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Locomotive mileages 2015

Mileages to 31st December 2014 were as follows:

Steam 2014 2013 + / -
River Irt 6,534½ 0 +6,534½
River Esk 0 0 N/A
River Mite 6,246½ 3,128 +3,118½
Northern Rock 1,569½ 7,618½ -6,049
Wroxham Broad 1,530½ 5,956 -4,425½
Hercules 3,718 1,344 +2,374
Samson 0 1,218 -1,218
Synolda 0 0 N/A
Count Louis 0 28 -28
Sub-total 19,599 19,292½ +306½
Douglas Ferreira 10,809¾ 11,179¾ -370
Lady Wakefield 5,2091/2 28 +5,181½
Perkins 0 5,877¾ -5,877¾
Shelagh of Eskdale 0 0 N/A
Cyril 44½ 378¼ -333¾
Les 22½ 0 +22½
Sub-total 16,806¼ 17,463¾ -657½
Total 36,405¼ 36,756¼ -351


The overall loco mileage has fallen slightly from its 2013 zenith, where more than three thousand diesel miles could be attributed to the running of the experimental overnight train. Though a replacement round trip both in the morning and again in the evening was scheduled for the pink and yellow timetables in 2014, most of the early morning trains did not run at all, leaving a probable mileage for that operation of under two thousand.

River Irt has returned to the top of the steam mileage league, after an absence of running in 2013, with more than sixty consecutive days’ work after the high season. The Irt’s availability has been generally good from mid-April but it saw no action between the end of May and the middle of June. ‘Personal best’ months came in July and August, the engine registering 1,134 miles in each, but it was only the highest mileage engine outright in any single month in November.

River Mite worked every single shift from the start of daily running back in March, until a problem thwarted its first trip on the record-equalling ninety-ninth day. After being the highest mileage engine in each of February, March, April and May, it returned to glory in July, but sat out much of August and all of September with problems, the driver frequently working at the regulator of the Irt instead.

Northern Rock was away from the front line for a lot of the season. It was the only steam engine to run in January, but was not seen out on the line again until September, when sufficient paths ‘on the network’ allowed running-in trials to commence with any driver who could make himself available. Rock ran the most steam miles in October and again in December during a busy Santa season.

Forget not the visiting engines which have played a vital role yet again in determining our fortunes this season. Hercules was available from late May after a hard winter’s work down on the Romney, whereupon it claimed the highest mileage of the month of June, and again in September after running every day, that time sharing the honours with River Irt. At times the Romney ‘Mountain’ was the only serviceable steam loco on the line, but was embarrassed by an air compressor failure which saw it the third steam retirement in a single day’s work on 24th June, falling down in sympathy with the Irt and the Mite.

Wroxham Broad arrived at the start of the high service in July, sitting in the yard at Irton Road for an afternoon waiting for a path and a tow back to Ravenglass. It ran almost every day of its six-week summer holiday, claiming the highest mileage for August on its way.

As for diesel miles, the January trackwork gave Les a number of main line outings on to the Marsh, after failures afflicting all of the alternatives. Douglas Ferreira was only bested by Lady Wakefield in February and again in November, reflecting another generally good year for the 2005-built machine, including high daily mileages of sixty-three on a few occasions, and even a seventy-mile day in June.


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