The weekend of the 22nd and 23rd Feb saw some new arrivals on the line and the departure of an old friend, with a weather incident thrown in.
The first service on Saturday 22nd, operated by the 121 Bubble car had a mishap with a fallen tree just after leaving Bedale. The cab too quite a whack, but there were no injuries to passengers or crew. The incident procedure kicked and and we soon had the passengers rescued and back in Leeming for a warm drink, when the Bubble was recovered and the line cleared. Much praise to the team who coped like the true professionals they are and had the line open again in time for our special train. Also praise to the train crew who followed procedures to keep every one safe while the train was stuck, again a credit to the railway.
After 15 years of fantastic service to the railway our Infrastructure Manager, Andy, has decided to follow his dreams and is moving to Sctland to renovate a cottage along side the West Highland Line (Mallaig extension). And if thanks for all his efferts a special service from Leeming to Redmire and return was run usng 37250 with Andy at the controls (under supervision by our Traction Inspector). The train was full of railway members, volunteers and friends of Andy, and although an hour late, made good time, with very smooth departures and clag in all the right places. So farewell Andy, thanks for everything and come and visit whenevr you feel the need to change a few sleepers !
On the 23rd we welcomed our new class 142 Pacers into service. We decided to run our newly acquired units as a one off ‘Pacer Day’ and advertised through the rail enthusiast communinty, expecting a handfull to turn up to ride them for the first time in preservation. We were amazed by the turnout, with over 100 pasengers enjoying the varied weather in the dale, from sleet and snow to bueattful spring sunshine. With a keg of ‘Nodding Donkey’ ale from Wensleydale Brewery, the units did two return trips, with probably as many lineside taking photos to capture this firsts.