The start of a New Year is a good time for a bit of an update on where we are with the project. There has been a positive response to our request to spread the word about what we are trying to do and to encourage others to get involved. Thank you to those that have done this. Since September 2011 the group of interested people has grown from 15 to just over 30 which is a great improvement. So what next? Well we still need to spread the word and improve the financial situation of the group to take the project forward so I would ask any of you that would like to set up a standing order for any amount to drop me an e-mail for the details. See the 'Contact Us' page.

James and I are going to look at the financial situation again towards the end of January and see if it is stable enough to allow some work to be started on the unit. We have two ways of taking the project forward during 2012 depending on the income which I will detail below.
Income above £750 a month
We will look to get one of the Driving Trailers into the workshop at Butterley in early February. Work will involve taking all of the windows out and resealing them, welding, and painting the vehicle. We would pay Butterley each month and they would do however much work we can afford. If we followed this route then there is a chance that the driving trailer could be taken to Swanage towards the end of 2012. At Swanage internal restoration would be completed and any wiring renewed if required. The idea would then be to use the coach as normal hauled stock with other air braked vehicles. However in the first instance it would have no heat, however we believe that we could do a slight modification to get this operational. By getting the vehicle to Swanage it would increase the publicity surrounding the project.
At the same time we would look to do some preventative work on the other vehicles. This would basically involve keeping the unit presentable and touching up paint work to stop corrosion.
Income between £250 and £750 a month.
We would look to build up some income to allow some work to be contracted out to start the work on one Driving Trailer. We would also look to see how much of the roof and underframe repainting we could do ourselves. However with the distances involved for some people it may actually make more sense for people to donate the money used for petrol and food rather than go to Butterley themselves. We would also look to do some preventative work on all vehicles.
Income under £250 a month.
Basically means that the unit will continue to rot as only the rent is covered.
If we can get one Driving Trailer sorted then the next objective will be the Brake Van. The reason for this is that all of the control gear is in this to allow multiple working etc. This would then mean that the two vehicles could be worked by a class 33/1 being coupled directly onto the brake van.
A few people have asked me what else they can do to assist. At the moment it is a little difficult as in a way we are still in our infancy and need to gain more support so spreading the word and setting up standing orders is the main thing. That said there maybe some opportunities to spread the word and raise the profile during 2012. The following events would be good for some publicity.
  • Swanage Diesel Gala Fri 11th - Sun 13th May. Opportunity to leaflet the trains and let people know what we are trying to do
  • MRC Volunteers weekend April 16th /17th April
  • MRC Diesel Gala May 21st and 22nd
  • MRC DMU event Sept 10th and 11th
At the MRC we could look at the possibility of opening the Driving Trailer up and maybe allowing people into the cab. This would allow us to explain what we are doing and also raise a little bit of money through donations. However we would need people to go and sit on the unit for a few hours and we would really need two people as it does become a little bit boring answering the same questions again and again.
That's it for now. The next update will hopefully be at the end of January 2012. In the meantime, here is a link to a recent picture of DTSO 76298 at Butterley which I found on Flickr
Happy New Year to you all.