Easier to record only the attendees: V Wasdell, D Bathurst, I Jackson, P Willimott, P King, R Hartley, J Adams.
13 (thirteen) Apologies for Absence was a record.
With such a small group we stayed at the long table in the bar and enjoyed the sea shanties. Van and David entertained us with their tales of railway journeys across the UK and Pakistan.
John brought greetings from David Dixon, our former chairman following their meeting at a presentation by the Upper Wensleydale Railway Group in Hawes who are seeking to re-open the old Midland Railway extension from Garsdale to Hawes.
Chairman’s Report had been circulated ahead of the meeting and forms part of this minute
Matters Arising from previous meeting
- reply from WM Trains about introduction of ANPR had been circulated.
(ii) A reply from Cross Country relating to the diversion of services from the Tamworth line during line workings advised that the Voyagers with 8 or 9 or 10 carriages were too long to stop at Lichfield City. Also circulated to members.
Lichfield to Walsall – another bullish article in City Life reporting on “talks” with Network Rail and encouraging locals to get behind the campaign. We need to contribute our own article (TT/JA)
Rail Recovery Roger brought a hard copy of a paper issued by his union in discussion with TOCS and others about Rail Recovery and likely reduction in budget from Govt. See separate circulation.
Future Meetings – Our meetings clash with Sea Shanty Singers; while not unpleasant this can be a distraction.
Are members happy with the third Monday?
Would a return to the second Tuesday be preferred if we can be accommodated at Kings Head or another acceptable venue?
Members to advise secretary please of their preferences
Speakers – Chairman is waiting to hear from Leaders of District and County Councils
In the meantime the next meeting is 15th November. No meeting is planned for December
LRPG Chairman’s Report for October 2021 Meeting
Our next meeting is at 1930 on Monday 18 October. I regret I am not able to be there – we’re on a pilgrimage to Northumbria with the Cathedral.
Since the last meeting I have used trains on 4 days, going to Kidderminster, Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield on WM Trains, and a round trip on the Severn Valley Railway. All the WM trains seemed emptier than pre-covid, especially the one evening peak service I used.
I have been to 2 railway society meetings, both in Derby, but the RCTS ZOOM meeting on 16th has been postponed to December. On the 5th I attended the RailFuture WM Committee meeting at Moor Street Station. There was much irrelevant but enjoyable verbiage and a few useful pieces: parcels are coming back, trains could help the HGV driver shortage, the initial meeting of a Cross-City South RUG should be soon, consultations are pending for the Dec 2022 timetables. There is no decision yet on Govt money for Lichfield – Burton.
I was unable to go to the WM Trains Stakeholder meetings, but David James and Paddy Martin were able to go and will report.
I did however ‘attend’ the WCR250 meeting on Microsoft teams on the 14th. Network Rail and the West Coast Partnership gave presentations. Network Rail said that usage was about 65% of pre-covid and that the Government wanted savings; he expected GBR to start in April 2024. All 56 Pendolinos are being refurbished at Widnes at a total cost of £117M to be finished in Feb 2024. Meantime their Hitashi fleet is expected in 2024. My impression is that the country is slowly opening up, but the mixture of in person and on-line events will continue.
There is unfinished business: I have invited both Michael Fabricant and the Leader of the County Council to meetings, but no agreement yet. Our next meeting will be on 15 November.
Tony Thompson 17 Oct 2021