24th, 27th – 31st December, 1st, 2nd January 2019

We hope you have all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As you can see from the date list above we have not been sitting idly around. On Christmas Eve we took a load of wagon spares down to the lineside store at the distant signal on a Pway trolley. This was arranged in Pway’s possession, as there was no time to do this during the Santa trains. After this we had to shunt the Pway train (they were loading sleepers up in Newtondale) before joining them for another trip up the line to help load another wagon full. Those with a poor back will be pleased to know that the crane did the lifting, all we had to do was fit the lifting chains each time. Following 2 days off (for Christmas!), it was back to work on the 27th. The lineside just north of the huts next to the level crossing has been levelled and the soil bank tidied up. This allowed a start to be made on re-instating the fence. As usual at this time of year, with the dark afternoons, it was out with the flood lights so we could keep on going. The gate, which has been sat there propped up for many years, has finally been hung on a new gate post (an old railway sleeper). The fence ‘steps’ down to match the level change in the ground. With the fence up and the ground levelled we could identify exactly where our new shed should be built. This is required to house our petrol-powered equipment and the ride on mower and flail; the latter 2 need re-housing following the loss of 1111 and the subsequent re-sorting of all our stores. This shed will be similar to the one next to it and will replicate a pair that were there back in LNER and BR days. Power will be required in the shed for lighting and a socket for the saw sharpener, so another duct run has been laid. We were supported by Alex of the Junior Volunteers who did a lot of the pick axing. A surplus armoured cable was recovered (which used to serve the old hut here) and has been laid in for the new hut. With the duct in we could mark out the site for the hut. Formwork has been made for the edges and a trench dug round to thicken the concrete base slab under the walls. Alex again came to the fore with his pickaxe. He made a fine sight, working as the train came in, whilst Stephen and I sat nearby keeping an eye on things from a safe distance!?! Weighbridge Teas were open for 3 days over the festive period, keeping our passing trade well fed and watered. They have now closed for a well-earned rest and will re-open for the February half term. A couple of rotten trees have been cut down at the entrance to the Station yard. Both were leaning over the road and one would have fallen onto the Weighbridge. The logs will keep the signal box in fuel for most of the season! On the 27th a group of Wombles got together for a Christmas dinner of 2 ducks with all the trimmings and 2 flaming Christmas puddings for afters. Our annual day off occurred on the 1st, with a trip on the DMU to Goathland followed by a stroll down to Darnholme, over the stepping stones and on to Water Ark to watch the trains pass. A picnic lunch followed, before a visit to Beck Hole and a walk along the old rail trail to Grosmont and a ride home. We finished with bonfire and fireworks back at the Station to cap off another successful year at Levisham. A quick tidy up of the fire site on the 2nd and the signalling through of the Pway train, off on their way to relay another section of our railway, completed our festive break.

Leave a Reply