Saturday, 18 May 2019

Progress report Saturday 18th May 2019

Dear all,

There really was a feeling that our 2019 season continues at something of a gallop as we scanned across the carpark, platforms, buffet, shop, miniature railway and passenger service this afternoon and they all looked really very busy under distinctly average weather conditions.

We also performed something of an operational first in the late afternoon as the returning final steam service passed a two car DMU southbound and under private charter at Shottle, more of this later. This could not have been performed without Signamen John and Tony turning out on a Saturday afternoon to ensure safe passage of the later afternoon passing services.

Todays deepest footbath award goes to the catering team, as well as dealing with the aforementioned large volume of hungry visitors, part way through the day they were slightly startled by an unexpected party of a further 22 hungry visitors but as usual rose to the challenge and all were sent away having enjoyed their meal with us. As afternoon turned to evening and still not convinced they had fed enough people they catered for the large evening charter. If you haven't tried Helens cakes I must insist you do so at your earliest convenience, they are to die for.

This evenings private service was to celebrate the birthday of one of our members who is also a very experienced railwayman with his friends and family. The evening comprised drinks taken in the Bubble car, followed by the full group on a 4pm departure on the two car DMU to Duffield. On their return an extensive buffet meal provided by the catering team prior to which all the names were entered into a hat and four lucky winners got a drive a diesel service on two more return trips to Duffield. Under Bens instruction the four lucky winners each took their turn at the desk and provided the crew a rather pleasant ride down and up the valley. As the party organisers left at the end of the evening and enthusiastically thanked us it was clear they had genuinely enjoyed their time with us, its rewarding to see people leave as new advocates of our services and hospitality.

Away from the gaze of the crowds the Engineerium was also busy working on the Duke, Faraday and the Derby Lightweights smallest room was a focus of attention as the toilet facilities were being installed.

A huge vote of thanks to everyone who gave their time today to ensure so many guests enjoyed their time with us.

Regards

P

Pete Watts
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operations

Friday, 17 May 2019

Progress Friday 17th May 2019

Dear all,

Generally quiet at Wirksworth today with Lewis and Richard entertaining four Drive a Diesel experience guests firstly trying their hand at a DMU in the form of W55006 before taking to 31601 in the afternoon. Incidentally the latter being back in traffic after one of the doors was returned following refurbishment.

Down the shed work continued on the Fitness to Run for the recently arrived Mark 1 coach, in preparation for it to debut at the Steam in the Valley event. Focus at the moment is on the axle boxes and also sealing some leaking windows.

Leigh

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Progress Thursday 9th May 2019

Dear all,

A dry start enabled a gazebo to be put up at Wirksworth ahead of a wedding reception we are hosting on Saturday. The day will mostly involve catering on the train but it will just provide a little shelter to guests in the interim if necessary. Derek and Dan were working in the BSK(K) to get all the systems working and testing everything out ready for Saturday after winter storage and works.

The PW team dodged the rain as best they could to continue ditching and crib work north of Shottle and the S&T dept carried out routine facing point lock and ground frame inspections.

Progress on the new station building was also hampered on the outside as painting in this weather isn't possible, however the walls were being plastered inside to move the project on.

Leigh

Monday, 6 May 2019

Progress Monday 6th May 2019

Dear all,

The busiest day of the three day Bank Holiday weekend saw services handled firstly by 33103 "Swordfish" on the first return of the day followed by visiting steam locomotive 52322. Thank you to all staff and crew which made it a steady enjoyable day for our visitors. Numbers were boosted further with a coach party from Lincolnshire on the last train too. It was nice to see the locomotive pausing at Duffield prior to running round for photographs and footplate visits. Even the groups that normally work down the yard were seen enjoying a ride down the line on a Bank Holiday afternoon!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Progress Thursday 2nd May 2019

Dear all,

Can't believe it is May already! Today the PW team were just north of Shottle continuing with the unenviable task of drainage whilst the S&T crew were continuing with signalbox refurbishment; hopefully on the inside due to the weather.

This morning we took delivery of 4 brand new coach and DMU lifting jacks from France which have taken around 5 months to manufacture. They have been very kindly sponsored by our coach and DMU owners and owning groups as they are not a cheap item. The manufacturer have yet to come and install, commission and train staff but it is a real step forward. Previous lifts have involved expensive specialist cranes.

The Maintenance Team continued to wash the body sides of the Mark 1 rake after unloading the jacks.

The Station Building is looking very nice and I attach a picture of latest progress.

Today we have launched two new products. Bookings are now being taken for our Friday VIP Diners in the summer where a three course meal is served on board the train. Numbers are limited over three evenings for these and tickets can be purchased at https://wyvernrail.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/22279?catID=17843 . The other being annual passes, something which we have been asked about for a while but haven't had the systems to do it. If you're a regular it is an option and can be purchased at https://wyvernrail.digitickets.co.uk/category/16223?navItem=64570

Leigh


Monday, 22 April 2019

Progress Report Monday 22nd April 2019

Dear All,

The final day of the Easter Bank Holiday and it was more of the same. More sunny weather, more visitors and more fun. Wirksworth Station had lots of children enjoying the party workshop, the miniature and narrow gauge railways carried more passengers and the cafe was again very busy. On the incline there was a footplate experience before passenger services commenced and the Association shop received more visitors.

Catering and Commercial team members met with a customer to plan a special summer event and following this meeting held an impromptu gathering to begin to explore this year's Santa format which was quite surreal in this hot weather. The Easter holiday activities have been an unqualified success with a significant increase in revenue compared to last year.

Finally as the coaching stock was shunted into platform one for servicing, news came in that there was a line side fire south of Idridgehay Station. A number of volunteers from the Diesel team came forward to offer their help and a trio of Joe, John and James set off to deal with the incident. I later discovered they had to cancel their evening meal booking due to attending this incident. This dedication is a great example of how lucky we are to have such a group of devoted volunteers.

All the best, Tom

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Progress Report Sunday 21st April 2019

Another glorious day at Derbyshire's favourite branch line ensured we played host to visitors from near and afar. A slightly slower start to the day compared to yesterday but by lunchtime our Easter  attractions were in full swing. The Family Circus proved even more popular today with families who visited yesterday back for more fun. The miniature railway exceeded expectations and carried the same amounts of adults as children. The locomotive 'Wren' apparently  a big  hit with Dad. Down the yard the narrow gauge also was very busy and it was good to see 'Lenny the Lister' back in traffic after many months of inactivity.

The queue outside the cafe suggested our cafe staff were kept very busy through out the day and the Association shop enjoyed a number of visitors. Today's photo features the footplate team of 52322 which brought together two drivers who were based at Peak Rail many years ago. Our very own Mike Thomas and Martyn Ashworth now based at the Great Central Railway.

Over on platform two you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching an episode of 'Jackanory' as Fred Court spent time between the incline services recounting his numerous and amusing tales of by-gone BR days to groups of interested passengers. 

Again, my grateful thanks go to everyone who gave up their Easter Sunday to support our railway by volunteering in whatever capacity. Your contribution is of great value and helps ensure we can maximise our revenue earning possibilities together with offering a range of activities that helps makes us a tourist attraction that people want to visit regularly.

All the best,

Tom



Saturday, 20 April 2019

Progress Report Saturday 20th April 2019

Dear All,
What a fantastic day! The glorious weather brought out the crowds of which many were visiting Derbyshire for the Holidays and had chosen to spend Easter Saturday with us and they weren't disappointed. The Family Circus (pictured) was a most popular attraction with our younger visitors and both the miniature and narrow gauge railways were in operation and enjoyed record numbers of passengers. 

Our catering staff were kept busy throughout the day and the demand for ice cream was so high that an extra trip to the suppliers is scheduled for this evening to replenish stocks.

My grateful thanks to all the train crews who ensured our services ran to schedule and a special mention to the cafe staff who provided our footplate crews with a constant supply of water to keep them hydrated in uncomfortably hot conditions. A further thanks to our diesel shunters who stayed late to shunt the stock to platform one enabling the steam crew to dispose of the engine as soon as it finished the last service.

Here's hoping for more of the same for the rest of the holidays!

All the best,

Tom








Friday, 19 April 2019

Progress Friday 19th April 2019

Dear all,

A stunning day for the first day of steam operation in 2019 and there was a real buzz around the railway. 33103 operated the first return which is somewhat of an experiment but happily it had a respectable number of passengers on it, before 52322 took over. The locomotive was off shed within plenty of time and sat posing in Platform 1 for a while. The day was slick and calm and I would like to thank today's crews for their efforts along with supporting teams in the catering and on the Miniature Railway. Henry Ellison operated the incline starting with a steam experience before doing rides.

Further work took place on the Class 73 and various items were cleared and tidied from the car park in order to improve capacity.

Here are a few nice photos from today.

Leigh

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Progress Thursday 18th April 2019

Dear all,

Usually the day before a 4 days Bank Holiday weekend is a bit of a let down but to be fair today was quite positive. The sun was shining and the "bubblecar" was barely capacious enough.

Some final preparations were taking place for this weekend including tidying up in the car park, water the coaching stock etc. Locomotive 52322 was steamed and received a through fitness to run examination ahead of entering service tomorrow. A small light engine test run to Idridgehay after service exercised the axle boxes. It will be interesting to see how the weekend goes, especially the early 09:40 diesel service which happens before the steam loco takes over.

As I was leaving, Reid Freight were arriving in convoy with two coaches - one is a Pullman car for contract restoration and the other is a Mark 1 SK that is almost ready to run and will come in mightily handy for the steam event later in the year.

Leigh

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Progress Report Tuesday 16th April 2019

Dear All,

Our class 122 known as the 'Bubble Car' provided the traction today and the 11:15 service  departed Wirksworth station with standing room only. It was great to see the train full after moderate passenger numbers last month.

Down the yard there was much activity with the arrival of the first of our visiting steam locomotives. (pictured). Also pictured is the arrival of another steam locomotive named 'Wren" which will be featured on the miniature railway over the Easter weekend. The steam team were in attendance and Barclay locomotive Brian Harrison was in steam being made ready for a boiler inspection.

Rob was busy performing fitness to run examinations on the final two coaches that will form the consist for the summer trains. The new station building is progressing well with further roof tiles being fitted as well as work on the new toilets. The station cafe team were in creative mode and have come up with an exciting new product for the summer.  Watch this space!

Supporting today's train service was the Association shop, the station cafe,  miniature railway and Booking Hall staff.

A most enjoyable day.

All the best, Tom



Sunday, 14 April 2019

Progress Report Sunday 14th April 2019

Dear All,

It was bitterly cold down the valley today which did little to encourage visitors to our railway. However, passengers numbers improved through out the day as the threat of sleet diminished. The day started with the class 73 journeying to Duffield to pick up the water tank as preparations for the start of our summer of steam hauled services and forthcoming diesel gala intensified.

Down the yard there was much success with the completion of the CK and cleaning of the class 33 batteries together with work continuing in the Derby Lightweight driver's cab and the 'Bubble' returning to traffic following gutter cleaning.

Down at Duffield a meeting was held to explore improving our passengers' experience and it is rumoured at Wirksworth the Commercial Manager was sporting a large grin due to a significant increase in on-line sales. Today's service was supported by the miniature railway, Association shop, Station Cafe and booking hall staff.

Finally, special mention must go to John Stokes who's multitasking skills know no boundary. Yesterday it was the installation of a new CCTV system at Duffield Station, today it was a faulty ball cock in the ladies loo at Wirksworth Station!

All the best, Tom

Progress Saturday 13th April 2019

Dear all,

After a steady start it turned out to be a reasonable day, handled by the Class 119/107 hybrid DMU. Many seemed to enjoy their first class upgrade!

The usual array of Saturday groups were in, including the guys working on The Duke and the LMSCA. Work continued on the Class 73 to get that ready for service in a fortnight's time and the Derby Lightweight trailer car restoration moved forward with further cab wiring.

A duo worked at Duffield with a new CCTV system being installed there.

Leigh

Friday, 12 April 2019

Progress Thursday 11th and Friday 12th April 2019

Dear all,

Both of these days have been fairly similar. Cool and dry with trains running as it is the Easter holidays in some places.

Yesterday we waved goodbye to the test vehicle that had been on site for nearly a week. Coach examinations ahead of their requirements starting a week today have been continuing apace and will be completed all being well early next week. Further progress has been made on the Derby Lightweight trailer car inside too.

A further milestone occurred today as the toilet block part of the new station building began rising from the ground. This portion will initially be separate but will be integrated into the rest of the building as funding allows.

Leigh

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Progress Saturday 6th April 2019

Dear all,

A better day on the trains today than recent weeks with a good loading on the first train especially. Early doors a group arrived just for a tour round the yard which Richard duly enjoyed.

There was plenty of activity elsewhere as an extra camera was added to our CCTV system. This job doesn't sound very big but involved mounting aerials and access points along with running various cables. It took all day!

A contingent popped in from the ELR to fettled the Class 14 which leaves us for a little excursion to the GCR in the coming week before returning for our own diesel gala at the end of the month. Another contingent also came from our test customer to fettle the machine ready for Monday.

Final fettling of the Class 33 took place ahead of our own gala and running season and welding work recommenced on TSO 4440 after a hiatus (welder engaged on the Class 108).

The usual array of 8F group members were here too continuing their work on The Duke. The LMSCA are relieved to have stopped stuffing their new seats.

Leigh

Friday, 5 April 2019

Progress Friday 5th April 2019

Dear all,

A better day weather wise than yesterday saw further coach examinations continue.

Henry Ellison underwent a steam test after winter slumber to Shottle and collected the water tank for refilling. The water tank provides a back up water source for steam engines at Duffield during the summer.

Work continued on the Wirksworth Station Building project with the tiles being loaded on to the scaffold ready for a start to be made.

Leigh

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Progress Thursday 4th April 2019

Dear all,

Hopefully winter's last laugh today as it was bitterly cold and very wet but not to worry, still plenty of progress both down the line at the Shottle work site and in the engineerium.

Coach examinations ahead of their season start in a couple of weeks time is forging ahead apace and shunter "Tom" was also resurrected today.

The Signal and Telegraph department worked on maintaining the Incline ground frame.

Leigh

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Progress Report Saturday 30th March 2019

Dear All,

Derbyshire's favourite branch line basked in glorious spring sunshine today with Iris ably coping with visitor numbers. Our passengers and crew were greeted with a friendly chat and free cake on arrival at Duffield station as part of Duffield Good Neighbour Week. Ron and Kyle carried out an array of tasks on the miniature railway as they maintained the track in between carrying paid passengers.

Down the yard much preparation was taking place with our diesel fleet as the team prepares for the April Gala. The LMSCA and Duke Restoration Group were also busy on their respective projects. Eric H set about tidying the narrow gauge station and found some remedial work that will need to be undertaken before opening to the public.

Today's train service was supported by the Association shop, Cafe and booking hall staff together with a train crew of Rob, David and Richard.

Don't forget to put your clocks forward this evening!

All the best, Tom

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Progress Wednesday 27th March 2019

Dear all,

Quite a busy day today for a Wednesday. We had an early start as we hosted one of our testing customers for a demonstration day to their potential clients of a new signalling system based on taking tried and tested token machines and modernising them to operate digitally using 4G. The system, known as DiBloC, is an impressive bit of kit. The project has been headed up by Robin Lee in his day job, more well known to those around the railway for programming our online roster many moons ago. We trundled to Duffield to pick up the first round of clients, where a presentation and demonstration took place before coming to Wirksworth for further demonstrations. The clients were then treated to a buffet lunch. This was repeated for a second wave of clients in the afternoon. Thank you to those who helped put on the day.

At Wirksworth there was another testing customer using the incline as well as activity in the car park as the PW gang had a brief rest from track work to tackle the boating lake. It looks as though there has been a satisfactory conclusion although we won't know until it rains I suppose.

Coach examinations are under way by the maintenance team ahead of the running season quickly approaching and the Shottle Box team were making the most of the good weather by painting the box exterior.

Leigh

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Progress Report Sunday 24th March 2019

Dear all,

As we arrived on site this morning we were greeting with glorious sun shine although out of the sun it was a little chilly round the Shottle loop..so to speak.

Mainline services were today provided by Railcar Iris crewed by Chris, John and Will who reported modest loadings during the day. The catering team provided refreshments to our guests and the book shop was open offering its usual range of Railway related goodies.

Out of site of our visitors the Engineerium was a positive hive of activity, paint was being applied to the Bubble car, work continues a pace on the Derby Lightweight Trailer car and carriage restoration work was also in full swing. 

Locomotive 73210 Selhurst which had been in Winter storage was prepared for the new season and after several pre-flight checks started with great enthusiasm spending several hours in the yard purring away while minor faults were located and rectified, towards the end of the day it was taken on a short test run up the Incline which was completed without incident.

As commented by Tom in yesterday report the oil pressures have barely dropped after last weeks Gala but attention has turned fully to our next event being the Spring Diesel and Ale Bash over the last weekend of April. Initial plans were put together in the afternoon for requested traction, running orders and initial staff rosters constructed. It should be recorded the amount of effort that goes into staging these events in terms of prepping the locomotives and rolling stock, organising the staff and running orders for the weekend. 

My thanks go to everyone involved in todays proceedings and I leave you with a picture of Class 73 Selhurst during todays tests...

Regards

P

Progress Report Saturday 23rd March 2019

Dear All,

We enjoyed a very pleasant day down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line with 'Iris' in service on the Duffield line. Down the yard some work continued on the diesel locomotives in preparation for the forthcoming Gala. Andy D could be found in the narrow gauge talking tunnel making more adjustments to the electronics. At Duffield the station manager was busy tidying the garden and planting. (photo attached). The miniature railway was open for business and carried quite a few of our younger visitors. Today's service was supported by the Association shop, cafe and booking hall staff and a big welcome to Mark who has jointed the team at Wirksworth Station.

All the best, Tom




Friday, 22 March 2019

Progress Friday 22nd March 2019

Dear all,

Not too many on site today but good progress was made down in the Maintenance Department with W55006 going towards the Maintenance Facility to have some leaky gutters attended to. In the process, the fibreglass roof domes were given a good clean.

Another team worked on a blowing injector on 50170s No.2 engine before attending to a faulty horn on the same vehicle.

A new starter motor has been fitted to shunter Tom but this work is not complete yet and therefore it remains unavailable at the moment but will hopefully be back in service soon.

Leigh

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