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8th, 9th May 2021

It rained all day Saturday but today has been lovely – dry and warm.

The Station is slowly coming back to life in readiness for the start of passenger services next weekend.  After 18 months use as a workshop the General Room has been cleared of materials.  The LEVISHAM entrance board has been refixed on its concrete posts at the Yard entrance and the notice board has been fixed to the front of the Gents. The Palvan framing and ply have been relocation to the woodwork shop.  The General Room was then dusted, vacuumed, washed, and the carpet lifted to reveal the varnished wooden floor.  The paint on the ceiling, walls, and woodwork has been touched up where required.  It now looks quite smart again and ready to welcome our passengers!

Both platforms have been swept clean and de weeded along the edges. The area around the level crossing has had similar titivation.

The large notice board in the Yard has had its “Welcome to Levisham Station” notice refixed to it.  As we are still in the throes of Covid 19, hand sanitiser points have been fitted at the entrance to each platform and near the Weighbridge.

Talking of the Weighbridge, they are looking forward to re-opening next weekend and welcoming back all their customers after such a long break.

On the toilet van, the first layer of filler has been gently sanded ready for a second top layer to be applied.  The east side has been wire wheeled clean and given a coat of primer, followed by half of it getting its first coat of drab undercoat.  Both ends have been given a second undercoat.  In readiness for replacing all four doors, measurements have been taken and drawings prepared to allow new hardwood framing to be cut out of a railway sleeper.  More tenons have been prepared on the Palvan horizontal framing beams, not many more to do now.

The ash in front of the container doors has been dug out and old rubber level crossing panels installed to provide a clean turning area for the digger.  Opposite this, near the fence, one of the drain chamber lids had caved in when a large loaded lorry drove over it.  This has been removed and a heavy cast iron road frame and cover installed in its place.

3rd May 2021

It’s raining so it must be a Bank Holiday!

We took delivery of the disabled toilet box van from Goathland last Monday afternoon.  Externally it’s in quite a state; all four doors are rotten and require replacement, whilst the rest of the body needs a clean and a repaint.  There is also rot in some of the ply panels, but we might get away with filler on those.  This weekend we made a start to smarten the van up before train services begin.  Both ends have been wire wheeled clean and 2 coats of metal primer applied where needed.  The west side metalwork received the same treatment, whilst the ply has been sanded down, primed and undercoated.  The small damaged ply sections have been covered in filler.

The recovered planks from Newtondale Halt have been sorted and the old bolts removed.  The good/re-useable planks have been stacked and sheeted over to keep them dry.  The wholly rotten ones have been placed to one side for disposal.

Work to modify the old trailer for use as a mini digger transporter continues, the axle position has been checked and the axle is ready for welding in its new position.

The two complete Palvan doors for the paint shop have had their inside faces given a coat of white under and top coats.

The three 12’ platform benches which needed repair or new seat planks last year, and were repainted during lockdown, have been fixed together and put back on the down platform.

The Weighbridge has been given a tidy up in advance of new food being delivered ready for re-opening on the 15th.  The till has been updated and programmed with the new price list for this year.

120 new fence rails were delivered on Friday afternoon and the JVs moved them up the line with the PW trolley on Saturday.  These are being used to help repair and strengthen the east side lineside fence from the 14 ¼MP northwards.  Work has concentrated around the 14 ½ MP this weekend, with around 100y completely rebuilt.

The park bench for Newtondale Halt has been given a second coat of teak oil and delivered by train back to site.  In exchange the damaged 12’ platform bench was returned to Levisham for repair and repaint on the southbound working today.

25th April 2021

Well, what a fortnight! 

As many of you will now be aware, we have had a major film company down here shooting the next big blockbuster.  None of the actual filming was at the Station, but either side as far as Newtondale Halt and Farwath.  The yard has however been full of trucks, cars, canteens and toilets; and the field next to the railway was used for three of their helicopters.  Shooting was successfully completed on Friday and most of the gear had gone that evening.  Quite a few visitors came on Saturday only to find it had all gone!

We did manage to get some work done last weekend and this though.  The roof on the container has been completed and a start made on boxing in the sides.  The plywood for the new Palvan doors has been under and top coated on both sides.  The park bench from Newtondale Halt has been brought back and given a good sand down.

At Newtondale Halt itself, the damaged deck planks which are not suitable for re-use there have been brought back to the Station.  We hope to use them to clad them container.  The steel frame for the Halt has had the top flanges wire wheeled clean and half of it painted (we ran out of time and paint for the other half).

The Tea Hut team were here this weekend to continue the sort out of the Cart stores and the Weighbridge.  The Waiting Shelter has been given a thorough wash down and clean out, returning it to its normal state following its use as a timber workshop this winter.

11th April 2021

It’s been a cold week with a bitter wind coming down the valley.  To top it all off we awoke to find 1” of snow covering everything.  It looked very pretty, but by lunchtime it had all melted.

Further test trains have run all week.

The last of the Palvan framing has been cut out of a hardwood sleeper, and a start made on making the tenons.  The timber blanks and new marine ply sheets have been given a coat of primer.

The JVs were out yesterday repairing more fencing north of bridge 17.  They got as far as Pitt Farm but a section surrounded by water had to be left until they can return in wellies.

In the Station Yard, the container has been moved from near the Camping Coach to its new site next to the shed in the yard.  This was made possible thanks to the location crew bringing a hi-ab down to the Station for their use.  Now the container is in its permanent site, the previously made roof sections have been brought out of store and a start made on fitting the pent (single slope) roof.  The snow prevented its completion today.

11th April 2021

Snow covers the station 11 April 2021

5th April 2021

I hope you have all had a Happy Easter and not overdone the chocolate!

It’s been a mixed week of weather here; with very warm days, cold wind, and even snow today!

Filming test trains and inspection trains have continued to run all week as and when required.

Elsewhere the JVs are continuing the mammoth job of trying to make the eastern lineside fence secure from sheep.  The large section missing where the oak trees fell has finally been completed, but Messers Heath and Robinson would be impressed with their ingenuity as we have exhausted all our supplies of fencing at the Station!  They will continue working north next weekend.

At the Station the last of the LNER box van body and timber underframe has been painted into LNER dark grey.  One of the Wagon Group’s box vans has also had the paint touched up, now that they have repaired the rotten sections.  Our paint shop Palvan has had the steel door framing undercoated (3 coats) and is ready for top coat once the weather warms up.  A start has been made cutting out the hardwood timber for the next 2 Palvan doors.

The last of the flailing has been completed between the Station and Bridge 13, 1¼ miles south.  Our flail made light work of it, compared to us having to use chainsaws and loppers.  There are a few stumps still waiting to be dealt with, but we have to leave something for next weekend!

Near the loop points southwards the river has been creeping towards the fence line.  To reinforce this area soil, delivered to the yard, has been transported to site in our dumper and the digger has spread and levelled it all.  With this work complete we can now get the JVs to finish the fence there.

At the yard entrance the road edges have been cleared of winter leaves and detritus, smartening up the edges.  The daffodils are in flower here and all looks rather smart.  The down platform garden beds have been given a quick tidy up following the up side last weekend.

In the yard the stores along the fence line have been tidied up and consolidated.  This has been done to clear the area, which was then levelled ready to receive the container.  This will go alongside the existing shed and will be eventually clad in timber to help it blend in.

28th March 2021

The major repairs of the LNER van are virtually complete. The south end framing has been renewed with new hardwood framing; this has allowed the replacement planks, re-used from the old doors, to be screwed into place.  The timber underframe sides have also been cleaned down and repainted.

Around bridges 16 and 17, the east side fence has been rebuilt – thanks to a lot of new fence rails and posts.  The team have continued working southwards with the next quarter mile checked and repaired.  Where the oak trees fell through the fence, the smashed fence posts have been dug out and the old rails removed for either re-use or burning.  All our remaining pre-loved fence posts and rails have been transferred to site to try and make the fence sheep proof.

The oak tree trunks have been lifted and brought back to the Station.  We hope to use these to make framing parts for the wagons.

In the yard, the stores alongside the boundary fence have been rationalised and tidied up a touch.  There is more to do here.  Light weeding has been undertaken along the up platform garden beds and around the Weighbridge gardens.

21st March 2021

The limited works still continue at the Station.  Northwards, around bridges 16 and 17, the last of the logs have been disposed of and further fires have dealt with the scrub.  The lineside fence is 50:50; half is good and only needed the odd rail either re-fixing or replacing but the other half needs totally replacing.  We are using pre-loved fencing materials recovered from other renewal jobs nearby.

At the Station, work has continued on the LNER box van.  Both sides and the north end are now in top coat and both new doors are hung in place.  The north east corner frame repair has gone well with new hardwood let in.  The lettering is different on each side – the east being pre 1937 with large ‘N’ and ‘E’ and the number on the door, whilst the west side is post 1937 with ‘NE’, the weight and number below it, on the left hand lower corner.

The 6 new Palvan doors have now been completed and are ready for hanging.

South of the Station the lineside has been given a good flail using our mini digger with its flail attachment.  We have managed to get about a mile southwards.

7th March 2021

We’ve had a colder week, with a touch of snow on the ground on Friday morning!

The fourth Palvan door has had its coat of gloss.  Three main beams have been made for the next two doors.  The fourth beam, plus the cross beams, will have to wait until more hardwood is delivered.

On Wednesday afternoon Martyn Cannings delivered the LNER box van from Pickering as part of his lineside check.  The van has been parked outside the General Room to enable the west side to be repainted.  This side is in good condition and has therefore been rubbed down, the metalwork wire wheeled and then the wood primed, the metalwork given two coats of primer, and then two undercoats and two coats of dark grey satin top coat.

The east side door was rotten and literally hanging on by a thread so was easily dismantled; the west side door had already collapsed.  The metalwork from the door has been cleaned down and two coats of primer applied.  Both new doors have had their internal faces top coated in white.

Further down the line, between bridges 16 and 17, it’s been a good weekend for fires with several used to dispose of a lot of scrub.  More firewood has been cleared from the site and across the river and disposed of locally.

28th February 2021

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