It has been a bit of a mixed week for the GWR – with, regrettably, 2 days lost to snow and ice. Not that we weren’t prepared to run at Cheltenham of course but a collective (and wise!) decision was made that things were too difficult elsewhere. I suspect that there are some risks simply not worth taking.
And, whilst our mid-week activities were confined to sweeping and gritting, it didn’t escape notice that there was an awful lot of debris on the platforms and the banks (with fortunately little on the line). One of the beauties of the Racecourse Station is the stand of Scots Pines on either side of the line – attractive they certainly are but there are some serious downsides in terms of pine needles and broken boughs! The worst possible conditions are ‘heavy’ snowfall (well heavy for Gloucs) and strong winds – so no prizes for guessing what last week’s consequences were!
Therefore, first up this morning was a general tidy and second task was to clear some of the more obvious windfalls from Platform 2 – not that it’s in use but too many scattered branches make the place look uncared for, which it certainly isn’t.
We are in the process of making a pretty big bonfire for some time in the close season! We just need a nice south-westerly breeze (away from the A435 Malvern Road) and no passengers!
Overall we were in winter volunteering mode (some colleagues are clearly hibernating!) with Colin, Ben, Mike, Dave T and Dave G (busy ‘stationmastering’) – hardy annuals all. That said I know that several have been busy elsewhere on the line – whilst others, very reasonably, have family priorities this time of year.
Since this is probably the last blog of our active season and the calendar year – may I wish all readers a Happy New Year and see you all in 2018. Should auld acquaintance be forgot………