It has been rather a hectic week around the railway which has, in part, contributed to the lack of progress updates on here. Last Friday we had rather a nightmare move of the visiting Class 153 with the lorry breaking down firstly on the A52 causing havoc in Derby City Centre and then again a few hundred yards from the railway in Wirksworth town centre. Our staff were on duty until gone midnight to ensure the unit could be unloaded and shunted ready for the naming ceremony the following morning. I know it was 01:40 when I got to bed!
The Multiple Memories Gala was a huge success. The railway was very busy on the Saturday with enthusiasts and members of the public coming to enjoy our large collection of heritage diesel railcars as well as the novelty value of the visitor. The naming ceremony was brilliant and I attach some photographs of the event. It was certainly strange seeing the unit on the other side of the fence to normal at Duffield. Our thanks go to East Midlands Trains for their support of the event - we thought it perhaps a bit cheeky asking for the unit knowing full well their fleet constraints so were very surprised when they agreed. Staff then continued to work late on Saturday evening where there was a fish and chip special train so both of these evenings contributed to a lack of report.
Another late finish at the end of the gala on Sunday as we loaded up and waved goodbye to the visitor which was scurried back to Derby rather quickly as they were desperate for it to be working the Derby - Crewe service first thing Monday morning.
Things settled down on Tuesday into a normal pattern with the steam teams working away down the yard as well as Lee on the CK coach. Our star guest for the summer season, 47406 Jinty arrived around 18:00 on Tuesday having made the trip from Peterborough Nene Valley Railway. The locomotive enters service at the Bank Holiday Weekend 27th May and then continues operating every weekend (all being well) until 6th August. At this point we have our visiting Class 26 diesel locomotive take over for two weekends (one of which is the Diesel Locomotive Weekend) before the Jinty bows out at the 1950s August Bank Holiday Weekend.
Wednesday was fairly quiet around the site which enabled the maintenance team to construct the coach rake for the season and bring them down to the station for cleaning.
Yesterday saw the diesel fitters turn their attention to Iris. The vehicle developed an issue during the gala weekend where one of the engines would cut out regularly. It seems this was caused by a loose connection in the fuel lines so it must have been drawing air in. The vehicle is withdrawn now anyway for an exam prior to it popping over to our friends at the Llangollen Railway in Wales for their DMU Gala on 3rd/4th June.
Everybody has got quite wet over the last few days with the continuous rain and today was just the same. The station team looked at a wobbly step on the Gents toilet which was a good job done. More importantly though, we hosted one of the RAIB training days where they simulate potential incidents for training purposes.
It is the final chance to ride on a heritage diesel railcar on a weekend this weekend until 9th September! This is probably the longest this railway has been since we started operating without some sort of DMU service on a weekend. They'll be running Thursdays from 1st June until 28th September and Fridays in July until 11th August. Main line diesel locomotives do the honours from 30th May until 19th September.
-1 - Old meets 'new' - 61 year old Iris with 1950s passengers meets 30 year old Class 153 with modern passengers at Shottle
-2 - Unveiling - Mr Mike Stanier, grandson of Sir William Stanier, unveils the name
-3 - Wrong side of the fence - Class 153's at Duffield on both sides of the fence
-4 - Team Photo - Team EVR with Team EMT at Duffield