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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 30 - Winter 1976

Operations Meeting

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R D Webb - Operating. What it's all about

On a foggy evening on 14th November a good attendance of members was at the Quainton village hall for the annual 'ops' meeting where the lessons of the past season and the plans for the coming year are discussed.

This year Chris Taylor kindly took the hot seat in the chair, because Dave Glennie was unable to be present. Chris started by stressing that the meeting was an informal occasion and that any recommendations would in due time be passed to the Executive Committee for their deliberation.

The batting was opened by our Secretary, Roy Miller, suggesting that the Committee structure was not working too well and he told the audience that a proposal had been made that an Operations Committee should be set up to co-ordinate and watch over operating matters where inter-departmental liaison was of vital importance. He said he thought this Committee should be made up of departmental representatives to ensure a proper cross-section of views was available to the Operations section. This idea will be given further consideration.

The Locomotive department next tabled a matter of some concern to drivers of locomotives on Open Days; that there should be a greater over-run available before the public pedestrian level crossing at the end of the platform. They also suggested that spare engines between duties should be parked on a special siding away from the available public access. Another proposal which stemmed from the experience of the August weekend, was that drivers should be passed out to drive specific engines. Finally, the Locomotive department enquired where all the dedicated cleaners had gone! The same old problem appears to plague all departments and this is referred to in this issue in the Editorial.

Another thorny question was then discussed. This is the difficulty of attracting existing members to the site to carry out some useful job without prior notice of attendance. It was recognised that we have missed the opportunity of welcoming members who have turned up at Quainton on a casual basis. The suggestion was made that a notice board should be erected on which the work available for this category of member would be detailed. Another thought was that the duty station-master should allocate the work and somebody said that the station-master's rota should be from a different department on successive weekends; all food for thought!

The possibility of appointing a station inspector to help the stationmaster on busy Open Days and Steaming Sundays is another idea which will be considered by the Executive.

The bombshell announcement by the Signal & Telegraph Department, that there would be no two train operation until the proposed new mechanical signalling system had replaced the present electrical installation left the meeting in a state of near riot! The plans for the new system are now at the D of E for their comments and, we hope, approval. Let us not dwell on the gloomy prognostications of S & T!

An interesting and practical discussion followed on the problems of having a clear view ahead when propelling trains. Guards agreed that the LNWR passenger brake left something to be desired when it came to having a look at the track ahead. The goods brake van and the open wagons were all first class in this respect. The Carriage & Wagon Department were quizzed on their decision not to obtain some vacuum fitted open wagons and a brake van when they had the chance! These 'ops' meetings certainly keep people on their toes!

The siting of a locomotive coaling aid and the construction of an ash pit were discussed but no consensus of opinion emerged on the best location for these amenities. The thought of labour saving devices brought forward other proposals for the Treasurer to ruminate on. For example, a compressor would be worth having and a concrete mixer would save a lot of hard graft! So if you want to give the workers at Quainton a nice Christmas present what about a delivery direct to the QRS!

Operations meetings are always worthwhile. This one was no exception and Chris assured everybody that the subjects discussed would be before the Executive within a week. That's service for you!

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1976 and so does not reflect events in the 39+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Operations Meeting - Quainton News No. 30 - Winter 1976

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 11 November 2017