Wednesday, 30 November 2016

ProgressWednesday 30th November 2016

Hi all

My test Track hosted accompany testing a new RRV in the yard and various locations including the incline and a specially constructed 200 mm cant to enable it to receive it's 1530 Certificate to work on Network Rail track
The PWay took the works train to Shottle to unload Materials which had been redundant at Wirksworth and continued with the construction of the new 80ft platform at Shottle
The DMU duo commenced the B exam on Railcar 51188


All for now

Mike 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Progress Tuesday 29th november 2016

Hi all

Today saw the last of our service trains for 2016 before the Santa Trains begin on Saturday December 17th. The train was composed of our hybrid 119/101 set due to the non availability of a single unit. Although the temperature has plummeted the sun brought some passengers out for a day on our Railway supported by the Pullman buffet and EVRA shop.
Down the yard the PWay team marshalled the works train for Shottle tomorrow and sorted out the rotten sleepers for conveyance down the line for disposal
The Steam Team lagged the valves on the water tank wagon and greased all the moving parts on the Barclaysas part of the winterisation programme. In the Maintenace Facility the other half of the team worked on the derelict Polish mechanical lubricator and the main brake shaft. Stuart machined some of the crosshead slippers

All for now

Mike


  

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Progress Saturday 26th November 2016

>
> Dear all,
>
> Today has been quite busy on the trains by November standards. There were 61 passengers on the first train and the good numbers continued thereafter. I think this shows how far things have come because, as mentioned previously, there was a time not too long ago when running after the clocks changed would have certainly resulted in empty trains. I travelled on the first return and there was a great atmosphere on board. A large family with small children sat behind and sang Christmas songs all the way back from Duffield. It just created a nice ambience on board.
>
> Down the yard, some bits were sorted out in the recently arrived Mk1 RBK in a bid to ensure that the vehicle is water tight. The steam team were working on The Duke and the LMSCA were in the Brake Third Open.
>
> Just one service day left before Christmas now, this Tuesday! After that we're in to the Santa season.
>
> Leigh
>

Progress Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November 2016

Dear all,

Firstly let me apologise for the delay in this progress report - sometimes there's things to do in an evening!

Thursday was cold and dry which was perfect for erecting our new marquee at Wirksworth. The marquee has been acquired as an asset for the railway and will hopefully see use intermittently all year round at various events. On this occasion it will be Santa's Refreshment Area next month once it has been decorated. It is surprising because it makes the platform area seem much bigger when it is covered over! The modular design is great because we can have all of it or various configurations of it in the summer.

The PW team were busy tidying up all sorts of left over materials from various tasks that have been done over recent weeks in the yard, whilst the Maintenance team found themselves repairing a heater on Class 119 W51073. The source of the recurring vacuum problem on 55006 was identified and is now awaiting repair.

On Friday, we welcomed Mark 1 RBK M1779 which is a Restaurant Buffet Kitchen and is quite rare. The vehicle features approx half the coach as a professional kitchen, then a buffet bar and then 12 quite plush first class seats with tables. The vehicle is in need of bodywork and interior refurbishment before it can enter traffic with us but once complete will be a real asset. 

Derek and Dan were on site both days continuing repairs to their BSK.

Cheers,

Leigh

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Progress Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Hi all

The cooler weather certainly did not keep the volunteers away with all groups being present
Our three train service still attracts passengers in average numbers but our stalwart single railcar 55006 failed with a brake problem after two runs and was replaced by a hybrid two car set consisting of class 119 W51073 and Met Camm 51505
ThePWay team split into two groups after returning the works train from Shottle early am. One group continued with the construction of the new platform at Shottle and the rest loaded excess pway materials onto the sturgeon in Wirksworth yard
The steam team removed the fire bars and brick arch from Barclay Henry Ellison ready for inspection by the Boiler Inspector. The kit of parts for Cathryn is reducing with the fitting of the steam brake cylinder and the 12 sand pipes are being refurbished
The LMSCA continued re building the internal woodwork in 27001 and Derek and Dan progressed the compartments in the BSK
Any volunteers reading this report please note we are erecting the new Santa Marquee for the Winter wonderland Experience this Thursday and would appreciate some able bodied assistance please

Thanks

Mike


  

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Progress Report Saturday 19th November

Dear All,

It was an eventful day down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line. The day started with the 'Bubble' suffering from a sticky EP valve but thankfully this soon resolve itself. No sooner had the service train left I received a phone call from the train crew informing me the recent stormy weather in Wirksworth had resulted in a tree blocking the line just south of Ken Roland's crossing. Despite the sterling efforts of the train crew it was impossible for them to move the obstruction due to its size and the train returned to Wirksworth so a works train could be despatched with the relevant equipment and numbers of volunteers to unblock the line whilst the passengers were looked after in the buffet. Thankfully we were able to remove the tree with the help of saws, collective muscle power and a rope attached to the train to drag the tree free of the line. (photos attached).

I feel its important to mention that our driver training at the railway emphasises the importance of 'defensive driving' on the first train service in case of such an emergency. The rails were wet and the tree was hidden in the shadows making it difficult to spot at distance but thanks to Pete Watt's skills the train was brought to a halt quickly and safely.

Down at Duffield the gremlins were at work too with the till system failing which all added to the feeling that the Gods were conspiring against us today! However normal service was soon resumed and the First Crich Scout Troop were able to journey down the line as part of the Chief Scout Gold Award. Down the yard the EVRA shop team held a meeting in the training room. The lone DMU apprentice worked diligently on final preparations for the Santa Train and Tim Oakes duly completed the floor in the BR box van. Between services Richard and Stuart undertook yard tours for our interested visitors which proved as popular as ever.

This afternoon our Catering Manager Eric Hills and his team laid on an excellent buffet for our volunteers in recognition of their continuing contributions to the railway and it great to see so many who had made a special journey to attend. Today's service was supported by the booking offices, EVRA shop and model railway.

My grateful thanks to everyone today who worked so well together to ensure, despite the challenges, our passengers were still able to enjoy the marvellous views the line has to offer at this time of year.

All the best, Tom






Thursday, 17 November 2016

Progress Thursday 17th November 2016

Dear all,

A storm passed over the tea cup today as it dampened the chip wrappers. The Maintenance Team examined the centre car and checked/regreased the axle boxes.

Derek and Dan continued working on the BSK.

The PW team were down at Shottle, no doubt getting soaked, as they seek to construct the second platform there.

Leigh

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Progress Tuesday 15th November 2016

Hi all

Our single unit railcar W55006 handled the three train service today and the renewed warm weather kept the passenger numbers up for this time of year
I always seem to forget Fred and Iris who give our mess room a deep clean and today planted bulbs in the Wirksworth tubs to give the station some colour next spring
The steam teams gave Barclay No 3 a boiler wash out and fitted the axle box keeps to Cathryn
The Pway team took the works train to Shottle early this morning loaded with all the materials to commence the building of the new shuttle platform
The DMU team of three today completed the lengthy B exam on Met Camm 50170 ( Santas Grotto ) and began the task of ensuring the heaters worked on the Centre car

All for now

Mike

    

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Progress Sunday 13th November 2016

Dear all,

A quiet day today with a few hanging around the engineerium. Some parts for the Derby Lightweight restoration were sorted out and the PW Bubble had some more of the bodyside undercoated.

Eric was in the Buffet to hoover up the odd few people passing by.

Leigh

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Progress Saturday 12th November 2016

Hi all
t
What a dark, damp miserable day but our service train still managed average numbers
About ten volunteers made up the DMU group today. The PWay railcar received more bodywork repairs and paintwork preparation. Met Camm 50170's fuel and oil filters were replaced and a leaking fuel pipe was replaced. The remainder worked on Faraday
Tim Oakes was seen carrying some new planks of wood which I assume was for his newly purchased stores van

All for now

Mike      

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Progress Thursday 10th November 2016

Dear all,

A fairly standard autumnal day which saw the PW team prepare their works train for their excursion to Shottle next week. The Maintenance Team were performing a C Examination on 50170 in preparation for the Santa season, which includes oil and filter changes. Another part of the team were removing worn buckeyes from some of the coaches which are going to be replaced.

Just a reminder, if you haven't voted yet in the Aviva grant awards then please drop us a couple or ten. There's about a week to go and there's one or two projects that could catch us so every vote counts. Pop over to https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-1868 and either sign or or click the "Login with Facebook" button at the bottom to cast your votes.

Cheers,

Leigh

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

150th Anniversary Wagon

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association has commissioned a 00 scale wagon from Bachmann to celebrate the 150thAnniversary of the opening of the Duffield to Wirksworth Branch and the 20th Anniversary of the founding of EVRA.
The wagon is in the livery of Swift Hazelwood. Herbert Swift was Station Master at Hazelwood from 1890 to 1926 and the family were also coal merchants and owned two wagons, the subject of the model.
We are due to receive the model at the beginning of December, just in time for Christmas. It is a limited edition of 504; each with an individually numbered information certificate. It is priced at £16.50 collected from the EVRA Shop at Wirksworth or £20 including P&P.
The wagon can be preordered now at http://www.e-v-r.com/evra/ by downloading a form or online with PayPal (no account required).

Our last limited edition model "Wirksworth Quarries" sold out very quickly so preorder to secure yours now. An ideal Christmas Present!

Progress Wednesday 10th November 2016

Hi all

Derek and Dan continued on their quest to refit the BSK with its refurbished woodwork and new seats
The PWay team recovered more redundant track from the dock and loaded a wagon with materials and woodwork for the new Shottle platform
Winterisation of the DMU's was completed and repairs to Met Camm 51505's loose fan drive

All for now

Mike

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Progress Tuesday 8th November 2016

Hi all

Our three trip service train today was handled by single unit 55006 and good numbers were recorded for this time of year. It was supported by the EVRA shop and Pullman Buffet
Barclay Cathryn received its second set of side rods but was not completed without much grunting and groaning !! I make it sound easier than it was
The other half of steam winterised Henry Ellison by lagging the vulnerable parts and No3 had its water drained
The DMU duo also winterised most of the units by checking the antifreeze content of the coolant to ensure the strength would meet the colder temperatures
The PWay team recovered the redundant material from the ballast dock and completed the platform legs for Shottle

All for now

Mike 

Monday, 7 November 2016

The versatile VCT

Dear all
 
Today's VCT ( Vegetation Clearance Team ) demonstrated their versatility again by constructing a multipurpose gate that will close off the end of Platform1 when the miniature railway is not in operation but allow for entry when the small trains are running. It also facilitates the removal of gas bottles from the BSK(K) when the catering train is in action.
 
The other photo is the "Bubble Car" and Royal Train basking in the winter sun.
 
A couple of videos for you:-
 
The Lickey Incline was closed last week for engineering work at Bromsgrove leading to the diversion of all trains to the west via Smethwick and Kidderminster. A rare mix is shown at Smethwick Rolfe Street including a railhead treatment train in action.
 
 
The second video is of Whatstandwell on a sunny day last Wednesday with the untold luxury of a Class 158 on the Matlock branch!
 
 
Martin

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Progress Sunday 6th November 2016

Dear all,

Very quiet on site today but not surprising given the cold temperatures that we're not yet used to.

Most of the activity was in the engineerium surrounding the PW Bubble car and the Derby Lightweight power car. The former had the south end cab filled and sanded before a coat of undercoat was applied. This is the culmination of around 6 months work which has seen all of the top hat section replaced around the dome, the dome itself refurbished and the bottom supports and skin repaired. It's not pristine but as a departmental vehicle it will look presentable. The latter, in the meantime, had the EP valve boxes overhauled ready for refitting.

Derek and Dan continued on the BSK but found it quite chilly even when there wasn't any showers.

The Catering Department popped in to prepare for tomorrow's charter.

Leigh

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Progress Report Saturday 5th November 2016

Dear All,

It was a cold, crisp Autumn day down at Derbyshires Favourite Branch line but I have to say the season sunshine provided some beautiful foliage colours along the line (photo attached). The Duffield service enjoyed moderate passengers numbers throughout the day. Down the yard the LMSCA worked on the BSK windows and partitions. The DMU fitters began the process of winterising the fleet including 'Faraday' and a small team set about installing a new Webcam so the My Test Track customers can enjoy on line uninterrupted views of their equipment. Tim Oaks's band of men continued working on the Duke's brake linkage.

At Shottle, there was a different winterisation with the Oddingley signal box receiving protection from the winter elements (photo attached). Down at Duffield the brake van was coupled to the class 119 and returned to Wirksworth yard and at Wirksworth Station final preparations were made to the miniature railway to receive its new 7 inch gauge track.

Today's service was supported by Wirksworth and Duffield booking halls, the EVRA shop and the Pullman Buffet who served up a mean portion of potato and leek soup which stuck to your ribs!

An enjoyable day.

All the best, Tom






Thursday, 3 November 2016

Progress Thursday 3rd November 2016

Dear all,

Rather chilly today out and about. The PW team were working doing some maintenance around Platform 3 on the incline line whilst another group is cutting and preparing the wood for the second platform at Shottle.

The Maintenance Team were doing a B Exam on 50170 to ensure that it is ready for Santa.

We also welcomed a MTT customer who only used half of the day.

The Commercial Dept were in full planning mode for 2017.

Leigh

A Chinese Solution

Dear all
 
Today's test machine was a Chinese product munfactured by the CSR Corporation with SRS acting as their partner for sales in the UK and the rest of the World.
 
 
From yesterday's trip to Birmingham there is a look at some activity in Derby and the shiny new Midland Metro at New Street:-
 
 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Progress Wednesday 2nd November 2016

Hi all

The first frost of the winter hit us this morning but the sun soon shone which made working outside more acceptable
Outside the weighbridge much sawing and drilling of large pieces of wood was completed which were eventually bolted together and will form the Shottle platform legs
The PWay also continued to replace long crossing timbers around the Maintenance Facility points  
The DMU duo started an exam for 50170 ( Santa's Grotto ) and the alternator belts were replaced

All for now

Mike

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Progress Tuesday 1st November 2016

Hi all

Although the temperature dropped significantly plenty of tasks were completed in Wirksworth yard and Balfour Beatty were calibrating their track vibration equipment at Wash Green.
Henry Ellison received it's boiler wash out and Cathryn now has connecting rods. The frame was craned onto the wheels yesterday
Much shunting was completed to replace all the vehicles in their correct positions after the Maintenance facility was cleared for the crane operation yesterday
The PWay team re sleepered a long crossing timber on the water crane point and commenced cutting the timbers for the second Shottle platform structure
55006 had it's green tinted fibreglass domes returned to their correct white colour

All for now

Mike