Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
A day of showers and a big thunderstorm (or four), saw everyone get a
Firstly, congratulations to the Dream Steam Team as No3 obtained its
final steam ticket, the boiler will now be emptied and the loco moved
into the shed so that painting can start. More parts of the lubricator
still need fixing, but the end is definately in sight.
The Ash pit team continued with the construction of the facility, but
had to have the bilge pumps working so that they could keep themselves
The VCT managed to clear a particular tree at Hazlewood that had been
causing problems - telephone cables running through it, they also
managed to continue clearing the thorn trees that are in abundance in
the Hazlewood area.The Flail was out again and has now cleared as far
as Derby Road 2 bridge (scene of much filming recently).
The Per way team managed to change 26 sleepers as well as drop the
next 100, this takes them nearly to the foot crossing north of
S&T continued with the fixing and installation of the signalling at
Stuart has now attached the Fowling Point plates to the track in the
yard. These have been attached in the 4' and mark the point where no
vehicles must be parked beyond as they can foul any crossings.
The Catering Dept preppared things for a party of visitors tomorrow.
In the middle of the afternoon, another coach arrived, this is 27162
built 1945 at Wolverton and is a Third Open. This is the vehicle that
was here last year and has been to Shildon for full exterior recladding
and painting, new gangway connections have also been added. This
vehicle is currently in Platform 1 and coupled to the Inspection
Saloon. It is currently totally empty inside, and looks vast. Internal
fitting will start in due course. We now have three maroon coaches on
Tomorrows per way team should report to Hazlewood, for digging out
sleepers. Please phone me, with contact details. Trollies must be
removed from track and lookouts posted.There will be no Works Train, as
whole line testing will be taking place.
Monday, 29 March 2010
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Sunday, 28 March 2010
Another whirlwind day with the line throbbing with activity just about
anywhere it could throb. At Ravenstor, the display wagons received the
Rod and Mary treatment and every effort was made by staff and passengers
to avoid treading on a vast number of fornicating frogs. It cannot be
said that we are not doing our bit for ecology. The fornicating bit,
At Duffield the entire and utter S&T Department, allegedly not having
time for leisure pursuits, have put in the first of Duffield's ground
signals, covering the north end loop to the main line. While this was
going on the Rodders Sack and Bag Team were stripping overgrown ivy from
the bridge support walls.
At Wirksworth the steam team carried out a further test of Ferrybridge
No3 and various passers-by observed that it sounded like a steam engine
for the first time (not having heard it the last time presumably). The
DMU team had their first serious look at newly arrived Railcar E50599
and it was given a jolly good hoovering and attempts were made to excite
it. The excitement mainly involving the battery charger, as opposed to
showing it the centre fold of DMU monthly. The couplings were also
greased and a major shunt then followed. The team, spreading themselves
far and wide, or at least as far as the buffet car, also fixed a broken
droplight on the north end Met Cam. The Passenger service ran happily
all day and a modest and useful trade was done by all concerned.
Around the yard, the conscripts were whipped out of the Mess Room before
their feet touched the ground and promptly moved three fridges and two
sets of shelves to the new kitchen stores and fixed up the whiteboard in
the Training Room. They then set about moving a gargantuan pile of
Complete Railway Aggregate Products from near the former bus garage and
several trips with trolleys, wheel barrows and builders bags were made
to the fire and other locations while said Products were sorted and
disposed of. We were quite exhausted watching them. Though possibly not
as exhausted as the frogs were.
All the best,
Saturday, 27 March 2010
A glorious sunny day with only a little chilly breeze to remind us it is
still March. Today was the first day of the regular 2010 summer
timetable and we had a steady stream of passengers and visitors, enough
to keep us occupied and not enough to stress us. It was delightful.
We learned (for the information of Duty Managers, train crew and Booking
Hall staff) that two units are indeed needed. In addition, the Passenger
Manager herewith amends the working timetable to move the optional
Ravenstor 10.20 to 10.40. On days when you have passengers arriving
early (as we had today) the 11.20 published service is too late; and the
10.20 not ready. Duty Managers have therefore the option of running a
10.40 unpublished service on demand.
Today's conscripts made further efforts to deal with spare ballast and
to get on top of rubbish and rubble in various public places before
Easter. The Booking Hall clerk jumped on a number of tillbugs and both
the booking hall and the buffet car had a modestly lucrative day. The
Day with a Driver (from the Wirral via the Travel Lodge) was very happy,
as were all our passengers taken today. Carriage 27001, to be a brake
third open "BTO", that is a carriage with a guards brake section and
open (rather than compartmented) seating for standard class passengers
(speaking in the modern way: "Third Class" for the historically
inclined) saw some of its first attention today. Gardening took place on
the platform 1 flowerbed.
Regards, Graham Walker via Anton.
Friday, 26 March 2010
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
Consider this as a message from Martin’s spirit guide as he is presently in a better place with his feet immersed in Radox and a large therapeutic snifter placed by his exhausted frame.
Today, the railway played host to representatives of Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate who were given a tour of the new works south of Shottle. As this involved an on-foot inspection for the whole section to Duffield, I am sure you will understand the reason for Martin’s present discomfort. Suffice to say that the visit was extremely successful with no heart-stopping moments (er, sorry) and a clear understanding obtained as to what tasks remain to be completed to allow us to obtain sign-off later this year.
As always, it was the team supporting the main event that deserves the real praise. Graham Walker and David Newby provided excellent support by coming to the party’s rescue in the DMU at the appropriate moment, while Dorothy maintained her reputation as the railway’s cake-baker extraordinaire.
We return to near normality tomorrow and normal service will doubtless be returned on the email front.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
We speek to you now from a public house in Shottle via iPhone.
A plesent and sucessfull event took place today. The sun bringing many
visitors to our railway. There were many positive comments and low
At Duffield the s&t dept continued with rodding for the ground frames.
The steam team cleaned the tubes on no3.
The young offenders continued digging out the headshunt buffer stop.
Many thanks to everyone involved this weekend.
Anton Shone via John Stokes.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
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Friday, 19 March 2010
Thursday, 18 March 2010
A busy day on the full length of the line.
The works train and Komatsu left Wirksworth. The works train crew
dropped stone and concrete at the erosion site, carrying out urgent
repairs, they also dropped off further sleepers and collected some
former sleepers and making piles of them. The Komatsu flailed south
from Gorsey Bank, and reached nearly as far as Derby Road bridge before
finding some generously donated scrap, which meant a return to base and
some cutting gear!
The VCT continued work at Postern Lodge, and have installed the new
accomdation gates, which operate wonderfully, and are able to close -
no excuses now. They also cleared more growth on the Cess to improve
sight lines and managed a couple of fires.
S&T were busy at Duffield North, installing more bits and pieces. Work
was also carried out on a former Loc box at Gorsey Bank, to make the
box usable at a new location.
At Wirksworth, the Craft's Railway Ash Pit team moved blocks to site
as well as sand and other materials so that construction of the
blockwork can satrt next week. Much cleaning and tidying ready for this
weekend's DMU event. The Inspection Saloon was given more TLC and the
interior was dressed.More visits from senior Till consultants as well
as internet chappies meant that a lot of hammering noises came from the
fibre optics. We appear to be back on the internet now so we will keep
our fingers crossed.
Next weeks Per way teams are required at Wirksworth Yard
Phil (posted by Neil)
Possibly one of the most exciting stock list releases with all of the arrivals and departures recently? John has kindly updated the stock list and it is available to download from the usual location on the official website.
Notable updates include the addition of information surrounding Class 108 DMBS E50599, Inspection Saloon M999504 and LMS BTK 27001. Class 108 DTCL M56224 has been removed.
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Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Another nice Spring day saw activities at Wirksworth as well as
The Per way team completed the unloading of the works train and
setting up the per way base at Shottle. Some bits were transferred to
Duffield for further trackwork. A lot of scrap concrete was also
dropped of at the Errosion site near Hazlewood, During the last two
days, many tons of material have been handballed , sorted, stored/
scrapped. There will be many aching mussels tonight.
At Wirksworth, the Ash Pit team have been busy all day, inserting re-
bar, mesh, final digging and had the arrival of a wagon load of
concrete this afternoon: 6 cubic meters of concrete was dropped,
shovelled and levelled. This task was still ongoing into the evening.
The new arrival, the Inspection Sallon recieved a wash and brush up,
and looks rather cleaner than it did yesterday. It is presently on
platform 1 for external inspection. The whole site had a tidy up ready
for this weekend's event.
The Komatsu had a jet wash to remove traces of previous oil leaks, and
a major under carriage greasing up. Two more filters will be changed
when in stock, but the machine is ready for use tomorrow.
Tomorrow requires all per way staff to report to Wirksworth for
departure by 0930. The VCT will not be able to leave Shottle until the
Works train arrives. DRIVERS BE AWARE OF THE TRAP POINTS.
Monday, 15 March 2010
Sunday, 14 March 2010
A reasonably quiet mothers day didn't deter the volunteers from progressing ahead with preparations for the season opening next weekend. A lone member mopped and swept Iris, the Bubble car and the 117 so that they are clean and ready.
Down the yard the Dream Steam Team were also spotted sitting in deckchairs whilst pondering the next moves, whilst Rod and Mary painted the display narrow gauge wagons. Ballast shovelling continued in Platfrom 3.
The booking hall seemed to be totally overstaffed today but it was useful because products could be reorganised and replenished whilst training on the new till system took place.
Not a bad day,
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Friday, 12 March 2010
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Per way reported to Shottle and Hazlewood to continue sleeper
changing, they managed 14 today as well as removing a rather large tree
stump that was entwined with the track. This was between interuptions.
The Works train had to zoom to Duffield whilst a vehicle was on its
1530 test., The test took all day and proved one of the slowest
vehicles that has been here.
More trial light steaming of No 3 and sorting out of minor escaping
whisps of steam - all perfectly normal. Work on the Idridgehay Level
Crossing gate continues with the removal of old rotten wood whilst new
pieces are made. S&T were on site creating more intricate bits and
Tomorrow sees all Per way Staff to report to Wirksworth. The Works
train is there.
Monday, 8 March 2010
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Glorious sun enabled us to progress cheerfully. At Duffield the S&T
Dept, assisted by the division of charter catering and the chief
technician (poles), removed rails, replaced the necessary crossing
timbers and replaced said rails, to enable the fitting of the facing
point locks, and have connected the cranks to the frame, a major
achievement for the day.
At Wirksworth the certificated First Aid took place and a number of
colleagues have saved Annie yet again, though just how much mouth to
mouth took place cannot be discussed in this e-group. In the
engineerium, routine maintenance work took place on the class 31; and
training proceeded in how to multi-up DMUs (that is how to connect
several together without requiring Duck Tape). Shunting was undertaken
to place the class 108 in a more accessible location, and the engineers
have asked me to draw the attention of colleagues to Breeze being put on
charge tonight: please disconnect the wire before commencing operations.
The sun brought an almost vast number of visitors to the station today
and a new till system, involving writing sales down manually and putting
the takings in a bucket was found to be necessary, but I am assured this
will be short term. The only conscript to appear was delegated to litter
clearance in response to the request from IMT for Cromford Road Bridge
to be cleared and the whole of the Ravenstor - Wirksworth section was
therefore litter picked. Our own staff also took some time over tidying
up as the very surprised Wheelie Bin will testify.
Around the station, the gates were oiled (just in case speedy closing
catches you out), and new closers fitted to the toilets and the staff
footgate. Repairs were carried out to the front of the Booking Hall and
an undercoat of paint applied. Those of you who have been with this
e-group for a long time will remember it is time for the annual reminder
about the Car Park. Our season begins in less than two weeks and the Car
Park is now needed: should you have left anything in the Car Park, for,
say... six months... your washing; Complete Railway Aggregate Products;
things you meant to move but didn't, well, now is the time for it to go.
We can't make money if the public can't get in: your annual co-operation
is always appreciated.
All the best,
Saturday, 6 March 2010
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Friday, 5 March 2010
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Another nice spring like day saw the Per way team at Duffield, where
the remaining Check rails have been fitted to Duffield South crossover,
quite an exacting task, everything was screwed down as well. Rails were
pulled and gaps set. A hard but most rewarding day We had a visit from
NR electrical engineers who were trying to trace a missing cable to the
lights and things on the platform, they were shown and have now claimed
the cable buried about 6" down - advice has been given about the
arrival of the tamper and the cable imminent destruction!
Back at base, further final work on No 3 took place on shed, whilst
the S&T team continued fitting out their vehicle, and loading material
(taking care not to scratch the 42" plasma screen TV). A start was made
on the rebuilding of the Idridgehay gate, after all the gate is very
old and various bits have started rotting and dropping off. Lynette
carried on gardening, getting things tidied up for the forthcoming
season. The last of the PTS courses for the time being was held, so
that all working members now are up to a basic level of training.
Tomorrow sees the Works train departing fromn Shottle by 0915 and
going to the resleepering site. There is whole line testing tomorrow,
so VCT and Works train will need to keep the line clear.
After a frosty night, today was fairly warm, with sunshine. Just the
sort of day when the Per way team could play with water. The morning
was spent north of Shottle where we have been having problems with
flooding. Various channels were dug and two major cross drains and
associated ditches were created. A 6" as well as a 9" pipe were
inserted, and the main ditch was cleared out. the result looks
pleasing. After lunch was taken, the southern gate was removed from
Idridgehay crossing. This has some rotten timbers that need replacing,
it was delivered to the timber dept foe refurbishment. Some routine
clearance was also carried out on the outfall on the Racing Straight.
The VCT, took delivery of their new trailer, which was given a good
baptism.They removed a few trees near 134.25, and then returned to the
Postern Lodge area to continue work around the foot crossings.
The DST continued making final tweaks to No 3 and also coaled up ready
for its first movement under its own power, this is not far off.
The Passenger Dept held one of their group meetings as things prepare
for the new season, the new tills have started to be installed and
some training has started.
Another large shunt of the yard took place, to rearrange vehicles for
the next few weeks.
Tomorrow sees the works train crew reporting to Wirksworth and the
train travelling to Duffield forb more snagging work, before stabling