A statement from the Wensleydale Railway:
“The Wensleydale Railway has responded to requests from enthusiasts in the 2012 season to provide additional days of diesel loco haulage. As we reach the end of, and begin to evaluate the season it is clear that our efforts have not always produced an acceptable return. We will need to look carefully at the amount of diesel loco mileage operated in the future, and it is likely, in the majority of cases, to be driven by operational requirements rather than requests for mileage or haulage by particular locomotives. Having said that, the WR remains committed to main line diesels; there will be a Diesel Gala on the calendar next year, as well as, hopefully, a return to traffic for 37250 and perhaps 25313. We are considering a visiting loco for the season, to bolster what is developing into a varied resident fleet, which will see considerable use on high capacity and catering services.”
It’s not often your PD correspondents take a view on any news item but in this particular case we feel we have to. Having personally spent a weekend at Wensleydale and witnessing more enthusiasts lineside than travelling on the train it’s hardly surprising the WR needs to go down this route. We all need to support railways such as WR who have gone the extra mile this year to provide for us by putting on many more diesel locos up-front than they really needed to – even by popping into the station and making a simple purchase, be it a bar of chocolate from Leyburn or a cup of tea from Leeming Bar, you’ll be supporting the railway. With these times becoming more austere by the day it’s up to the whole preservation community to stick together and help out. Only by doing this will we ensure survival not only for the railways but also for the locomotives that we love to see working.