Steam Railway (UK) - - DOWNMAIN -

In the be­gin­ning was a ‘D-Train’ (SR485); then came Rood Ash­ton Hall. Vin­tage Trains Ltd con­tin­ued its de­vel­op­ment in Oc­to­ber with a first train­ing run us­ing No. 4965 on the net­work – mean­ing the Ty­se­ley out­fit has now truly be­come Bri­tain’s new­est steam op­er­a­tor.

As I write, just be­fore the end of the month, how­ever, there’s still no news on the first pub­lic trips, de­spite sug­ges­tions around the ‘manor’ that these might be­gin as soon as Novem­ber.

That talk comes per­haps partly be­cause among other trains mooted for this sea­son, trips tied in with Birm­ing­ham’s Ger­man Christ­mas mar­ket were pro­posed in the busi­ness plan, pre­pared roughly this time last year as back­ground to the Vin­tage Trains CBS share is­sue. That mar­ket is to be held this sea­son, from Novem­ber 15 to De­cem­ber 23.

There’s lit­tle doubt that when they do come, de­tails of VT’s first pas­sen­ger­car­ry­ing main line runs since De­cem­ber 2017 will be keenly di­gested. Last is­sue, you may re­mem­ber, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Cath Bel­lamy said she hoped a late-2018 pro­gramme could be an­nounced in Oc­to­ber, with Clun Cas­tle re­turn­ing to the main line for the first time since 1988 for run­ning-in dur­ing the same month.

How­ever, De­nis Chick, VTL’s new press of­fi­cer, said on Oc­to­ber 30: “In­deed we had hoped to an­nounce in­for­ma­tion on train ser­vices and a run­ning-in sched­ule for [No.] 7029 by the end of Oc­to­ber. Our plans con­tinue to be for­mu­lated and full de­tails will be an­nounced when they are fi­nalised.”

On the share is­sue it­self, he re­ported that there was noth­ing to add to last month’s po­si­tion – when the ‘tally’ was given as nearly £1 mil­lion. The max­i­mum is £3m; the is­sue stays open un­til De­cem­ber 31.

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