Thanks to the DFR's mainline connection, the railway benefits from being able to train technicians from Network Rail on their track maintenance machinery and a good relationship has been established between the heritage volunteer workforce and their mainline counterparts.
This relationship has taken a significant step forward with a donation to the Dean Forest Railway Society, a registered charity, of an overhauled Road-Rail Vehicle (RRV). “Some of the concrete sleepers we have on the line were manufactured as early as World War Two, with many from not long afterwards,” said Society Trustee Adam Williams. “We felt it was time to get a bit of expert mechanical help on the line and reached out to Quattro Group, who immediately stepped in with a generous donation of a Road Rail Vehicle which will help us with our track renewal and replacement works.”
Trevor Hartnett, Regional Rail Director for Quattro, was on hand to oversee the donation and said, “We’re very familiar with the DFR and are always testing machines in that area. The Society does important work in giving people the experience of a heritage railway and we’re me than happy to help them preserve and maintain it with the donation of this RRV.”
“We have a trailer and are now looking for attachments for the new RRV that will be the most effective at getting our jobs done,” adds Adam Williams, with great anticipation. “We will be ready to start working with it very soon.”
The RRV will help to mechanise much of the maintenance of the track, lifting and shifting materials, renewing and replacing sleepers on the line. The machine will replace some of the manual labour that the Society’s hard working volunteers have long done by hand, lifting and lugging material.
“There’s something incredibly special about being in the vintage carriages, just like you’re travelling through the 1950s,” says Trevor Hartnett, underpinning the importance of maintaining the heritage site. “It’s simply a lovely little railway, a superb tourist attraction and a real step back in time with its historic locomotives.”
Quattro will also be providing familiarisation training on the DFR’s new RRV as well as health and safety training, together with helping with ongoing machine maintenance and routine inspections, with this relationship being viewed as a valuable corporate partnership of equal benefit to both sides.
“It’s difficult not to feel like a kid in a sweet shop,” says trustee Adam, looking forward to the training. “I’ve seen the RRV, got the key for the RRV, but haven’t actually climbed in the RRV! I’ll leave that feeling for the training.”
The Dean Forest Railway Society is immensely grateful to Quattro for this most generous gesture - we'll be sure to put the machine to very good use!
The Dean Forest Railway is sad to report that their main link with mainline clients, longstanding Society member Roger Phelps (standing 3rd from left) who was skilled in all aspects of operating the railway died suddenly, shortly after the RRV was donated by Quattro. Roger was instrumental in setting up this corporate partnership with Quattro. We will miss him greatly. Rest in peace Roger.