Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Progress Wednesday 31st July 2019

Dear all,

As July draws to a close we hosted a special DMU charter for East Midlands Trains. They wished to thank all of their Station Adopter volunteer who tirelessly look after the stations on their network before the franchise changes over in a few weeks time. We collected some 150 people who had arrived at Duffield mostly by train. Some of them booked to arrive early were treated to a presentation by Eric B at Duffield before everyone boarded the 4 car DMU for Wirksworth. At Wirksworth, lunch bags were waiting in the Café and so too was the Bubblecar to operate shuttles to Ravenstor. Around 5 or 6 yard tours took place during the afternoon to provide interest for our guests and they were also able to enjoy a trip on the Miniature Railway too. After around three hours they were taken back to Duffield for onward train travel. Fortunately the rain mostly held off and there were many happy visitors at the end.

Leigh

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Progress Report Saturday 27th July 2019

Dear All,

Back to typical British summer weather today with torrential rain interrupted by occasional dry spells! However that didn't seem to affect our visitors with lots of smiling faces around our enterprise. The station cafe was again busy with a party of guests celebrating booking clerk Robert Harris's birthday. Many happy returns Robert.

Today's service was supported by the station cafe, Association shop, miniature railway and booking hall staff.

All the best,

Tom

Friday, 26 July 2019

Progress Report Friday 26th July 2019

Dear All,

Wirksworth was slightly cooler today but still very hot for the time of year. We were very thin on the ground today with volunteers but I'm happy to report it was quality not quantity that ensured our many visitors were well looked after. Unfortunately Helen Hills our Catering Manager took ill whilst on holiday and was unable to attend today but her team rallied round in her absence to provide afternoon tea services for two very appreciative parties. We wish Helen a speedy recovery.

We played host to three pre-booked groups today; St Helens Ladies Guild from Darley Dale, The Woman's Institute from the Allestree branch and a retirement party from Derby County Council.

A special mention should go to our Operational Staff who, despite the uncomfortable heat, delivered a first class service and ensured the train service ran to schedule. Today's service was supported by the Association shop, miniature railway, station cafe, crossing gate keepers and booking hall staff.

All the best,

Tom

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Progress Report Saturday 20th July 2019


Dear All,

Today saw the first visit to the railway of the Local Defence Volunteers.  The original WW2 Home Guard were in action at Wirksworth Station today as the Belper and Wirksworth L.M S. Railway Platoon who carried out a number of demonstrations much to the amusement of our visitors. There will be more from the platoon on Sunday.

Our first train to Duffield was delayed slightly due to last night's deluge which had caused som drainage problems at Idridgehay crossing. Grateful thanks to Ron who  took time out from the miniature railway to clear the mud from the crossing. The Associated hosted two footplate experiences on the incline today with both sets of visitors expressing much satisfaction with their visit. Up in the town WyvernRail plc held its Annual General Meeting and it was good to see a number of our supporters enjoying a trip to Duffield prior to the meeting.

Today's service was supported by the station cafe, Association shop, miniature railway and booking hall staff.

All the best, Tom



Friday, 19 July 2019

Progress Wednesday to Friday 19th July 2019

Dear all,

It has been a generally busy week with plenty of customers and also projects on the go.

Wednesday we saw the arrival of another first in the form of a withdrawn London Underground D78 stock car belonging to a test customer which has been fitted with some experimental running gear. This medium-term project should be quite interesting.

We have been thin on the ground with volunteers as many attended the funerals of Vince Morris on Wednesday and Andrew Ormond on Thursday.

In between though, some work has been carried out on the geometry of the new siding in Wirksworth Yard and the somewhat obligatory shunting which takes place each week to keep vehicles where they need to be for the coming days. Iris has been having an exam inbetween all this, which is nearly complete.

We took delivery of some concrete sleepers late yesterday to further advance the PW projects.

Today was the first day of Friday steam operations of the summer and, despite the heavy rain, it was quite busy. The first train was particularly well loaded, with the on board bar running out of hot water early on.

Leigh

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Progress Saturday 13th July 2019

Dear all,

Another muggy day in the valley with services operated by both Class 33 "Swordfish" and Class 2MT 78018. Services were reasonably busy all day which was pleasing to see, as was the Café and Miniature Railway.

Down the yard, work continued in the construction of the Derby Lightweight toilet compartment and also the gradual rebuild of TSO 4440. The Class 73 also had a turbo oil change this afternoon.

A gang departed early doors for the seaside, well near Blackpool anyway, to collect recently acquired S&T components (sea reported as not seen, but seagulls heard so they must have been close). They were back at Wirksworth in time for a cuppa at the end of service. The hard work continues with this tomorrow.

Leigh

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Progress Thursday 11th July 2019

Dear all,

A warm and muggy day with services handled by 55006, a steady day ahead of the school summer holidays.

Progress on the new Station Building continued apace with the construction of the new museum cabinets being the order of the day. John also did some cement filling inside the new toilet block. If you're wondering what an empty toilet looks like, see the attached photo of the Gents.

The PW gang were working on the new Road 5 in the yard packing it ready for use.

The Standard 2 received fitters attention from the home railway with the assistance from a couple of our chaps to bring it into steam for testing. Happily they passed it fit for traffic so it can operate at the weekend.

Leigh

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Progress Sunday 7th July 2019

Dear all,

Regrettably we weren't able to operate the planned steam services due to the braking issues which developed yesterday and therefore services were handled by Class 73 73210 at late notice.

The Class 14 guys were on site doing an engine oil change following the fitment of their new cylinder head a few weeks ago. The locomotive was given a successful test run on the last service too.

A couple of chaps were working on the Derby Lightweight trailer car with fitting out of the toilet compartment almost being completed. It looks really heritage!

Leigh

Progress Report Saturday 6th July2019

Dear All,

Apologies for the delay with this brief report. Today was an eventful one down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line. The weather was very unkind at the start of the day with the first Duffield class 31 hauled service departing in heavy rain. Sadly a steam brake issue meant that our visiting locomotive 78018 required some TLC before it could enter service and the class 31 undertook the second Duffield run. Thanks to the skills of the footplate team the fault appeared to be rectified so it was decided the locomotive should enter traffic for the third Duffield service top and tailed with the class 31 as a back up should the problem with 78018 re-appear.

Unfortunately at Duffield prior to the run round the class 31 appeared to be developing a possible mechanical issue. Upon return to Wirksworth the steam brake problem on 78018 re-appeared therefore both locomotives were 'failed' and it was left to class 73 73210 Selhurst to undertake the last service. Thanks to the operations team on duty today for their flexibility and resourcefulness that ensured we were able to deliver our timetabled service despite the numerous problems with the locomotives.

Today's service was supported by the booking hall staff, station cafe, miniature railway and Association shop.

All the best, Tom

Friday, 5 July 2019

Progress Friday 5th July 2019

Dear all,

Another sure and steady day in the ramp up to the weekend with services once again being handled by 55006. For the benefit of Chris Hall this is regrettably not a Deltic!

Further movements were made in the yard to position the Class 14 on the pit for further work at the weekend and also to position the Class 31 ready for tomorrow morning's early run.

As I left, preparations were in full swing for the VIP Diner this evening. This is evening 2 of 3 and there are a handful of spaces left next Friday for the final one which can be booked online.

Leigh

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Progress Thursday 4th July 2019

Dear all,

It was a steady day on the trains with services handled by 55006.

The Maintenance Facility was shunted today to swap the LMS BTO coach over from one road to the other to allow work to continue on the bodyside undercoating. Also in the yard, our German test customer was working too.

The PW gang had a day without track today instead setting to the pot holes in the road way at Duffield, clearing some mess from around the gate area and also fixing the gate itself which was having some structural issues.

Leigh