Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year's Eve 31st December 2012

Dear all
 
May I wish everyone involved in our enterprise a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. 2012 was quite difficult to get through financially although there have been a few highs to keep the ship afloat. The first three months of 2013 will be a strain with little income in prospect but we should bust forth in April with a host of activities to swell the coffers. The great blessing would be some more kindly weather to allow us to get on top of routine maintenance of our line and encourage the visitor to come and see a superb Railway.
 
Best wishes
 
Martin

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Progress Sunday the 30th December 2012

Dear all,

A leisurely day of gentle progress here today. The LMS brake van had new
parts made so that its stove doesn't jiggle around at 125 mph and
deposit Mr Oakes baked potatoes on the floor. A number of irritating
potholes were filled in station approach, although it was first
necessary to dry the holes using Mike Evan's hairdryer in order to get
the tarmac to stick. The DMU team undid some of their seating work of
yesterday in order to paint the seat frames a tasteful black as well as
varnish the north end of the second class compartment of the 119 with a
very small brush and only nine fingers. The DMU stores vehicle, now
known as Area 51(something to do with UFOs) underwent further sorting.
The embankment gardener addressed the assorted plant life and the
tree-felling next door neighbour of that fine piece of our estate. The
LMSCA carried on their merry way with the BSK, which continues to
receive door attention (it has, er, several doors) and the south end was
welded at the joint between the end bit and the roof bit, where the tin
mice had got in.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday the 29th of December

A  very wet day on  Derbyshires favourite friendly railway,  infact  it seemed the rain  would never stop to allow the  staff to get to grips with thier daily tasks

The Dmu team worked hard on the 119 assembling and cleaning the seats as well as remedial work in the guards area  and a mass sort out in the stores area

A Big congratulations must go to the 8f groupwho  had a magnificent day and achieved the removal of the mechanical stoker on Katherine

Bob was to be found painting Henry Ellison as  the other members of the steam group toiled away preparing and painting the base plates for the buffers on No 3

The LMSCA were to be found preparing the window frames and machining the metal ready for instalation on the BSK
 
Elsewhere John  A was to be found working hard on the bubble car  , Anton  looked after the booking office and some very wet visitors
whilst Tim was to be  found to working  inside the brake van

well its off  home for me and I hope you all have a very Happy New Year

ATB  John Evans

Friday, 28 December 2012

Progress Report Friday the 28th of December 2012

Dear all,

A day of intermittent moisture here in Wirksworth. Following yesterday's
successful charter for the clan Higham, we settled back into the regular
routine of small group work for the duration. Early on the scene was the
Winkleigh One, come to grant us the knowledge of drains, catch pits,
rodding, and digging out which is such an essential part of the
day-to-day effort of keeping the formation intact and free of water, so
that we don't suffer from trains falling over (particularly trains from
Peak Forest).

Down the yard intermittent banging indicated progress on the BSK doors
and other parts; the class 31 received routine maintenance; railcar
55006 had the interiors of the cab doors painted, and the DMU team went
over some newly unpacked seats for the second class compartment of the
119 with the Vax to reveal all their blue check glory. We look forward
to settling in to them.

All the best,
Anton

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve 24th December 2012

Dear all
 
Leigh has reported the final results for the 2012 Santa season with a super 47% revenue increase over the 2011 season. The LCC and Elf in Chief calculated that some 40 volunteers were involved in delivering the 12 trains we ran to the universal satisfaction of all those that visited us. A tremendous effort by all concerned and will take some beating in 2013.
 
I met one of yesterday's families who had been with us each of the nine years we have been putting on a Santa show from the early beginnings on the Gorsey Bank line with the interesting generator van, through the Ravenstor theatrical productions including the pirate ship to the current incarnation of the journey to the North Pole.
 
I wish all the followers of these daily musings a very happy Christmas and look forward to the adventures that 2013 will bring.
 
Martin
 
 

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Progress Report Sunday the 23rd of December 2012

Dear all,

It falls to me to report on our final public operating day of 2012. We
did our best to spread some gentle happiness amongst our many small
guests as well as their more grown up helpers. Many thanks to our entire
Santa team for all their hard work and effort towards this purpose.

In the background repair work was undertaken on the Brake Van Lamp
Display; a fine blue lino floor was laid in the second class compartment
of the class 119; and the first replacement door was fitted to BSK 34625.

The site will close at lunchtime tomorrow and will re-open on Thursday
the 27th of December. The next public service will operate on New Year's
Day, starting with the 10.20 from Wirksworth, and running to the winter
timetable. There will be an additional operating day, again to the
winter timetable, on Thursday the 3rd of January.

Speaking now from Wirksworth, this very jewel set amongst the Peaks of
Derbyshire, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any
way to the forward progress of our railway during this year. May your
Christmas be joyous, may Santa empty his sack in your sock, and may
there be something intelligent on the telly for once.

A very Happy Christmas to you.
Anton Shone
Passenger Services Manager
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Progress Report Saturday 22nd December 2012

Dear All,

The inclement weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the Santa Special team who looked after our visitors with their usual good charm and expertise. I have attached a photograph of the crossing at Gorsey Bank which captures today's conditions.

Down the yard the LMSCA were in attendance replacing doors on the BSK. Members of the 8F group continued their endeavours in the shed with the automatic coal feed and John A. continued painting the the driver's cabs in the bubble car. The DMU restoration team were out in force today as their restoration of the class 119 gains momentum. The interior team continued preparing the floor for the fitting of new linoleum tomorrow and mounted the original mirrors in the passenger compartment. The external team have now connected both alternators and have fitted the air tanks.

Compliments of the season,

Tom

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Progress Thursday 20th December 2012

Dear all
 
The day started with an unfortunate and spectacular derailment on Road 2 in Wirksworth Yard with many vehicles considerably damaged necessitating the attendance of some 12 Inspectors from the Rail Accident & Investigation Branch. Fortuitously this was a virtual derailment and formed part of a training day. The team were fuelled during the morning by a supply of Pullman Bacon Sandwiches and declared their exercise a success in the most inclement of conditions which duly replicated the real thing.
 
The PWT undertook a review of the flooding that affects most of our line with Richard photographing the key problem areas which will need further drainage work when conditions permit. Care will need to exercised for our remaining Santa Trains and those planned over the next ten days or so. The dmu team replenished the Santa train with engine and heater fuel and spent considerable time in the pit tending to the fitting of alternators to the Class 119. Within this vehicle there was a continued tedious cleansing of the floor to accept new lino which could be fitted on Saturday.
 
The VCT took a well deserved Christmas lunch at the Railway Hotel, Shottle and the Pullman Buffet Car served our RAIB customers, staff an other visitors.
 
Leigh concluded his splendid efforts with the Santa train bookings where we have achieved a splendid 46% growth over last year with the great preponderance being online. Our Santa product seems to have gone world wide with a Tasmanian address featuring this weekend. Thanks also go to Neil, Eric and Rodney who have put a great deal of effort into making awareness of the Santa "product" visible to a larger market. We are tantalisingly near a significant milestone in revenue if we manage to tease out another £162 over the next three days. The trains this weekend will be very testing on the Santa team and will be successful if we "keep calm and carry on".
 
Martin
 
PS - I found the attach message routed via Vince Morris amusing and will therefore and share it with you:-
 
 To All Concerned
>
> Please be advised that all employees planning to dash through the snow
> in a one-horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the
> way, are required to undergo a Risk Assessment addressing the safety
> of open sleighs.
> This assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use
> only one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are
> multiple passengers.
> Please note that permission must also be obtained in writing from
> landowners before their fields may be entered. To avoid offending
> those not participating in celebrations, we request that laughter is
> moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.
> Benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available for
> collection by any shepherds planning or required to watch their flocks
> at night.
>
> While provision has also been made for remote monitoring of flocks by
> CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd observation hut, all
> facility users are reminded that an emergency response plan must be
> submitted to account for known risks to the flocks. The angel of the
> Lord is additionally reminded that prior to shining his/her glory all
> around s/he must confirm that all shepherds are wearing appropriate
> Personal Protective Equipment to account for the harmful effects of
> UVA, UVB and the overwhelming effects of Glory.
>
> Following last year's well publicised case, everyone is advised that
> EC legislation prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any
> part of Mr R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr R Reindeer
> from reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary
> action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence.
>
> While it is acknowledged that gift-bearing is commonly practiced in
> various parts of the world, particularly the Orient, everyone is
> reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to Hospitality
> Guidelines and all gifts must be registered. This applies regardless
> of the individual, even royal personages. It is particularly noted
> that direct gifts of currency or gold are specifically precluded under
> provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Further, caution is
> advised regarding other common gifts, such as aromatic resins that may
> initiate allergic reactions.
>
> Finally, in the recent case of the infant found tucked up in a manger
> without any crib for a bed, Social Services have been advised and will
> be arriving shortly.
>
> Merry Christmas,
>
> Risk Management Team

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Progress Wednesday 19th December 2012

Dear all
 
As we approach the shortest day and begin to end dark mornings and afternoons the show goes on. The PWT moved to Shottle for further site clearance work and a  modest contribution to global warming. The SBT moved ever forward and I had hoped to bring you a photo of their progress but was pleasantly kept at base by a customer who has become regular with small additions to our revenue.
 
The LCC had hauled her family into the final preparations for the upcoming Santa weekend. They undertook a present audit to ensure everything was in place and then gave the Santa train a good clean. Another example of dedication, out of sight, that will ensure our final weekend will be successful.
 
The Pullman Buffet Car served our regulars from the town of Wirksworth and benefited from our customer who enjoyed the famous Pullman Bacon Sandwich.
 
The Booking Hall processed the tail end of our Santa bookings as we near capacity this weekend but is now looking forward to all the possibilities in 2013. An approach to a number of coach companies has produced its first firm booking.
 
Martin
 
The weather forecast is not brilliant for the last Santa weekend and we seek a modest supply of "golfing" umbrellas. If you have such an artefact please deliver to Wirksworth Booking Hall in time for this final thrust of 2012

Santa Specials - Last Tickets Remaining

We have our last smattering of Santa Train tickets available for this coming Saturday 22nd only. These will be taken off sale at around 15:00 tomorrow (Thursday 20th) if there are any left. Sunday 23rd is already full.

Please click here for more information and to book online.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Progress Tuesday 18th December 2012

Dear all
 
A productive, as ever, working day where progress was made on a number of fronts. The VCT continued their attack on the vegetation south of Idridgehay and their unceasing work shows up when we have inclement weather and the trains keep running. The national network always has a catalogue of problems with fallen trees, washouts and communications problems that generally reflect the lack of management of the lineside over a number of years. We are not perfect but are really getting on top of our estate management. The team should rejoice as they tuck into their Christmas dinner on Thursday.
 
The PWT concentrated on Shottle with further lineside tidying up whilst admiring the SBT's work on Shottle station. The DST continued with renovation and maintenance of their stable of three locomotives and the LMSCA pushed on with the Brake Third Open and the Mark 1 BSK. The BSK enjoyed the fitting of a "new" door and the preparation of a second replacement. The BTO had another window cut out as the brake compartment is reconfigured.
 
The dmu team tended to the Santa train with a wash of its west side. The Pullman Buffet Car enjoyed a fairly quiet day but the Booking Hall dealt with the paperwork following last weekend, processed Santa bookings and began to turn their attentions to next year's group bookings. David tended to Gorsey Bank's level crossing lights and remedied a fault with the Buffet Car electrics. The Filing Fairy was in attendance as we pursue the ultimate goal of all competences being evidenced.
 
Martin
 
PS - Having participated again in last week's Santa operation I can only congratulate the team on both days for all their energy and dedication to create a happy and welcoming environment for our customers. The smoothness of the affair is doubly helped by the dmu maintenance team and the booking process that is properly assembled for the day to enable a smooth check in. We approach our final weekend with a further challenge that will be well met. 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Progress Report Sunday the 16th of December 2012

Dear all,

Another pleasant day helping Santa with his sack at the EVR, with both
trains happily busy, and many thanks to all involved in keeping our
small guests occupied and amused.

Down the yard, the LMSCA carried on with the fitting of doors to the BSK
(BR mark 1 carriage 34625), or more specifically, the adjusting of parts
to enable the doors to fit properly. In the class 119, one team dealt
with stripping the old lino floor of the second class compartment in
readiness for its replacement, another team fitted the charming new
curtains to the first class compartment and a third team researched the
history and operation of pillar drills.

As far as next week is concerned will Booking Hall staff please note
that Santa Trains on Sunday are absolutely full, but that we have space
on both trains (11.15 and 14.15) on Saturday. Will Booking Hall staff
please also note that we can now accept cheques made payable to the
"Ecclesbourne Valley Railway" as well as to "Wyvernrail Plc" for company
activities.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday 15th Decemberfrom Santa

Saturday the 15th of December 2012

On a cold but sunny day staff  at Derbyhires favourite friendly railway geared   them selves for the seasonal  rush of children and their families eager to travel on the santa specials to the North Pole.
upon their return  it was lovely to see their smiling faces  whilst the adults were seen to be carrying the goody bags the children had recieved from Santa .
It was also nice that  many of these families praised the staff manning the trains for the proffesional way in which they were looked after them  , Well done to you all.

The Pullman buffet staff  also recieved  praise  for the warm food which it had to offer the passengers and vistors to our railway.

The Lmsca group braved the cold weather as they toiled away within the coaches before Derek and Dan  tried the  guessing game of which door will fit  into the doorway of  the coach

Down the yard the Dmu team worked hard Leigh and Brian could be heard stripping in the 119  as Ben and Rob  tinkered with  hammers  ( with alot  of ouches as they missed the target )  whilst  repairing the alternator.

The steam group where to be found hard at work on  Katherrine as  Bob was found to be rubbing down Henry (  ready  for his new coat of paint ) .

Late in the morning the brake was  seen sending out smoke signals from where the Hot chesternuts should have appeared   however it was late into the afternoon when Mr Oakes turned up with his warm nuts , which the staff  rapidly eat.

Im sure as we close the doors on another day the Malt Shovels warmth would be more enjoyable than  a trip  to the supermarket.

Seasonal greetings to you all and may your New Year be a happy one

ATB   John  Evans

Friday, 14 December 2012

Progress Friday 14th December 2012

Dear all
 
From a winter wonderland the day moved through a black ice period to incessant rain as temperatures rise. The LCC was somewhat delicate with a cold but heroically soldiered on to sort the presents for the weekend's Santa bookings and gave the Santa train a clean. I suspect a quantity of restorative Scottish product will be needed this evening.
 
The "Bubble Car" which has benefited from almost daily attention over the last few weeks has had further attention to the refurbishment of the south end cab.
 
The Pullman Buffet Car traded erratically due to being frozen up for a couple of days but it looks as though normal service will resume for the weekend.
 
The Booking Hall prepared for the up coming weekend and dealt with some last minute Santa customers. It is immensely satisfying that we are now some 29% up on this time last year with over 75% booking on line. We are by no means in the big league but we are certainly catching up and I do thank everyone involved in bringing cash into the enterprise when it is most needed.
 
Martin

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Progress Thursday 13th December 2012

Dear all
 
Another subarctic day inhibiting all but the "easier" jobs. The dmu team made further progress with the "Bubble Car" and checked over the Santa set topping up the heater fuel. The Oaks Brakevan was shunted into Platform 3 where it will be a centre of excellence for roast chestnuts over the next two weekends.
 
The PWT were quite frustrated by the low temperatures but used the available time to consign some lineside debris at Shottle by attempting global warming.
 
The Booking Hall continued to process Santa bookings that are heading for a record on our Railway. The Pullman Buffet Car struggled with frozen pipes but traded to the intrepid.
 
There is change forecast for tomorrow so I suspect we will be dealing with the inevitable bust pipes as the next part of winter joy.
 
Martin
 
PS - Still quite delighted by the effects of the present weather conditions and, despite best efforts, the Railway didn't quite produce the right conditions so you have the effect of the frost on our gate for the lovers of moggies

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Progress Wednesday 12th December 2012

Dear all
 
In the perma frost area of Derbyshire I never cease to be amazed at the dedication of our teams. The PWT undertook a whole line track patrol with no concernes reported and the much ignored SBT laid out blocks ready for next week as temperatures frustrated any attempt at mixing concrete. Yesterday they did manage some concreting of progress to date. The end product at Shottle will be another credit to their endeavour - maybe Hazelwood will be their next destination?
 
We entertained a very cold customer with three road/rail hydraulic platforms where things didn't go to well for them but proved the value of testing out of the limelight.
 
The Bubble Car enjoyed the attentions of John Allsop to the woodwork in the south cab and the start of new Formica panels to restore this part of the vehicle.

The Pullman Buffet Car was frozen up all day but benefited from our customer's need for sustinance. Santa bookings still challenge the Booking Hall and it was good to see a toe in the water addressed to potential coach tour operators.
 
Our wall repair men were in operation and a joinly funded task by the Company and EVRa to prevent the wall alongside the narrow gauge collapsing.
 
Martin
 
A photo today illustrating that when I say it is cold it really is no matter how attractive the picture looks.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Progress Tuesday 11th December 2012

Dear all
 
I have to declare being a little detached from events today after enduring a morning at headquarters and then retiring to the domestic accommodation as the temperatures plunged. Nonetheless various teams braved the conditions and achieved against all odds.
 
We welcomed a further visit by Amec to inspect further bridges and structures on behalf of Network Rail and ourselves. The PWT had a mixed day of clearing a number of outstanding tasks including a sort of recovered sleepers between "garden quality" for sale and those that might be reused for sidings. Stone was recovered from Wirksworth to upgrade the VCT's base at Hazelwood and the VCT assisted with the reception of this much needed material.
 
The DST continued with their work on our three steam engines and the LMSCA forged ahead with the BTO and Mark 1 BSK. Fred and Iris gave the Mess Hall a good clean and the Pullman Buffet Car entertained some hardy souls.
 
The singular success was the continued popularity of Santa necessitating extra effort in the Booking Hall as we scythe past last year's financial achievement. The interesting statistic is that the online booking and shop has passed £15,000 this year which is a mix of all the offers made through this medium. My thanks go to Leigh and Robin for making this all possible and showing the future to us.
 
Martin
 
PS - The Pullman Buffet Car will only close Christmas Day and Boxing Day but operate between 1000 and 1400 from the 27th to 31st December with an emphasis on warm comfort food!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Progress Monday 10th December 2012

Dear all
 
A pleasant charter with Iris this morning for Alfreton Special School that took them to the North Pole. All were quite delighted by the hospitality shown by Lewis, Andrew, Eric and John leaving us with a warm glow.
 
This afternoon we hosted the Environment Agency and Derbyshire Wild Life Trust as we cemented our involvement in the Ecclesbourne Project that aims to undertake a range of activities to improve the river and its environs together with raising the profile of the Valley. Pat Craft has kindly agreed to represent us on this body which should have many spin-offs to the benefit of the Railway.
 
The Booking Hall had many Santa enquiries and the Pullman Buffet Car had another satisfactory day.
 
Martin

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Progress Report Sunday the 9th of December 2012

Dear all,

A slightly damp start to Santa's Sunday, but the sun came out and Santa and his boudoir chugged quietly down to North Pole with its happy and occasionally musical load. A very fabulous time was had by all and much joviality was spread around together with mince pies and a strangely tea-coloured mulled wine.

In the background, the undergrowth was tidied up, the LMS brake van had finishing touches applied to its interior paintwork and the DMU team spent the day trimming themselves.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Progress 8th December 2012

Dear all
 
Well it has arrived, Day 1 of our Santa Train programme with the two trains delighting the small people and their adults who were all captivated by this year's offering. It is tremendously labour intensive to deliver a quality "experience" and involved some 18 volunteers today including the "standby" fitters who made sure the train was warm and comfortable. This together with all the preparation work deserves a big cheer from anyone interested in our enterprise. We were doubly blessed today with cold, clear, sunny weather and a very good supporting cast.
 
Other activities on site were the LMSCA continuing with the restoration of the BTO and BSK, the Oaks Brakevan project nears completion and a lone member of the DST rubbing down Henry Ellison as part of its painting process.
 
The dmu team resolved a sticking EP (electro-pneumatic) valve on Iris so that it is ready for a charter on Monday and the Pullman Buffet Car had quite an active day, a feature we didn't have last year.
 
Martin
 
PS - Our web shop has had increasing success with "mail order" stocking fillers and I commend it to you as most of the products are personally posted by me! (but packed by Leigh)
PPS - Difficult to take acceptable photos of the Santa operation but this is the 1415 to the North Pole ready for departure with Rod Birch in role.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Progress Friday 7th December 2012

Dear all
 
Every effort today concentrated on completing the preparations for our first Santa Train tomorrow. The combined and coordinated efforts ensure the fuelling of the Santa Train was completed, the preparation of Wirksworth and North Pole stations look the part and the Train is in good order with the correct mix of presents for the children are in place. My thanks go to all active in delivering this part of our enterprise where you get no second chance to get it right.
 
Iris was checked over for its role on a charter on Monday and the Booking Hall coped with station decoration together with the usual run of enquiries.
 
The Pullman Buffet Car benefited from Norfolk Dave's walking party amongst other visitors and staff on site.
 
Any volunteer entering the site over the next three weekends should not be surprised if they are roped into this annual adventure.
 
Martin

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Progress Thursday 6th December 2012

Dear all
 
Another perishing day as most efforts were devoted to getting ready for the first Santa train on Saturday. The train itself was given a check over and partially fuelled as the expected delivery today was running behind schedule. The PWT tripped the Christmas Tree, Bench, Gate, Water and Bus Stop to the North Pole and whilst there relocated the portable toilet so as not to offend the neighbours. Only a visit to the North Pole will reveal why there is a Bus Stop there! Decoration of the North Pole was also in progress.
 
The VCT continued their attack south of Idridgehay with a magnificent four fire day making them the only team to be warm today. Mike and John fitted the wooden window frames into the south end of the Bubble Car and replaced the roof dome.
 
The Booking Hall was pleasantly busy with Santa with an end of day round up revealing we are some 8% ahead of this time last year. The Pullman Buffet Car was pleasantly busy where, amongst the unexpected visitors, there was a couple from Hove on a short break in the area who stumbled across us by accident.
 
Our new Permanent Way recruit, Steven, turns out to be the grandson of Driver George Repton who is commemorated on the platform seat by the garden on Platform1.
 
Martin
 
PS - two omissions from last night's contribution. A major one was not to recognise the splendid progress being made by the SBT who laid 30ft of single course stone work, 20ft of further footing work and 20ft of concrete behind the first course. A great achievement given the weather.
 
The LCC reminds me station decoration was aided, in addition to those previously mentioned, by Rodney and John Saville and my thanks go to them for working in most unpleasant conditions. Why don't we have Santa trains in July?
 
 
 
 

Facebook Competition

We post up to date information, photographs and other news regularly on our Facebook page. It is a great way to keep up with our progress alongside our daily reports.

Currently, we have a competition on the go. Simple 'like' our page with a chance to win a pair of Day Rover Tickets for 2013. The tickets will go to the 400th 'like'!

Pop over to http://www.facebook.com/wyvernrail 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Progress Wednesday 5th December 2012

Dear all
 
The real heroes of the day have been the team that have decorated the Santa train that has involved the LCC, husband of LCC, JHT and Val to create a new Santa Grotto as well as the three coaches that form this key part of the next three weekends. Their dedication is not without recognition! In parallel with this have been the exterior lights, tree decorations and many other parts that will make the Santa "experience" quite magical ably lead by Anton. All this activity has been conducted in sub zero temperatures that reduces the will to live.
 
The PWT set sail for Duffield and Shottle removing the signal formerly known as DY547 together with sand surplus to the construction of Duffield station and then loading "garden quality" and reusable sleepers. The signal post and sand is now at Shottle and the sleepers at Wirksworth.
 
During this exercise a tree which had been reported as restricting the flow of the River Ecclesbourne at Bridge DJW 8, just north of Postern Lodge, was moved with the aid of the Komatsu. However, the highlight of the day was the actions of our new, slightly more youthful than the rest of the team, member who rescued two sheep caught up in brambles. It turns out that he has some experience in farming!
 
The Booking Hall reported a new milestone with Online Santa bookings overtaking those taken online last year which bodes well for the final financial outcome of this year's adventure. The Pullman Buffet Car had a sticky start with no power being available but it did come to life after David's ministrations but we don't know really why, which is a little troubling.
 
A potential customer for derailment investigation training had a good introduction to our facilities and I am hopeful the end product will be income for the enterprise.
 
Martin

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Progress Tuesday 4th December 2012

Dear all
 
Another bumper Tuesday with the DST working on all three locomotives in their care. Henry Ellison began to receive a brick arch, Kathryn continued research work and No3 was shorn of its buffers in preparation to receive new improved ones which will damp some of the oscillation felt by our Ravenstor passengers.
 
The VCT resumed their attack on the area south of Idridgehay reporting two good fires and the LMSCA continued work on the Brake Third Open. The Mark 1 BSK also made progress with the south end Pullman Corridor Connection being attended to along with some other restoration tasks.
 
The PWT had less than ideal conditions to continue with the fishplate greasing task and achieved a remarkable 18 pairs as they head from Shottle to Duffield. The team also sorted the remaining sleepers at Shottle to release some for resale as "garden quality" which will be tripped back to Wirksworth tomorrow. The SBT have achieved a splendid 30 ft of first course of the new platform wall.
 
There was a great deal of dmu activity with the underframe of the "Bubble Car" painted and much head scratching following a fault on Santa's Grotto Car. This has resulted in a last minute substitution which has given the LCC the vapours. Nonetheless, she is rallying round for an lot of work to get the substitute vehicle into shape for the weekend.
 
The water heaters in the Ladies and Staff toilets have caused a lot of work for David but he has now resolved these irritating problems.
 
The Booking Hall, amongst many other things, has taken delivery of the Christmas trees for Wirksworth and Idridgehay requiring yet more energy to prepare them for Saturday. The Pullman Buffet Car received a pleasant amount of regular customers together with some of our own team making opening worth while.
 
Martin
 
PS - special thanks to the "volunteers" that felled the tree south of the Cromford Road bridge curing a niggling complaint from a neighbour that has been bubbling along for 18 months or so. These volunteers, who are competent tree fellers, comprised Richard from the Station Garage together with Phil and Mick Dalton, farmers of this Parish. Rewards have been dispensed at The Malt Shovel to everyone's satisfaction.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Progress Report Sunday the 2nd of December 2012

Dear all,

A very chilly day during which Santa's elves gathered in the Training
Room to engage in a great deal of sorting, packing and stuffing. This
was followed by some decorating in the train.

The chilly fitters worked tirelessly on unit 50599 but have decided the
best thing is wrap it up and put it at the bottom of the tree. The
remainder of our chilly volunteers gathered in the warmth of the LMS
brake van, which has now acquired some lovely seats round its fire. Down
the yard, the stores had its screws sorted and the class 119 got a good
hoovering. The guerilla gardeners gathered round their new shed and
inspected their icy plants. The buffet staff endeavoured to defrost
their pipes.

The outer extremity at Duffield reported signage work. The Booking Hall
got a new door handle (its very stiff) and the Idridgehay gate was
painted ready to be re-hung in time for Idridgehay's role as North Pole
next week and so to prevent little blighters running on to the lane. I
apologise for the gate being in the Mess Room, but its the only place
the paint will dry in time.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Saturday 1st December 2012

Progress report Saturday 1st December 2012

After a cold and damp start Iris set off on her last day of service for 2012 and plodded down the line of  Derbyshires friendly railway  and for the passengers who braved the  cold  it proved an enjoyable day out with plenty of warm food and drink available in the Pullman buffet many thanks to Graham , Andrew  & Richard for crewing Iris on such a cold day..

Down the yard the Dmu team where busy working on the 119 or so they  said as the curtains on the dmu where installed  and tested then what sounded like snoring  came from within , whilst  young jack excelled himself with a brilliant repair job on the faulty engine part which allowed the engine to burst into life once again.

The steam team worked hard again trying to warm the bolts up under Katherine to allow them to further dismantle the mechanical stoker whilst Bob was seen to be  grinding & sanding  away on Henry.

On the Ravenstor section Stuart and jake cleared away the brash left after the felling of a tree south of Cromford Rd Bridge and the blocked culvert was also cleared to allow the water to flow away again .
 
Congratulations also go out to the four members of staff who completed the advanced site shunters course although the mind still boggles with some  of the answers offered ,  anybody got an aspirin as Ive suddenly got a headache .

As we close the doors for another day the temp has dropped and another jack has frozen our car windows and although we have gritted the car park  and station platforms the yard may become slippy so extra care should now be taken by all members of the staff now the winter has arrived upon the railway once more

Well its now off home for me  a nice cuppa and hot shower await.

ATB   John

Training and Santa

Dear all,

Please note the following dates for training in the Training Room
New Entrants Induction Saturday 5th January 14.00
First Aid Saturday 5th January 10.00
PTS Saturday 5th January 13.00
Railwayman's Saturday 24th January 10.00
New Entrants Induction Saturday 23rd February 14.00
Shunters Saturday 23rd February 10.00

In preparation for the upcoming visit of Mr Nicholas S Claus, decoration
activity is scheduled for this Sunday the 2nd from 11.00 and for
stations on Wednesday from 10.30 (meet at Wirksworth).

All the best,
Anton