myself.
The course was led by Martyn Ashworth and Alan Freebury, both of whom have long experience in training heritage railway staff. The successful passing of the course by the team and the final passing out of Fred Ramshaw as a diesel driver adds considerably to the operational flexibility of Shildon and also allows the team to help out at York if necessary in future.
Classroom sessions led on to practical training, followed by a written shunters exam and drivers exam, and then finally a practical assessment. Mercifully everything stayed on the rails – not that there was ever any doubt! – and the pressure is now eased on the existing hardworking shunting crew.