The platform ramp has now been infilled with three dumper loads of spoil, and a top layer of road planings will be added in due course. The foot crossing at the north end of the platform has been started and further ballast run out along the sleeper ends. The exhibition and Mk 1 buffet coaches will be dragged north of the platform on the next work weekend, with temporary access via the new flight of steps at the platform end and the finished foot crossing: this will allow the platform itself to be taken out of use for the coper installation.
Three hurdles remain to be overcome before our planned passenger service starts on July 1st: the coper course on the main platform face will be the principle focus for May, while June will hopefully see Northumbria Rail’s second Mark 2 (a Brake Standard Open) arrive from Long Marston. This leaves us with sourcing a suitable air braked loco, given that the Fowler’s power unit repairs will effectively see it on the sidelines throughout 2012. While a number of leads are being actively followed up, if anyone out there knows where we can borrow or hire an air- fitted shunter, Type 1 or 2 diesel etc. please do let us know.