Saturday, 15 June 2019

Progress Saturday 15th June 2019

Dear all,

It was a day of records and firsts today as we had our busiest ever day on the trains. It was the first time we had fielded two rakes of Mark 1 coaches (albeit with a DMU centre car interloper on one), the first time we had 4 steam locomotives in steam and the biggie - the first time two steam trains have passed each other in the 152 year history of the line.

There were many happy visitors who enjoyed their day despite the weather and thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work in putting on a good show.


Thursday, 13 June 2019

Progress Thursday 13th June 2019

Dear all,

You could easily forget it is June as more heavy rain battered the railway today. Fortunately there doesn't appear to be any flooding issues in the valley which is good. Today's DMU service had a coach party who enjoyed a return journey as well as a light lunch in the Station Café. Thank you to those who assisted with that.

Today was the first day of prep for the upcoming gala weekend. The coach rakes were reformed to create two rakes of Mark 1s (with the aid of a DMU centre car). Both 78018 and 52322 were shunted to the watering point to make sure they were filled ready for service. They were also both loaded full of coal. A warming fire was then placed in 78018 ready for a steam test tomorrow.

The PW declared the newly installed point in the yard fit to drive over as they finished levelled and packing it.

Further shunting and tidying tomorrow.


Friday, 7 June 2019

Progress Friday 7th June 2019

Dear all,

Today we hosted a Bronze Drive a Diesel Experience. Thank you to Lewis and Chris H for entertaining our participants and their guests in the torrential rail which we have endured all day.

We welcomed BR Standard Class 2MT 78018 today from the GCR with loco and tender arriving in convoy. Two tender engines at Wirksworth! The steam team prepared 52322 for service tomorrow and also No3 for some experiences they have on Sunday.


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Progress Wednesday 5th June 2019

Dear all,

Today the Maintenance Team continued working on the recently-arrived Mark 1 SK ready for it entering traffic next week at the Steam in the Valley event. The vehicle has had a full fitness to run examination and other minor repairs. Today they were refurbishing the side panels which edge the seats in the compartments.

The PW team continued with the pointwork installation in the yard with this task on target for completion.

I attach a photograph of the new toilet block at Wirksworth which has had the scaffold taken away this week. Painting of the outside should commence soon.


Sunday, 2 June 2019

Progress Report Saturday 1st June 2019

Dear All,

It was a busy day down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line with busy trains throughout the day. Our visiting locomotive 52322 is certainly  a very popular guest perhaps being one of the most photographed locomotives to date. Down the yard the DMU team were preparing for an evening private charter in W55006.

Todays service was supported by the Association shop, Station Cafe, Miniature Railway and Booking Hall Staff. Special thanks to our visiting engine crew from the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway and GCR who, together with our own on train crew, ensured our many passengers were looked after and trains ran to schedule.

All the best, Tom

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Progress Thursday 30th May 2019

Dear all,

Half term Thursday service was well patronised today with there barely being a seat on the first train from Duffield on the two car 101 DMU. It was great to see and there were many happy families and wannabe train drivers. Driver Chuck was most touched as one little lad used his pocket money to buy him a gift of a drivers pin badge out of the shop without his parents knowing.

Some preparation took place down the yard for the weekend including cleaning down the A Class and positioning vehicles.

Work continued inside the new station building as the internal fit out grows closer.

The Permanent Way team are enjoying a small holiday from their usual Shottle base by working at Wirksworth for a couple of weeks. They are installing the turnout which was constructed by the University students way back in September. So far so good. The turnout will eventually allow for some much needed additional siding space.


Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Progress Report Monday 27th May 2019

Dear All,

I have turned off predictive text so hopefully less grammatical errors in this report! The day started in typical bank holiday fashion with customary rain but as the day progressed the sun came out as did our visitors with today being the busiest of the holiday weekend. Again we had both the narrow gauge and miniature railways in operation as well as a steam service on the incline which proved very popular with our visitors both young and old. The miniature railway carried over one hundred passengers during the weekend. Following on from Joe's report for Sunday, work continued on the respective projects in the maintenance facility.

The Association ran a steam experience on the incline in between passenger services and we also entertained a large number of passengers celebrating a birthday on the Duffield service. 

Today's service was supported by the Association shop, station cafe, narrow and miniature railways, crossing gate keepers, Shottle signalling staff and booking hall staff and again my thanks to everyone who gave up their bank holiday to ensure we enjoyed a very successful weekend.

All the best, Tom