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21st February 2021

The snow rapidly melted on Monday and it’s been remarkably mild for the rest of the week.
The two LNER doors have been completed and painted into LNER dark grey livery. The loose metalwork for the broken door, and the loose door wheel from the remaining door, have been brought back to the Station to be stripped, wire wheeled clean, and given two coats of primer.
Three Palvan doors are now complete up to undercoat level and have the new fillets fitted where the diagonals meet the verticals, in the hope that this will stop the water rotting the joints. Two more of these doors have received two coats of Brunswick Green top coat and are now ready to go on to the Paint Shop van.
At bridge 16 the last of the scrub on the East side has been cut down – revealing the river and embankment. Several small fallen trees across the river have been pulled clear and cut up. Several trips with the dumper were required to remove the logs from site. Two more fires have been lit to dispose of the scrub between the river and railway that we cut down a month ago.
The mini digger has been checked, the radiator flushed out and several slightly loose hydraulic oil joints have been tightened up. A replacement alternator – the original one was broken – has been delivered free of charge by the seller and installed. The new battery cables for the dumper truck have also been installed and the truck successfully started up.

14th February

Snow falls over the station 10th February
Snow in the valley 9th February

14th February 2021

It’s been a white week, with 4-5” of snow covering the whole Station.  The level crossing and paths had to be cleared several times to maintain safe walking routes.  The main road was ploughed and gritted by the local farmers, who are contracted by the council to do so.  Not surprisingly sledging occurred on the hill above the Station on several afternoons, once school and work were finished!

With the imminent arrival of the LNER box van from Pickering we were informed that the doors were past their best (indeed one has collapsed already).  Fortunately there was still a hardwood sleeper in store, so this was used to make the framing for the first door.  The second was made from the spare hardwood pieces from the Palvan manufacturing process.

New 6” planking has been ordered, and delivered, for the van doors and a few spares for the end.  These planks have been given a coat of liquid primer/preservative.

In the yard a couple of old trailer chassis are being dismantled and the useable steel put to one side.

31st January 2021

Frost has been the order of the day this week, one morning was still -7ᵒC at 9am!

Unfortunately, this led to a couple of burst pipes in the Camping Coach.  This was spotted when water was seen pouring out of the end of it!  The water was turned off and the fault reported, the plumber is due tomorrow.

The plywood sheets for the Palvan doors have received a coat of primer to both sides and then 2 coats of undercoat to the face side.  These are nearly ready for fixing to the Palvan frames.

Martyn has been through a couple of times this week to collect rails from Summit and Moorgates.  Some scrap rail will be going away but the reasonable ones are going on to the new Carriage Stable site once the main contractor hands over the site.

Kieran also came up on Friday with the Class 25 to collect the coaches stored here.  They are going to Pickering to have Ultrasonic tests done on their wheelsets.

Near bridge 17 further scrub has been cut down and burnt, revealing more of the blocked lineside ditch there.

25th January 2021

It’s been a week, and weekend, of two halves.  The first half was very wet, with the river rising over 1.2 above normal at the Station.  Fortunately, it didn’t burst its banks; although it has washed quite a bit of rubbish and logs around.  The Pickering flood bund seems to have worked, with only minor flooding in the PW Yard and the station car park outside Carriage & Wagon.  Further south, near the Whole Hogg farm at Howe Bridge, the river did burst its banks and covered half the road making passage by vehicles ‘interesting’.  The second half has been dry but very cold, with temperatures struggling to get above 0ᵒC in the middle of the day – indeed the frost did not lift where the sun couldn’t reach it.

With high water levels a check was made of the lineside and river between Levisham and Newtondale Halt and I’m pleased to say no damage appears to have been done.

The fifth Palvan door has been tongue and grooved, and is ready for gluing together.  Further chair screw holes have been plugged with hardwood, glued in place and then filled and sanded as required.

At bridge 17, two large fires have helped to clear the first areas of cut down scrub.  More scrub was able to be cut down and put straight onto the fires.  The last section of lineside fence has thus been rediscovered and isn’t in bad condition considering it’s probably nearly 100 years old!  There is still quite a lot more scrub to burn though.

17th January 2021

It’s been nice and quiet here this week, as it should be in Lockdown.

The fourth Palvan door’s framing has been put together.  Several old part screw holes in the frames (from chair screws) have been cut out and new hardwood timber pieces glued into place.

Near bridge 17 more scrub has been cut down and a start made on burning the brash.  The latter was slow going because the wood was wet and frosty.  The snow of last week melted eventually, but more came on Thursday morning.  This snow was wet and heavy – we woke up to find a very large branch had come off the tree at the cattle grid.  We pulled it clear of the road to allow the snow plough to get through. 

The Class 25, hauling the boiler and new tubes for Black 5 44806, came through from Grosmont late morning.  The loco is off by road for tyre turning, whilst the boiler is off for an overhaul elsewhere.  They were also delayed because a tree had come down between the 13¾ and 14 mile posts.  It was foul of the line as well as resting on the telephone line.  The crew pushed the brash out of the way and then, when they arrived at Levisham, requested we go and deal with it.  So – with chain and pole saws to the fore -we removed the rest of the tree, clear of the track and off the phone line.  With snow still on the ground we have left the cutting up of the remainder until it melts, as it’s very slippery out there at present.

At the Station the large branch has been cut up, along with other trees which had been dragged over by the snow.

10th January 2021

Well, as you will be aware, the Government announced the latest Lockdown on Monday evening – closing schools and non-essential works with people encouraged to work from home wherever possible.  Your Station Master, and family, are locked down at the Station again and still working from home (I have been since March last year) and are all safe and well. 

On Tuesday our mini digger was returned from the flail supplier with its brand new flail fitted.  The machine was given a quick test before being put into its secure store.

A start has been made on making the Palvan door frames, with three made during the week.  Each door frame has to have 14 mortices cut in it, the tricky ones being for the two diagonal braces.  The frames have been glued together and now await the thick plywood sheet that turns an open frame into a door.

The weather was interesting on Friday, with wet snow falling all day – but it was so wet it didn’t really settle giving just a very wet inch at the Station.  Further up the valley, and at the top of the hill, a goodly amount fell and no doubt our colleagues at Goathland were snowed in.  Overnight it froze hard, covering the whole station in a dangerous, slippery layer of ice.  It finally started to thaw on Sunday afternoon but it’s going to take a while to clear.

3rd January 2021

Well, we hope you all had a very Happy – Socially Distanced – New Year.

Down here at the Station, sleet and rain showers have been the order of the year so far.  The framework for the 6 van doors has been completed and given a coat of primer.  The first door has had the mortices cut into it, a slow job – 10 mortices in one full day.

The Christmas lights and signs along the platform have been tidied up and put back into store.  The trees and cottage lights still remain in place though.

Although passenger trains have now finished until at least February half term, works and engineering trains continue to run along the railway; so please keep off the line at all times.

31st December 202

Brrr, it’s cold!  Well, it did get up to 0°C around lunchtime after being -4°C at 8:30 in the morning.

After several days work all the framing for 3 pairs of Palvan doors has been cut, planed and tongued.  All the pieces are now in the General Room keeping warm and are ready for priming.

With the announcement yesterday of North Yorkshire moving into Tier 3, the 4 planned dining trains had to be cancelled.  With no more passenger trains planned, the dining train empty stock was brought through to Pickering today by the 9F.  The railway is now back under Possession, with Engineering Trains running as and when required.

We hope you all have a Happy New Year and we look forward to welcoming you back when we can.

27th December 2020

We hope you all had a very Happy Christmas, and all being well we’ll see you all sometime next year.

Over the last week further hardwood sleepers have been cut up, to provide sufficient sections for 6 Palvan doors.  It’s a slow job as it’s hard going, let alone cutting all the sections to the correct profile.

On Christmas Eve, the last day of the Santa Specials, we were graced with snow, hail and sleet.  Although a little settled, enough for a couple of photos, it didn’t last.

Trains have now paused until the 31st December; when 4 days of Moorlander trains are planned.

Elsewhere, work continues along the railway in the workshops and outside.

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