The short close season approaches (no timetabled trains for much of November) and thoughts turn to the more immediate tasks which need to be completed without passengers present – such as clearing the track bed and platform-side tree pruning. That said, I am reliably informed that there are various specials services planned for our coming Saturdays so we will need to plan the maintenance carefully and await the long close season (most of Jan, all of Feb and early Mar) for the really big jobs. Is it my imagination or is there more to do and less time available than ever? The price of success perhaps?
For the moment, however, we are still ‘training and maintaining’ at the same time, which means that our tasks repeat somewhat from week to week! So take it as read that Maurice, Mary, Steve, Dave T, Mike, John O etc cleared pine needles, removed cones and tidied the gardens!
Personally, I was on light duties (gardening accident, non-railway, don’t ask!) and merely pottered about, drank tea and took photos; leaving the heavy lifting to colleagues. I noted in the news that somewhere in the UK it had rained every day so far in October. Could be in Gloucestershire!
More positively it was frantically busy this morning with folks making their way to the Food and Drink Fayre. Several of our volunteers were seconded to traffic duties as the car parking expanded back virtually to the Racecourse proper! Here’s a video of the second train of the morning departing with a (presumed) full passenger load:
Obviously I’ve photoshopped in the blue sky. Spotted the red coach – presumably pressed into action as we were so busy!
And they were of course burning best Welsh steam coal:
Lastly, thank you for the kind comments and thoughts on recent blogs. It is perhaps opportune to issue a very gentle reminder that posting comments on the Cheltenham Area Group blog is not the optimum way to task us or seek volunteers for something! Much better to email Head of CAG direct.