Published 19th June 2012
MATLOCK - The Heritage Shunters Trust (HST) has provided a lesson in how not to organise and execute a Gala event at Peak Rail.
The HST owns a large fleet of Locomotives including examples of such veteran shunting favourites as the Class 03, 05, 08 and 09 types.
Peak Rail, recently extended their operation to Matlock station taking over from their own former platform at Matlock Riverside, providing a cross platform interchange with East Midlands Trains services to Derby.
Peak Rail were to operate their regular service, comprising four return trips from their main terminus at Rowsley to Matlock. This was booked to be hauled by a combination of Steam and Diesel traction, in the shape of a Hunslet Austerity and Class 44 locomotive in top and tail formation. This, however, was not advertised.
The Heritage Shunters Trust would, of course, not be operating services along the main line, something which caused a great deal of confusion. Their charge of £5 per brake van trip, was seen as astronomical by many visitors to the event.
The “HST” fleet in operation comprised D2199, 08016, 09001 (recently returned to active service, and its first runs in preservation) and PWM654, with a couple of other locomotives taking their turn in the operational roster.
Complaints were made to the Duty Managers on May 5th and various lessons appear to have been learnt, which Peak Rail reinforced in an emailed reply.
Integration between Peak Rail and the Heritage Shunters Trust was very poor, particularly as the “HST” should have provided, on their website, the timetable for services between Rowsley and Matlock.
It must be said that Peak Rail includes an excellent band of volunteers operating a picturesque and noteworthy line. The staff at Peak Rail were both helpful and agreeable over the matter of what appeared a shambolic event on the part of the Heritage Shunters Trust. Rail.co.uk would also like to thank the two Duty Managers for organising a footplate experience between Rowsley and Matlock before returning to London.
In future, we will hope to see better integration between Peak Rail and the Heritage Shunters Trust, and one additional suggestion was to include Peak Rail’s diesel fleet in future for a Diesel themed event.