Although much work has been carried out on both rolling stock and the track, there still remained a considerable programme of work to complete, such that the hoped for Easter 2022 reopening was not achieved.
We are now aiming for a June 2022 resumption of services – also recognising there is still a risk that not all the necessary works and approvals will be completed by then.
Work on restoring the Class 122 diesel passenger unit is nearing the stage when, after current test runs, the 'B' exam can be signed off, which will then mean it can be used for crew retraining and then for operating a passenger service.
Meanwhile on the track there are number of tasks underway, but still to complete. These include a gauging test at the new Kingfisher platform to make sure it has the required clearance. There is also a programme of re-sleepering to be completed between Stanhope and Wolsingham and some other essential track work to allow the running of passenger trains. Later, the section from Wolsingham to Bishop Auckland will also be brought into service.
The photograph below shows the track at Broken Banks near Bishop Auckland after it was recently lifted, packed and re-ballasted. Picture: Trevor Horner