Sunday, 31 December 2017

Progress Sunday 31st December 2017

Dear all,

A fairly mild end to 2017 as we ran our Blue Timetable. There was a steady stream of passengers all day, including plenty of walkers. Down at the shed, a lone ranger continued with the quest to repaint the Class 33 which is coming on a treat now.

As our 150th year celebration draws to a close, I thought it would be useful to reflect upon what a fantastic year it has been for our railway. We set out to make it a bumper year and I think we achieved it! We had many great events and lots of happy smiling faces through the door. It has taken a lot of effort on the part of our staff and volunteers and they have each played their part in their own way.

The year kicked off with our March Diesel Locomotive Weekend, which featured a visiting Class 14 locomotive for the first time. 'Eric' was a hit with the general public and it was great to see such an unusual yet versatile locomotive running on our line.  The event also featured the first services for the newly-arrived Class 31, which became a first enthusiast favourite.

Something equally strange happened for the Multiple Memories Railcar Gala in May, where we had a visiting Class 153 from East Midlands Trains. It was certainly weird seeing that operating up and down the branch! The whole weekend started with a bit of a nightmare if I remember rightly. Several things went wrong with the transport of the unit which meant that it didn't land with us until midnight. We were then up bright and early for the naming ceremony as the unit now proudly wears the "Ecclesbourne Valley Railway 150 Years" nameplate. We were very grateful to East Midlands Trains for all of their help to make this weekend a great success.

I suppose the biggy was the visit of the 3F 'Jinty' 47406 which delighted the visitors for a large part of the summer. Operating over several key events including the Classic Bus and Coach Rally, the Classic Transport Weekend and the 1950s Bank Holiday Weekend, the locomotive helped us achieve several 'firsts' for our railway. For example, we passed steam and diesel services at Shottle for the first time. The 'Jinty' was so popular we then set about looking for a steam presence in 2018 and happily, we were able to secure the return of the locomotive so that we can enjoy it once more.

One of the passing locomotives was visiting Class 26 D5343. This locomotive operated intensively during August and was a firm favourite with the enthusiasts. Some of whom came every single day it was operating! It was certainly a fun locomotive to have around.

Finally, to cap off the season, we have just completed our busiest ever Santa season which worked very well indeed.

I look forward to another successful season in 2018. The return of the 'Jinty' is fantastic! We kick off again in March after some upcoming hard work by the PWay team and the big opening event is the Diesel Weekend on 17th and 18th featuring something very special indeed – a Class 35 Hymek!

None of it would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. A Happy New Year to all!

Leigh

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Progress Thursday 28th December 2017

Dear all,

The railway was awakening today after a few days of lul for Christmas. The big event for today was the Wedding Reception of Kathy and Ian, two Wirksworth residents. They had invited all of their guests to "An Afternoon with Iris" but they didn't mention that Iris was a train! After marrying at the church up the road, they had a hot chocolate reception in our decorated marquee before boarding the train. Iris did a return journey to Duffield with the jazz band on board and fish and chips were served whilst we were at Duffield. Santa was guarding!!

This morning, wagons were sorted out by the PW team before the works train tripped to Shottle prior to the wedding.

The 3-car was readied for this weekend's service too.

Leigh

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Progress Christmas Eve 2017

Dear all,

Apologies for the lack of progress reports recently. Each day has almost been a carbon copy of each other! Santa has of course been the aim of the game and after having many many happy smiling families travel on the train, the staff now deserve a well earned rest!

Thank you to everyone who has helped with Santa this year; our most successful year to date.

Leigh

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Progress Thursday 21st December 2017

Dear all,

Another three Santa Experience trains successfully completed with many happy visitors, including a local nursery.

The Maintenance Team spruced up Iris, especially the roof domes ahead of a wedding reception we are hosting next week.

Other than that it was relatively quiet on site today.

Leigh

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Progree Tuesday 18th December 2017

Hi all

We ran our first weekday Santa today, only two trains but everyone seemed to enjoy the experience even our close neighbours said how good the Band sounded. They have appreciated the warmth of the Grotto this year having been outside last year
Most of the Pway team were on a slinger banksmen course near Burton Trent. We are relaying six panels of track near Duffield Tunnel in January and lifting 60 foot rails and heavy concrete sleepers requires all staff involved, to be correctly trained
Barclay Brian Harrison had its blower valve reground and the difficult to reach boiler tubes were cleaned by novel means !! The fitting of Cathryn's cylinder covers continued and preparation was made on the boiler expansion plates
The Booking Office continued to sell Santa tickets and also sold two Diesel Driving Experiences most probably for Xmas presents
The DMU duo repaired a leak in the Santa Train toilet and fuelled it on its return from the North Pole having another fifteen runs to complete

All for now

Mike

  
     

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Progress Sunday 17th December 2017

Dear all,

A damp and wet day but it didn't alter the spirits as we tackled four Santa trains today. There was originally only supposed to be three trains today like on other days but we had to add an extra one due to last Sunday being postponed due to the snow. Four Santa trains really does take it's toll on the volunteers and I would like to thank them for sticking with it and battling through. I would actually liken the train turnaround to that you would find at an airport - train in, passengers off, sweet through and present sought, change platform and boarding begins, all in about 15 minutes sometimes.

There were some engineeringy type people down the shed, including the Faraday team, the BSK(K) team and the 33 Van Gough. Unfortunately, being tied to the Booking Office desk most of the day, I didn't get chance to pop down and see what they were upto.

Leigh

Progress Saturday 16th December 2017

Dear all,

Our Santa Experience was back underway today with three completely full trains for the team to delight. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and so I thank the team for their hard work all day. It takes a large number of volunteers to pull off just a single Santa day!

A few were down in the Maintenance Facility with ETH conduit being fitted to the BSK(K) and further bodyside sanding on the Class 33, which must seem enormous when being attacked with a sander.

Leigh

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Progress Tuesday 12th December 2017

Hi all

It must have been the quietist Tuesday of the Year with the Steam team having their Xmas lunch. 
After the coldest night of the year -8 degrees, the morning was not much warmer either but the Pway battled changing sleepers
it was good to see LJ Breeze having a run to Gorsey Bank after it's battery fault and air system being repaired. The Santa Train and other railcars were started to warm them after the cold weather
The Commercial department were very busy re booking the passengers from the cancelled train Sunday to other dates

All for now

Mike  

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Progress Report Saturday 9th December 2017

Dear All,

Today was our first day of Santa Experiences and we were extremely busy. Yesterday's snow helped to make our stations look very picturesque which I'm sure offered great photo opportunities for our visitors.The music in the Santa marquee together with our travelling musician and magician ensured our guests were entertained from the minute they entered Wirksworth station until the arrived back from their trip to the North Pole.  The volunteers who decorated our stations did a wonderful job especially the Christmas trees. The 'snowing' Christmas tree at Duffield station was a constant source of amusement to both young and old. Many thanks to everyone who participated in delivering a really first class Santa experience to all our guests. A special mention must go to our young team of fitters who were on hand to assist with departures and arrivals on platform one as well as ensuring passenger areas were cleared of snow. Just after the 12.30 North Pole departure Wirksworth station suffered a power cut due to a blown fuse in our main supply box. Ironically at one point we had three Western Power employees on site and the defective fuse was replaced in no time by our own electrical contractor.

The weather has been a constant source of worry and late afternoon following an update from the Met Office a decision was taken to postpone tomorrow's Santa experiences. Our visitors, staff and volunteers safety is our primary concern and with this in mind it was felt postponement was the only option bearing in mind the 8-15cm snow fall predicted in our area between 04.00-10.00 on Sunday. Leigh spent a busy time telephoning our pre-booked customers and re-arranging bookings for the three replacement services which have been scheduled. The Catering Staff tried out a new afternoon tea menu to a group of more than willing volunteers with very positive feedback. The Miniature Railway provided a steam hauled service this afternoon much to the delight of our younger visitors and the EVRA shop was open on platform one. 

This evening a special Carol service train will be journeying along the valley. This is a free train service for our local community to enjoy organised by Neil F.L. Thanks to the train crew and Ben for giving up their time on a cold, dark winter's evening to help ensure the success of this innovation.

Compliments of the Season,

Tom






Friday, 8 December 2017

Progress Friday 8th December 2017

Dear all,

It seems winter has arrived as we put the final preparations in place for the start of the Santa season tomorrow. A little covering of snow is welcome as it adds to the festive atmosphere but we are watching the forecast quite closely as the threat of more significant snowfall looms for Sunday.

Not too many on site today. Derek and Dan continued with the BSK(K) and Lee carried on with just the BSK. Theme here?

Ben looked a leak on the Santa train's toilet which was most useful.

Cheers,

Leigh

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Progress Tuesday 5th December 2017

Hi all

Today is the first Tuesday since the middle of February that we have not ran a Service train and it takes some time to adjust to the lack of hustle and bustle of passengers. This does allow the Pway to take the works train to site rather than loading trolleys
The steam team were cleaning the fire tubes on Barclay No3 and Cathryn was being prepared for new buffers. The North Yorkshire Moors reported that Barclay Henry Ellison was keeping the Santa trains warm and had been giving brake van rides
Railcar Met Camm 51188 was nearing completion of a B Exam  before going on its travels for a year to the North Norfolk Railway
The contractors have been tarmacing around the base for the new station and clearing site until we raise some more funds

Regards

Mike   

 

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Progress Saturday 2nd December 2017

Dear,

Not quite as cold as in recent days which was good because there was a flurry of activity around Wirksworth Station as we decorated for Santa. The Santa flag is now flying which means it must be Christmas.

There was a moment up at the main gate fixing the light above the EVR sign which has been out of action sometime. This now has a ambient light sensor on it so it becomes illuminated whenever it goes dark. The adjacent light above the gate had it's PIR repaired so that now works again.

In the shed, work continued on the preparation for repainting the Class 33. Those roof grills are most frustrating to sand!

Coach work and work on The Duke also took place.

Leigh

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Progress Thursday 30th November 2017

Dear all,

A bitterly cold end to November which saw the start of preparations for this year's Santa Experience. The Commercial Department erected the marquee on the platform and fortunately they managed to complete it with the contractors not laying tarmac on the platform until lunch time. They had cut into the tarmac on the platform to put in some extra drainage due to a very high water table in the area. Tethering the marquee down for winter weather takes just as long as putting the thing up!

Down the yard, the Santa train was marshalled, tested and delivered to the platform for the elves to begin decorating. LJ Breeze also received some attention as it was misbehaving earlier this week.

The S&T team were in full swing down near the shed too.

Leigh

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Progress Tuesday 28th November 2017

Hi all

Our three train Duffield service was handled by IRIS today and considering the bitterly cold weather we had good numbers for late November
Idridgehay crossing box was erected today, another new item to enhance the look of the Railway
Tuesday is the steam teams day of gathering  and Barclay No 3 was being prepared for a boiler inspection. Cathryn had cyclinder cladding fabricated, vacuum piping fitted and all copper work polished.
The contractors were on the final stages of filling in the holes on the platform after laying pipework for the new station building

All for now

Mike 
  

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Progress Report Saturday 25th November

Dear All,

We enjoyed four season's weather this afternoon down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line. It snowed, rained, sleeted and occasionally the sun shone through but generally a cold and wet day. However we still enjoyed surprisingly good visitor numbers as we progress towards our Santa Train season. Unfortunately the 'Bubble Car' experienced a broken window in the guards van as it left Wirksworth Station and had to be taken out of service and replaced by Iris for the last two Duffield trips. The builders were in attendance today completing the laying of new electricity cables to the new build as were the LMSCA and DMU group working on their respective projects. Wirksworth Station lights also received some maintenance to ensure our visitors enjoy well lit platforms and walk ways in the winter darkness. This evening there is a photo charter excursion to Shottle Station involving the class 31 and a rake of goods wagons.

Thanks must go to Richard who was our third man. The weather was cold and miserable not to mention the difficulty wet steps cause third men when climbing up into Iris's guards van. Richard easily coped with these issues and still managed a yard tour together with playing host to our 'day with the driver' guest and family. Today's service was supported by our train crew, booking hall clerks and catering staff.

All the best, Tom

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Progress Thursday 23rd November 2017

Dear all,

A cold and crisp day saw a good turn out on the new S&T Dept where two new semaphore signals are nearly complete and ready for taking to Shottle.

Nearby, the Maintenance Team were working in the 101 centre car cutting and gluing a new Formica panel for underneath one of the windows. One has been damaged recently.

A team were also out and about battling with the track, which is never ending.

It was all go on the building site today with the new piping for the service ducts being laid and the final concrete base being laid. Work was continuing after dark with big generator-powered floodlights.

Leigh

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Progress Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Dear all,

A quiet winter's day at Wirksworth. One member of the Miniature Railway team was pottering around and showing off his new branded up wheel barrow! 

Down the shed, the mechanical side of the Santa train examinations were completed and Derek was working on the BSK(K).

It is all go on the Station Building Project with the shuttering set up for the final concrete pad to be laid (probably tomorrow). This one has been more complicated because it includes all of the pipes for the toilets and sinks that will be in the building once it is erected. Those of you who have been recently will have also noticed the rather deep trench which stretches all the way from the site of the new building to the main gate. This is for the installation of new service ducting so that an upgraded electricity cable, bigger water pipe and hopefully town gas can be installed. This sub project includes 4 massive inspection chambers where an engineer can literally climb down inside to repair, add or upgrade the services in the future without having to dig up the driveway again.

An 11 strong team of PWay turned out down the line which allowed them to split into two gangs, one changing sleepers and the other one working alongside a machine to improve the drainage.

Leigh

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Progress Sunday 19th November 2017

Dear all,

A cold day without trains saw a hive of activity inside the Maintenance Facility. The BSK(K) was having the doors fettles following on from reskinning the bodyside so that they fit properly, including new or repaired wood in places. On the next road, the recently arrived TSO was also having reskinning work with the new side panels fitted yesterday being painted to prevent surface rust.

On the far road, painting preparation working including filling and sanding took place on the Class 33.

Nestled at the back, Faraday was lifted at the other end for the axle box inspection which proved to be quite necessary. Getting it right first time should help to ensure reliable service in the end.

Leigh

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Progress Report Saturday 18th November 2017

Dear All,

A cold but dry day down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line attracted modest passenger numbers. Down the yard the LMSCA and the 48624 Locomotive Company held their respective annual meeting. A small number of the steam team were finalising preparations to 'Henry Ellison' for its trip to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on Monday. Preparative work also took place on the signalling posts for the Shottle Loop. Santa bookings continued today and well done to Robert who booked a party of 47 girl guides on one of our Santa Trains! At Wirksworth Station Ron and young Kyle spent time clearing the leaves off the miniature railway.

Today, our catering team provided our volunteers with a free buffet as a token of thanks from the Wyvern Rail Board for all the hard work that has taken place throughout the year. Eric, Helen and Anne laid on some lovely delights and the event was well attended. Incidentally, 'Trish has made some great Christmas Cards and key rings of summers steam scenes which are great quality and well worth the price. Ideal stocking fillers.

Today's train service was supported by the booking hall staff and Pullman Buffet catering team not to mention our 'senior' train crew who looked after our passengers splendidly.

'Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas……'

All the best, Tom

Friday, 17 November 2017

Progress Friday 17th November 2017

Dear all,

Not quite so busy today but we did host a Bronze Drive a Diesel experience this morning with the Bubblecar doing the honours this morning and the Class 31 this afternoon. It was nice to see the Class 31 have a run out after a few weeks of inactivity. The Maintenance Facility received a shunt to reposition vehicles, with the recently arrived Mk1 4440 going in temporarily to have new body skins welded on. The Maintenance Team reported that the majority of their exam work was completed with only a few bits and bobs outstanding.

Leigh

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Progress Thursday 16th November 2017

Dear all,

Much more hip and happening at Wirksworth today with quite a good turn out for the new S&T gang who are constructing the signalling equipment for Shottle. Remember we didn't inherit anything really so everything is either having to be sourced or fabricated from scratch. The signals will eventually be operated from the former Oddingley box.

The Maintenance Team were able to split in two today with one successfully fitting and testing a 'new' heater to 50253, completing that vehicle with a most important component for the Santa Season. The other team continued with work identified on 50170, changing a radiator fan.

Derek and Dan continued with the bodyside work on the BSK(K).

David Newby came to the rescue with a sudden issue that manifested itself in the Gents. Some toilets filled, some didn't! Fortunately he was flushed with success and all is good again for Saturday's trains. Oh the fun we get up to!

Leigh

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Progress Wednesday 15th November 2017

Dear all,

Very quiet at Wirksworth today although the PWay team did well with their sleeper changing down near Hazelwood.

The Maintenance Team cracked on with the Santa train exams and ticked most things off the list today so just pending jobs found to be carried out.

The contractors started pouring the concrete for the second pad on the new station building project. Pic attached.

Leigh

Progress Tuesday 14th November 2017

Hi all

Once again the service train saw good numbers with 55006 covering the three train service. The change in temperature certainly helped being in double figures today
Work commenced on A exams on Both the Met Camm centre car and 50170 completing the trio for the Santa Train. We expect a great deal from these 60 year old vehicles which run non stop on the Santa trains from early morning until dusk for nine days !!
I visited the Maintenance Facility with the electrician to arrange for more overhead lighting in the old part and saw many bodies around Cathryn all doing different tasks far too complicated for me to understand but it is certainly moving forward
The PWay team once again changed more sleepers between Shottle and Hazlewood and Amey were checking two of our river bridges
All the seats from EVRA's TSO were collected for transportation to a firm in Derby for recovering

All for now

Mike  

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Progress Sunday 12th November 2017

Dear all,

With no scheduled passenger trains on Sundays in November, attention really does turn to the Maintenance Facility and the various projects going on down there. I would imagine that they're already praising the roller shutter doors that were fitted this year as the temperature today really was low. Whilst the inside isn't heated, they will do a good job of keeping the wind out.

There was one group working outside though and for that I am sure they're grateful that it was sunny. The structural framework on TSO 4440 is being renewed gradually with a view to getting the coach water tight, although this is some way off.

Team Faraday were in full swing inside though with the bearing being refitted and the locomotive being lowered down. The locomotive had obviously ran a hot box at some time in the dim and distant past and this has had to have new white metal. The other end of the loco will now be lifted up to remove and clean out the axle boxes there because the oil ways from the lubrication system seem to be blocked which will prevent proper lubrication in service and create problems further down the line. It shouldn't take so long to rectify this though.

The BSK(K) which is also receiving structural repairs now has the new body side sheeting fitted and excellent it looks too.

Across the in the old part of the facility, work continued on the repaint of 33103 "Swordfish" with the old paint being sanded down. So far, the body work is in better condition than expected.

Henry Ellison was steamed up today too for testing purposes and I suspect they were the warmest on the railway!

Leigh


Friday, 10 November 2017

Progress Thursday 9th and Friday 10th November 2017

Dear all,

It is quiet now being November with not so many volunteers being on site at Wirksworth.

Yesterday though, the exam on 50253 was completed and this car is now ready for Santa service after it has had an interior clean. The rest of the set will follow on the exam line next week although the exams for these cars are smaller. Work has been continuing quietly in the shed on both the EVRA CK coach which is now nearing completion and will look a lovely coach when it runs next season, as well as the BSK(K). Also continuing quietly in the background, in fact at an off-site location, one of the Derby Lightweight's AEC 220 engines is having a strip down and rebuild ready to be refitted.

Today we hosted a small team from Network Rail who were on a team building day. They split into two teams with one cleaning the inside of the rest of the Santa train and the other tripping down the line to do some vegetation clearance in the vicinity of Shottle. This will be most useful for the upcoming photo charter with the Class 31 in a few weeks time.

Leigh

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Priogress Wednesday 8th November 2017

Hi all

You may wonder why I do not send out a progress report for Wednesdays. It is simple other than the PWay working down the track on one of their usual tasks there was only myself Leigh and the apprentice who was washing the Santa train.
The contractors continued digging out the foundation for the last two bases for the Station Building

Regards

Mike 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Progress Tuesday 7th November 2017

Hi all

A mixed day of weather with showers did not deter a good number of passengers travelling on the Duffield service train handled by our reliable single Gloucester railcar 55006
The Pullman Buffet seemed busy with people trying to keep dry
The Pway team continued sleeper changing and our Civil Engineering Manager walked sections of the line but I am sure he had wished he had picked another day !!
Dodging the showers our civil engineering gang continued building the pad at the end of the dock to eventually load the new Cherry Picker onto the flatrol
The Tuesday steam teams were in attendance with much busying in many areas
The lone DMU worker winterised some of the DMU's

All for now

Mike

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Progress Report Saturday 4th November 2017

Dear All,

It was a quieter day at Derbyshire's favourite branch line with many volunteers visiting events at other heritage railways. The bubble car ably dealt with todays passenger numbers. Work on the new station building continues at a pace with concrete being poured into the first section. Up in the town EVRA held its Annual General Meeting to a packed audience and back at base, the Catering Team hosted a party of visitors before they enjoyed a trip along the valley. The miniature railway team were also in attendance.

Todays service was supported by the Pullman Buffet and Booking Hall staff.

All in all a pleasant autumn day.

All the best, Tom


Friday, 3 November 2017

Progress Friday 3rd November 2017

Dear all,

Well, I said the view would change and it has. The EVRA shop and Info Room have been temporarily moved out of position to allow construction of the base for the new building to continue in that area. Photo attached.

We hosted a charter today for a local care home who had a ride down the line in 55006. They had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Leigh

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Progress Thursday 2nd November 2017

Dear all,

Quite a mad house for a random day in November with no trains running. We welcomed a MyTestTrack customer who had a RRV with trailers and weights to do some 1530 testing. It was a small but nifty machine.

Down the yard, the B exam on 50253 was completed and work continued on the metal work on newly arrived coach 4440. 

The Station Building project moved forward with the deconstruction of the EVRA shop ramp and emptying of the Information Room. The builders fencing was then erected for work to start shortly - maybe tomorrow! Attached is a photo of the view, one which has been commonplace at Wirksworth Station for a while but is soon to be extinct. 

It has actually been quite handy having a contractor on site because a water leak had developed in the old 1860's pipe which feeds the station along the driveway but the contractor dug it up, found the offending crack and repaired it quickly saving loss of expensive metered water.

Leigh

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Progress Tuesday 31st October 2017

Hi all

The cooler temperature did not put off passengers on the service train today which was operated using our celebrity single railcar IRIS and good numbers were recorded
The Pway team continued, which seems like a never ending task, sleeper changing near Hazlewood
The Tuesday steam groups fitted steam heating pipes to Henry Ellison ready for it's visit to the North Yorkshire Moors to heat the Santa train coaches and once again more small parts were engineered for Cathryn.
On the coach front work continued on the LMSCA BSK and EVRA'S CK
The shuttering for the new Station concrete base was completed ready for the concrete later this week

All for now

Mike 

Progress Tuesday 31st October 2017

Hi all

The cooler temperature did not put off passengers on the service train today which was operated using our celebrity single railcar IRIS and good numbers were recorded
The Pway team continued, which seems like a never ending task, sleeper changing near Hazlewood
The Tuesday steam groups fitted steam heating pipes to Henry Ellison ready for it's visit to the North Yorkshire Moors to heat the Santa train coaches and once again more small parts were engineered for Cathryn.
On the coach front work continued on the LMSCA BSK and EVRA'S CK
The shuttering for the new Station concrete base was completed ready for the concrete later this week

All for now

Mike 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Progress Sunday 29th October 2017

Dear all,

The first day of the GMT saw a cold but sunny day. It was reasonably busy for the time of year with passengers enjoying Iris today.

Down the yard, a small army tackled jobs on TSO 4440 but I am not exactly sure what.

Leigh

Saturday 28th October


Evening All,
A cold start to today's activity's.
The single unit 55006 "Bubble Car" catered for 115 passengers who travelled on our train today.
Thanks to the train crew who kept the service on time, incidentally we had three different 3rd men today who operated the crossing gates on the services.
Thanks for the support from catering, the bookshop and booking office also.
Thanks to Richard for conducting his famous tours of the shed and yard activities.
Also to Julie for selling some more "150 Years of the Wirksworth Branch" on board our services.
Down the yard the activities continued on different types of rolling stock.
SO 4440 having its bodywork refurbished, Ruston loco "Faraday" was having attention to it's starting air reservoir, 50253 "B" Exam attention, EVRA coach work on internal wiring, LMSCA working on interior of LMS BTO.
Steam Team working on the "The Duke" s cylinder lubrication and coupling up of con rods and cross heads.
Finally two new potential volunteers were shown around our facilities to possibly recruit them to our family of railway volunteers.
Not a bad day !

Thanks 
Graham W.

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Progress Wednesday 25th October 2017

Dear all,

Today we hosted a charter for the National College of High Speed Rail who were doing a project on improving infrastructure. They came from Birmingham and enjoyed tours round and talks from Richard and Pete around the yard and the new Maintenance Facility.

Elsewhere, work continued on creating an on ramp for the cherry picker to mount a wagon and the Maintenance Team worked on a fuel starvation issue that keeps recurring on 50253.

Leigh

Progress 24th October 2017

Hi all

it was pleasing to see around fifty passengers on the first afternoon service train to Duffield considering we are nearly at the end of October
55006 handled the service and will cover until Sunday
The PWay continued with fishplate greasing and sleeper changing in the Hazlewood area. A never ending task !!
Both steam groups were in attendance mainly tidying the areas after the summer steam season and in Cathryn's corner refurbishing parts was the order of the day
Met Camm railcar 50253 is over the Maintenance Facility pit having an exam ready for the Santa trains

All for now

mike   

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Progress Sunday 22nd October 2017

Dear all,

A cold, blustery and wet day saw it be fairly steady on the trains which I suppose is to be expected given the circumstances. 

Down the yard, a shunt was had to ensure all of the projects are in the right place and work continued apace on the repaint of the Class 33. A representative from the owning group came and did some engine maintenance on it, looking at a troublesome oil strainer which has been leaking for a little while.

Also in the shed (best place to be), work continued on the bodywork of the BSK and the fitting of ETH parts and the recently arrived Tourist Second Open became, well, just Open...completely.

Leigh

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Progress Thursday 19th October 2017

Dear all,

A very wet and miserable day but it didn't deter the chaps from their work. Firstly, they started constructing an area at the edge of the old dock wall which will enable the cherry picker to drive onto a wagon for transport down the line. This was so wet though they then decided to go down the line with the train to transport the building materials for the new crossing huts from Idridgehay to Gorsey Bank instead.

The Maintenance Team were examining a DMU car which goes on the Santa train, but stuck to mainly inside jobs understandably.

Leigh

Fwd: [wirksworths_railway] Progress Tuesday and Wednesday 17th/18th October 2017




-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Evans <wirksworth_station@wyvernrail.co.uk>
To: Mike Evans <mrailcar@aol.com>
Sent: Thu, Oct 19, 2017 4:43 pm
Subject: Fwd: [wirksworths_railway] Progress Tuesday and Wednesday 17th/18th October 2017



Michael A Evans

Managing Director

WyvernRail plc

 

www.e-v-r.com


Registered Office: WyvernRail plc, Wirksworth Station, Station Road, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, DE4 4FB.

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: mrailcar@aol.com [wirksworths_railway] <wirksworths_railway-noreply@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 5:55 AM
Subject: [wirksworths_railway] Progress Tuesday and Wednesday 17th/18th October 2017
To: wirksworths_railway@yahoogroups.com


 

Hi all

Thanks to Chris Ralls for covering the two new projects of building the crossing keeper boxes at Idridgehay and Gorsey Bank
The Pway team continued sleeper changing between Hazlewood and Shottle and change d 15 on Wednesday.
Another project commenced Yesterday which will see a small platform being constructed at the end of the old ballast dock which will allow the new cherry picker to be loaded onto a flat wagon for use by the PWay to remove the overhanging branches and perform tasks on the bridge and tunnel roofs
55006 was repaired after its braking problems over the weekend which was found to be a hole in the rubber pipe which connects solebar to the bogie

All for now

Mike 

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Fwd: [wirksworths_railway] Progress Tuesday and Wednesday 17th/18th October 2017




-----Original Message-----
From: mrailcar@aol.com [wirksworths_railway] <wirksworths_railway-noreply@yahoogroups.com>
To: wirksworths_railway <wirksworths_railway@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thu, Oct 19, 2017 5:55 am
Subject: [wirksworths_railway] Progress Tuesday and Wednesday 17th/18th October 2017

 

Hi all

Thanks to Chris Ralls for covering the two new projects of building the crossing keeper boxes at Idridgehay and Gorsey Bank
The Pway team continued sleeper changing between Hazlewood and Shottle and change d 15 on Wednesday.
Another project commenced Yesterday which will see a small platform being constructed at the end of the old ballast dock which will allow the new cherry picker to be loaded onto a flat wagon for use by the PWay to remove the overhanging branches and perform tasks on the bridge and tunnel roofs
55006 was repaired after its braking problems over the weekend which was found to be a hole in the rubber pipe which connects solebar to the bogie

All for now

Mike 

__._,_.___

Posted by: mrailcar@aol.com
Reply via web post Reply to sender Reply to group Start a New Topic Messages in this topic (1)

Have you tried the highest rated email app?
With 4.5 stars in iTunes, the Yahoo Mail app is the highest rated email app on the market. What are you waiting for? Now you can access all your inboxes (Gmail, Outlook, AOL and more) in one place. Never delete an email again with 1000GB of free cloud storage.

JOIN SHARESAVE!

Becoming a shareholder of WyvernRail has just become easier!  Join ShareSave and invest in your railway for just 10 Pounds a month.

See www.e-v-r.com/ShareSave for details.

.

__,_._,___

Progress Tuesday and Wednesday 17th/18th October 2017

Hi all

Thanks to Chris Ralls for covering the two new projects of building the crossing keeper boxes at Idridgehay and Gorsey Bank
The Pway team continued sleeper changing between Hazlewood and Shottle and change d 15 on Wednesday.
Another project commenced Yesterday which will see a small platform being constructed at the end of the old ballast dock which will allow the new cherry picker to be loaded onto a flat wagon for use by the PWay to remove the overhanging branches and perform tasks on the bridge and tunnel roofs
55006 was repaired after its braking problems over the weekend which was found to be a hole in the rubber pipe which connects solebar to the bogie

All for now

Mike 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Progress Sunday 15th October 2017

Dear all,

An average but quite mild autumnal day in valley, which meant that the low down sun was really beautiful with colours of the leaves down the line. The buffet had a particularly good day though for the time of year.

Down the shed, work continued on the restoration of Faraday, the PW Bubble had the underframe steam cleaned now the cleaner is working and the Maintenance Team started end of season coach examinations which will enable them to write up a programme of winter maintenance so that we can start well next season.

Leigh

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Progress Report Saturday 14th October 2017

Dear All,

Derbyshire's favourite branch line enjoyed surprisingly mild and dry weather today. The 'Bubble Car' carried good passenger loadings throughout the day and the train crew facilitated a number of cab visits from Lee and Holloway Scouts as they journeyed along the valley to Duffield before embarking on a hike to Crich. We also played host to a number of groups today with The Derby Lightweight Group holding their AGM in their unit on platform three and the '48624' Locomotive Group holding their AGM in the training room. John Ball also held a first aid course for our volunteers.

In the shed the Permanent Way bubble car had attention to the guard's door and Faraday received a new headlamp. The new CCTV cameras were installed and tested. Today's service was supported by the EVRA shop, booking halls and Pullman Buffet. For those who have not visited Wirksworth Station recently I have attached a photo of the work taking place on the base of the new station building. It is a major project and there are a number of ways that people can support the new build. A new page has been created on our website so please help us by telling  your family and friends about the project and the ways they can gift funds. 

Finally, tonight we ran a full train (160 passengers) to Duffield on our Jazz and Chips Special. A big thank you to those staff and volunteers who have given their time freely this evening to ensure our guests have a good time.

All the Best,

Tom

Friday, 13 October 2017

Progress Friday 13th October 2017

Dear all,

The dreaded Friday 13th seems to have passed without a hitch, in fact, it has been reasonable.

The main area of work today was on the PW Bubble car with the other engine being fitted to the vehicle. This engine was successfully run up on a pallet earlier this week but did require a few tweaks to leaking pipework before fitting. Anyway, it has been happily fitted this week so the vehicle now has both engines in situ. There's still quite a bit of work to do before the vehicle will actually move, not least with the electrics and bogie swap.

The Commercial Department saw strong Santa sales today, with one of the trains on Christmas Eve already showing a 'Yellow' on the website, meaning that it is nearly full. I think this might be the earliest a 'Yellow' has come up.

Down in the deep south, a start was made on refreshing the paintwork on the station benches. They can do this in their cabin in the dry.

As the day was getting late, Team Faraday arrived to do some evening bodywork in the shed on the locomotive.

Leigh

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Progress Tuesday 10th October 2017

Hi all


Although we approach mid October the weather is still quite mild and many of our visitors yesterday are still holidaying in Derbyshire. A two car Heritage railcar ran our Duffield service train yesterday due to three visiting parties of varying sizes. One group had afternoon tea in the Pullman Buffet
The Pway team continued sleeper changing between Shottle and Hazlewood
On the steam front Barcay No 3 had a successful leak test after being fired up and Cathryn's grease points were replaced by specialy made oiling points
The DMU group successfully ran the second engine for the PWay bubble car

All for now

Mike 






  

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Progress Saturday 7th October 2017

Dear all,

You could for forgiven for thinking that on a somewhat overcast and chilly early October day activity around our enterprise would be equally subdued but nothing could be further from the truth, I counted in excess of 20 volunteers at our northern terminus alone all busy with a wide range of activities, where to start..?

Early doors Aubrey was starting a repair on the water pump used to keep the water out of the inspection pit outside the ever expanding Enginerium, a combination of rain and surface water means this fills quite quickly meaning it is useless without the pump working. You can imagine how inviting a prospect this task is but by the end of the day the pit was indeed free of its volume of water, another behind the scenes but no less essential task successfully completed.

The inside the Enginerium (pictured attached) continues to be enhanced massively and is really turning into a very impressive and capable facility for us. Ben was working on what can really only be described as the re-engineering of the Derby Light Weight power car as its air and electrical systems are replaced to make it compatible with the rest of our fleet. In another corner Faraday, now supported by its appreciation group certainly appreciates the replacement of major bearings, compressors, panels and many other aspects of this vehicle that will in the fullness of time return it to full service. Finally Derek and others were working on several of our carriages around the site which again will enhance our fleet of coaching stock for the future.

So that was it right.?...wrong..

Passenger services were today staffed by John, Julie, Pat, Howard and Kyle and of course not to forget Iris (picture attached). It is indeed fortunate we had full train crew because as they left Duffield just after 11am nearly 40 guests were on board to enjoy the trip up the Ecclesborne valley and significant passenger numbers carried on for the rest of the day. One party on this service were gathered for a significant birthday and the birthday girl was taking on a yard tour by Phil later in the afternoon which was clearly well received.

The catering team were busy all day and catered for a pre-booked afternoon tea alongside the usual business of the day, Frank had a busy day in the gift shop and Andy and Nick ensured our guests were looked after at our northern and southern booking offices.

As I returned home crowds were gathering in Matlock Bath for this evening hallucinations, you will remember this event from previous years, its the one involving those traffic wardens trained by special forces. They were indeed observed outside the Pavilion limbering up and counting flash bangs, the brief traffic delay gave me opportunity to reflect on the large number people who contribute their time to ensuring our railway runs so smoothly and continues to grow day by day.

My thanks to everyone who contributed to another very successful day

Regards

P

Friday, 6 October 2017

Progress Friday 6th October 2017

Dear all,

Today we hosted two charters. The first was for East Midlands Trains and the Community Rail Awards Group who enjoyed a ride from Duffield to Wirksworth and back again. This was helped by expertly swift catering in the Pullman with sandwich grab bags made up and the team being quick with the hot drinks flasks. They only had 20 minutes at Wirksworth before their return!

Then, this afternoon we hosted another charter which enjoyed tea and biscuits in the Pullman before a return journey to Ravenstor and a single to Duffield with onward mainline travel.

Down the yard, the team fitted a reconstructed Leyland 680 engine to the PW Bubble. The engine has had quite a lot of work done to it over recent weeks which culminated in a successful start up on a pallet yesterday. The engine is now hung up and awaits piping up and the wiring doing.

Further work was done on the new Station Building project at Wirksworth, with these giant concrete 'Lego' bricks being lifted in to place and lorries arriving with backfill. It is hard to imagine the model railway container and weighbridge ever being there now.

Stuart the Foreman continued his quest to repair the wooden window frames of the Managerial Office/Ladies building.

Leigh

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Progress Tuesday 3rd October 17

Hi all

Our service train today was handled by IRIS our single lightweight railcar and considering the cooler weather and time of year we had good loadings
The PWay are now re sleepering between Shottle and Hazlewood
Cathryn was rolled out of the shed to check the valve gear and the problem was over long taper pins which were fouling the reversing mechanism. Both Barclays were fired for a pressure test and Henry Ellison was also being prepared for a visit to North York Moor railway were it will be keeping their Santa coaches warm
Work continues on the old weighbridge site to provide a base for the new station building

All for now

Mike

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Progress Sunday 1st October 2017

Dear all,

A damp, miserable and generally dark day today but still the train happily rasped up and down to the Blue Timetable. We had some reasonable loadings but I suppose one can't expect too much in October!

Down the yard, a start was made on the post-season coach fleet examinations which will enable the teams to draw up a list of work required in the closed season so we can hit the ground running come March. The coaches clocked up the most mileage they have ever done this season and this exercise will prove most useful.

Leigh

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Progress Report Saturday 30th September 2017

Dear All,

Another wet day down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line did not deter our visitors with over 300 passengers enjoying at trip along the valley in our royal two car train. Even through a wet train window, the autumn colours still look picturesque. My thanks go to the train crew today who looked after our visitors so well and a special mention to Julie Ball who is now selling souvenir 150 brochures on the train as well as distributing Santa Special leaflets. Julie did a great job today.

Supporting today's service was the miniature railway, EVRA shop, Pullman Buffet and Booking Hall staff.

Thats all from me as Strictly is just starting!

All the best, Tom

Friday, 29 September 2017

Progress Friday 29th September

Dear all,

I can't believe it is nearly the end of the month already! Today we hosted a Bronze Drive a Diesel Railcar experience which was enjoyed by both participants. One of them was from the USA! In fact, speaking of the USA, another chap who is British but moved to America some years ago was on holiday here and had put a request in to photograph The Duke. We obliged although of course there is only the frames to see really.

The Commercial Dept spend the day getting over the stresses of the website going down yesterday morning. It seems some software had been updated on the server (not by us) which caused errors on the site. We were able to get most of the site back fairly quickly but it took much longer to sort out the Online Ticket Office. Happily we think it is mostly resolved now and I am grateful to Robin for his remote technical support from Stockport (or somewhere like that). This 'little' issue took around 8 hours of his time to sort out!

I guess the biggest news of today is the demise of the former north weighbridge. Built in the 1960s to weigh the stone wagons before they went off out of the yard, it started life with us as a workshop but has more recently fell out of use and with the weighing equipment long gone, became a store. It was in a deteriorating condition and it needed to be demolished to make way for the eventual new station building. I was expecting it to put up quite a fight as we have tried drilling the bricks before and found it very tough, however, one smack to the concrete roof and it collapsed in just a second! I suppose on one hand it is a bit of the railway's history confined to the scrap bin but on the other hand it has already vastly improved this area and will make way for something much bigger and better. Before and after photos attached.

Leigh

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Progress Thursday 28th September 2017

Dear all,

The final Thursday operating day of the season saw reasonable loadings for this stage of the season. The sun was shining which did help!

The PW team were out down the line continuing with the seemingly never ending quest to maintain the track and the Maintenance Team were looking into an ongoing issue with fuel supply issues on 50253's No1 engine. Seems there might have been a pipe which had tight fittings but was loose inside them.

Leigh

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Progress Wednesday 27th September 2017


 

Hi all
.
The usual quite Wednesday at the EVR with the PWay taking the works train to Shottle early in the morning followed by 55006 going empty stock to Duffield to collect a group of Syrian refugees/Ayslum seekers being looked after by the Derby Refugee advice centre. They had refreshments at the Community garden Centre and visited the Town. We returned them to Duffield at 1615. They all seemed very appreciative of our hospitality.

All for now

Mike

__._,_.___

           





__,_._,___

Progress Wednesday 27th September 2017

Hi all
.
The usual quite Wednesday at the EVR with the PWay taking the works train to Shottle early in the morning followed by 55006 going empty stock to Duffield to collect a group of Syrian refugees/Ayslum seekers being looked after by the Derby Refugee advice centre. They had refreshments at the Community garden Centre and visited the Town. We returned them to Duffield at 1615. They all seemed very appreciative of our hospitality.

All for now

Mike

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Progress Tuesday 26th September 2017

Hi all

Today our Duffield service train was handled by our Royal two car set class 108 E53599 and class 119 W51073. For new readers it so named due to transporting Prince Charles to Duffield one day. Most of our railcars have history and E53599 was the first Class 108 built at Derby carriage works and W51073 Is the only operational 119 of only three preserved
The DMU group were battling to solve a problem with Met Camm E50253 which is having fuel problems
The PWay team were at Wirksworth today finishing off road 1 after its relay
Our two Barclay steam engines were being winterised after their summer stints. Cathryn's steam distribution manifolds are being refurbished with a lot of heat and grunting !!
History was made yesterday and today with the start of the new station building with the digging out for the base

All for now

Mike   

   

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Progress Sunday 24th September 2017

Dear all,

Today was Derbyshire Day organised by BBC Radio Derby and we were all too delighted to take part. 360 complementary tickets were offered to the BBC and all were taken by pre-booking via our website. The day was a great success with many local residents taking advantage of the offer and seeing what we did. I'm sure many will be back in the coming months and maybe even for Santa. We had plenty of coverage both live and recorded on the radio today, with Sally Pepper paying us a visit. She started off by having a quick lesson on driving a DMU before interviewing staff and visitors. As a supplement, the Miniature Railway and our retail sales did well from the additional numbers of guests.

Down the yard, the new CCTV system was being installed around the Maintenance Facility upgrade works that have been taking place in that area. The Faraday team were here too although it has been too busy to find time to pop down and find out exactly what has been happening!

Leigh

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Progress Report Saturday 23rd September 2017

Dear All,

Thankfully we saw some sunshine later in the day which was a blessing for our wedding guests who attended a celebration of marriage on platform two. The wedding blessing was performed by our very own Robert Harris who did an excellent job. Our guests enjoyed a trip along the valley which is now a myriad of autumn colours then joined the Pullman Buffet team for refreshments. Our congratulations to Dennis and Shiela on renewing their wedding vows. Who said railways were not romantic?

John H-T and Jo looked after our footplate experience participant and John B looked after his family of very excited children who enjoyed the brake van rides. Our wedding party also enjoyed some trips up to Ravenstor. Down at Duffield Derby District Amateur Radio Society has set up a temporary radio station and were broadcasting to other railway radio stations throughout the UK.

Down the yard the DMU team undertook a shunt of the coaching stock before carrying on with the restoration of the Derby Lightweight together with some welding on Faraday. Todays service was supported by the booking hall staff, EVRA shop and miniature railway.

Tomorrow promises to be an exciting day as we host another celebration, Derbyshire Day. With 320 tickets already pre-booked each train will carry over 120 passengers. BBC Radio Celebrity Sally Pepper will be broadcasting live from the railway throughout the day. The weather forecast looks promising for a change so we could be in for a real treat. 

All the best,

Tom

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