Saturday of the June track weekend saw work on the crossover reach a sufficiently advanced stage to permit test runs by the Ruston 48DS shunter. Although we had planned to undertake “Big Shunt”, the presence of nesting birds on the exhibition coach prohibited any movements until the chicks have fledged. As a result we concentrated on a number of other projects, including installing more sleepers in the run- round loop, lifting and packing the Stock Siding and laying MOT Type 1 fill on the link path to the car park.
Our thanks are also extended to Roy Vernon, a recently retired Northern Trains driver from Edge Hill in Liverpool, for undertaking practical driver exams on the railbus over the weekend, allowing us to increase our available pool of trained crew. With extensive experience in driving “Pacer” type railbusses on the national network, Roy certainly put the trainees through their paces on the unit, but the experience was enjoyed by all.
Given that only two years ago we still had no operational traction at Whitrope, it was a novel experience to have the Ruston shunting at one end of the site at the same time as the railbus was undertaking the training runs at the other: train horns tooting all over the place!!