Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Progress Tuesday 27th October 2020

Dear all,

I wasn't RO today so I'm sorry about not being aware of everyone's activities but I just thought I'd report on passenger activities today as it was the first day of steam operations in 2020. Of course, this is somewhat delayed to what was originally planned and a different locomotive too. There is a certain risk with moving to steam operations at this time of year as it is traditionally off season now so not necessarily a time when you'd normally be looking to increase costs but as we all know, the normal rules don't apply this year when it comes to the tourist market. This year it really came down to a choice of using steam to continue operations into the colder months (steam heating required) or possibly closing. Feedback from customers on having a private compartment to keep them safe is very positive so it seemed logical to continue it at the moment.

Lots of effort has gone in to preparing for today with the Mark 1 fleet undergoing particular attention over the last few months to their steam heating apparatus and also the lighting.

I believe today could have included two firsts? Firstly, I think it was the first steam heated service to Duffield. We have steam heated the trains to Shottle for the last few years but I don't recall one going to Duffield. Secondly, I can't remember operating a steam service on a Tuesday before... and a busy one at that. The first two trains were practically full with an average load on the last. The latter of course arriving back just before dark. The rest of the week is also looking quite busy with good numbers of advance bookings so if you would like travel, don't leave it too late!

My thanks go to everyone who helped with the service today in horrible wet conditions and especially to the loco crew whose operation led to a relaxed and enjoyable day.