The heritage sector provides engineering and other services to the “big railway”, including charter train operators, and I thought it would be helpful to have a thread on this. Specialist work is carried out by a commercial arm where the railway is a charity, but other services include storage of new or withdrawn rolling stock, testing of new stock and driver training.This is a slightly random selection, some of it clearly of a one-off nature and even featuring a narrow gauge railway.
The East Somerset Railway has a carriage bodywork repair business which also does locomotive bodywork, Mark III stock and DMUs.
Keighley & Worth Valley - recent storage of withdrawn Pacers for Northern
Training of Network Rail signallers by the Swindon Panel Society, based at Didcot Railway Centre, using a reconstructed signalling panel.
The SVR operated revenue-earning freight trains in 2007 to carry long pipes to the Severn Trent Water plant at Trimpley. Carriage by road would have been difficult because of the narrow roads in the area.
Currently the SVR is testing 69001 for GBRf. Light and loaded test runs are planned and also driver training.
The GCR’s double track line allows for commercial testing of railway vehicles at speeds of up to 75 mph for diesel hauled trains and 60 mph for steam hauled trains.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway went into partnership with Greater Anglia to store its new Stadler trains during testing and commissioning. The project provided extra track on the MNR which remains as additional infrastructure once the new trains are in service. The MNR has also been used by TOCs for crew training and by Network Rail for the storage/testing of ballast tampers, stoneblowers and MPVs.
In September 2020 the Launceston Steam Railway delivered a consignment of goods to a local company to get round a road closure blocking the lorry driver’s route.