News from the Boardroom (October 2018)

Board Room 1

Apologies for the delay in posting this blog, as I have been away.

Once again the Board discussed Safety on the railway and the actions being taken to strengthen processes and procedures.

The Board received safety updates.

  • RAIB investigation now in the final consultation stage.
  • Safety Manager (volunteer) recruited to assist develop new safety managements arrangements.
  • Safety Team re-invigorated and offers received from nine people with a combination of paid and voluntary Initial meeting to be held in November and representative to attend board.
  • Retired Document Controller has volunteered to take control of the times and review of documents so that amended documents are realised in a controlled manner and to all that need them.

Operational Headlines

100th Poppy image

  • Mathew Britten started on 29th October with Bury Transport Museum as Museum & Education Manager (Maternity Leave Cover for Sarah Kerrison).
  • A short Armistice ceremony was be held on the overbridge at Bury Station 11th November, the General Manager and Preservation Society will be laying a wreath and reading a few words –
  • Guards initial 2 week training programme completed. Seven candidates have participated and will now require mentoring to be signed off as Guards fit for Duty.
  • All Permanent Way unbraked trolleys have been disposed
  • Ramsbottom Gates – Overhaul of the second (river side) gate stop is complete and it is currently disassembled to allow the welding in of a new end and welding on the chequer plate top, before final assembly takes
  • Townsend Fold Level Crossing – Renewal of Ducts, the two steel tubes and various plates are now to hand at the S&T Workshop and the necessary fabrication will continue once the Ramsbottom Stops are
  • Our thanks go to the ELR Preservation Society who have donated £10,000 to repair the crane.

Carriage & Wagon Seminar

On October 10th the ELR hosted a carriage and wagon workshop, setup by the HRA with the objectives of setting guidelines for carriage overhaul and maintenance; this is following a high profile near miss with a carriage floor being missing on a coach on the South Devon Railway. The ORR set up this workshop to ensure new guidelines are set for safe operation of passenger carrying vehicles.

Lee Kenny and Tracey Parkinson made presentations covering Mark 1 rolling stock maintenance and overhaul and ‘Getting the Paperwork Right’.

The event was attended by 75 people for most of the heritage railways around the UK and Ian Skinner Chief Inspector of Heritage lines and light rail systems for the Office of the Rail Regulator.  The event was very well received and there is the interest in all the attending railways to improve standards.

The ELR team will be playing a role in the production and verification of the new guidelines as they are produced, we are also playing a part of developing a Competence Management System along with several major railways around the country to gain a unified approach to this important subject.

TR&S Overview


  • 4270 has now arrived, and is running well, with no issues to report (likely to stay until  (December),
  • 80080 return has been delayed due to commitments with 6233, the PRCLT was unable to commit resources to both locomotives, loco is now expected back in Mid-November.
  • 80097 – is undergoing commissioning steam tests, loco successfully started testing at the Autumn Steam Gala at Bolton Street Excellent efforts by the Standard 4 group since boiler was lifted back in the frames in late May will hopefully see 80097 hauling revenue earning service before end of the Congratulations to the whole team past and present for their passion and perseverance in restoring this loco.
  • 13065 – Further significant defects have been discovered with the remaining boiler structure that was undetected on boiler NDT survey completed before work These are as follows:
  • Significant hairline fractures have been found emanating from stay holes on steel side sheets of firebox – although these could be welded up, there would be no guarantee that further cracks would not develop and cause loco withdrawal from service and boiler would need to be lifted out again for repairs to be – New side sheets needed to guarantee repair
  • Back barrel section, lower section where front barrel is riveted to back section, grooving and cracking found around quarter of the circumference of barrel – Back Barrel Section needed.
  • Backhead shoulder patches, cracking developed around patches from old plate work to new, due to stiffness of backhead patches plates and old plate work has caused fractures. – Full new backhead needed.
  • Throat plate again – Significant hairline fractures have been found emanating from stay holes on steel side sheets of firebox – although these could be welded up, there would be no guarantee that further cracks would not develop and cause loco withdrawal from service.

Overall around 60% of the boiler structure will need to be replaced, although that sounds significant, the boiler was constructed in 1936 (82 years old) and ELR has avoided large scale repairs to date, therefore it was inevitable at some point ELR would need to do this work.

Given the additional amount of work involved costs have more than doubled to a significant six figure sum. The Board agreed that work so far could not be abandoned and that restoration work must continue. A joint public funding campaign with the City of Wells will be launched as soon as possible.

City of Wells 34092 – It was reported that the current funding total at £227,000 towards a target £340,092. Board are still hopeful in getting as close to the target as possible.

Watch out for a separate and exciting announcement by the end of November –


  • Class 24 D5054 – last week moved under its own power after 10 years of being stood awaiting repairs, loco is due to be test run soon, then repaint and return to

Carriage& Wagon

Excellent team work in Carriage & Wagon has seen 35455, the 2nd disabled access coach completed and back into service, which allows both Halloween & Santa train sets to have far better disabled facilities on board. 25 385 has also been completed and went back into service in time for the Autumn steam gala.

Board congratulated the C&W team for this great effort.


Board were advised that visitor numbers year to date were at 131,000 up 24% compared to 2017.

Railway Developments

Rawtenstall Station Canopy – Work on erecting the canopy is due to start in January

  1. Our thanks go to the ELR Preservation Society who have donated £30,000 for

materials to improve facilities at the station for our visitors.

Castleton – Unfortunately the ‘options’ feasibility study has been delayed and not due now until possibly the spring of 2019.

Buckley Wells – Work continues within the task group to complete the master plan. Once that is completed work will start on submitting a major and complex planning application to include:

The whole development estimated to cost to £12m and will have 3 distinct phases over next 10 years:-

  • Phase 1 – Diner/Carriage/Carriage Restoration Sheds
  • Phase 2 – Running/Boiler Sheds
  • Phase 3 – Baron Street Workshops Restoration

Full Planning Application

It is hoped that the following timetable can be achieved:

  • Masterplan           November – 2018
  • Planning Application           Spring/Summer – 2019
  • Tender for Phase 1           Autumn 2019
  • Mobilise Works           Winter 2019
  • Construction Diner Carriage 1st Quart 2020 – likely to take 16-20 weeks, completion of superstructure (subject to planning application timetable being achieved and funds being   secured and available).

Our thanks go to the ELR Trust Board who have made a available a significant free grant from their development fund to pay for all professional fees, surveys, design access statements etc to guarantee the project will at least get up to planning permission stage.

3rd Annual ELR Open Forum – Friday 16th November, 6.30 to 8.30 at The Met.

The Chair and General Manager welcomes all ELR members. Come along to hear more

about how we have performed in 2018 and a glimpse into 2019.

  • a Review of 2018, to date,
  • an outline of our challenges for 2019
  • Q & A session

Please come along – it’s the opportunity for us all to see better how each of our

own personal efforts help make up what we all achieve together.

Dining with Distinction – Ticket for 2019 are now on sale –

Footplate Experience – Tickets for 2019 are now on sale –



One thought on “News from the Boardroom (October 2018)

  1. Hello Mike,
    It might have been a good idea to also touch upon the changes to the Working Members 10% discount now being restricted to the working member and partner for the Diner Train. I did receive an email from Anna Duncan but some comment from board level to endorse this change and to explain the thinking behind it would have been an idea.
    I can understand the cost saving element but in fact once a year I take a couple of friends out at Christmas. I have alreadt booked it so that is sorted and it does not matter greatly, but in fact they directly made an offer to allow advertising into the Manchester Airport Magazine without charge some years ago but Kate never bothered to do anything about it as they produce the Magazine.
    So you can never tell what the kick-back will be.

    However I have to admit your communication skills very good. Few people realise that communication is 80% the most important elelment in the ELR.

    Kind regards
    David F


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