Monday, 24 November 2008

Operation "Gateway to the Peak" Day One Monday 24th November 2008

Dear all
It was a delight to welcome some significant muscle from the Army today who have been tasked with a significant week of work at Duffield. After the customary welcome and briefing at Wirksworth this morning they journeyed to Duffield to commence the task of laying in the northern pointwork for the eventual run round loop. With volunteer help through the week we should have made a considerable impact including the installation of the pointwork, shortening the "main" line to the south end of the present platform, added a couple of panels to the north end of the loop and shipped off site a significant amount of material that has accumulated there over the years. Today saw a long engineers train leaving Wirksworth at 0830 to deliver a section of train that will reside at Duffield for the week and a north section that will transport the mini digger to and from site each day. Additional movements were undertaken to collect the Sturgeon from Wirksworth with a section of track needed to complete the pointwork and Faraday has covered some 50 miles throughout the day.
The mini digger has prepared the trackbed for the loop and planned headshunt through the Tunnel and the rails to be removed to accommodate the point have been "de-fishplated" and a start made on removing the elastic spike from the chairs. Many thanks are due to the team that manned the Works Train for a long day and got the week off to a flying start.
Back at base two dead cells were changed in the Met-Cam 2 Car set and after some proving runs the solution seems to have resolved the unit's starting problem. Roy (72) and Les (77) have fitted a new frame and door to the Gents Toilets so this facility can be made available for the upcoming Santa season and, again, we are grateful for their efforts in sub zero temperatures.
The Booking Hall received a surprising number of hardy visitors and fielded an inordinate number of telephone calls with a catalogue of amazingly tempting offers.
To repeat, a really great start to what promises to be a most exciting week.
PS - we have left rolling stock at Duffield for the first time and advised the Police of their existence. However, if any members are passing by at unsocial hours, a check on their wellbeing would be helpful.