New hardware (ish) arrives for heritage railway line

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PROVEN that everyday things quickly become relegated to history, a heritage railway was fitted with contemporary railway hardware.

Love them or hate them, the BR Class 142 Pacer has been a mainstay of many rural and urban services for over 35 years.

With the evolution of the rules concerning access for people with disabilities, these units are now gradually phased out on the main line, and many are heading for scrap.

However, all is not lost – the Wensleydale Railway received a Pacer unit from a generous benefactor. With a second unit in storage for the Mid-Norfolk Railway, they both arrived at Leeming Bar last week and are pretty much in perfect working order, having been in service until New Years.

Helen Ashworth of the Wensleydale Railway said: “We are delighted with the gift, it was obtained by a kind benefactor and has been given to us.

“It will mainly be used on the shuttles between Leeming Bar and Scruton in association with our heritage education program, and if necessary on the western section of the railway.”

Two drivers were quickly trained and the remaining group of volunteers will follow and the units themselves must pass an inspection.

During a week of arrivals, it was also reported that two Class 60 diesel locomotives had arrived at Leeming Bar prior to the restoration and return to working order.

The locomotives, withdrawn from service in 2005, were not fit to run on the main line and had been standing still for so long.

They were brought to the back of a low loader by Allelys Haulage. One of the locomotives towed the last limestone train on the Wensleydale Railway in 1992. They will share facilities with the A1 Trust’s Tornado steam locomotive, which is currently undergoing winter maintenance at Wensleydale.

Service along the Wensleydale Railroad resumed last weekend after the winter break; see www.wensleydale-railway.co.uk/ for details.


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