Saturday, 31 October 2009

Progress Saturday 31st October

Dear all,

A pleasant leisurely day of fettling. The S&T Department undertook some
further fabrication of parts for the progression of its numerous
projects down the line. The Rolling Stock Director investigated both the
starter motor on a replacement DMU engine and the handbrake buzzer on
M51188. The Duty Conscript was allocated to be the day's Scrubber and
attended to the exterior of the two-car met cam set and a lot of the
interior window cleaning issues, assisted by our own staff with a long
brush and the hose pipe.

Work continued on the Jolly Roger Brake Van for its starring role as the
home of the Parrot in our Christmas production of Treasure Island. Also
in the yard, further maintenance took place on the narrow gauge engine.

Around the station, the Superintendent of Model Railways was present,
assisted by the Adams family, and work continues to develop this
attraction. The Staff Mess Room (exterior works) Project was completed,
with the replacing and touching up of the grilles, and the interior
received a further clean before the building was declared officially
open by a member of staff recently returned from the chip shop.

Regards,
Mike Evans via Anton

Friday, 30 October 2009

Friday 30th October 2009

Dear all
 
Once more the Car Park filled with the sound of heavy goods vehicles as 188 concrete sleepers were delivered and put to ground. These will be loaded to the Sturgeon on Monday for transport to Duffield. The Logging Dept. will be satisfied for a little while by the logs delivered to their door and a supply of "garden quality" sleepers were unloaded for onward sale. The flail head was placed by the Weighbridge for further strengthening work and the Rolling Stock Engineer took advantage of all the works train vehicles being at Wirksworth to top up the axle boxes with oil.
 
The Lowmac was reloaded with the various S&T materials necessary to complete the Shottle installations and a refurbished dmu engine was prepared for fitting to the 2 Car Met-Cam set.
 
As the financial year end is tomorrow there was a thorough stock take of shop goods and work continued to sparkle up the exterior of the Mess Hall.
 
Much activity on a warm sunny day.
 
Martin

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Thursday 29th October 2009

Dear all
 
Wirksworth returned to being the centre of the universe today with much action on offer. The morning welcomed a heavy goods vehicle conveying a 40ft container and a very meaty crane that hoisted the container over the former Kave cabins and deposited it gently trackside. This container will be base camp for the carriages arriving with us over the next few months.
 
L51, the penultimate Battery Locomotive, passed all its necessary tests and progressed to the Pit Road for removal of some of the test kit. It now rests on the Car Park Siding for despatch to Ruislip on Monday. DRE, flush with staff, divided into two parts, the first gently applying grey primer to their travelling van and the second assembling various components required for Duffield North by the Weighbridge ready for loading on the Works Train.
 
It was good to see Rod Birch back in action to commence the creation of this year's Santa's grotto and administering first aid to the Stop signs either side of the derailer on Road 1. The Logging Dept. used up their remaining stock and await a further delivery. This was satisfied by a small contribution brought up on the returning Works Train. In amongst all this activity Harsco arrived for a brief test on Road 2.
 
A minibus pulled in conveying a group of 20 people researching locations for a new film production - fingers crossed!
 
Down the line the VCT completed their clearance of trees around Shottle North Ground Frame and reported two large fires and no damaged equipment. Further down the line the Permanent Way team put into place the three missing chairs from the Duffield North crossover and put at least one track screw into each of the head shunt chairs. There was further ballast fettling and as the Works Train progressed back to Wirksworth scrap sleepers where discharged near Hazelwood to further rot down and the flail head was collected from Shottle for further strengthening at Wirksworth. The Komatsu 130 also returned to Wirksworth to be ready to load a further delivery of concrete sleepers intended for the "main line" at Duffield.
 
A busy and pleasant day.
 
Martin

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Wed 28th Oct

Evenin' all,

Such a nice day that at duffield, luncheon was taken in the open air
on the platform - not bad for the end of October!

The big job tpoday was to remove all of the sleepers from the first
part of the main line at Duffield. Out of the 240 odd sleepers, we
recovered 25 good ones. there were many thatmay make siding quality,
most were sponsored by John Innes, and had to be removed using a
shovel. The opportunity was also taken to remove the remains of the old
telephone insulators that were under the A6 bridge, these were no
problem when there was no track there but could give someone a new
parting if they were not paying attention. The stone dropped yesterday
was spread around, and many voids under the concrete sleepers were
filled. It also makes it easier to align the tracks when the time is
due.A start was made of screwing down the northen Headshunt at
Duffield north.

Elsewhere, the S&T dept continued with their van conversion into a
workshop. Their new stove arrived, and a plate made for the lighting
battery box. Rubbing down of the vehicle exterior also started, prior
to painting in a suitable colour (this work will be carried out by the
S&T dept - before any one else charges in with a paintbrush).

The Mess room recieved more attention to its roof and exterior. These
portable buildings were secondhand or older when we got them, and we
are increasing their life by quite a margin. It means that all platform
buildings are at least presentable.

Another Battery Loco arrived for testing L51 arrived this afternoon
and will be with us for a few days.

The Logging department were in attendance, and demanding more
supplies.

Tomorrow sees more work at Duffield before the works train returns to
Wirksworth in the afternoon.

Phil


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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Tues 27th Oct

Evenin' all,

An extremely warm and muggy day with a slight dampness first thing.

The Dream Steam Team continued progress with No 3. The fire bars were
added, as well as the safety valves and other fittings, by close of
play, the boiler had been filled with water ready to start testing.
Progress is rapid at the moment and we keep our fingers crossed.

The VCT had a big group at Shottle, close to the new groundframe at
Shottle North, they managed two fires, They dropped several trees on
the eastern (Up) side, but it is reported that one tree got its own
back and attacked the chain saw.

The Per way team saw extensive action at Duffield, firstly 48 tons of
28mm packing stone was dropped, and a start made on basic packing of
the track, the remaining stone was added to the RRAP at Hazlewood which
is slowly increasing in size.. All the old base plates and spikes were
collected from the former main line and moved to a storage container
(this amounted to several hundred) . A start was then made on removing
and sorting the sleepers These sleepers or parts thereof will be
removed from the site. The Works train ran over the new Loop on several
occasions, and many photos were taken! A sleeper RRAP was created at
the southern end of the Loop to assist vehicles on and off tracking.

The S&T side also attended Duffield North and started their
ministrations to the crossover, with several bits being fitted.They
also started work on Shottle South as well.

Back at Base, both the Mess room and the Training room received a
visit from the housekeeping staff, it must be said that Fred and Iris
as well as Dorothey spend time on a regular basis tidying up after us,
their roles play an important part of our welfare.

Tomorrow work continues at Duffield, so staff are required to report
there.

Phil


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Monday, 26 October 2009

Monday 26th October 2009

Dear all
 
A day of planning and preparation involving L J Breeze happily restored to health and making a sterling contribution to the cause. 3 empty Dogfish hopper wagons were moved to the Wash Green Dock to await ballast deliveries and during the wait an opportunity was taken to trip the steam crane and runner to Shottle for storage. On LJB's return the now loaded Dogfish were marshalled with the Tool Van and Lowmac to form tomorrow's Works Train poised for a prompt departure to Duffield.
 
Time was taken at Shottle to assess whether we have the necessary track components to complete the Duffield South installation and it would seem that what we have there and utilising some of the redundant Wash Green catch point will require no further purchases to complete work. Some parts to complete the Duffield North crossover were also sourced and will be loaded to the Works Train in the morning.
 
The next few weeks work was fully discussed to assess when materials and machines are required resulting in an order for a further 188 concrete sleepers being placed for delivery this coming Friday.
 
Apart from the Works Train crew all available volunteers should travel directly to Duffield in the morning for the next stage of this exciting project. An attempt to resolve problems with the webcam overlooking the Maintenance Facility proved abortive and a larger hammer is being sourced.
 
Martin

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Progress Sunday the 25th of October

Dear all,

A happy, sunny and successful day saw the end of the 2009 operating
season. Surprisingly large numbers of people, including a party of Girl
Guide Leaders went on the trains and frequented the buffet car and shop.
The Day with Driver guest experienced a wide range of fascinating
activities including the jump starting of his car, courtesy of Turnditch
Enterprises.

In the engineerium the Class 31 received planned maintenance and a most
successful trial run was carried out late in the afternoon. Locomotive
Henry Ellison had her foundation ring addressed and the attendant
banging could be heard some way off, however, further work will be
needed to remove the foundation ring completely, it being rather
recalcitrant.

Around the station, the Mess Room repaint continued in the time honoured
fashion and the wheelbarrow / roller tray was once again in use. Also
around the station a Nurdeler was put inside the WAP box to catch the
gremlins and time will tell whether the 86p spent on the Nurdeler will
save the rather higher cost of a new WAP. It has been agreed that
Assistant Stationmaster Woodhouse will feed the Nurdeler from time to
time. For those of you needing a Nurdeler, these can be obtained from PC
World by asking any twelve year old serving on the counter.

Meanwhile in the weighbridge, the S&T department, wearing flame proof
trousers, was fabricating a part for a facing point lock and two of
these are now ready, one for Duffield North and one for Shottle South.
In addition a set of stretcher bars and sole plates have also been made
ready in a day of intense activity, during which the lawnmower and its
petrol can were removed from the weighbridge to comply with health and
safety regulations and save blowing the roof off.

Over at Mrs Miggins, the entire and utter DMU team continued their
efforts in the Met Cam centre car and the work included wire brushing
and anti-corrosion painting of the corridor connections; interior
electrical work related to the lighting; the painting of ceiling panels
and the removal of the old heaters. All this in a frenzy of activity,
interrupted only for the making of tea and the eating of cake (on
several occasions).

All the best,
Anton

Friday, 23 October 2009

Friday 23rd October 2009

Dear all
 
An engineering sort of day with the major triumph of L J Breeze's starter motor returning from refurbishment and being fitted to the locomotive with a most satisfactory result. After a great deal of effort the machine is now back in service,
 
The Class 20 was prepared and marshalled with its train for tomorrow's charter activities. Much cleaning of the locomotive ensured its presentation will be a credit to the Railway. There was also a mini shunt to provide working space around Santa's brakevan.
 
The light scrap skip left us for conversion into a small amount of cash - every little helps the cause.
 
Time was also found to clip up the remaining panel of the Duffield loop and sandwiches were taken into custody for our final operating weekend of the year (excluding Fireworks and Santa Specials!).
 
Martin

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Thursday 22nd October 2009

Dear all
 
A more equal north/south divide today with the Duffield Permanent Way team drawing the first phase of the project near to completion. All sleepers and rail are in place in the loop with two panels clipped up today and a third, the last for the time being, positioned for clipping up tomorrow. The final length of the loop will be determined when the southern point is positioned and the collection of tree stumps taken north.
 
The plot for next week at Duffield will be to take some "packing" ballast from Wirksworth to Duffield on Tuesday to fine tune the alignment of the loop and cleanse the site of scrap for loading to a skip at Shottle. The objective is to be ready for the mini digger to return the week after to deal with further drainage work and clear the track bed for the "main line" renewal. The realisation of the value of the scrap will go someway to meet the £3,000 required to buy Pandrol clips necessary for the "main line" renewal!
 
 
In the north there was much activity in the Car Park as Harsco Rail had a training day for Network Rail on their rail lifting equipment. They were very grateful for the efforts made by Dorothy, Iris and Fred to provide lunch and particularly appreciative of Dorothy's warming home made soup on a cold and wet day. DRE had a productive day fitting out their tool van and living quarters that will be equipped with solar powered battery charging equipment to power the various domestic luxuries to be installed. The Logging Dept. were in action and a fire at Cemetery Lane disposed of their unwanted products.
 
In the middle the VCT reported two large fires north of Shottle North Junction and a further 50 yards of view opened up on the "Down" (west) side of the line together with the harvesting of many logs.
 
All in all, a very good day.
 
Martin

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Wed 21st Oct

Evenin' all,

Once again all of the action took place at Duffield. More rails were
moved, more concrete sleepers added, 3.5 panels clipped down, some
rails shortened. The new loophas now reached the platform area, where a
final panel will be added tomorrow - it will be completed once the
pointwork at Duffield south has been installed. We have very nearly run
out of Pandrol 401's and are searching everywhere for the final panel,
after all we dont want those wishy-washy, fly-away 'e'clips.

At Wirksworth, tumbleweed blew down the platform area. The 'Sit and
Talk' team carried on upgrading their mobile base, the cream dralon
three piece suite will no doubt be arriving shortly. There is a mass of
material to be sorted in their mobile workshop.

Martin had a very nice letter from the BBC thanking us for recent work
-it makes life worthwhile!.

Tomorroe sees work continuing at Duffield.

Phil


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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Tues 20th Oct

Evenin' all,

Well, it started as a nice day but went downhill from lunchtime, it is
reported that some people packed up and went home!
At Duffield, a fairly large gang quickly got into its stride carefully
ripping out the rails from our former main line and transferring them
to the concrete sleepered loop. It is true to say that the rails under
the A6 bridge were reluctant to to leave their nice cosy chairs. Once
again the Komatsu proved its worth. by the end of play, 5 pnels of
rails had been transferred , and nearl 4 panels had been clipped down.
We are now well clear of the A6 bridge, and once again we had an
audience for some of the time.

At Shottle, the VCT fielded a good team, and seeing as their Landrover
is being refurbed, they started clearing just north of Shottle and
managed 2 big fires.

At Wirksworth, one of our testing clients, so enjoyed our Corporate
event recently that they have arranged an event of their own for their
clients and potential end-users.

More fittings were added to the boiler of No 3 and its steam test has
been booked for two weeks time. The Starter M|otor for LJB has been
repaired and awaits refitting on Friday.

The S&T team started fitting out their van, it is reported that there
was much discussion where the plasma TV should go, They are now kitting
the van out as a mobile workshop/store..

Folowing the busy weekend, more sorting of stock took place in the
EVRA shop, The cleaning/housekeeping staff also turned up to
clean/restock the facilities.The Booking Hall was also open for a while
dealing with the usual calls and enquiries re Santa.

A NR representative started on a Structures examination of the line.
This is extreemly useful as it gives us an independent report on the
condition of our many bridges and culverts.

Tomorrow sees more serious trackwork at Duffield, when most of the
loop should be put in. Once again, there are no trains running down to
Duffield, so everyone to report to the Duffield Mess

Phil


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Monday, 19 October 2009

Monday 19th October 2009

Dear all
 
The big job of the day was to marshal the Works Train to include all the components of the "new" point and transport them to Duffield. This consist arrived at Duffield and was the last train to use our "main line" there until it is re-laid with pre-owned rail on concrete sleepers. The "new" point and associated parts were discharged to ground at Duffield close to the area where they will be installed and the train returned to Wirksworth.
 
At Wirksworth work continued to "winterise" the dmu fleet leaving Iris available for service to deal with Sunday's Ravenstor service and charter work as it occurs through the winter. The Maintenance Facility was shunted to permit D8001 to live fully inside it and the batteries were charged on Hydra which is positioned to draw the Class 20 out for starting when required. The Steam Crane and Runner Wagon had their axle boxes checked and topped up as necessary so as to be ready for a journey to Shottle for storage.
 
The "de luxe" Landrover returned from Works attention and looks much more loved. Its place in the Works was taken by the "yellow" Landrover for similar treatment which will prolong the lives of these most valuable vehicles.
 
The Booking Hall received a few visitors and the usual phone calls. A meeting took place with Peak Oil Ltd to attempt amicable resolution a number of boundary and access issues at Shottle.
 
Martin
 
May I add my own thanks to all who made the Model Railway Weekend such a resounding success. The financial results made all the efforts very worth while with train ticket and buffet car sales greatly outstripping last years totals.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Progress Sat 17th Oct 2009

Hi all,

A long and exhausting day that has been hectic for one reason and another all day - but at the same time very worth while. Today was of course the first day of the annual Wirksworth Model Railway show which brought the masses to the town and the railway. Many cups of tea and pieces of cake were sold, as well as many train tickets. At one point there were only 5 spare seats on the train! I believe the event was successful in the town too.

Despite the total lack of energy by the end of the day, it makes it all worth while to hear specific comments made by the public to the tune of "I would like to thank you for a fantastic afternoon. The ride is brilliant and the catering is excellent. I can't wait to visit again soon" - as one gentlement pointedly said.

One duty conscript was dispatched to the dogfish whilst the other began some tidying before being ushered into a make-shift car parking attendant as there was just no space whatsoever left in the car park.

Let's hope tomorrow is as busy as today as it will make it a cracking weekend. Well done to all concerned!

Mike Evans

Friday, 16 October 2009

Friday 16th October 2009

Dear all
 
What a difference the weather makes. The sun was shining and there were happy smiley faces achieving great things!
 
The Maintenance Facility area benefited from a mass tidy up with items neatly placed in the area previously occupied by a 40ft container. These items were joined by the contents of an ex MOD box van that will be converted into a mobile S&T workshop and stores. The Multicar was recovered from its sojourn at Postern Lodge with the help of the Komatsu 130 and the rescue team attending in the Landrover. All three vehicles then processed cautiously back to Wirksworth.
 
The Museum Siding benefitted from a major rearrangement with the vehicles for static display placed in the correct order, the new S&T van placed adjacent to their stores for fitting out, Santa's brakevan placed for this year's makeover and the "out of service" diesel fleet used to top up the space. This has released much of the adjacent siding for its intended role as the base for passenger rolling stock to be employed on future operations.
 
Using the Komatsu 130 and forklift the "new" point and its associated timbers were loaded to the Sturgeon and Lowmac ready for transfer to Duffield on Monday. The vehicles were then shunted from the Car Park to maximise our opportunities over the weekend.
 
Opportunity was taken to conduct brake tests with the Class 20 and 3 Dogfish for an upcoming photo charter. The Class 20 also received some attention to its fluids with the addition of engine oil and antifreeze.
 
The Mess Hall had more paint applied to its exterior and the Booking Hall received a number of visitors. In the Town of Wirksworth there was much activity at the three venues being used for the Model Railway Exhibition which will carry on well into this evening.
 
A very good day.
 
Martin

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Thursday 15th October 2009

Dear all
 
A dank day where there seemed little enthusiasm for the tasks to be performed with the notable exception of the VCT so we will start at Hazelwood. VCT have determined that Hazelwood will make a good base for their activities heading for Duffield. The mini digger was in attendance to accomplish further earth moving and assist the distribution of 26 tonnes of limestone delivered by road to make an acceptable access roadway. Following the sleeper changing yesterday at Hazelwood the contents of one part filled rail hopper was dropped in the "4 ft" as the commencement of an area to off track road/rail vehicles. The VCT also cleared more vegetation from around the bridge abutments and created one super fire to burn the brash. They also harbour desires on the adjacent permanent way hut with designers called in to measure up for the fitted kitchen and select the appropriate wall coverings.
 
The Works Train delivering stone to Hazelwood was recessed at Shottle for a frustrating 90 minutes this morning to facilitate the passage of a test vehicle to and from Duffield. The train then proceeded to Postern Lodge to deposit and plough out the part contents of two Dogfish. After fettling up the meagre amount of stone, there is always too little stone and never too much, trundled Up to Duffield to recover the vehicles stabled there for return to Wirksworth.
 
DRE had made his way to Shottle by road and resourced the three specialised chairs needed to complete the Duffield crossover, placing them on the Works Train for delivery. Most of the rest of the day seemed to surround the consumption of tea together with another member of the team who claimed to have done very little work apart from putting a battery on charge and removed a few bolts.
 
The Passenger Services Manager busied himself and achieved a few sales.
 
However, in spite of the slow pace much has been achieved today including a happy customer whose fees help us to make our goals reality.
 
Martin
 

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Wed 14th Oct

Evenin' all,

Another fine autumn day once again saw the Per Way team in action.
There was a good turnout so we split into three seperate gangs which
really produced results. Firstly the new crossover at Duffield North
has been fully screwed dowm, which, as I said last night is a major
task with litteraly hundreds of screws to be drilled and fitted to
hardwood sleepers, three drill bits were worn out in this exercise.
The second team took the works train to Hazlewood and replaced 11
sleepers . This ties in very nicely with work tjhere tomorrow. Another
team transported the rails for the Duffield north headshunt to site and
lifted them into place. This was interesting as we used up items that
would otherwise be scrapped. The rail was 85lb BH, the chairs were
S2's, the fishplates were the 4.5" centered ones and the sleepers were
mainly siding quality. The material used is between 60 - 100 years old,
and puts the headshunt back where it ws.( I wonder if we can get a
grant for restoring very old track.)

Back at base the Passenger dept had their huddle to discuss the year's
progress and to come up with next year's winning formula and to make a
start on timetables. A great many changes will take place next year
with the long awaited opening to Duffield (hopefully). More phone calls
were recieved in the Booking Hall and a few sightseers popped in. More
planning for the Santa specials took place.

Tomorrow the VCT will be working at Hazlewood with a machine and loads
of stone. they will create the mini RRAP so that their vehicle can on
and off track there. Per way staff to treport to Wirksworth. We have
whole line testing, but the stone train is required to drop stone at
Postern Lodge (and plough it) as well as at Hazlewood (not ploughed)
the train will then also pick up the works train at Duffield - all this
to be fitted in with the testing.

Tomorrow's movements will see the last trains over our existing main
line in Duffield, next week the rails will be transferred to the Loop
before the main line is dug out and completely rebuilt - exciting
times.


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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Tues 13th Oct

Evenin' all,

A nice autumnal day after a chilly start. Another daay with activity
covering the whole line.
The DST had a big turnout at Wirksworth yard with boiler fittings
going back onto the boiler of N03, This was to get it ready for its
steam test. Further paiinting of the water tank was also undertaken. On
the diesel side, Hydra recieved more TLC and the fuel pump was taken
off Tommy for repairs to be carried out.

The Booking Hall was open for business and to take enquiries for Santa
as well as answering questions for the upcoming Model Railway
exhibition. More paint was applied to the platform, some even found its
way onto the Mess room.

The VCT were again concentrating around Derby Road 4 bridge (DJW6),
they managed a two fire day and also managed to repaint 2 more
mileposts in the area.

The Per way team were again busy at Duffield, wher a start was made on
screwing down the new crossover at Duffield north. By the end of the
day the rails were gauged and about 50% screwed down. You must realise
that ther are several hundred holes to be drilled and screws fitted -
mostly into Jarrah hardwood. The drilling produces a most acrid smell,
which we have decided comes from koala wee! One of the existing catch
pits was moved over ready for rerailing.

Roddders was also present during the day and tidyed up his compound,
and rubbed down a bench ready for painting. he continued clearing brash
from Duffield and transporting it right down to the stop block, before
trimming it into bags, before taking it back to the platform ready to
load it onto his trailer and taking it home to go in his recycling
bin..

Tomorrow sees work at Duffield to ensure that all of the pointwork is
screwed down. We have a customer passing over it on Thursday. If we
have sufficient labour, a team will be sent to another location for
some urgent sleeper replacement.

Phil


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Monday, 12 October 2009

Monday 12th October 2009

Dear all
 
A "catch up" sort of day with the Works Train taken down to Duffield to resume the endeavours there tomorrow as we hope to complete the Duffield North crossover and headshunt this week to permit the rails to be laid in the loop line the week after.
 
There was much continued preparation for the up coming Model Railway Exhibition that has become an annual fixture. Many telephone enquiries were received including a quickening pace for Santa bookings and our seventh Day with a Driver reservation for next year.
 
A visit to Balfour Beatty, Sheffield was undertaken to collect vital parts for the Shottle North point work.
 
Martin

Friday, 9 October 2009

Friday 9th October 2009

Dear all
 
A gentle day as logs were unloaded from the Sturgeon into the Logging Department and the full load was positioned ready for unloading tomorrow by a customer. Work progressed steadily in stripping the newly acquired point so that it can be loaded for transport to Duffield towards the end of next week.
 
As a thank you gesture to Miltech some garden quality sleepers were picked up by one of their drivers and the Buffet Car till was restored so as to be able to record sales.
 
There was much running about to bring together the various elements of next week's model railway exhibition.
 
The Booking Hall welcomed a few visitors one of which spent quite well making the effort of opening worth while.
 
Martin

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Thursday 8th October 2009

Dear all
 
A most productive and pleasant day as we welcomed a new customer to Wirksworth who wished to test and photograph a new lightweight track surveying trolley. They were very pleased with the facilities and results obtained aided by the sunny weather we enjoyed.
 
The Works Train loco departed light engine and, on arrival at Duffield, moved the Works Train including the Sturgeon into the positions needed to discharge the remaining loop destined concrete sleepers which are now laid out to the staff cabin. The remainder were put on the platform as the ground conditions were not ideal for the Komatsu and some digging out is needed. The Komatsu can then work in rail mode from the existing "main line" to place these in position. There was further packing of the Duffield North point work and sleepers and chairs positioned for the start of the headshunt. The Works Train proceeded northwards gathering logs for a customer and the Logging Department and was stabled in the Car Park at Wirksworth. The first fire of the season was lit in the Brakevan for the long journey north.
 
The VCT tackled trees at the south side of DJW6 (or Derby Road 4) and skilfully removed them without blocking the road. One giant fire was achieved, said to be the largest this year, and the painting of the handrails on bridge DJW5 was completed.
 
A transport combination arrived at Wirksworth this afternoon bearing a splendid gift masterminded by Phil. This comprised a complete turnout that will provide the ironwork for the point at Duffield South and is in superb condition. This addition now lies in the Car Park to be stripped down for transport to Duffield made necessary as we do not have the means to lift the complete unit into place.
 
A very large cheque has been despatched today to Aggregate Industries for the coping stones and tactiles required for Duffield platform. This has been made possible by our recent work for the BBC and the materials will be stored at Wirksworth until construction work starts in 2010.
 
The Booking Hall was open for business by the Passenger Services Manager who took the opportunity to apply a little paint to the Mess Hall exterior.
 
Martin

Interactive Line Diagram

A new feature has been introduced to the website. Click on the "Our Railway and Stations" link from the main site and you will see a link to an interactive line diagram showing all significant locations on the line. If you use Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome as your web browser you can also hover over most of the items and a photograph of that location will appear! We hope to update the diagram shortly so that every location has an image.

Cheers,

Leigh

Please note: The photographs will not show up if you use the Opera browser.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Wed 7th Oct

Evenin' all,

Once again the main thrust of activity has been at Duffield where the
per way team cut the final rail for the crossover and drilled some
joints. Some of the uplifted spoil dug out last week,was then brought
back by dumper and dropped in the crossover. This was then jacked into
a better looking state befor being packed. After lunch, another load of
concrete sleepers were dropped. There was rarely a minute that we were
not being viewed by people on the A6 bridge or the flats. Without
exception we had positive feedback from people that we spoke to.

Whilst at Duffield, a structures examiner paid a visit to check on the
state of the footbridge near Holloway Road.

Back at base, some black heat resistant paint was applied to the
boiler to provide a protective coating. The Booking Hall was also open

Tomorrow sees the Class 20 running from Wirksworth Light Engine with
others turning up at Duffield, hopefully the remaining sleepers will be
laid in the Loop, as well as more fettling of the crossover. The Works
Train will return to Wirksworth in the afternoon.

Phil


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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Tues 6th Oct

Evenin' all,

Now that the marquee has gone from Wirksworth, it has been a wet sort
of day.

The Per way team were at Duffield, and ran out wooden sleepers in the
tunnel, they also managed to change 8 sleepers inside the tunnel - they
are now heading north.

The one man S&T team spent the day in his hutch, and has now sorted
the materials ready for Duffield north.

The one man Dream Steam Team continued on his lonely quest to rebuild
No3, after the excitement of the boiler returning last week, most of
them feel quite drained!

Srerry Rail 242 completed its testing and recalibrating, and has now
been loaded up and is on its way to Spain.

The VCT attacked the land around Derby Road No 4 (DJW 6), they managed
a large fire.

The C&W dept checked the oil pots of what wagons were left at
Wirksworth - routine but important work.

A visit was made off site to check on some further materials for
eventual use at Duffield

Tomorrow sees the Class 20 running Light Engine to Duffield and more
sleeper laying and work on the crossover.

Phil


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Additional Idridgehay Running Day

All,

There will be an additional Idridgehay running day this Saturday - 10th October in conjunction with the EVRA AGM.

Leigh

Monday, 5 October 2009

Supplementary Monday 5th October 2009

Dear all
 
A Nick Binns has emailed us to say the Discovery Channel programme "Eschede Train Crash", our first film contract of any note, is to be shown on Channel 5 at 2000hrs on Thursday 8th October.
 
Martin

Monday 5th October 2009

Dear all
 
A little less frenetic today but fairly early departures of the Komatsu 130 and Works Train to Duffield got us into our stride again. The Works Train conveyed much in the way of materials for Duffield project including 188 concrete sleepers to complete the loop line and 100 timber sleepers towards the Hazelwood to Duffield section. So all is set for a prompt start tomorrow!
 
The Works Train locomotive returned light engine to Wirksworth to enter revenue earning service with Sperry Rail as they fine tuned SRS242 for its work in Barcelona. The planters at Wirksworth were replanted with winter plants and the Mess Hall had a good clean. The "VCT" Landrover was returned to Wirksworth for a fuel top up and transport for new volunteers expected tomorrow and the "de luxe" Landrover moved to a local garage for cosmetic restoration to ensure it looks its best for our MTT customers.
 
Signage posted for the weekend was recovered and the IMT checked over the Ravenstor line and Road 2 in the Yard undertaking routine remedial work.
 
The Booking Hall received the occasional phone call an welcome the even more occasional visitor. We say goodbye to our marquee this evening which guarantees that it will start raining again.
 
Martin
 
 

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Saturday and Sunday 4th & 5th October 2009 - The Railcar Association Convention

Dear all
 
An omnibus report for the two days that saw a most successful Railcar Association Convention weekend using various combinations of our fleet on the Ravenstor and Idridgehay services. The highlight being a six car formation on last night's fish & chip special to Idridgehay. The were visitors from most of the heritage railways that operate dmus and their comments were quite heart-warming.  Everything ran like clockwork thanks to the preplanning by Mike Evans and the delivery by all the drivers, guards and third men involved - they should all take a bow.
 
Both day also welcomed a Day with a Driver and their guests who enjoyed the general air of activity and were also able to sample a driving turn on Hydra.
 
Today was enhanced by 54 lorries arriving at the end of the annual Derbyshire Limestone run with us as a new final destination. They were a magnificent sight and brought their own large following. Miltech, the garage across the road from the station approach very kindly came to our assistance with much needed additional parking and the whole event worked very well.
 
The weekend saw record takings in the Buffet Car with the highest ever being recorded today. A great debt is owed to Helen, Wendy and Anton for working extremely hard to reach these new heights.
 
The Booking Hall also achieved great things with Garth emptying the wallets on both days with much effect. The EVRA shop also traded and the Youth Offending Team contented themselves with a little light container painting.
 
Once more, many thanks to all who made the weekend so successful.
 
Martin
 
PS - John, Julie and Andrew Ball decided to leave us last Friday to devote more time to their primary interest in St John Ambulance. I would like to record my grateful thanks for all their endeavours over the past few years and wish them well for the future.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Friday 2nd October 2009

Dear all
 
Another pleasantly. if cold, busy day. We welcomed guests from many other railways to participate in the driver experience day as a prelude to the Railcar Association weekend. In the Car Park 188 concrete sleepers and 100 timber sleepers were loaded onto the Works Train for despatch to Duffield on Monday. Special thanks to Vince Ware who answered the appeal for "slingers".
 
Sperry Rail continued their maintenance of SRS242 and there was a litter pick at Gorsey Bank which also now boasts a sign identifying it as a feature. The Buffet was open for our visitors as was the EVRA Shop and Booking Hall.
 
Belated thanks to David Newby for a splendid new key cabinet fixed to the wall in my office yesterday.
 
Martin

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Thursday 1st October 2009

Dear all
 
The first day of the new month heralded further great deeds at Duffield. Concrete sleepers were laid out for the first four panels of track of the loop covering the area from Duffield North to the A6 bridge. Further work on the Duffield North crossover was undertaken and it tremendous to see this major undertaking take place.
 
The VCT had another successful day in the area of milepost 135 1/4 with two large fires and the undercoating of the reconstructed handrails on bridge DJW5 completed.
 
Back a base there was wholesale fuelling, checking over and cleaning of the dmu fleet ready for the forthcoming Railcar Association weekend. The Logging Department used the last of their supplies and a fault on the "de luxe" Landrover rectified. Sperry Rail continued their maintenance of SRS242 and the Booking Hall welcomed a few visitors.
 
At the close of play the Komatsu 130 and Works Train returned to Wirksworth and were placed in the Car Park ready to load up further sleeper supplies for Duffield tomorrow. If anyone can assist as "slingers" their assistance would be welcomed.
 
A most satisfactory day.
 
Martin