The running season is now well underway, with trains scheduled every Sunday until the beginning of October, plus some other days, see timetable on the website.
Over the three day GWR steam gala between 24 and 26 May, we had plenty of visitors, as a ride on the narrow gauge was included in the all-inclusive day ticket. 1091 and Sena 15 topped and tailed the 'wet weather' set – the Polish coach and the Trecwn carriage.
After Saturday morning, the weather improved, with Sunday being the best and busiest day. This method of operation is particularly suitable for busy days, virtually cutting out the need for coupling, uncoupling and running round.
Steam is scheduled for use on Sunday 15 June, the Classic Vehicles day, in the shape of Justine. The following weekend, 21 and 22 June, is a Thomas weekend, and we intend to use the top and tail train again with 1091 and Sena 15.After that steam will be used, subject to availability, on Sunday 13 July. This will follow a private visit from the Narrow Gauge Railway Society the previous day.
The GWR diesel gala will run on 25,26 and 27 July, we will use one steam loco as well as the diesel.
The model layout is being actively worked on, though we still need more old sleepers to finish off the base.
We are looking at ways to improve our publicity, and an on-train passenger survey has been conducted on certain days to find out what visitors think of our narrow gauge operation. Comments so far have been very positive. We are also investigating the possibility of getting pre-booked groups to ride on our railway.
Maintenance is ongoing, particularly unglamorous jobs like grass cutting and trimming lineside growth.
A further expense these days is the cost of medicals for footplate staff over a certain age. This highlights the need to attract younger volunteers onto the railway for the various duties and maintenance tasks that need to be undertaken.