News from the Boardroom (June 2018)

Board Room 1

Whilst the hot summer continues the ELR has enjoyed record numbers of visitors and taking advantage of an extended period of dry hot weather. On the  flip side, our staff and volunteers have excelled in ensuring timetabled services were successfully delivered. The Board expressed their grateful thanks, as ever, to these wonderful people.

Update 13065 (Crab) – Boiler has been lifted from the frames and has been sent up to Ian Riley’s works for tube removal and assessment and full quotation.

Wheels have been removed from the frames, wheel sets are to SVR for tyre turning. Assessment of the Axle boxes has revealed defects that need attending too, up to three loose axle box crowns so far. The likelihood at this stage is that all 6 driving wheel axle box crowns will require replacing. Once frames have been steam cleaned and examined a full list of works will be created and costed.

As part of the overhaul there is a need to replace current injectors fitted to loco as the ones fitted are becoming problematic. It is planned to fit 2 of the 10X BR standard type injectors, as these are already fitted to a number of loco’s on site this makes parts and spares provision much easier to manage.

Also, the back-head clack assemblies will need to go away for refurb as these are worn. No major works was completed on injectors at last overhaul.

All these important works have increased the repair/refurbishment costs.

Diesel Update

4002 – Cylinder heads have all been refurbished to loco and run up tested with no issues.

Carriage & Wagon

Priority Projects for 2018 are:

35455 – Second wheel chair coach – work is progressing at good pace with disabled area now nearing completion joinery wise. ETH repairs and installation of heaters in disabled area now completed.  Exterior prep work continues, further work has been completed on door pillars.

4917 – TSO – Exterior steel work repairs progressing, gangways still to be removed and repaired, interior repairs and seat base repairs on going

3144 – Once 35455 is completed work will recommence on next diner coach as a priority for expected release of April 2019.

CCTV Review – The Board received a report which had carried out a review of the ELR’s current security infrastructure following long-standing issues throughout the Railway with intruders causing vandalism, graffiti and theft.

Physical site security is essential – keeping gates locked, keeping all assets undercover where possible, putting up security fencing at strategic locations, etc. As might be expected, most intruder incidents happen at night – so there is a need to have;

  • effective intruder-detection and alarm systems
  • effective all-hours monitoring and response services
  • camera-recording systems to support the above during an incident and then to provide video evidence of sufficient quality to support investigation and prosecution afterwards

Board agreed to:

  • Upgrade existing analogue cameras to digital
  • Install new digital camera at selected locations at Buckley Wells
  • Create a security ‘one stop’ partnership with an external supplier

There is likely to be a significant cost so these improvements which will be carried out over the next two years with later phasing going ahead at stations along the line at Heywood, Ramsbottom, Rawtenstall and Burrs depending on availability of funds.

Phase 1 costs of £12,500 have been agreed for installation of a new digital network of cameras with new digital cameras installed at:

  • Baron Street (North)
  • Baron Street (South) and Buckley Wells

Finances – Revenues generally are running ahead of 2017.

Board agreed the follow requests for revenue:

  • £12,500 – 13065 (Crab) additional works.
  • £6,000 – Removal of unwanted materials from Buckley Wells
  • £6,000 – New permanent shop to be installed at Ramsbottom station.

Visitors – Visitors Numbers – Year to May, 52,000 up 24% on 2017 (excluding BTM; Groups; Education; Rail Trail; FXP Photography; Courses and Charters.

Pubs – The Trackside and Buffer Stops have benefitted from the long period of warm weather. Revenues at the Trackside for May are up 44% compared 2017. Buffers Stops is recovering well (in part thanks to new chiller units) compared with 2017. Board thanked all pubs staff for their efforts being made to improve pub revenues.

Bury Transport Museum

Proposed Heritage Education and Visitor Centre

The Board received a report which proposed to establish a bespoke venue which would allow BTM to:

  • Increase the variety of experiences for visitors.
  • Increase engagement with schools and local communities.
  • Offer library, study and historical search facilities.
  • Offer exhibition space for collaborative projects.

Once this facility is completed the current coach used for school visits will be returned to Traction & Rolling Stock department. The project would cost around £60,000 from external funding and it is hoped to apply for grant funding as soon as possible.

The Board unanimously supported this project.




2 thoughts on “News from the Boardroom (June 2018)

  1. Hi I am an ELR member ,there is a distinct lack of steam motive power at the ELR this summer , I know there are problems with crab but I think there needs to be a long term strategy for the provision of steam on the ELR , as a steam enthusiast I am very disappointed at this lack of steam power the ELR only owns three steam Locos ,I know about the appeal for Wells but that’s not here either ,hopefully 80080 will be back soon to boost steam power
    Yours Faithfully
    Adrian Cross


    1. Hi Adrian,
      Thank you for your comments. Like you we are all disappointed with the lack of availability of steam locos. The long term strategy is in place and was set out in an earlier blog. The strategy has two distinct strands.

      1.Increase the ELR’s home fleet

      2. Increase engineering resources.

      The purchase of City of Wells is a key acquisition, but was promised to KWVR as part of their 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

      The loss of the Crab was unexpected which requires over £100,000 of repairs.

      Board recently invested a further £250,000 over the 2 years to increase the level of engineering resources to include 2 apprenticeship positions.

      Over the next 5-10 years we should be more self sufficient both in availability of steam locos but be more able to repair and restore locos ‘in house’. Ultimately, we are looking to generate third party income.

      Mike Kelly


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