Saturday, 31 December 2011
Friday, 30 December 2011
A day which gradually got colder and wetter here in the Centre of the
World, known to the locals as Wirksworth. Down the yard, the railcar
team began fixing new pieces of Formica to the vestibule area of class
119 railcar number 51073 (see http://www.e-v-r.com/stock/51073 ), which
is now beginning to receive major attention as a serious and important
restoration project. The class 119 is in many ways quite a unique
vehicle, there are very few of them left and the one we've got is the
first class end. On the same siding, but in the shed, single unit
railcar 55006 continued to receive welder's attention to its wasted
parts and we look forward to its return to pristine condition in due
course. Also in the shed the GLV "Pullman" buffet has received its
Lancaster Cream paintwork on the up side and is now looking altogether
Some tidying up took place around the station and car park. The two
gazebos which had recently been blown up by terrorists / eaten by
immigrants (depending on whether you read the Mail or the Express), but
which had of course been despatched by high winds, were recovered and
filed. Or more exactly, those parts which could be found were recovered
and filed, under the bookshop. The town gardeners were present on the
equally windswept hillside which is the Community Garden, and this was
today being extended to encompass the planned "wild garden", which will
be where bees and other such wild and ferocious creatures will be kept.
At Duffield, an extensive litter pick took place, the New Year's banners
were put out to attract the passing hordes, and the paint was delivered
so that Rodney can finish painting the Mess Room when the weather improves.
On Sunday, New Years Day trains will depart from Wirksworth at 11.20,
13.20 and 15.20 (returns), and from Duffield at 12.10 and 14.10
(returns) and 16.10 (to Wirksworth only). An additional 15 minutes will
be added in the down direction for a stop at Windley Meadows for the
service of seasonal refreshments to passengers.
All the best,
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Sunday, 18 December 2011
Today's principal activity was Santa, and a very jolly time was had by
everyone involved. The trains were busy, North Pole was thronged and
Santa and the elves were kept on their toes all day. I am sure we spread
a great deal of happiness, especially among the smaller persons
attending, and this is right and proper.
Around the yard, the LMS brake van received a stove capable of roasting
a turkey inside, and we look forward to its ceremonial lighting. In the
shed (sort of) the welder ran out of gas but spent the day on the
grinder to make up for it. The DMU team slapped paint around the first
class seat frames destined for unit 51505, and then retired to the Mess
Room to try the hot spiced apple juice: no happier bunch of slappers
could be found for miles around.
Traditionally as this is my last report of the year, I extend my very
grateful thanks to all at the Railway and beyond who have contributed to
such an astonishingly successful year as we have had. None of this could
be achieved without the complete and thorough dedication to the Railway
which all exhibit, and of which we are tremendously proud.
My colleagues and I will extend a considerable toast to you all and the
Railway this evening at the Whore and Trumpet (A Marston's House) into
whose welcoming arms we are about to descend, and we shall no doubt be
all present and sober, or as sober as could be demonstrated without
excessive falsehood, in the morning.
A very Merry Christmas to one and all.
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Well, if yesterday was cold, today was wet in the deepest Peak District,
or at least that part of it which extended as far the North Pole. Santa
duly arrived having struggled with various challenges during the week
including stripping Derby of its entire tinsel supply, all the mulled
wine for miles around, and enough bags for presents to supply most of
western Europe. After a brief tussle with the chimney Santa plonked
himself down at the end of the Mess Room table and searched for his
Morrisons Bag. After some grunting and pulling, the Reindeer were also
extracted from the chimney and parked in the Pullman Buffet, where John
Allsop will be surprised to find them tomorrow morning. Down the line,
to the sound of ticking engines and the coughing of the heaters, the
North Pole Express pulled into North Pole, to the deep joy of all those
who could sing in tune, and to the considerable surprise of the
residents of Idridgehay who were wondering why the entire village
strangely smelled of mulled wine and why good King Wencleslas could be
heard on the radio when it was turned off.
Back at base, the carpet fitter arrived to lay the first class carpet in
railcar 51505, but the adhesive wasn't up to the job and the entire DMU
team were deeply disappointed not to get laid this weekend. The carpet
fitter has promised to return next week, having got over the shock of
having to lay a carpet in a train, and promised to bring the kind of
glue that we won't be able to get off without a hammer and chisel. The
Duty Conscript damply litter-picked his way up to Ravenstor; the class
119 began to receive attention to its interior window frames and the
main footgate was repaired. Meanwhile the Reindeer had escaped and were
eating Dan Smith's chips.
All the best,
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Friday, 9 December 2011
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
I'm sure there's a Christmas song that goes "the weather outside was
shocking...", well, it was pretty shocking this afternoon and we got
quite wet. The DMU team spent the morning painting the interior cab of
unit 51505 a choice shade of maroon. At lunchtime, fortified by some
sausages, they went out and carried the Christmas Tree into the quad,
and spent rather a lot of time getting it up. After this herculean
effort they went back down the yard and sanded the first class seat
frames prior to painting, and these will presently grace the first class
compartment of unit 51505.
Also down the yard, or more accurately in the shed, the LMS brake van
received its felt roof and is now watertight, to the considerable joy of
all concerned. The Duty Conscript assisted the necessary routine
inspection of the yard sump and then assisted with the cleaning of the
Santa Train. I extend my most grateful thanks specifically to John and
Yvonne for the two days of huge effort which cleaning, preparing and
decorating the Santa Train has involved, not counting the packing of
presents which is taking place even as most of you read this report.
Now that we have reached the subject of Santa, the following further
notes are pertinent. Volunteers are required on Tuesday to fit out,
prepare and decorate the refreshment area of the Santa Train and
complete the decoration of Wirksworth Station which was unfortunately
interrupted by today's weather conditions. Volunteers are also required
on Wednesday to prepare and decorate Idridgehay Station. A tree has been
obtained for Duffield.
Finally, a note for staff who may be new to our railway this year and
who may not have seen Santa in action here. Passengers and guests pay a
significant amount of money for an enjoyable experience, an experience
which requires tremendous work and effort from us. Please note that
hi-vis clothing is confined to trackside activities and safety issues
only: please do not appear in the middle of any Santa activity on any
platform in hi-vis clothing at any time. Any non-Santa operating request
must be approved by the General Manager on Santa operating days.
All the best,
Saturday, 3 December 2011
A very chilly day in Wirksworth which saw the last of our Winter Timetable days for a while. Santa next week!
The passenger department spent the whole day decorating the North Pole Express for next week. The red bulbs in the grotto really finish it off!
Down the yard, the LMSCA were in attendance and work continued on the LMS brake van.
The DMU team rekindled memories of a few years ago as the Class 119 was rolled on to the pit for the restoration to commence. This vehicle was last touched 23 months ago, but last ran in 1993!
A good day,
Friday, 2 December 2011
Thursday, 1 December 2011
The PWT, who have had a strange week, released Pan 11 chairs from sleepers on the former Gorsey Bank line and loaded then to the Sturgeon during the morning. In view of the EMT activities they were confined to Wirksworth Yard this afternoon and provided some most useful shunting of stock including the preparation of the Works Train for next week.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Sunday, 27 November 2011
A bright morning saw us tidying up after yesterday's much applauded
Thames - Ecclesbourne Express, with a little gentle shunting to put
everything away. The Booking Hall dealt with a leisurely flow of
interested visitors and added a modest amount to the weekend's income,
for a Sunday. The station staff also inspected Ravenstor and the very
outlying parts of our empire, indeed as far as the waymarking on the
High Peak Trail.
The National Union of Railwayman (Wirksworth sub shed) held a meeting in
the Training Room during which the 2011 and 2012 timetables were
carefully compared side by side.
In the shed, work proceeded on the LMS brake van, and reached such a
pitch of endeavour that it may well be possible to get the roof felted
next week and hold a dance inside it. Also in the shed the back door was
attended to, and it is now possible to open and close the door without
getting a hernia. Outside the back of the shed, the Duty Conscripts
raked an area and built a path for ease of movement towards the Cemetary
In railcar 51505, a Flange of Fitters engaged in the varnishing of
several parts, as well as clearing away assorted grunge and generally
tidying up in readiness for the laying of the first class carpet. In the
Mess Room, the painting of the interior proceeded apace, and its effect
can now be smelt throughout the site.
All the best,
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Friday, 25 November 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Monday, 21 November 2011
Sunday, 20 November 2011
A day of much fogness here in Wirksworth. Little groups of volunteers
pottered around looking for each other and trying to find the teabags in
In the shed, the LMS brake van moved on apace with its roof receiving
new planking and this proved so satisfactory that there remains only a
modicum to be done over the next couple of weeks before it can emerge in
all its many complete and amazing parts.
The DMU team were engaged in a frenzy of trimming in unit 51505, but
this was temporarily held up because they only have some poor sad
worn-out wobbly tools. Fortunately, the Passenger Department came to the
rescue with some of its fine, carefully looked-after tools, which are
oiled and polished every day, so that the Passenger Departments' tools
can often be seen glowing in the dark. Thus equipped the DMU team was
able to complete their trimming, but now need a new chair.
A magistrate of conscripts plus our most capable cadets applied ash
ballast to the down side of line 1 where the point had recently been
renewed near Cemetary Lane bridge. The supply of ash is now exhausted
but a fine walkway now exists all along the down side of line 1, as the
opportunity was taken to clear the ballast shoulder of accumulated tat,
all the way to the LMSCA container.
The back shed door was repaired somewhat, though it needs adjusting, and
a start was made on the interior refresh of the Mess Room, which will be
mostly gloss white, so making it easier to clean.
Will Duty Managers please note the Gents is currently locked, the lock
being adverse to the application of the key. It will be attended to in a
very soon moment.
All the best,
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Friday, 11 November 2011
We are kicking off 2012 with festive trains running on New Years Day. Passengers can enjoy a gentle excursion down the Ecclesbourne Valley with a service of Bucks Fizz and a mince pie. Children get orange juice and a mince pie instead.
Tickets are priced at the usual fares (£10.00 adult, £9.00 concession, £5.00 child, £25.00 family) and are valid for one return journey of your choice.
For the first time, we are pleased to announce that you can pre-book your tickets online by visiting our online ticket office (http://www.e-v-r.com/shop). Pre-booking can only be done online and not by post or telephone for this event but tickets are available on the day regardless. Online pre-booked tickets will not be posted, they will be available for collection on the day.
So join us for a beautiful ride down the valley this New Year and start 2012 in style!
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Sunday, 6 November 2011
A delightfully sunny, though slightly chilly day here at our favourite
railway. Although there was no timetabled passenger service, a charter
nevertheless left Wirksworth at 2pm bearing Mrs Fischer and her party,
and this rumbled gently down to Duffield and rumbled gently back
accompanied by Chief Steward Lidgett on the trolley. At Duffield a
meeting of the Passenger Department took place, along with a delivery of
paint for the Mess Room. The final clearing of the former Booking Hall
was undertaken, ready for its conversion to quality toilets, the plans
of which are even now in my drawers.
Meanwhile at Wirksworth, the LMSCA continued clearing the Third Open and
applied some paint to its exposed parts. Down the yard the Steam Team
cleared a lot of silt from Ferrybridge No 3 and gave it a good washing
with a large hose. Nearby a magistrate of conscripts cleared the
carriage area walking route of accumulated debris, filed it in the
appropriate places and then raked the ground free of small rubbish. The
LMS brake van continued to receive its cladding and the LMS plate wagon
also received attention.
Across the yard, the sound of Fanny's doors being swung open indicated
the presence of the DMU team, who have removed a set of second class
seats from unit 51505, as part of its renovation, and have cleaned the
Formica in the front compartment, ready for the unit to receive a
charming group of first class seats. If anyone has about 4 x 3 metres of
carpet, it is hoped to carpet the first class area (please speak to
Leigh initially if you have something that might be a possibility,
naturally there are colour and other issues).
While on the subject of palatial facilities, the roof of the Training
Room was inspected with a fine tooth comb and a vat of heavy duty
bitumen paint was applied following the evacuation of enough standing
water on its roof to float a boat. This appears, on the face of it, to
have done the trick and the Cafe du Palais will be open for business
again next Saturday for the services of teas, coffees and light
refreshments, hopefully without the squelching.
All the best,