Led by Head of Traction and Rolling Stock, Paul Middleton, aka Piglet, the dedicated team of fitters and engineers were busy running maintenance tests and checks on the NYMR’s fleet of steam locomotives in readiness for a busy season.
Some of the locomotives will be re-entering traffic for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic struck last March, including the much-loved LMS Black 5 No. 5428 ‘Eric Treacy’, which was one of an order of 227 such locomotives built in 1937 by Armstrong Whitworth at Newcastle.
When the pandemic struck, worked stopped.
But thanks to the successful Government Furlough Scheme and a £1.9m grant from the Culture Recovery Fund for heritage organisations, the NYMR has retained all of its staff and is now welcoming its 900-plus army of volunteers.
Each year the NYMR’s fleet of locomotives cover over 50,000 miles through the North York Moors National Park and beyond to Whitby.
To help cover this huge mileage, the NYMR has hired Eric Treacy’s sister locomotive, LMS Black 5 44871, one of the original locomotives to haul the Fifteen Guinea Special on August 11 1968.
Alongside guest engines, the NYMR’s resident locomotives will also be in service including: SR S15 class No.825’ built in 1920; BR 9F No.92134’ built in 1957; BR Standard 4 Tank No. 80136’, built in 1956; plus the oldest locomotive currently in steam at the NYMR, Lambton Colliery No.29, built in 1904 - charting over 117 years of steam locomotive development and history.
Paul Middleton said: “The team has been working really hard while we’ve been closed - both on maintenance and long-term restoration projects, and we’ve been ‘shadow running’ over the last few weeks, so everything’s all set.
“We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to the railway.
"As well as these six engines, we’ll no doubt have [Belgian steam tram] Lucie out and about as she’s a bit of a crowd puller.”
Visit www.nymr.co.uk/book-tickets to book tickets.