Saturday, 16 March 2019

Progress Report Saturday 16th March 2019

Dear All,

It was day one of our Multiple Memories Weekend and  as the day progressed the heavens opened. I must pay tribute to the train crew teams, crossing keepers and Shottle ground frame operators. Despite the terrible conditions they ensured the safe operation of our railway as well as making sure the trains ran to the scheduled timetable.  Visitor number were good given the weather and I received some nice comments on how clean and warm our trains were and the quality of the Cafe's bacon butties.

Down the yard the 8F Support Team held a meeting and restoration continued on the Duke. Judging by the state of Tim's hands, I gather it was painting the cab. Ron was in attendance on the miniature railway clearing the track of leaves before the weather made such work impossible. Supporting today's gala was the Association shop, station cafe and the booking hall staff.

Galas provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase everything that is good about our railway but we should not forget the hard work that goes on behind the scenes by the different departments of our railway as together they combine to provide an enjoyable and successful day out for our visitors. I'm proud to say the wet weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of our volunteers today and lets hope for kinder weather tomorrow!

All the best,

Tom


PS Today's photo was provided by Arran Crawford

Progress Report Saturday 16th March 2019

Dear All,

It was day one of our Multiple Memories Weekend and  as the day progressed the heavens opened. I must pay tribute to the train crew teams, crossing keepers and Shottle ground frame operators. Despite the terrible conditions they ensured the safe operation of our railway as well as making sure the trains ran to the scheduled timetable.  Visitor number were good given the weather and I received some nice comments on how clean and warm our trains were and the quality of the Cafe's bacon butties.

Down the yard the 8F Support Team held a meeting and restoration continued on the Duke. Judging by the state of Tim's hands, I gather it was painting the cab. Ron was in attendance on the miniature railway clearing the track of leaves before the weather made such work impossible. Supporting today's gala was the Association shop, station cafe and the booking hall staff.

Galas provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase everything that is good about our railway but we should not forget the hard work that goes on behind the scenes by the different departments of our railway as together they combine to provide an enjoyable and successful day out for our visitors. I'm proud to say the wet weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of our volunteers today and lets hope for kinder weather tomorrow!

All the best,

Tom


PS Today's photo was provided by Arran Crawford



Friday, 15 March 2019

Progress Friday 15th March 2019

Dear all,

Very much a day of preparation for this weekend's Multiple Memories event. The DMUs were washed on the outside and cleaned on the inside and prepared for the weekend. The box van which is acting as a prototypical tail load at the weekend was also washed and positioned.

The Class 33 had some final fettling and testing pending returning to service following a B4 exam which featured replacement main generator brush gear and brake blocks as well as oil change, filter change and refurbished injectors.

Stokes Enterprises wrestled with the faulty mess room door latch and succeeded after about 3 hours. The stranger jobs are sometimes the most important.

Leigh

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Progress Report Saturday 9th March 2019

Dear All,

Typically, the weather played a significant part in today's events with Wirksworth station experiencing hail showers, rain, intermittent gusts of wind and periods of glorious sunshine! Iris undertook the Duffield service and we enjoyed improved visitor numbers mainly due to our current Groupon offer. Richard was on hand to provide his on train narrative of the history of the railway as well as providing ad hoc yard tours.

Down the yard much activity was taking place in preparation for next weekend's Multiple Memories DMU Gala. The Duke's restoration team were also in attendance and Tim will post a progress report later. Ron & Kyle could be found undertaking preparatory tasks to facilitate the relocation of the Miniature railway carriage shed to enable a turntable to be constructed. If anyone can lend any assistance with this project I'm sure Ron would be grateful for any offer of help.

Supporting today's service were the Association shop, Cafe, and booking office staff.

All the best, Tom

Friday, 8 March 2019

Progress Friday 8th March 2019

Dear all,

Fairly quiet on site today. The Maintenance Team made the most of the dry weather early on by pulling 53599 out of the Maintenance Facility for a clean down following the corridor end rebuild.

Derek was seen painting in the BSK(K) in Platform 1 and work continued on the Derby Lightweight trailer car.

The techy ones paid a visit to Duffield late in to try and investigate a receipt printer issue. Whether it is fixed or not remains to be seen.

Leigh

Monday, 4 March 2019

Progress Report Sunday 3rd March 2019


Hi all,

A rather wet and blustery day as Storm Freya gave her best, thankfully not creating any real issues for us, merely a small branch which was dealt with by our train crew. Quite understandably passenger numbers were low with the given forecast so with this opportunity the catering department took to further planning upcoming events with several exciting possibilities! Watch this space!

Down the yard, work continued on E53599 after major corridor end repairs were undertaken, with its return to service only a couple of weeks away, the vehicle was given a light examination and a few minor electrical issues fixed. Returning into the maintenance facility when the weather turned to have further corridor components re-fitted. Ben continued working on the Derby Lightweight trailer car restoration. And Oliver started the long process of de-winterisation on our diesel loco fleet, starting with 31601.

Team Station Building were also in today, making good progress with the interior fit out as the building nears exterior completion of Phase 1.

My thanks today for our volunteer teams, train crew, catering, booking offices and EVRA shop.

All the best

Joe.

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Sunday, 3 March 2019

Progress Report Saturday 2nd March 2019

Dear All,

It was good to see the return of class 122 'Bubble Car' W55006 to regular service today after a lengthy stay in the maintenance facility. The attached photo of the unit shows a different weather picture of the the same time last year of the train crew, taken on a wintry Wirksworth station platform. Interestingly, Chis Beale was the rostered driver again today. Congratulations to Bob Yarnall who successfully completed his 'third man' assessment. The Duffield service enjoyed moderate passenger numbers and Richard could be found undertaking his ever popular yard tours in between train services at Wirksworth Station. A comprehensive re-stocking of the Association shop was undertaken by Pat and Ron could be found with Kyle undertaking more maintenance tasks on the miniature railway as well as carrying a few passengers. Eric Hills, our Volunteer Liaison Officer was busy inducting new volunteers and it would seem by the number of new Association joiners that the recent Volunteer's Day has been an unqualified success.

Down in the maintenance facility the class 33 had new main generator brushes fitted and some attention was given to a problematic DMU corridor connection. Today's service was supported by the Association shop, miniature railway, station cafe and booking hall staff.

All the best, Tom

Progress Report Saturday 2nd March 2019

Dear All,

It was good to see the return of class 122 'Bubble Car' W55006 to regular service today after a lengthy stay in the maintenance facility. The attached photo of the unit shows a different weather picture of the the same time last year of the train crew, taken on a wintry Wirksworth station platform. Interestingly, Chis Beale was the rostered driver again today. Congratulations to Bob Yarnall who successfully completed his 'third man' assessment. The Duffield service enjoyed moderate passenger numbers and Richard could be found undertaking his ever popular yard tours in between train services at Wirksworth Station. A comprehensive re-stocking of the Association shop was undertaken by Pat and Ron could be found with Kyle undertaking more maintenance tasks on the miniature railway as well as carrying a few passengers. Eric Hills, our Volunteer Liaison Officer was busy inducting new volunteers and it would seem by the number of new Association joiners that the recent Volunteer's Day has been an unqualified success.

Down in the maintenance facility the class 33 had new main generator brushes fitted and some attention was given to a problematic DMU corridor connection. Today's service was supported by the Association shop, miniature railway, station cafe and booking hall staff.

All the best, Tom



Thursday, 28 February 2019

Progress Thursday 28th February 2019

Dear all,

Quite a few pockets of activity around today for the final day of February.

The Maintenance Team were split into two teams. One performed a shunt first thing to position the BSK(K) into Platform 1 for the laying of flooring soon, before proceeding to given attention to sticking doors on W55006. Most of these have been remedied apart from a couple. The other team worked on rebuilding the corridor connection and reinstating the exhaust stacks on E53599.

The PW team were around the Cattle Creep changing a cracked fish plate for a new one which has had to be specially fabricated by the supplier.

The building is progressing at Wirksworth with the roof almost totally insulted and the doors now installed. Work has also begun on the interior.

A duo dismantled the marquee that has been on Platform 1 since May. It is looking a bit bedraggled now! Taking it down is easy, transporting it to the store is hard work.

A delegation from the Northants Class 31 Group came to continue nursing 31206 back to health. They were hotly followed by a man in a van who came to provide an initial assessment. Apparently it is indeed possible to grind the crank in situ. Thereafter they turned their attention to checking over 31601.

Leigh

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Progress 24th Feb 2019



Evening All,

Well as the Monkees once sang it has been "just another pleasant valley Sunday". I'm always hesitant to mention the weather as it's a bit of a cliché. However, it has been unseasonably warm. Volunteers and visitors alike took the opportunity of the good weather to lunch alfresco.

A steady stream of passengers gave the railway a real 1950s branch line feel. A lit red paraffin tail lamp also adding to the ambiance. 

We welcomed Roy and Les Smithurst, at one time much mentioned in these auspicious annals. Especially in the area of platform building. These days taking things a little more easily but still very much full of life.

In the yard Joe made further in roads into 55006's return to traffic. It says here that many nuts were tightened.The vehicle was also given a deep clean. Eventually making it onto the last trip to Duffield.

Elsewhere the examination 33 103 continued including (but not limited to) inspection of traction motors and generator brushes.

The peace of the afternoon tea break was only broken by sounds of rock band Queen on the radio. Together with sightings of a low flying hot air balloon.

Thanks to all.

Regards,
John Stokes





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Progress Report Saturday 23rd February 2019

Dear All,

A generally relaxed day at Derbyshire's favourite branch line with moderate passenger numbers. Interestingly, for the second consecutive Saturday the last Duffield service was our busiest. Down the yard work continued on the Derby lightweight and a few members of associated teams could be found engaged in various tasks. Over at the narrow gauge Ron and Kyle could be found tidying up the miniature railway trackside in between providing a passenger service for our younger guests.

Today's service was supported by the station cafe, Association shop and booking office staff. Finally, this evening the railway will host its first special event of the season, 'Ghosts in the Valley'. This must be a supernatural first for a preserved railway and is fully booked. The only spirit I will be entertaining this evening comes in the guise of a single malt!

All the best,

Tom

Friday, 22 February 2019

Progress Friday 22nd February 2019

Dear all,

A glorious unseasonably mild day saw our half term Friday service operate, supported by the café, bookshop and train crew.

Down the yard, the Class 108 had the glass put back in to the vehicle end windows following the rebuild and Met-Camm 51505 had a leaking toilet tap valve looked at.

Leigh

Monday, 18 February 2019

Progress Report Sunday 17th February 2019



Hi all,

A steadier day in the valley for our first operating Sunday of the season with M79900 'Iris' doing the honors, my thanks go to the Catering, Booking Offices and Train Crew for handling our passengers amicably as always!

Down the yard, repairs were being undertaken on the EVRA BSK and further interior restoration work on the Derby Lightweight also continuing a pace. Box van 'Johnny' received a more detailed underframe examination ahead of the Multiple Memories Railcar weekend which found no real issues that couldn't be swiftly rectified. Finally, W55006's No.2 end bogie was re-assembled after the recent vacuum cylinder change and tested once more, and to much relief, the cylinder worked and continued working correctly after many subsequent tests.

John and Ben also moved the WiFi receiver on the Conference Room as there appears to have been a building built between it and the station!

That's all for now!  

Joe.
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Sunday, 17 February 2019

Progress Report Saturday 16th February 2019

Dear All,

It was the first day of our new season today. Wirksworth station was the venue for our volunteer open day and and thanks must go to the departments who organised a display in the marquee and played host to the numerous interested visitors. The event has built upon last years success and initial 'sign ups' suggest our efforts have been well rewarded. The Communications Director could be found chasing volunteers for a photograph in readiness for a new issue of identity badges and an updated version of our volunteer's handbook was made available to new volunteers who could also enjoy a trip down the valley and a brief footplate ride on 08 'Graham Walker'.

The glorious winter sun helped ensure the two car DMU service to Duffield enjoyed good passenger numbers for this time of year. Interestingly the last train carried a large party of dog walkers who had journeyed the Ecclesbourne way.  Down the yard restoration work continued on the Derby Lightweight and 'the Duke'.

Todays service was supported by the Association shop, station cafe and miniature railway.

A very satisfactory start to the season.

All the best, Tom


Progress Report Saturday 16th February 2019

Dear All,

It was the first day of our new season today. Wirksworth station was the venue for our volunteer open day and and thanks must go to the departments who organised a display in the marquee and played host to the numerous interested visitors. The event has built upon last years success and initial 'sign ups' suggest our efforts have been well rewarded. The Communications Director could be found chasing volunteers for a photograph in readiness for a new issue of identity badges and an updated version of our volunteer's handbook was made available to new volunteers who could also enjoy a trip down the valley and a brief footplate ride on 08 'Graham Walker'.

The glorious winter sun helped ensure the two car DMU service to Duffield enjoyed good passenger numbers for this time of year. Interestingly the last train carried a large party of dog walkers who had journeyed the Ecclesbourne way.  Down the yard restoration work continued on the Derby Lightweight and 'the Duke'.

Todays service was supported by the Association shop, station cafe and miniature railway.

A very satisfactory start to the season.

All the best, Tom





Friday, 15 February 2019

Progress Friday 15th February 2019

Dear all,

It would be daring to speak too soon but it really felt like spring was here today. It felt positive to be starting a new season, much in contrast to last year.

There was much activity round the station to prepare for tomorrow's volunteering event and get ready for reopening.

The Maintenance Team were working on the corridor end scissors for the Class 108.

There was a hive of activity on the building site too with some of the roof being constructed in block as a fire wall (and not the type that will stop your trojan).

Leigh

Friday, 8 February 2019

Progress Friday 8th February 2019

Dear all,

A wild, wet and windy day with very few on site. The Maintenance Team coupled a DMU to get that ready for service at the end of the week before retreating to the Maintenance Facility to paint a panel which has been repaired for the Teletruk. They then continued to clean up the corridor connection for the Class 108 ready for it to be refitted after the vehicle end has been painted. Mark 1 maintenance exams began yesterday and will continue next week as they are required earlier in this season this year.

Leigh

Monday, 4 February 2019

Progress Report Sunday 4th February 2019



Hi All,

Another bitterly cold start this morning in the valley which saw our usual contingent of hard worthy souls out in force!

Down the yard, for the Derby Lightweight trailer car, attention has focused on seats, currently a set of reclaimed seat frames are being re-angled evand flat packed to enable fitment through the narrow bodyside doors - Ikea a la EVR perhaps?!

Elsewhere, the B4 exam continued on 33103 'Swordfish' with the oil and filter change completed. Bubble car W55006 was prepared to have the troublesome No.2 end vacuum cylinder changed, hopefully for the final time! Finally, the respective EVRA and LMSCA coach groups were also in force working on their respective projects.

Up at the station, we hosted Marlow Players, who were using the station area and coaching stock for photography and video purposes. I thank those who handled their requirements and needs without a hitch!

All the Best

Joe.  
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Saturday, 2 February 2019

Introducing our new Online Shop!

Dear all,

We are delighted to introduce our brand new Online Shop! We have a great range of tickets and events available at launch including Advance Day Rovers, Afternoon Teas, Ploughman's Lunches, Murder Mystery and more... Of course, we'll be adding other events on later in the season too.

To celebrate this launch, we're offering 15% off online purchases made during February, even if the event is later in the year. Just enter the promo code launch2019 at the checkout.

Check it out at www.e-v-r.com/shop 

Tell your friends?

Leigh

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Progress Friday 31st January 2019

Dear all,

It is weird to think that a month ago I was gearing up to see in the New Year by watching Madness on the tele. It wasn't as cold then as it is now! It was -8 this morning on the drive in so it wasn't surprising that numbers were thin on the ground today.

Some work continued in the Guards compartment of the BSK(K) and also in the Derby Lightweight trailer but it was too cold for being out for long.

The contractors stuck at it alongside a few volunteers on the new Station Build project.

The S&T dept did their routine FPL inspections as it is too cold to paint Shottle Box.

Leigh

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Progress Report Sunday 27th of January



Dear All,

Light on the ground today but plenty done! 33103 had it's injectors changed and tapper clearance checks completed. Joe managed to complete the very drawn out task of fixing 55006's No 2 vacuum cylinder, now ready to be refitted to the vehicle. A single lightweight member was in working on the Air and Axle indicator panels. And Brian was in steaming his life away on many dirty objects that needed cleaning. 

At the other end of the line Leigh was training up half the Duffield booking office clerks on how to use the new till system, which will be launched with the new online ticket system this Friday. 

Attached is a photo of 33103 ticking over on the pit after today's maintenance.

Regards 
Oliver Hodgkinson

 

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Progress Saturday 26th Jan 2019



Dear All,

Well here I am for a second Saturday in a row as Responsible Officer. I must be doing something right?

It has been a day dominated by fabrication and painting by various groups. It was also good to see Mr Nesbitt back in Wirksworth after a recent illness.

In the shed area Fraday had its electrical box undercoated. Not far from there the 8f group were making more hoops for the Duke's boiler cladding. I've learnt today that these items are called crinolines. Another of their number was engaged in turning safely valve parts.

The DMU group continued with panelling in 53599. The Lightweight contingent pressed on with the fabrication of the air and axel panel. Including experimentation with incandescent and LED lighting. 

A start was made on a B4 exam on 33 103. Pictured here is the engine room with the engine rocker covers removed. 

Meanwhile at the other end of the yard an artistic moment was being had in BSK M34625. Several parts in the guards area were painted.

Across from there the LMSCA continued building the BTK interior.

All good progress. Thanks to all.

Regards
John Stokes.

PS. We so far have 4 buses attending the Bus Rally (30th June). If you have a bus or know of someone who might be interested. The entry form can be found here.






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Friday, 25 January 2019

Progress Friday 25th January 2019

Dear all,

A quiet day with a handful of people working down the yard. One team rehung the corridor end door on centre car 59303 which had been taken off for toilet leak investigations. This is a harder task than it sounds! Another team made a start on gathering materials required to reinstall the two vehicle-end windows on the Class 108 following the renewal of the metal work. The buffers and draw gear will be reinstated next week to move this project forward even further. James has been working his way through making the wooden panelling for the inside of the Guards van to replace the panels that were beyond reuse when removed.

Leigh

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Progress Thursday 24th January 2019

Dear all,

Another chilly start to the day saw the PW team travelling by Land Rover today rather than works train to their possession. It was lighter duties today after doing 11 sleepers in frozen conditions yesterday. A small S&T team performed ground frame maintenance at Wirksworth, including adjusting the FPL on the Wash Green frame to make it easier to operate.

The maintenance team worked on putting a temporary ceiling under the toilet tank in 59303. The tank is leaking but the vehicle is needed in service soon soon so it will be attended to at a later date.

Look out for our brand new online shop coming soon! We'll have a special launch promotion which we will share with you here for purchases made online in February to celebrate.

I attach a couple of photographs forwarded to me of Carthryn's boiler down at the repair shop.

Leigh

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Progress Sunday 20th January 2019

Dear all,

A much quieter day than yesterday it seems. One team spent the day tidying the car park making small inroads into this task. It is amazing how much stuff can accumulate in a short space of time. The other two worked on the Derby Lightweight trailer car which seems to be making progress quite quickly. They have constructed some seats as tests to make sure the reclaimed Class 117 first class frames fit a Derby interior properly and also made great progress in the cab which has original style controls and gauges.

Leigh

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Progress Saturday 19th Jan 2019



Dear All,

It's been some time since I last had the pleasure of writing the daily report. This time I report to you as the Responsible Officer in my own right.

It would be easy to assume that because there was no train service today nothing happened on the Railway. I can assure you that this could not be further from the truth. Today Wirksworth yard was the scene of much activity.

In the shed 48624 group were cold rolling steel to for the Duke's boiler cladding rings. This was achieved by the ingenious use of a substantial home made rolling device. There also appeared to be some grinding taking place on the Duke's cab.

Further down the shed the DMU department were modifying seat frames for the first class compartment of the lightweight trailer car. Panelling fabrication was also being carried out for this vehicles cab. Nearby class 108 53599 had its corridor door trial fitted to much joyous success.

Another steam team duo were carrying out work on their new cabin amongst other jobs.

Not to be out done by all this the LMSCA were making seat bottoms and wall parts for BCK 27001 (Pictured). In the spirit of inter departmental cooperation they were also machining parts for the signal box at Shottle.

Across from there the Smith-Mason team were painting the floor of the cage area in their BSK.

A meeting of the HOPS team took place in the buffet.

A highly productive and satisfying day. Apologies if I have missed anything.

Regards,
John




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Thursday, 17 January 2019

Progress Thursday 17th January 2019

Dear all,

Can't believe we're over half way through January already, Christmas seems like ancient history!

It was the first day of really cold weather this winter but it didn't deter progress on a number of fronts. Most of it was down the line, with the PW team changing 6 sleepers in the Hazelwood vicinity as well as dealing with some accumulated brash. 

The Shottle signalbox project is coming on leaps and bounds with the 4 steel legs for the box being installed today ready to eventually receive the box. 

EVRAs SK returned from the Foxfield Railway today after spending the Christmas season on loan there. It is amazing to think that it wasn't in the too distant past that we didn't have any operational coaches so to loan one out and help another railway for a short time is great!

The Commercial Department were in full flow too working on new projects. More soon.

Leigh

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Progress Saturday 12th January 2019

Dear all,

Another January day which saw small pockets of activity at Wirksworth. The Class 108 which has received corridor end repairs had the draw hook prepared for refitting and nearby, the earlier version (the original Derby Lightweight) had further interior work take place.

A group came to fettle the Class 14 with a good check over and short test run completed. A small power fault was thrown up so it was useful as it enabled that to get sorted out. Interestingly, the Class 14 being sold to industry by BR was what prematurely ended the production of the Rolls-Royce Steelman (like "LJ Breeze") as it was cheaper for private industry to buy these secondhand locos rather than buying new. The 14 is fitted with a Paxman engine although they did experiment with the Rolls-Royce DV8 (same engine as "LJ Breeze") in one example, this loco being preserved. The gearing in a Class 14 is useful in preservation as it enables them to comfortably handle passenger trains.

Leigh

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Progress 10th January 2019

Dear all,

A chilly day in the valley saw vehicles in the yard positioned for upcoming work.

The PW team continued with their never-ending sleeper change quest in the Hazlewood vicinity too. The S&T dept cleared vegetation from around the site of where Shottle Signalbox will be so that it doesn't impose on the box once it is in position.

The first part of the new station building is coming along a treat with the roof sections starting to go together today. See photo.

Leigh

Friday, 4 January 2019

Progress Friday 4th January 2019

Dear all,

A chilly but dry day enabled us to get down the remnants of Christmas. The decorations in the marquee were taken away and the Christmas tree on the platform removed. The Booking Office at Wirksworth also had the decorations put away into storage for another year.

In the engineerium, the corridor connection was forklifted on to one end of EVRA's TSO which is under restoration.

It certainly seems to be full steam ahead with the first third of the new building as contractors have been installing the beams to support the roof this week.  I wanted to take a photograph as some of the scaffold has been removed this afternoon but then realised it was dark. 

Leigh