The May Bank Holiday weekend of the 24th/25th saw an excellent turnout of visitors, old and new, who enjoyed some fine weather, glorious running from the home based stalwarts and some remarkable grub! Sunday saw our resident steam loco ‘Rocket’ set to with proceedings and it was proving to be its usual fine self until a minor fault became apparent just after lunch. By 3pm the crew took the decision to withdraw ‘Rocket’ from proceedings so that our Chief Mechanical Engineer could carry out a closer inspection. This saw the benefit of using our resident 108 DMU as hauled stock as after a few turns of various knobs and levers it became the diesel traction for our last departure at 3:30pm. Monday saw us enjoy a wonderful attendance of visitors and we ran a full program of services with the 108 DMU despite early issues with staffing, as we were rostered for steam operations and had to make last minute changes to key personnel. This turned out to be a bit of a conumdrum with a multitude of phonecalls being made and much wheeling and dealing of favours to ensure that we eventually had the correct key personnel in place. Even though we had advertised that the first departure wouldn’t be until 12:15pm we were able to reinstate the first departure of the day and only 25 mins later than normal. A big thank you to all our staff who pulled out all the stops to make sure that none of our visitors were disappointed and an even bigger thank you must go to our visitors themselves for their patience, understanding and humour whilst we put things into place. And a special mention to the girls and boy in our tearoom who kept everyone, visitors and staff alike, topped up with delicious hot food, cakes and copious amounts of drinks although they seem to have forgotten all about the Commercial Director on Monday. It seems he went home starving!
Overall we enjoyed an immensely succesful weekend with the failure of ‘Rocket’ being the only blip on the radar. It appears that the fault on ‘Rocket’, whilst not a major problem, has meant that it will remain out of commission until specialist repairs can be carried by our friends from Tyseley locomotive works. In the meantime services will be operated by a mixture of our 108 DMU and our old faithful diesel loco ‘Rusty’ with a coach. Please keep checking back to remain updated on the progress with ‘Rocket’ and for other future developments. We have some exciting events to look forward to later in the season and as always much work remains to be carried out on a multitude of projects, some of which may just take your fancy. So as always please show your continued support by visiting again or even by becoming a member and getting hands on at the Telford Steam Railway.