Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Progress Wednesday 31st December 2014

Afternoon all,

So that is it! The final day of 2014 is almost complete and what a great year it has been for the railway. Many great things have happened this year, almost too many to list. The year kicked off with a bang as we hosted Network Rail for their Sport Relief Sponsored Train Pull in March and also welcomed back two of our DMU cars from their adventure at the Bluebell Railway. 

In to April and many hours of hard work paid off as the LMS TO rolled out of the shed sporting a super glossy maroon finish. We look forward to the finished product there! 

May the 10th saw a brilliant day dubbed the Big Bus and Train Bash organised mostly by our friends at trent barton. The day featured live music in the car park, heritage buses, a fairground, cadets and much more! 

A sunny day in June saw HM Queen pass through Duffield on a Meridian and we were there to wave from our side of the fence. The sunny weather continued as we hosted the ever-great Annual Classic Bus Rally at the start of July with some brilliant classic buses making the popular trips to Duffield Station and also tours of the Carsington area. The event was livened up even more-so by the arrival of trent barton's Mango Man to delight the kids. Aside from the Classic Transport Weekend, excellently organised by Geoff Clark, we hosted the Royal British Legion for their special day and a sneaky visit from Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin didn't get missed on this day. 

August saw a brilliant Multiple Memories event with many enthusiasts making the trip to the railway to ride our DMU fleet.

September saw a successful Tunes and Chips Evening Land Cruise hotly followed by a nostalgic trip back home for unique Derby Lightweight "Iris", being an invited guest of East Midlands Trains for the Derby 175 celebrations at Etches Park. We also teamed up with Derby County at this time as they helped us design and install a full-size advertising sideboard right behind the goal at the iPro Stadium.

Even in the late autumn things didn't slow down. We saw the arrival of ex-Severn Tunnel single car 977975 from Barry, with the intention to return it to mechanical working order so that the Permanent Way team can have something warm, comfortable, economical and faster than their current transport for when they're down the line working away. We then saw the arrival of what could be deemed the final piece of the jigsaw... The Derby Lightweight 2-car set, one of the most prestigious and the oldest surviving British Railways DMU. Rather nice to have all remaining of such a rare class back together and so close to where they were built.

And finally, thanks to the efforts of all, we had our most successful Santa season to date. Many happy and smiling faces were seen as we ran 9 days of Santa Specials, taking 22 members of staff for each one.

2015 promises to be a great year. There's many things on the calendar to get excited about and one of my particular favourites is the Murder Mystery evening on the 24th June. We will see our first dip in to on-train catering in the new season and we will host the Railcar Association as their annual Convention rolls in to town at the end of September.

If you haven't yet fallen asleep, today still saw lots of progress, not least with the thaw of the snow. A reasonable-sized P Way team turned out to continue with the three-way point relay. I am told today was all about fish plates as they're waiting for the snow to disappear before bolting the track down.

The LMSCA had a reasonable team in too with work continuing on the LMS fleet and on the BSK rebuild project.

The DMU team checked over the train for tomorrow to make sure it hadn't frozen up over the last few days and some nice touches were made to the Pullman to ready it for opening tomorrow.

Happy New Year!

Leigh

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Progress Tuesday 30th December 2014.

The main event today was further work on the three throw turnout in Wirksworth yard with all timbers now in their correct position and all the iron work replaced it remains for screwing down and packing to complete. Amongst the stalwarts ( insane ) attending today were no less than 15 p way staff which goes to show the level of boredom during the Christmas break. Much digging out of ice and snow a major pass time today with passenger services having their fair share as well clearing the platforms and getting the railway ready for new years day services.

The pullman buffet also had attention to it's lighting courtesy of DMU gang whilst lone carriage cleaner ( with assistance ) de Christmasfied the rolling stock after a brilliant santa season due in large part to the efforts of everybody involved - a lot of very hard work but well worth the effort. Now that's over it's down to the p way to spend the next couple of months remodelling Wirksworth yard in no doubt terrible weather conditions - as you see, everybody has a cross to bear.

Wishing you all a prosperous new year.

MKT.

Fwd: [wirksworths_railway] Progress Tuesday 30th December 2014.

The main event today was further work on the three throw turnout in Wirksworth yard with all timbers now in their correct position and all the iron work replaced it remains for screwing down and packing to complete. Amongst the stalwarts ( insane ) attending today were no less than 15 p way staff which goes to show the level of boredom during the Christmas break. Much digging out of ice and snow a major pass time today with passenger services having their fair share as well clearing the platforms and getting the railway ready for new years day services.


The pullman buffet also had attention to it's lighting courtesy of DMU gang whilst lone carriage cleaner ( with assistance ) de Christmasfied the rolling stock after a brilliant santa season due in large part to the efforts of everybody involved - a lot of very hard work but well worth the effort. Now that's over it's down to the p way to spend the next couple of months remodelling Wirksworth yard in no doubt terrible weather conditions - as you see, everybody has a cross to bear.


Wishing you all a prosperous new year.


MKT.


Catering 2015

Dear all
 
I posted Anton's old email address! - should read antonshone@gmail.com
 
Martin

Catering 2015

Dear all
 
Our catering operation in 2014 grew to such an extent that its income came close to that generated through fares. However, three key players; Linda, Issy and Natalie, have moved on to pastures new leaving opportunities for new blood to enter this business.
 
The basic requirement is for the Pullman Buffet Car to be open each day we operate public trains starting on February Saturdays through to five days a week in the peak months and reducing back to a Saturday operation in November ending up with supporting the Santa trains in December. Opening on non public days is required from time to time to provide a service for mytesttrack customers and other groups using our premises.
 
During 2015 we are also putting a toe in the water with on train catering for afternoon teas in the peak months and the occasional evening dinner train.
 
The Pullman Buffet Car maintains relatively civilised hours opening at 0930 and closing after the last departure to Duffield which is normally at 1615. There will also be opportunities to work through the peak periods of the day from around 1100 to 1500. We pay the National Minimum Wage hourly rate at the end of each month by bacs for the hours worked.
 
A clean and tidy appearance is required and holding a Food Hygiene Certificate would be useful but not essential as training would be given. Living locally would also be an advantage.
 
If you are interested or know of anyone looking for an opportunity of this nature please contact Anton, initially by email, at anton.shone@btinternet.com
 
Undoubtedly our catering operation will grow and grow so entry at the ground floor could lead to a very satisfactory career.
 
Martin

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Progress Report Sunday the 28th of December 2014

Dear all,

We were jolly cold today even though the sun was out for most of the day. The Passenger Department occupied itself with creating the usual network of snowpaths around our freezing station and contemplated the need for more snowshovels. The DMU team occupied itself with completing more trim on unit 50253.

Down the yard the LMSCA carried on with assorted tasks including door work for the BSK and, nearby, Stokes and Field Probe Inserters carried out some very successful routine maintenance on the Pullman second class, thus eliminating the strobe effect on the interior lights. The theme of lighting continued near the shed where a number of new quality tubes were fitted in the shed paint store.

Can I remind all staff not to turn off essentially labelled heaters, in order to prevent the pipes freezing, as it was already minus five when we left tonight.

All the best,
Anton

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Progress Saturday 27th December 2014

Dear all,

Greeted by a few centimetres of white stuff, just two volunteers had become so bored at home the last few days that they ventured to the railway.

It was all about Class 101 E50253. The bump area trimming continued apace and a start was made on wiring in the air/axle panel in the cab. This is part of a process to swap out the more modern LED type to the more original lamp type.

Attached a few snowy photos.

Leigh

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Santa Christmas Eve Wednesday 24th December 2014

Dear all
 
Well we've done it - our last Santa Train of the season has run its course. As you know this was the most demanding programme we have ever attempted and, with the participation of so many people, probably the most successful and smooth running of any we have attempted before.
 
Today's photos are of Logan test driving the lucky dip which was a feature of our Wednesday trains and a final picture of Santa who has been exhausted by all the activity and returns to Lapland after a final superhuman achievement this evening. One of our key volunteers works for DHL and they do wish they could harness this annual achievement of on time deliveries.
 
My sincere thanks go to the whole team and every good wish for Christmas to everyone who supports our remarkable enterprise. May Santa deliver your desired gift and I hope everyone will relax and recuperate so that 2015 can be tackled with renewed vigour.
 
Martin

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Progress Tuesday 23rd December 2014

Dear all
 
The main event today was the delivery of some £4000's worth of permanent way materials which will ensure we can renew the crossing timbers underneath the 3 way point and adjacent 2 way point in advance of the arrival of the first of our London Underground locomotives. We will also have enough crossing timbers for the new pointwork to access the third Maintenance Facility track which is all part of the movement towards the extension of our undercover renovation and restoration area. The photo illustrates the area involved with the first of the new timbers being laid out.
 
A call at 0715 this morning announce that the first delivery of white gold had arrived despite Lafarge Tarmac knowing our opening hours! This turned out to be the wrong kind of stone and the second delivery had to be returned to the quarry. Eventually all was well and we have all the necessary materials on site.
 
The dmu team undertook checks of the Santa Train for tomorrow's final two trains and then went on to do a whole line check following the high winds we had experienced over the last few days. So as to maximise their productivity the permanent way team required a couple of wagons from Shottle so the "Bubble Car" set off with a Brakevan to collect the wagons on return from Duffield. Thanks to Rob, Michael and Graham for this unusual request.
 
The DST undertook some welding to reinstate wasted areas on Cathryn's axle guides.
 
The Booking Hall turned attention to the coming New Year.
 
Martin
 
PS - a couple of minutes recording some of today's activity - http://youtu.be/2HFuyHhnDEs

All Change!!

Dear all
 
Since announcing my intention to retire on the 30th April next year the Company Board have been giving a great deal of thought as to how the management team may be reshaped to keep our enterprise striding forward and cope with the ever increasing demands that growth and legislation places upon us.
 
The following appointments have been made which will be fully implemented on 1st May although there will be a gradual transition over the next four months.
 
Mike Evans will be Managing Director with all functional managers reporting to him and he in turn to the Board of WyvernRail plc. Mike will retain the roles of Operations Manager and responsibility for the fleet of locomotives, diesel multiple units, carriages and wagons.
 
Mick Thomas will undertake the role of Infrastructure Manager responsible for our permanent way and our many structures as we assume full responsibility for these from Network Rail.
 
Anton Shone will take over responsibility for Catering both static and on train together with the presentation of our stations and outside events as Catering, Stations and Events Manager. (Anton will effectively take over the catering responsibility from 1st January)
 
Leigh Gration will assume responsibility for all "front of house" functions; our Booking Offices and associated accountancy. retail sales, social media and web based marketing with the web shop together with co-coordinating telephone and email enquiries and responses as Commercial Manager.
 
If re-elected by the share holders at next year's AGM I will remain a Director of the Company with a continued involvement with mytesttrack.com where necessary and retain my interest by training as a driver.
 
Change will always bring stresses and strains but I trust all of you will give the team every support to ensure the Railway benefits from this opportunity to move forward.
 
Martin

Monday, 22 December 2014

Progress Monday 22nd December 2014

Dear all,

A rather quiet day on the railway today which saw the Booking Office tie up some odds and ends. The Cooke Family were out in force cleaning the Santa train ready for Wednesday and also sorting through some presents to make sure they're in order. 

We had a visitation from a couple of DMU Group West Midlands members, on the off chance. One of them was Trevor Daw, a well respected member of the DMU preservation world and heater and vacuum exhauster extraordinaire. They were very complementary about how the interior of our Santa train was turned out, despite the occasional care-worn spot from usage. Methods for cleaning Formica were discussed!

Leigh

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Santa Sunday 21st December 2014

Dear all
 
Our penultimate Santa day with another great turnout of volunteers to deal with the many challenges these days present. All went splendidly with a warm glow as the thanks piled in for a great experience. The trains were supported by the EVRA shop, roast chestnut brakevan and model railway.
 
The value of having the dmu team on standby paid dividends today as one of Santa's gearboxes had lost oil but all was remedied without any impact on our services.
 
The dmu team also removed the gutters from the "stores bubble car" for resale to a willing buyer together with removing the window frames for reuse on the PW "bubble car". The team also managed to energise the interior lights of the PW car demonstrating that they can be fed by battery or a shore supply. The oil store also received a tidy.
 
A defunct heater was exchanged in the Pullman Buffet Car so that the chill can be keep out of the vehicle.
 
Another great day with many thanks to the large team involved.
 
Martin

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Santa Saturday 20th December 2014

Dear all
 
Another marathon Santa day with full trains of very happy children and their adult minders. Supporting acts in the EVRA Shop, Model Railway and Roast Chestnut Brakevan all added to the occasion. As ever, very many thanks to all the people that made the whole show go with military precision. Two more days to go!
 
The dmu team, whilst on standby, continued to deal with the interior of 50253, applied and sanded bodyside filler to the PWT "Bubble Car" and rescued a replacement gearbox for 50599 from stores.
 
The LMSCA continued with the interior of their BTO together with gangway connection sewing.
 
Another magnificent day.
 
Martin
 
Today's photo is a reminder of Santa operations in the past featuring the late lamented John Bentley and, for those of you who remember him, the unique Howard

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Progress Thursday 18th December 2014

Dear all
 
Another day of sweating the assets! Customers were present at Idridgehay and Wirksworth undertaking various technical things to our economic benefit and it is most encouraging to see these activities at what is normally a quiet time of year for testing.
 
The PWT have been surveying the alignment of the new siding alongside the Maintenance Facility and where the access pointwork should be located. This was determined and time was also taken to strip old ferruls from the track screws recovered from the 3 way point to release the screws for reuse. Col. Stevens would be very proud. My photo today was supposed to be of the surveyors but came out a little blurred ( it was their Christmas meall last night ) so I remind you of the 3 way point in situ with a battery locomotive. Quite a lot of history in the picture with Faraday, our mainstay shunt loco, and Dougal, the PWTs, rotating Pemaquip. Time does really fly.
 
The dmu team have positioned the "stores" Bubble Car for plating up of its windows and fuelled the Santa train for its final outings of the season.
 
The Booking Hall turned attention to 2015 by contacting this year's coach operator customers to see if they will be with us again.
 
Martin
 
Leigh has managed to capture Radio Derby's production following their visit yesterday morning - very distinquished voices do their best for the Railway
 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Santa Wednesday 17th December 2014

Dear all
 
Our second Santa Wednesday entertained, on the first train, some 115 children from the Infant and Junior Schools of Wirksworth together with their teachers and assistants. With all due modesty, this was an unqualified success with Santa being in express train mode and a very happy crowd departed for Christmas dinner at school. The second train of the day went equally well and was a credit to all involved. It was good to see the Clark team taking to their role in catering with glee and contributing to today's great result.
 
We also entertained Radio Derby who covered today's activities and featured on today's afternoon show.
 
The PWT continued with the rather urgent relay of the three way point which we believe was last tended to over 100 years ago apart from our patching in recent years. The stretcher bars, that keep each segment in gauge, are undoubtedly of Midland Railway origin, were tended to by our resident blacksmith and the trackbed cleansed ready for new crossing timbers. Another splendid and gratifying job.
 
The dmu team were on standby in case of any Santa train problems but occupied themselves with the roof of 50599 which seems to require unending chipping off of the old paint.
 
The Pullman Buffet Car was open to support the Santa operations but, amazingly, managed to encourage a group of passing walkers in for lunch resulting in satisfactory results for the day.
 
The Booking Hall greeted today's guests, selling a few more places on the way, and continued to plan for our 2015 activities.
 
A most encouraging and productive day.
 
Martin

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Progress Tuesday 16th December 2014

Dear all,

Today many different groups were on site. The VCT had 8 men on site to complete the Hazelwood Straight Anti-Sheep System and declared it sheep proof at last! They are now retiring for their Christmas meal and won't be back until after the New Year.

The DST were split into groups. One group worked on the drawbar and buffers of Henry Ellison to help bring around a smooth ride ready for a new steam-hauled dining service coming to a railway near you in June. The other, continued working on Cathryn, although the representative I spoke to didn't know exactly what they were working on.

The EVRA coach team were working on the SK. The battery boxes on the underframe were painted and inside a newly repaired toilet water tank was returned to position, so they were flushed with success. Meanwhile, the LMSCA continued working on their coaches along with the BSK which is coming along remarkably well and is also another component to the aforementioned dining train.

A lone member of the DMU team worked at chipping remaining paint off the roof of 108 50599 and this nearing completion. Once it's all off a repaint is due and there won't be any rust, it is all aluminium!

A large PWay team, back under the guidance of Mick, worked on relaying the three-way point in Wirksworth Yard. The timbers are being renewed as part of a general maintenance programme.

The Booking Office processed some last minute enquiries for Santa tomorrow and Anton mulled the wine so that it is perfect.

Leigh

Monday, 15 December 2014

Progress Monday 15th December 2014

Dear all,

Yet another freezing day in Wirksworth which saw some present organisation and reconciliation as we head towards day 6 of Operation Santa on Wednesday.

We welcomed a surprise a test customer (that is we were more surprised than they were) and they enjoyed all day with the line to themselves.

The LMSCA fitted the weighty wood much to the relief of Peppy the Van and it really does look great.

Leigh

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Santa Sunday 14th December 2014

Dear all
 
Another magnificent turnout of volunteers to undertake all the tasks.required to support today's Santa trains which marked the introduction of Mrs Claus into the event. Many, many kind comments as our guests left and perhaps a special mention for Santa who braved all the air traffic control problems to arrive on schedule yesterday and today.
 
The dmu team were not far in case of train problems but managed to progress the restoration of 50253 and continue with renewed efforts on 79018. The LMSCA continued with their work on the Mark 1 BSK.
 
You really need to experience one of our Santa days to appreciate quite how much effort, and how many people, goes into delivering a stunning product and I again thank all those that made it happen.
 
Martin

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Santa Saturday 13th December 2014

Dear all
 
Another great performance from the Santa delivery team with a full house on our three trains. Support acts included the EVRA shop, Model Railway Exhibition and Eric & Anne at the North Pole who have found a whole new revenue stream with their catering operation. Today's photo show the ritual scraping of the Santa Train windows after a very heavy overnight frost.
 
An intriguing fact this year is how we have reached a more distant market than the more immediate locality as a result of our very clever backroom boys who have influenced our position in the league when a Google search is made for "Santa Trains". Quite a pointer for the future.
 
The dmu team, on standby for any Santa Train problems, managed to continue the restoration of 50253, preparation of the PW "Bubble Car" for painting and removing the last of the seats from 79018 to allow for water damaged ceiling panels to be replaced.
 
The LMSCA tended to their Mark 1 BSK and BTO together with using the sewing machine to create the northern gangway connection on the BTO.
 
More Santa joy tomorrow.
 
Martin
 
An interlude at Whatstandwell, home of the present Assistant Company Secretary and production centre for share certificates!
 
 
A note from Richard Evison - a stalwart of the VCT
 
Hi Martin
I am organising a tour of the JCB factory at Rocester in the New Year.This is for our Heanor Walking Football Team.However, I thought our volunteers might also be interested.
I had a tour many years ago and found it very interesting. There is no charge for this.If you would care to notify our volunteers by email it would be appreciated.I can be contacted at raevison@aol.com or on 07736 105188.No date had been firmed up yet as it depends on total numbers and availability.If there is sufficient interest,coach travel can be organised, obviously the hire, chargeable at cost.Alternatively shared cars is a possibility.
All the best
Richard
 
The dmu team suggested I mentioned "Pepi the van" - quite meaningless to me and, after a Google search, quite meaningless there - however I'm here to serve - perhaps all will be revealed at some time

Friday, 12 December 2014

Progress Report Friday the 12th of December 2014

Dear all,

A day of deep tranquility in the winter sunshine. We paused for breath before another sleigh arrived and fed the Reindeer. Santa's switchboard answered many phone calls. Down the yard the LMSCA did some flooring and other wondrous tasks on their BSK and the foremen gritted essential places and washed a large pole shortly to have a new lamp on the top of it.

All the best,
Anton

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Supplementary Progress Thursday 11th December 2014

Dear all
 
I met Network Rail representatives at Duffield to decide the future of the footbridge north of Duffield Tunnel. It would seem that the conclusion is to remedy it on site, rather than demolish Rupert's house to remove it for refurbishment away from site, but you never know. Whilst waiting for NR to appear I experimented with some video of Duffield Main Line.
 
 
Martin

Progress Thursday 11th December 2014

Dear all,

A chilly day where you saw the occasional passing car that had mysterious snow on it.

The EVRA coach team were in first thing attending the SK and the LMSCA continued with their BSK. Theres a huge lump of wood to be put into the floor by the corridor which has been prepared. It is so big it nearly bottomed out poor Peppy the Van. This vehicle, will then have a plywood guards floor laid which is conveniently the right thickness for off the shelf products.

Mike worked tirelessly once again on the PWay bubble by sanding off any remaining paint and derusting one or two bits. The ventilators have now been primed and sealed up but theres a bit more to do yet before the real painting can begin.

Work continued on the 108 to remove any last bits of paint before it too gets a roof paint.

Todays picture shows the progress on the PWay bubble's roof.

Leigh

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Santa Wednesday 10th December 2014

Dear all
 
The main event today was the first ever Wednesday Santa Train which worked very well with a team formed from many departments. As ever I am very grateful to those who have taken on board how important these trains are and recognise all the effort put into delivering a well received product.
 
Also today there was a good turnout of permanent way men, illustrated, to start disassembling our three way point which desperately requires new timbers in advance of the locomotive testing agreed for early 2015. The LMSCA continued with their work on the Mark 1 BSK and a tentative start was made on the restoration of the newly arrived Derby Lightweight 2 Car set.
 
The Booking Hall welcomed today's visitors and last minute sales ensured we achieved our own objective for Santa revenue which were some 50% above that achieved last year. All very encouraging!
 
Martin
 
 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Progress Tuesday 9th December 2014

Dear all
 
Quite a day with a customer testing two mobile platforms, one of which is illustrated, ably looked after by Richard Buckby but prolonged by a rerailing exercise towards the end of the day. Their presence was added to by our regular "walking stick" customer who was introducing a couple of new recruits to our site.
 
The dmu team removed around half the seats in the new arrival 79018 so that ceiling repairs can be accomplished without damage to the moquette. 50599 has a scrape of its roof prior to repainting and the PWT Bubble Car had paint applied to its recently sandblasted roof.
 
The LMSCA continue their endeavours with the Mark 1 BSK and Stanier TO. The DST reported drilling the holes in one of the spacer plates for the replacement buffers on Henry Ellison but jumped ship at midday to enjoy a Christmas lunch at Shottle.
 
The PWT jacked and packed a crossing nose on their newly re-laid single slip as it had been observed to move under load. They later turned their attention to stripping down the 3 way point which requires new timbers in advance of the arrival of the first of the London Underground new battery locomotives for test and trials.
 
The VCT reported a further 50 metres of sheep fencing erected and a two fire day by the cutting and burning side of the organisation. They also surveyed a further request for sheep fencing over and above the initial NFU request - you can just see that we will end up with 18 miles of new fencing! So far we have devoted nearly £1000 to this project.
 
Amey were with us on the last day of their structure survey dealing with Wirksworth to Ravenstor - no alarms reported but I am sure there will be more requests for work to be done.
 
The Booking Hall squeezed a few more Santa bookings into the limited numbers of renaming places
 
It was bitterly cold today and I take my hat off to all the various teams that continued against the odds.
 
Martin 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Progress Monday 8th December 2014

Dear all,

The first snow of the winter, but not too bad thankfully.

Very quiet today as everybody recovers from the weekend, with just the Santa Co-ordinator in to clean the train.

The Booking Office dealt with the odd enquiry and put out a new display of sweets for sale now in the Booking Office at Wirksworth.

Leigh

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Santa Sunday 7th December 2014

Dear all
 
Another wonderful performance by all the team resulting in peons of praise from the participants. Another 22 people gave up their Sunday to ensure all our guests were treated like royalty and deserve our sincere thanks. At Duffield the team there seem to have uncorked an amazing demand for hot drinks which has added to the bottom line.
 
Today's photo show the mince pie and mulled wine team poised for their next influx of clients.
 
Martin

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Santa Saturday 6th December 2014

The photo!

Santa Saturday 6th December 2014

Dear all
 
The first day of our Santa season where all the hard work to prepare the Railway for our young guests started to pay off. The actual delivery on the day of our acknowledged high quality product involved some 22 volunteers which is a great achievement as they stepped up to the plate from across all our departments. The whole day resulted in some very happy faces and kindly compliments. Support acts were in the shape of roast chestnuts served from the Bagnall Locomotive Group brakevan and the EVRA shop. The photo shows our first arrival back from the North Pole, a fund raising bric-a-brac stall and the gently simmering brakevan.
 
There was a meeting of the Derby Lightweight Group to determine what investment can be made at Wirksworth to finally restore their 2 Car set whilst the dmu team studied ways in which 79018 might return to life after 10 years storage. There was also an intriguing and novel approach to the creating of a log burner from an old gas cylinder.
 
The LMSCA wrestled with returning their sowing machine to life reporting success and further work was undertaken in their Mark 1 BSK.
 
Many thanks to the Santa team special praise for the North Pole team who have considerably bettered last year's presentation there.
 
Martin

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Progress Thursday 4th December 2014

Dear all
 
On another bitterly cold day the teams on site achieved great things. Rob washed the Santa set and ensured the toilet was filled as well as checking everything worked. The dmu team were working on refurbishing EP valves, removing an AWS sensor from one of the ex Severn Tunnel "Bubble Cars" that will be collected by the Severn Valley Railway and started to sign write their support stores vehicle. The latter activity was organised by Ben who has provided a very tasteful addition to Wirksworth Station replica lamps with great results.
 
Eric Hills went to town with the decoration of our two Pullman coaches so they will provide a very welcoming environment for the Santa train passengers whilst they enjoy mince pies and mulled wine.
 
Leigh produced his weekly report of Santa bookings reporting a spectacular 58% increase income, so far, over 2013. This is all virtually on line and my thanks go to Leigh and Robin for facilitating this leap forward. It goes without saying that this cash into the business helps immensely when all other sources have died down through the winter months.
 
Our task now is to deliver what we have promised! I do really look forward to seeing which personalities participate in an active way.
 
Martin

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Progress Wednesday 3rd December 2014

Dear all
 
The stars of today were all the people bringing the Santa experience closer to realisation. Present were prepared, the Santa Train decoration completed and the train cleaned together with the "Bubble Car" that will form emergency waiting accommodation at Platform 3 should the weather prove inclement. The North Pole team have also achieved great things as illustrated in the photos. I am extremely grateful for all these efforts, stressful at times for those involved, but the Railway will move forward as a result of all their endeavours.
 
The PWT report they have achieved "Herculean" feats to deliver a container of water to Idridgehay ( as part of a general tidy up of this somewhat neglected station ) and then gathered up all the logs generated by the VCT for collection at Shottle. Returning they gathered the Plate wagon for The Duke team and the RUDD which will require emptying for its next role in muck removal.
 
The team also track patrolled between Gorsey Bank and Ravenstor and the LMSCA continued with reconstructing their Mark 1 BSK.
 
The Booking Hall processed yet more Santa bookings and restocked the retail area with items which will tempt our younger visitors over the next few weeks much to the chagrin of their minders - but business is business!
 
Martin

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Progress Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Dear all
 
We received Fred & Iris who worked their magic on the Mess Hall and the PWT undertook a lot of preparation for tomorrow's adventures. The VCT visited Wirksworth to collect another 500 metres of sheep netting and reported a team of 7 men, two fires and some 50 metres of netting erected. The farmers of the Hazelwood should be very happy but I don't think its in their dna.
 
Santa predominates as the leading cause of activities with the train decorations under work, Wirksworth and Duffield stations receiving attention and the Pullman Buffet Car becoming a festive venue. We are getting closer to all the staff needed for this vital part of our enterprise except for Sunday 7th and 14th November where servers of mince pies and mulled wine are still needed. If you can help visit www.e-v-r.com/rota and get your name down.
 
Mike Billings attempted another flailing excursion but had to repair some faults eventually departing to deal with the embankment at the south end of the Hannages. The DST concentrated on Cathryn's firebox and removed difficult stays. The LMSCA had two teams, one dealing with their Mark 1 BSK and the other installing a refurbished sewing machine which is illustrated by a delighted Derek.
 
The Booking Hall dealt with another significant dose of Santa reservations and very happily received the first firm booking for the Shottle Soiree evenings. On line sales have also processed the first Drive a Diesel Day for 2015 with four participants.
 
Martin
 
PS - I have been in negotiation with Transport for London to test and shake down 14 Shoma Diesel Locomotive that are being converted to battery operation by Clayton Engineering and am happy to report that I have received purchase orders for the first two of these machines. This will stress the PWT as we will have to retimber some of the Wirksworth Yard pointwork before the first one arrives in the third week of January!
 
PPS - Further negotiations have also taken place with a training company which will be located at Duffield to bring new recruits up to Network Rail Permanent Way worker standards. All is on course for this activity to commence in February next year.
 
PPPS - for lovers of trams there is a little piece taken in Nottingham to see how the camera behaved in poor light conditions - the lonely and long suffering street walker seemed to be following me about. http://youtu.be/LACceX5S8LM

Monday, 1 December 2014

Progress Monday 1st December 2014

Dear all,

Certainly the calm before the storm today with Santa starting on Saturday. Bookings are still flooding in and the website os now very multicoloured.

The LMSCA continued with the BSK. Most of the structure appears complete, with work heading towards the gutters and corridor areas.

We welcomed Amey for bridge inspections and a contractor working on behalf of the council who were surveying the standard gauge tunnel as part of a nearby local project.

Leigh

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Progress Thursday 27th November 2014

Dear all
 
It's been all about Santa today, as it should be because it is vital to our ongoing survival, with his train receiving last minute attention to ensure all the heating works and a sound test of our new in coach sound system. Cleaning of the train has benefited from the LCC as we prepare for next week's decoration and preparation of Santa's on board grotto. All those groups that now reside on our site should be well aware that this singular part of the year allows them to enjoy their hobby and participation in delivering a great experience is key to our continued future.
 
The dmu team continued with repairs to a cylinder head on Iris and the lone LMSCA worker made further progress with the north end of their Mark 1 BSK.
 
The PWT tended to an unpleasant track joint on the Car Park Siding with a little packing in the surrounding area. They also recovered some equipment from bridge DJW 17 after the repair work there.
 
The Booking Hall processed yet more Santa bookings and I am happy that this year's financial take has now overtaken last year's total.
 
Martin
 
I couldn't find an appropriate photo in today's gloom but my mind turned to the tiem when Tube Lines were with us illustration the changes at Shottle from 2007 and we just couldn't go any further with this 60 tonne vehicle. The Schoma diesel also visited as part of this project and may return if the gods are with us!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Progress Wednesday 26th November 2014

Dear all
 
It's nearly upon us - the Santa Season so today saw the Christmas Tree and the genuine North Pole delivered to their destination that is quite oddly somewhat south of Wirksworth. It was slightly demeaning for the Norwegian Spruce (or looky-likey) to be transported on top of a lowly wagon load of spoil! In addition to this critical delivery the PWT had the opportunity to dispose of surplus wagon stock at Shottle and collect two flat wagons one of which was back loaded with logs for Wirksworth.
 
Mike Billings followed the Works Train and managed to achieve more flailing in what was an extremely bleak and damp day. The "Bubble Car" that will be the PWT's main transport received day 2 of sandblasting and was moved into the Maintenance Facility for undercoating at the end of the day. During the day the dmu team shunted all the vehicles out of the way of this last move.
 
The Santa Coordinator and LCC together with long suffering husband made progress in the Training Room with present assembly and coding after being comforted that several areas of concern were under control!
 
The Booking Hall was again pleasantly swamped by Santa bookings requiring quite an administrative effort.
 
Martin
 
PS - An all too brief look at Nottingham Midland where I tried to match the position in 1965 with that in 2014 only to be moved on by some wretched jobs worth! No wonder I sound like Victor Meldrew from time to time! http://youtu.be/LyIh0XZvbew
 
PPS - Funds for the Permanent Way Team's splendid new transport are a little slow to come in and I have taken quite a punt to spend £700 on its sandblasting preparatory to a basic undercoat. If you can help with this very worthy project which will help keep this vital team in business your contribution would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Progress Tuesday 25th November 2014

Dear all
 
A great deal of activity today with the PWT achieving a tremendous success in "jim crowing" the point blades at the north end of the single slip to achieve conclusion to this complex project. They deserve a great deal of praise for this work and I wonder what the next challenge might be? The team also discharged the remaining ballast into the track relay past the former "dust dock" which brings this area nearly up to standard - I am sure the white gold fairy will visit again!
 
The VCT reported a 7 man team split into two groups with one achieving a further 70 metres of sheep fencing in an area of very hard going and the other cutting and burning with two fires in the area of MP 134 1/2.
 
The dmu group spent time cleaning the east side of one of our new arrivals, the unique Derby Lightweight two car set. We may be considered foolish in accepting another challenge but this set will really provide us with high quality vehicles that will set the standard for the foreseeable future. The PWT "Bubble Car" received day one of sand blasting and great progress was made to move this vehicle towards painting. The LMSCA worked on their BTO and Mark 1 BSK and the DST painted wheels on No3, prepared spaced plates for new buffers on Hnery Ellison and made further progress with Cathryn's footplate. Stewart machined parts for Cathryn and steam heating components for the LMSCA.
 
The Booking Hall processed a most satisfactory number of Santa bookings and also trialled the new music system for the Santa train.
 
All in all, a great day.
 
Martin
 
PS - two videos for you - the first reflects today's dmu activities and the second, a look at Ambergate
 
 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Progress Monday 24th November 2014

Dear all,

A bitterly cold day, the first of the winter, which saw a good frost this morning. Numbers were thin on the ground today but there were still some exciting things going on around.

The LMSCA were in continuing apace with the rebuild of the BSK's back end. It is quite impressive to see all of the new metalwork going in, especially with the thickness of some of it around the corridor!

This morning, we welcomed negotiations with a test customer. All was very positive so we'll see what happens!

We also welcomed, finally, the Derby Lightweight power/trailer set. The set forms what we believe to be the oldest surviving DMU built by British Railways in 1954 and it is great that all three remaining vehicles of the class can be together once again, and so close to home. The power car, Driving Motor Brake Third M79018 received a considerable Heritage Lottery grant to enable it's restoration, which was completed around 10 years ago. The vehicle popped over to the Railcar50 celebrations at the Severn Valley Railway, being the oldest representative which was actually 50 at the time. Now exactly 60, the vehicle hasn't carried any passengers and needs some attention now it has sat for 10 years waiting for the partner to be completed. The vehicle needs modifications to the wiring as it was completed to the original Yellow Diamond multiple working specification which means it can't work with other units. It is planned to convert this in a similar way to 'Iris' so that it can. The trailer car, Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory, is a shell inside but has already had considerable work done to it and has been wired to Blue Square multiple working specification. Serious restoration work isn't likely to start soon but once they're complete, the railway really will have a special product! More details at www.e-v-r.com/stock .

Cheers,

Leigh

Friday, 21 November 2014

Supplementary Progress Friday 21st November 2014

Dear all
 
It was the Rail Accident Investigation Branch's Training Day at Wirksworth and part of their mission was to explore the capabilities of a drone acquired from the Air Accident Investigation Branch. The pictures show some of the RAIB team and the mystery flying object.
 
Martin

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Progress Thursday 20th November 2014

Dear all
 
The dmu team were in action again as they make sure the Santa train is fit for its starring role. Efforts concentrated on 51188 where Lee and Joe were replacing a fan and fuel pump to ensure all is well on the big days. They have also been able to release "Bubble Car" 55006 for Saturday's scheduled services.he
 
The LMSCA continued their refurbishment of the north end of the Mark 1 BSK as it is prepared to support next year's initial catering train. Today also saw the arrival of an LMS Stanier 12 wheel sleeping car which will be converted, over time, into a splendid 54 seat dining car. The LMSCA have been extremely ambitious with this project which eventually produce something that will be truly unique to our Railway.
 
The Booking Hall has continued to deal with unprecedented demand for Santa trains with sales so far this year being some 39% in advance of 2013. It looks as though our season will be quite spectacular!
 
It was good to welcome Mick Thomas back into the fold as he awaits attention to his knees. His technical expertise will be invaluable to moving the track remodelling forward necessary for the Maintenance Facility extension project.
 
Martin
 
PS - whilst pausing at Derby on Monday there were a couple of movements that tempted a look - http://youtu.be/WDp7CpQhOcE

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Progress Wednesday 19th November 2014

Dear all
 
The PWT came out in force to complete the single slip rotation and Phil is pictured with the first test run over the new work. The video shows Phil and Mike Evans testing and allowing the work to be signed off all bar a little work on the northern most point mechanism. My sincere thanks go to Phil Tarry who has been with us over the three week period from his distant residence in Devon. We should give three cheers to all the people that participated in this complex work and ensured the project was delivered within the set timescale.
 
The dmu team continued with readying the three Santa train vehicles to ensure they deliver at the critical time with a warm, toileted and clean environment. The Bubble Car 55006 was prepared for action on this week's Saturday services. The LMSCA expended a great deal of energy on their Mark 1 BSK which is gradually being welded together again.
 
The Booking Hall concentrated on Santa which continues to be pleasantly filling.
 
Martin
 
 
and another blast from the past http://youtu.be/9abkJsct_P4

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Progress Tuesday 18th November 2014

Dear all
 
We welcomed back Amey who completed bridge inspections between Idridgehay and Jebbs Lane as they work through our annual inspections. Fred and Iris gave the Mess Hall their usual high quality hygienic treatment and I am pleased to say that the teams seemed to have maintained the standard to the end of the day - marvellous!
 
The VCT team of 8 achieved a World record of 200 metres of sheep netting erected as part of our agreement with the NFU - a truly remarkable piece of endeavour. The other part of the team dealt with further incursions of blackthorn which is not an enviable task! The PWT, pictured, jacked, packed and snagged the single slip pointwork that has been remodelled. They were out in force and tomorrow should see this project put to bed.
 
Graham and Roger have been attacking the poor visual state of the fencing and gates of Idridgehay and commenced the long process of preparing this area for repainting.
 
The dmu team have been working on the roof of 50599 to remove the remains of the BR applied bitumen based covering so that this vehicle can be made presentable again. The DST were fitting sandboxes and tending to the footplate metalwork on Cathryn.
 
Angela has been top and tailing our accounts for the year ending 31st October and it was good to see Izzy and Natalie back from their tour of the southern hemisphere. There is a mystery surrounding the loss of 7 tablecloths from our VIP luncheon equipment - any ideas? At £12 each it's quite annoying.
 
The Booking Hall continued processing a steady stream of Santa bookings and agreed to work with a new leaflet distributor that will widen our penetration of the market for 2015.
 
Martin
 
PS - A look at Derby today and in 1965 - quite some changes in Motive Power - http://youtu.be/dz1AGuxvHjc

Monday, 17 November 2014

Progress Monday 17th November 2014

Dear all,

The main thrust of activity today was on the slip relay project in the yard. A small Permanent Way team worked their socks off today screwing the track down largely by hand as hired in mechanical assistance didn't arrive. A day of packing and levelling tomorrow, followed by connecting the levers, should hopefully see this project conclude late Wednesday (with a fair wind). They're off for a soak!

The Booking Office continued to process a steady stream of Santa bookings with some of the trains getting tight. The website shows the status of each train, with two yellow and one red at this moment in time. Another is about to go yellow shortly.

The LMSCA continued work on the rear end rebuild of the Mark 1 BSK also.

Leigh


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Progress Saturday 15th November 2014

Dear all,

A miserable day which still saw good passenger numbers. The train was loaded with VIPs for lunch as well as a birthday party.

The 8F group continued their work and so did The Duke team. Work also continued on the BSK by the LMSCA.

The DMU Group were out in force moving large components from external storage to dry store.

Leigh

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Progress Thursday 13th November 2014

Dear all
 
The first photo shows the achievements of the permanent way team this week who have completed all the rail installation yesterday for the single slip project and will devote next week to fastening it all down and reopening the finished product to trains again. The second photo shows the work going on to deal with the cylinder heads on Iris. The dmu team also put effort into the three car set that will be our Santa train with a new fan retrieved to correct a problem on 51188 and tended to the batteries on the centre car.
 
The LMSCA continued with surgery to the north end of their Mark 1 BSK and the M1M reported completing the restoration of the battery box on their SO.
 
The work on the Santa train has never been more valued as the Booking Hall reports a 29% growth in sales compared with this time last year together with dealing with our second coach operator booking for 2015. Amey have been out and about again for their annual bridge and structure inspection.
 
All most encouraging.
 
Martin

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Progress Wednesday 12th November 2014

Dear all
 
Our heroes today were the PW Team who braved the most unpleasant weather to move the single slip project forward. All the machine assistance failed or was intermittent in performance but at the end of the day all the metalwork was in place and a start was made on screwing it down to the sleeper supports. An impact wrench has been hired for Monday which will give some security that the task can be completed by close of play Tuesday.
 
The other photo today shows the EVRA SK following a basic repaint by Lee Sharpe who is now turning his attention to the roof of the Railcar Enterprises support vehicle. The LMSCA battled  on with the north end of their Mark 1 BSK which continues to receive major surgery.
 
The dmu team of one, Joe, started to give the three Met-Cam vehicles that will form the Santa train a full service and I was in error yesterday as vehicle 50599 has been put in the Maintenance Facility for attention to its window seals.
 
The Booking Hall continued under the weight of Santa bookings which is really showing the strength of this year's offering. Santa Co-coordinator, June, was quite surprised to receive extra presents to her order which seem to be "booties" for the new born. Nonetheless they will be taken into stock waiting an event. Some 67 boxes of next year's timetable brochures also arrived requiring physical exertion to take the into stock.
 
Martin
 
 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Progress Tuesday 11th November 2014

Dear all
 
It is difficult to award today's winning team accolade. The PWT, pictured, achieved amazing progress with all sleepers and metalwork positioned as part of the single slip project. There remains two small closures to be dealt with tomorrow and screwing down of the new layout. This is tremendous as it represents the most difficult challenge for the team so far.
 
Equally, the VCT had a turn out of 9 and split themselves between fencing and blackthorn clearance. A record 100 metres of sheep fencing was erected as part of our agreement with the NFU. This is nothing short of magnificent and reflects great credit on those involved. Farmers and train crew should be very happy although farmers never display happiness.
 
Fred and Iris returned to thoroughly cleanse the Mess Hall and the LMSCA gave further attention to the guttering on their TO.
 
The dmu team extracted EVRA's SK, after painting, from the Maintenance facility replacing it with 51188 for window seal attention. The DST concentrated on Henry Ellison's drawbar and buffer replacement whilst also winterising both Henry Ellison and No3 by wrapping up various parts that may be exposed to frost. Cathryn enjoyed her eccentric sheaves being tended to. (I only write this without having to understand!)
 
The Booking Hall continued to process a welter of Santa bookings - it is all most gratifying as this year looks set to break all previous records.
 
A very pleasant and rewarding day if slightly damp.
 
Martin
 
PS - Not for the enthusiast but a look at the tall buildings of Chicago from the water - http://youtu.be/em005VufV4k

Monday, 10 November 2014

Progress Monday 10th November 2014

Dear all,

Bitterly cold in the Gem of the Peak today where once again the main push was on the slip reversal in Wirksworth Yard. For day 4, the team are doing remarkably well with new timbers being laid in position today and a start being made on installing the metalwork! Fingers crossed for another great day tomorrow.

Nearby, LS Engineering completed his part of the EVRA SK and the LMSCA continued working on their BSK.

The Elves arrived in the Booking Office to find a flood of Santa bookings from the weekend. Things have raced along this weekend and one or two trains won't be far away from going amber on the website now.

Leigh

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Progress Report Saturday 8th November 2014

Dear All,

A very wet day down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line but our three Duffield services still achieved good passenger loadings. Today's planned LMSCA coach delivery from north of the border has been postponed for a couple of weeks for reasons out of our control. It was good to welcome 'Vince the Elder's' daughters who visited us to donate some of their dad's tools and PPE.

Down the yard the LMSCA focussed their efforts preparing the interior of the T.O. for further work. The DMU team removed the seats of 50253 and the 8F group plied their skills with 'the Duke'. The Buffet staff were out in full force catering to the needs of 32 Amazon Customers who, despite the weather, were most complimentary about their visit.

Finally, the booking hall dealt with various Santa related activities and the Association held their Annual General Meeting in the Red Lion Hotel this afternoon which was well supported.

All the best,

Tom

Friday, 7 November 2014

Progress Report Friday the 7th of November 2014

Dear all,

A day of the most foul weather, even by our standards: cold, wet and unspeakably awful.

The LMSCA received some fine quality steelwork to repair the north end of their BSK and Sharpe Enterprises attached some paint to the EVRA SK in the relative dryness of the shed.

The Station Foremen carried out repairs to the platform 1 footgate and fitted a new Parkhurst to the north end of the Training Room in order to light up passing cats in the wee small hours. They then retired for the duration having been drowned in the process. The Parkhurst is activated by a motion detector and when Spank, the station cat, passes on his midnight patrol the Parkhurst will come on for five minutes. This process was tested by the Duty Manager in the gathering gloom and several new puddles were discovered on the way: Duty Manager's socks are now drying on the Booking Hall radiator.

ATB, Anton 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Progress Thursday 6th November 2014

Dear all
 
We welcomed back Amey today as they undertake their annual bridge and structure examinations which will carry on over the next few weeks. Network Rail returned for their penultimate day of endurance testing ably hosted by Tony Watt. Rodney continued to add material to the Duffield Road Rail Access Point to aid the turn round of the vehicle there.
 
The dmu team started to work on the cylinder heads of "Iris" and continued the "winterisation" of the fleet. This Saturday's two car set was checked and readied for service. The LMSCA concentrated on the replacement steel work for the north end of their Mark 1 BSK and the M1M worked on reconstructing the battery box on the EVRA SO. Painting of the EVRA SK continued apace in the Maintenance Facility.
 
I was good to welcome Mick Thomas who has been having a torrid time whilst his knees are examined by the medical profession. They have decided he needs a major overhaul and will enter the works in 18 weeks or so. In the meantime he will be manufacturing the necessary parts of Shottle Loop ground frames.
 
The Booking Hall continues to concentrate on the 2015 web site offers together with this year's Santa bookings.
 
Martin
 
The last post from Manchester with trams, a Class 66 and a Class 92!
 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Progress Wednesday 5th November 2014 - Bonfire Night

Dear all
 
The great track reconfiguration proceeded apace with a one day hire of a mini digger and driver to prepare the track bed and ensure the drainage in the area was corrected at the same time. A big thank you for the large team that turned out to support Phil as by the end of the day they had achieved the ballast base ready for next week's endeavours. The photos show the scene partway through the day and two of the team looking down a hole. Vince Morris did achieve a great deal of drain rodding though!
 
The dmu team finality bottomed the replacement head on one of the "Bubble Car" engines and now are concentrating on an oil change to restore the vehicle back to active service. The LCC had Christmas on her mind and further preparation and tweaking was agreed. The LMSCA tended to the last of the guttering on their Third Open and continued to progress the BSK.
 
I mentioned John Rhead's attention to the guards documentation and should also thank Michael Perkins who is knocking all the literature into shape.
 
The Booking Hall processed more Santa bookings and spend a great deal of time preparing the web site to reflect our wares in 2015.
 
A cold, sunny day with much further progress.
 
Martin
 
Tonight's video remains in Manchester near the site of the late, lamented, Manchester Central http://youtu.be/wnbBOg6SISo

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Progress Tuesday 4th November 2014

Dear all
 
The season may have all but ended but in a most unusually pleasant day further progress was made with our permanent way challenge. The photo illustrates we are now committed and I welcome Phil Tarry back to the fold for a guest three week appearance to mastermind this challenge. I thank all who came out to help in this major work for our enterprise.
 
The VCT have returned to their preferred Tuesday activities now that there are no service trains and split into two groups the first of which started the great fencing enhancement project agreed with the Nation Farmers Union while four of the group tended to vegetation clearance in the area of milepost 134 1/2. The dmu team spent further time on one of the engines of 55006 where the cylinder head studs are proving to be quite a problem and a team of two started to refurbish the main flower bed woodwork on Platform 1.
 
The DST were out in force tending to Cathryn's wheel painting, fitting steel plate that will support the bunker and positioning the first reconditioned spring for refitting. Again shown in a photo. Other parts of the team continued to attend to Henry Ellison's buffing and drawbar gear together with draining No3 of water.
 
Fred & Iris gave the Mess Hall their usual attention together with further work on the Wirksworth station planters. John Rhead has put in a great deal of work, which was reviewed today, to ensure we can demonstrate the competences of our Guards. It's all very necessary to satisfy our Safety Management System and it is satisfying that we are in good order!
 
The Booking Hall processed Santa and experience courses together with the web changes needed for 2015.
 
Martin
 
PS - A day of indulgence for me yesterday as I journeyed on the 0922 Buxton to Manchester Piccadilly to join those celebrating the opening of the Manchester Metrolink extension to Manchester Airport. A few view of the new line attached - http://youtu.be/Qsp58Rwb3AE
 
Also there is some splendid single line working through some major works at Manchester Victoria - http://youtu.be/2RSpTG7JYhY
 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Progress Monday 3rd November 2014

Dear all,

Winter has arrived! …and today's test machine knew about it. Our customer was ably hosted by Mike Evans today but despite best efforts, the machine today was moody at times. Said mood swings slightly delayed the Permanent Way team with starting their latest project, to reverse the slip in the yard to make life easier when working the yard at Wirksworth. This project, scheduled to last around three weeks, is part of an overall scheme of improvements to the layout of the yard and will take great effort. The delay didn't seem to phase the team too much as they really cracked on this afternoon and managed to unclip virtually the whole point ready for more major work tomorrow.

So please note….

The yard is now in two. Stock on the pit road and the WC road can be moved around on that side of the yard with access to the incline. Stock on Road 3 (Pullman) is currently marooned. Stock on the car park/steam/carriage side of the yard has no access to the Maintenance Facility or the incline but can go to Duffield or the platforms via Road 1. The point between Road 1 and the slip is clipped to prevent use. The service train for November Saturday services is stabled behind the stop on Road 2 but MUST be left far enough north to enable the LMSCA to access the BSK easily.

Elsewhere today, LS Engineering continued the beautification process of the EVRA SK and the LMSCA continued work on the BSK. Once the structural work is completed there are great plans afoot for this vehicle!

The Booking Office was too in go mode with much preparation for next year.

Leigh