Someone the other day remarked I have passed the 100 day milestone since becoming the new Chair of East Lancs railway. Having discovered this achievement I thought it was worth looking back over those 100 days, a period where history was made; there were moves towards opening up the decision making process at Board level by being more open and transparent and most important all I got to meet lots and lots of wonderful paid staff and volunteers.
Who could forget that magical, if tiring, two weekends in January of the Flying Scotsman’s return, now captured on film which showed the very best of the ELR. And yes, we get to do it all again in October when Scotsman makes a welcome return to the ELR!
In the Boardroom, changes were being agreed that would see the Board, ultimately, focusing more on strategy, whilst setting up an Operational Management Team, who would in effect run the railway on a daily basis.
On the volunteer front, we have embarked on a review of our recruitment and retention of volunteers and working volunteers. I want to see the creation of a ‘Volunteers Charter’ and hopefully a new ‘Youth Section’ (11-15) in time for the ELRPS AGM in 2017.
Burrs Country Park Station is fast becoming a reality (more news on this shortly). Castleton, Rochdale Council is to focus on carrying out of a detailed feasibility study based on a ‘cross platform’ solution.
We have seen more investment being made in customer facilities with the expansion of the Trackside; carriage and loco restoration continues apace, in addition the fitting out for disabled carriages; our steam and diesel departments are achieving wonders in supporting midweek running and our many planned events. Our transport museum is breaking attendance records.
Awards for our Buffer Stop at Rawtenstall; we are top on Trip Advisor in Bury for our Diner Services and within the top 50 in Greater Manchester.
The 100 days has passed in the blink of an eye and it’s been an honour and privilege and a thoroughly enjoyable experience in being the Chairman of this great railway which grows from strength to strength.