News from the Boardroom January 2019

Board Room 1


  • New Safety Team – held their first meeting which was positive and set the foundation for the team and embedding a safety culture. Fire risk assessments began over the weekend of 12th and 13th January and Safety Tours will begin mid-February.
  • P-Way Trolley Maintenance – Policy has been written and supporting documents are currently under review with the completion due by the end of January.
  • Diesel Traction Manager – Failure to appoint after a second round of interviews.  This position will be advertised externally and through the national press.
  • Delay Log – has been developed and was trialed over the Santa period. The log  records generates a time distance graph which showing actual verses timetable. This has already proven useful for displaying late running and any resultant increase in delays.
  • Asset Protection – Board awarded a contract to Bury Security Services (BSS) for a 12 month trial period to patrol Buckley Wells; Ramsbottom and Bury stations along with Bury Transport Museum.
  • Visitor Numbers – Record breaking year at 205,000.
  • Revenues – Record breaking year, provionally around £4.5m.


  • The Safety Team held their first meeting in December with 10 volunteers attending. The meeting was positive and set the foundation for the team and embedding a safety culture.
  • Fire risk assessments were carried out over the weekend of 11/12 and 13 by Safety Team Manager and  a Fire Officer who will be joining the safety team as a working volunteer. There will be a number of areas for improvement but the positive attitudes displayed by all the staff and volunteers they met are encouraging. The FRAs were undertaken at the Museum, Castlecroft, Bolton Street offices and Station, Buckley Wells and Baron Street.
  • The safety team agreed that the ELR should have a series of safety visits/audits and the first stage will be safety tours, informal walk rounds of premises with the local manager. The first tours are expected to take place in  mid- February
  • Safety training will be on the agenda of the next safety team meeting, which is set for the 31st January and IOSH Managing and Working Safely courses will be provided beginning early spring


P Way – Bury North Relay



It was reported to Board that focus for January/February is Bolton Street Tunnel point 58B renewal and drainage upgrade. The preparation work including the removal of spoiled ballast (double amount removed than planned), clay and old drains has been completed. The replacement points have arrived. The drains will be in w/c 21st January. Works hopefully will ve  completed by mid February.

To avoid removing and replacing the track at the start and end of each week as work progresses, the running line from Summerseat has been temporarily slued into the Castlecroft siding to allow trains to use Bury Platform 3 for the duration of the works.

CCTV-Bury Transport Museum

Following a series of break-ins and vandalism, two new CCTV digital cameras in the Castlecroft Yard are now networked to a central controller & recording unit which, in turn, can be monitored over the internet. The camera output is being continuously recorded and can be viewed live on a 3G/4G ‘smartphone’.

Bury Transport Museum-Record Year!

Total visitor figures for 2018 were 48,514 compared to 48,234 for 2017. The museum enjoyed significant increases in visitors to the Museum during Santa’s, to previous years, and the scheduling of Union of South Africa the first weekend after Christmas brought in many enthusiastic visitors.

The increase is less than the increase between 2016 and 2017 this is, in-part, due to the absence of Bury Light Nights.


In 2018, 76 schools visited the museum for education sessions. That amounts to 3,482 pupils/teachers [Museum Only: 688]. Bookings for 2019 have begun, with the first school session, Wonderful Wheels, taking place on the 1st February.


A working group has been set up to discuss the challenges of making the railway more accessible. For example the Museum struggles to accommodate wheelchairs, with the cobbled floors. On the plus side there is an accessible route via the platforms at Bolton Street.

A trial will be undertaken to support Autism friendly hours in 2019 at the Museum, starting with Thomas weekend in March, and reviewing visitor experiences to implement necessary changes for future events.

BTM Coach

The BTM Education coach will return in the first week of March to be prepared for school visits when the main education season begins in April. It is currently having replacement windows refitted following the acts of vandalism in 2018.

Signalling & Telecomms

Ramsbottom Gate Mechanism

Work continues on the rolling programme of renewing pins and bushes in the operating mechanism. Advantage of there being no trains midweek allows for  major elements to be removed for overhaul off site, where direct replacement is not an option, the elements being reinstated in time for the following weekend’s services.

Ramsbottom Level Crossing Pedestrian Walkway

During 2019, a major refit of the pedestrian walkway is planned, once the remaining timbers carrying level crossing operating mechanism on the upside opposite the signal box have been renewed.  It needs to be serviceable with a non-slip walking surface, whilst also being readily removable for maintenance.

Townsend Fold Level Crossing – Renewal of Ducts

All the components for the new rodding duct and separate cable duct are complete. Scaffolding tubes which will carry signal wires through the crossing from the locomotive works so they can be cut to length and welded in the workshop.

Trains will have to be flagged until the signal can be reconnected.

Traction and Rolling Stock


After a very hectic Santa period which did not run without issues, due to the failure of Class 47 D1501 and issues with DMU’s on the last four days of the Santa Operation, the department is concentrating on dealing outstanding repairs and defects, insurance examinations and preparing locos and stock for 2019 season.

13065 Boiler

Works continue on 13065’s boiler at Riley’s, we now have additional costs for plate work for backhead, side sheets and throat plate.

Work on the frames is currently on hold, due to commissioning works on 80097 and new piston rods are being made for 80080.



Work continues on the Jinty boiler. The foundation ring has been removed and it will require a new one to be made, some additional copper welding will be required on the foundation ring inner firebox to build holes back up to the new size as well as plate work for the outer firebox sides. As a result, a small cost increase is expected.

80097 – Loco was re-wheeled just before Christmas after Axlebox and spring repairs, loco has undertaken a number of test runs, a few issues are still to iron out, with a couple of items running warm, due to insufficient clearances, its hoped loaded test runs can take place over next week or so, so loco can be given finish re-paint and lining for launch of loco at our Spring Steam gala.

80080 – Temporary repair to existing piston rods have been undertaken at MRC, loco is expected to be tested and is expected back at ELR By early February. New piston rods are being machined presently.

2890 – Arrived back earlier than planned due to leaking firebox, This is be attended to. A 28 day exam required to be carried out and loco is to remain at ELR during 2019 for our use.

32 –  Available but drained, we have received several hire requests as Thomas which will see the little engine quite busy during 2019.

4270 – Gloucestershire and Warickshire Railway has kindly agreed for engine to remain at Bury until end of February 2019, to allow time to catch up with repairs and maintenance on the home fleet.

Carriage & Wagon

Kitchen Car 1665 –  work continues on the Kitchen Car with the team concentrating on gangway ends, much of the bodywork has already been completed with majority of the coach in first undercoat.

Diner Car  3144 – work is ongoing with repair of ETH heaters and repanelling the interior of the coach, work on the exterior paintwork has re-commenced, various electrical boxes have been fitted to underframes for ETH equipment and 240 volt supplies.

4880 – Work has stopped on this vehicle for the time being, due to size of the job and other pressing vehicles.

Hiab Wagon – All the steel work repairs have been completed, new decking has arraivd. HIAB to be inspected by insurers at end of January.

Wagon Owners – A meeting has taken place and  was well received and productive. There are currently 122 Freight, Storage vehicles on the railway. Overall there is a need to reduce that figure by 50% to enable the Buckley Wells development to go forward. The process of vehicle reductions will be carried out sympathetically and with a strong view to historical importance. Further meetings are planned.

Diesel Traction

Class 24 D5054 – Vehicle moved into C&W to be repainted and is progressing well. Work is continuing on snags and a C exam has been started. Expected to return to service during February Sulzer theme day.

08479 – requires radiator elements removing and de-scaling due to engine overheating issues, waiting on resource to do this work.

Diesel Loco Owners – This meeting is planned for the 27th January 2019


Santa Specials – Since the last Board meeting in NoOvember, only one event dominated that period. Santa Specials which ran from late November until Christmas eve broke visitor records with 41,000 (+12% on 2017) visitors travelling.

Check out these statistics:

  • 103 Santa Trains
  • 1,648 miles travelled
  • 22,000 bottle of sherry drunk
  • 24,150 mince pies consumed
  • 16,625 bottles of juice
  • 16,625 biscuits consumed

Annual Visitors – Another record year with 205,000 visitors travelling compared to 189,000 in 2017 +8.5%. Again, as in 2016, we have to acknowledge the extensive access the ELR had to the Flying Scotsman help boost visitor numbers. Flying Scotsman is not scheduled to visit the ELR in 2019.

Dining with Distinction – Record breaking year with 16,194 diners travelling compared to 13,868 +17%.

General Tickets Sales – There was a 7% reduction in General Tickets sales (non-event day travel), however this could be down to the fact that the ELR ran considerably more event days.

Buffets – Revenues up 22%

Pubs – Revenues up 20%.

Shops – Revenues up 40%















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