Monday, 30 April 2012
Sunday, 29 April 2012
What a foul day, we were not so much damp as completely drenched. The
persistent rain coupled with high winds, and rain for the last two
weeks, has resulted in sodden ground, and although our lineside is
remarkably clear thanks to the considerable efforts of the Vegetation
Clearance Team, nevertheless we had two trees down on the line today
from neighbouring ground: one at Shottle cleared by the Third Man, Ben
Hoskins, with the on-board tool, and a rather larger one south of
Idridgehay at bridge DJW 12 which obstructed the line to the extent that
a delay of nearly twenty minutes was experienced to the down service.
However, the tree was addressed by the heroic Ben with his heroic tool,
and reinforcements were despatched by horseless carriage to Idridgehay
to render assistance.
The day had begun in the usual calm way although the buffet staff
arrived a twinge too promptly for a Sunday morning, even though this was
obviously in the interests of an early breakfast. The DMU team dashed
off down the yard after a couple of hours of additional rest and fitted
some corner pieces to the class 119 windows, but were recalled on
several occasions to fix dicky wipers on the service train.
Meanwhile, Nathan was spending some time in the Ladies, and this venue
has now received an excellent repaint to the walls and ceiling, with a
little finishing work to be done on the floor shortly. Paint was also
being applied in a rather more haphazard way by the Duty Conscript to
the interior of the south weighbridge, as well as grease being applied
to several non-working parts in there to assist with their removal. Once
this was done the Duty Conscript retired to the Mess Room to dry off and
proceeded to stuff the best part of 200 envelopes for an upcoming
leaflet mail out. The staff at Duffield attempted to stem the vast
inflow of water to a certain recent building and several items of
furniture are now drying out in front of Rodney's fire.
A 10 mph TSR is imposed between Idridgehay Station and Idridgehay Down
Distant: pending inspection of the railings and parapet of bridge DJW 12.
All the best,
Friday, 27 April 2012
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
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Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Another fine day here in Narnia, a shame the only thing for dinner is
Mrs Beaver's cooking, oh, well. A word of thanks to all those who so
ably stood by their posts this afternoon.
Around the Railway the main action of the day featured p-way, or at
least that part of it not waiting for the line to clear of our friends
Nifty Lift and their machine under test. A number of concrete sleepers
were loaded, and various base plates were removed from sleepers at
Gorsey Bank, all this in furtherance of the Shottle Loop Project, which
has our full attention at the present time. In addition a small panel of
track was assembled for despatch to Huntingdon: our fame clearly having
spread as far as the East of England.
Back in the yard, the LMSCA fixed another two floor panels into the LMS
Brake Third, and we look forward to being able to walk the entire length
of this carriage without the underframe giving us the vertigo, in a very
South of Hazelwood, the VCT proceeded with their many endeavours in
clearing and fencing the line and the improvement is indeed most obvious.
Around the station, the Filing Fairy continued to fill ever-decreasing
gaps in our staff files, and if we keep asking people about their
paperwork, this is of necessity.
The Ladies Toilet began to receive an interior repaint and June modelled
a very tasteful line in ladies paintwear today from the haute couture
department of B&Q.
All the best,
Monday, 23 April 2012
Today we had Korec on site testing their equipment with driver training on the class 33 with Hylton and Richard passing out to drive said machine. P way were out and about in the yard weed killing and I toddled off to Worksop to obtain some special fishplates for the Shottle project from our friendly track dealers. The center car or centre car from the 3 car set had more attention to it's roof from Mike with Martin absent in the land of whiskey on official business,more red gold was delivered ( diesel ) and further attentions were made to the station buffet to complete the renovation. A busy day.
We will shortly be ordering badges for staff with public duties (i.e.
stations and train crew).
If you do not currently have a badge, please respond to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org with your name as you wish it to appear on the
All the best,
Sunday, 22 April 2012
A day of rather predictable showers, which naturally cleared up to
pleasant sunshine once the trains had gone. However, we were cheerfully
busy, notably with two parties of historic cars of various kinds both
having a rally and visiting us in the process.
Various activities were taking place around the yard, the class 20 was
receiving routine maintenance, as was the Catering set, as indeed was
steam locomotive No 3.
South of Wash Green Bridge Nathan found himself rather overtaken by a
phantom roofer in the form of the Duty Conscript who didn't really want
to leave. This must be a record in itself. Anyway, good progress was
made on the South Weighbridge which will presently become a small
workshop for the station.
The main event of the day, after a great deal of screwing (it says here)
was the out-shopping of railcar 51505 after its internal refit, it now
has wonderous new seats and can't have looked so good for the best part
of 30 years. The DMU team is now looking forward the seriously getting
to grips with the class 119 vehicle which is little more than a shell
apart, from the occasional work report in these annals.
A reminder to all drivers of the Standing Order of the 12th June 2010, a
copy of which remains on the Mess Room Noticeboard: "Stopping Distances
at Gorsey Bank Crossing". Please ensure you comply with this Order at
I leave you now for an urgent appointment at the Shanghai Emporium.
All the best,
Saturday, 21 April 2012
A very pleasant day with lots of activity on the railway with shareholders in abundance. Our normal timetabled service ran with the usual efficiency and the better weather impacted positively upon our passenger numbers.
A small army of conscripts tackled the mess room, cleaned a number of DMU bogies, cleaned the toilets and the cribs were filled with ash ballast all with good results.
Work continued on the LMS break van and a small number of the 8F group continued the boiler restoration work, The DMU team had a successful day fitting the re upholstered seats in 51505. The two Pullman coaches were bolted together and heat and light was reinstated to the second class coach . The Class 20 group members set about a vacuum fault which was successfully resolved to the joy of all concerned.
Tonight's evening charter was a most enjoyable affair and returned to Wirksworth ECS at 22.30 making it a long day for all concerned.
An altogether tickityboo day.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
A bright and fairly sunny day with a vast range of activity in many
parts of the Railway. Starting at our southern extremity, painting of
the lavatorial extravaganza took place at Duffield, closely preceded by
fence repairs and petrol engine shunting, and then closely followed by a
hue and cry down the main line, thankfully not our main line.
At Hazelwood and environs, the fencing team commenced a grand tidy up
which appeared to run very nearly along the whole of the south end of
the line and involved several fires for the removal of brash, tat,
rubbish and other detritus.
At Shottle, our hoary-handed men of toil strove to get the crossing gear
fixed, in a gargantuan effort of blood, sweat and tears and are very
nearly at the crossing noses in a day of wide ranging p-way action along
the Shottle Loop.
At Idridgehay the station dog was no doubt highly entertained by the
surprise arrival of a train full of evacuees from Wirksworth, along with
their jam sandwiches and gas mask boxes. This was an exercise in wartime
re-creation by Wirksworth Junior School and there was a certain
reluctance to come back: "I like it here the sun's shining". This
involved steam locomotive No3 (the semblance of wartime engineering),
the SK and the Saloon, as well as a trip to Twiggs to buy a pipe so we
could fill the toilets in the SK. The toilets rather predictably
proceeded to leak in the usual way as soon as the tanks were filled.
Meanwhile, back at Wirksworth the steam team were engaged in a frenzy of
activity involving Henry Ellison covering the sanders, the lubricators,
the vac system, the regulator valve and the dome cover. During a short
breather the grate was removed from No 3 in order to have a new pattern
made, presumably following its triumphant return from Idridgehay. In the
buffet we were offered 500 teddy bears.
The LMSCA could be heard banging and grinding for most of the day and
the new floor in the brake third carriage now extends about two thirds
of the way along it.
When the post was opened (about half past four) a very charming letter
emerged from some visitors on last Thursday's London charter, which
extolled the virtues of our Railway and our friendly staff. The friendly
staff are now soaking their feet in embrocation and the station bike has
been re-attached to the flag pole.
All the best,
Monday, 16 April 2012
Enquiries for a further 3 days of testing work means our already busy railway is bursting at the seams with not enough days in the week to satisfy all our different business interests with driver experience days, testing work, passenger services, charter work midweek and days for repairs all clamouring for a place on the calender.This week and next are booked solid - no more room at the Inn.
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Quite a pleasant sunny day, though with rather a chilly wind blowing
through our parts. The passenger service ran cheerfully up and down in
its leisurely way: a coach party from Altrincham had the full experience
and were most complimentary about the line, the friendliness of the
staff and the tidiness of the Railway in general, having first exhausted
the buffet's supplies of bacon and brie paninis.
Down the yard the DMU team carried on with the seat fitting to unit
515015 and later scraped the gutters of Iris, one of those obscure
routine tasks which stops it raining down your neck when you get into a
carriage. Also down the yard, the Duty Conscript applied several bags of
ash as ballast to the pointwork cribs at Cemetery Lane to bring the
level up to the sleeper tops, where it should rightly be. Further
tidying up of the Swedish Piles took place in the car park.
Around the station, the recently arrived Information Room received its
first undercoat, prior to a repaint into our usual colours of maroon and
cream. At the south end of the station the two Nathans also applied the
first coat of paint to the interior of the South Weighbridge.
All the best,
Friday, 13 April 2012
In the absence of higher powers (they being in the land of boulangeries)
it falls to yours truly to report on today's Wonderment of Wirksworth.
The main business of the day being two driver experiences, one for the
class 20 and one for steam engine No3. In both cases our guests had come
from far-flung corners of the known universe and enjoyed themselves in a
major way, ably hosted by a fine array of our enginemen.
A modest amount of other work took place around the site, with the
continuing re-organisation of the Booking Hall seeing the food and
beverage provision being despatched to the buffet and replaced by many
remarkable sales items: "My God, where did that come from?", as one
passer-by asked, looking at one of our Phil Tarry branded money boxes.
This was accompanied by the erection of some new signs; also by the
transmission of a vast amount of our leaflets to the Heritage Centre by
the miracle of the Passenger Department's horseless carriage, and the
general entertainment of assorted visitors who came between showers.
Down the yard, the grunting emanating from the class 108 proved to be a
result of various members of the DMU team on the floor of that vehicle
engaged in screwing the newly arrived and delightfully re-upholstered 3
bay seats to the frames.
All the best,
Thursday, 12 April 2012
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Monday, 9 April 2012
Sunday, 8 April 2012
A day of sunny intervals and almost no drizzle. We were pleasantly
occupied in pottering around with passengers and visitors, with a
greater proportion of families today than yesterday or Friday. All parts
of the railway were open and operating, and once again much positive
feedback was received including from visitors from other railways.
Around the yard, the DMU team achieved success in getting their
vestibule ceiling up as well as completing various trim around the
vestibule of the class 119. The LMS brake van progressed in its merry
way and the Duty Conscript transferred our many new pipes to the pipe
wagon. The dogfish had their decals renewed and Dan commenced the
application of wood preservative to the quad, resulting in a
considerable visual improvement, and making a restful change from
welding his parts together.
All the best,
Saturday, 7 April 2012
Down the yard a number of activities took place. The LMSCA were welding the floor on the LMS BTK. Work continued on the interior of the LMS breakvan. The DMU Team continued their work on the class 119 with steady progress on its interior and repaired a vacuum seal on the class 117. Maintenance work was also undertaken on the dogfish ballast wagons. The 8F group continued their work with the Henry Ellison boiler and the class 31 received some cosmetic surgery to its cab.
A very satisfactory day.
Friday, 6 April 2012
Thursday, 5 April 2012
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Monday, 2 April 2012
A cloudy and cool day at Wirksworth with several tasks completed.
The bubble car had further repairs to its ceiling , 10 tons of type one stone was removed from the car park to the ballast dock to make concrete pads for the new water tank to sit on , all the the clay and ballast tippings from the railcare visit up the incline have been tidied and levelled off, a new post for the entrance barrier has been made and the new pullman buffet had its inaugural Monday opening today. Quite a lot of work for the 3 people on site. We hope to improve on the roll call presently.
Sunday, 1 April 2012
What a pleasant day: it was deeply blissful here in the socialist
republic of Wirksworth. The train service pottered up and down in our
usual quietly efficient way, with no sheep on the line to trouble our
timely passage, but spring lambs in the fields apparently proved quite
entertaining for our passengers, some of whom broke into song on the way.
At Duffield the Station Foreman undertook the application of anti-weed
spray between trains and ordered a new tie. Back at base, the DMU team
varnished assorted parts of the class 119, attended to its vestibule
doors, attached trim and made serious attempts to coax the long dormant
engines into life. At the south end of the station Nathan almost
single-handedly worked on the weighbridge and very excellent progress
was made there.
The key feature of the day though was an extraordinary sequence of
passenger feedback, which appeared to have been brought on by the sunshine:
"That was absolutely charming - we will see you again soon..."
"What wonderful old posters you have on the front of the station..."
"Isn't this a sweet little waiting room..."
"We're from Croydon. You're really friendly here..."
"What lovely pansies you have at this railway.."
"Here's a donation. Ben gave us a really good show..."
So there you have it. I'm off now to that famous hostelry, the Whore and
Trumpet (A Marston's House), to rest my astonishment.
All the best,