Friday, 29 February 2008
Thursday, 28 February 2008
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
A great deal of effort today on a wide range of activities. It started
with the Tamper departing for Idridgehay at first light (nearly). The
line was tamped from there to the bottom end of the 'racing straight'.
north of mp 139.25. Work continues tomorrow. Some 'Boxing in' was also
undertaken at the Idridgehay end.
The Per way team completed the task of installing replacement
sleepers, so all available sleepers have now been laid,I appreciate
that there are thousands more to be changed, but those can wait for
another day. Unless we can put in an insurance claim that the
earthquake damaged our sleepers! They also started 'Operation Hover'
the tidying of the line of the remaining logs and waste sleepers. The
team have done an absolutely first class job in difficult conditions,
and deserve the praise of us all.
In the Maintenance Facility,all of the Lateral Struts have been
installed, once again this team have been adding to their rather large
Mecanno kit and are to be congratulated.
Dave Mee has continued with the painting and lining out of the Incline
coach, ready for its role in the Opening trains next week. Meanwhile
John Evans continued with the painting of Idridgehay crossing agtes.
A start was made on the final fixing of the nrthern foot crossing
between platforms 1 and 2 at Wirksworth.
Dave and Chris were busy pulling lengths of wire and cable around the
place, this was for PA and other communications systems.
More stocking out, exterior painting and ramp building for the new
Information Room/EVRa shop on Platform 1.
Passenger services were kept busy with visitors as well as taking
bookings for the first trains. Regretably, all First Class seats have
now been sold, more fine planning for the event also took place - the
logistical problems associated with next weeks event are growing by the
minute, but everything is in hand (its says here).
The lorry had some routine servicing carried out, this is now nearly
in daily use.
Off for a soak, and wait for my Red Cross parcel bringing relief to
those who suffered in the earthquake.
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Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Monday, 25 February 2008
Sunday, 24 February 2008
A 1956-vintage railcar, number M79900 but known to all as ‘Iris’ from her days as a test train for British Railways, has arrived to take her place in the railway’s fleet of historic railcars. Iris was saved from the scrapheap in the 1990s and has been preserved by a private owner.
Meanwhile, preparations are proceeding for the March reopening, which the line’s two level crossings re-commissioned and old sleepers being replaced at a rate of nearly 30 per day by a dedicated volunteer team.
A few tickets remain for the ‘Ecclesbourne Express’ reopening special on Saturday 8th March at £20 per person, standard class. Call Wirksworth Station on 01629 823076 or visit www.e-v-r.com for details.
Note to Editors:
High-quality digital images are available to download:
First of all, this fascinating pair of images show a ‘Derby Lightweight’ railcar at Wirksworth in 1954 and ‘Iris’ in exactly the same location on 24th February 2008:
Note that a second track was added in the 1970s.
The following image depicts volunteers at Wirksworth Station giving ‘Iris’ a wash and brush-up shortly after her arrival.
The final image shows ‘Iris’ on the main line between Wirksworth and Idridgehay.
About the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway:
WyvernRail plc is working with the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association to reopen the Duffield to Wirksworth railway in the heart of Derbyshire.
The line passes through the beautiful Ecclesbourne Valley to the award winning and beautifully restored town of Wirksworth, nestling at the foothills of the Peak District.
The line is a time capsule, with its intermediate stations largely intact and the layout at Wirksworth virtually unchanged since the days of steam.
There are 8½ miles of single-track railway, which meet the Midland Main Line at Duffield Junction near Derby. There are five station sites, two level crossings, a yard with extensive sidings and a mineral branch to the old Middlepeak quarry at Wirksworth. The mineral branch was re-opened by the railway in September 2005 as its Ravenstor extension, serving the National Stone Centre and High Peak Trail and the line reopens to Idridgehay in March 2008.
Today has seen very few vistiors which we managed to welcome who travelled on the Ravenstor services.
With a limited number of volunteers, activity has only been on a few fronts.
(a) The Gatex has been open and welcomed a number of vistiors
(b) "Iris" has had a wash and brush up and thoroughly cleaned with further work carried out
(c) all the points in the yard have been oiled by the conscripts
(d) Further work has been carried out on the 31
(e) Ravensor station platform has been cleaned up ready for the big day
Thanks to all
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Today has seen a "better than average" turn out for a Saturday. There has been astounding progress on many fronts:
a.. Electronic equipment was upgraded at first light
b.. The dust dock was tidied and cleared ready for the opening day, with theaid of a conscript
c.. A plethora of drivers turned out to have their knowledge expanded, which included an amusing 1950s black and white video on how to drive a DMU
d.. This knowledge was then put to the test with first-hand practice in the car park
e.. Our new arrival, "Iris" was taken to Idridgehay to measure stopping distances against the new platform and several drives trained
f.. "Iris" was then thoroughly cleaned and perfectly photographed on its return to Wirksworth
g.. M55006 Bubble Car also took a trip to Idridgehay as a Guards route learning trip
h.. The car park was emptied of narrow gauge rail
So all in all, a very, very productive day!
Friday, 22 February 2008
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Yet another day of frantic activity with various comings and goings.
The Low loader that brought Iris last night, left around 0500 this
morning en route to Teeside, and returned after lunch with he Tamper,
this is now awaiting its testing run next week followed by some tamping
work for us.
Rod went to Idridgehay, where work continues on the 'Umbrella'
platform, He was aide by a 'willing' volunteer and his minder. Together
they have achieved a great deal.
The Per way team have again been in operation, firstly moving recently
changed rails from the 4' to the Cess where they will be collected at a
future date, and then carried onsleeper changing. Another 16 were
changed before the generator decided that it had had enough. The team
are now north of MP 140, with another 46 rotters to eispose of.
Various electrical type chaps were playing with bits of wire around
the place, with the new cable inserted on Tuesday having a start made
on its termination end. Meanwhile the communications and webcam boys
were measuring, and installing various bits and pieces (accompanied by
much head scratching)
Work continued on the fitting out of the new Information room' shop.
One item I forgot yesterday weas the return of the old station clock.
This has been lovingly restored to working order. It is stored in a
secure area and will be in situ for the Idridgehay opening.
Several visitors agin braved the cold weather and went on the
Ravenstor train, several cameras were noted especially pointing at
Tomorrow sees more sleeper changing - I am intending to get the
generator in for a service first thing and will hire a power unit, if
one is available.
What can Tiscali do for you? Visit www.tiscali.co.uk/services
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
You may be pleased to learn that the Marketing department got out of its comfy chair this evening and witnessed the arrival of ‘Iris’ at Wirksworth.
Two full-size images can be found at the gallery site below:
Another day of mass activity in the run up to opening. A day when the
temerature did not seem to rise above freezing as well as fog saw the
'umbrella' platform deliverded to Idridgehay and the start of its
final assembly. The Per way team worked in the cold a and managed to
change a further 19 sleepers - not bad seeing as they had to fight for
each 'rotter' as the ballast was frozen and each one had to be hacked
out. Two more wagons of top stone also arrived ready for dropping
A drainage problem in Idridgehay cutting was also attacked and we
await developments there, the ice was over an inch thick!
The VCT worked at a furious pace constructing the walkway at the
northern end of Wirksworth station, new fencing was added and it is now
The cold weather caused problems with the loco fleet, with engines
being difficult to startm and with air resevoirs and brakes being
frozen. The Bubble car eventualy was able to operate on the Incline
service with several visitors.
'Iris' finally arrived late this afternoon and was unloaded almost in
the dark. This magnificent vehicle was towed across to the Pit area for
a check over. The team who brought Iris, are overnighting at Wirksworth
and then going to Teeside to return tomorrow with the Tamper.
Tommorow sees another big push with the sleepers, only about 60 left
to change - a last offensive to rid the section of the rotters.
What can Tiscali do for you? Visit www.tiscali.co.uk/services
Monday, 18 February 2008
Saturday, 16 February 2008
On behalf of Mike Evans, Duty Manager, here is today's report:
A bright sunny day began with the departure of the weekend PW gang to Barnsley Lane where a great deal of ballast was moved from the sleeper tops to enable tamping to take place shortly. At base there then followed Shunt of the Month in which most vehicles in the yard were moved from one siding to another, in some cases more than once (this is due to the limitations of our siding space and having a lot of vehicles). At the end of the day both two car DMU sets were in platform 1 for cleaning and trailer car 56289 was in the car park for the continuance of its refurbishment. Work proceeded on the class 31, and the 03s also received attention. In the shed area work proceeded on the burying of drains in connection with the work on the Temporary Storage Facility. (Any large loose stone which may be collected around the yard can be used to help bury the blue drainage pipe which runs by the shed roadway, there being no conscripts to attend to this duty today).
A meeting of the global IT team took place to consider the connection between the server and the 2 webcams on Mr Henshaw's, er, pole. Our entire stock of strangely coloured cloth, bedsheets and pelmets was removed from the stores and transfered to the Eatch Family SPV, for the flag project (thanks to Debbie). Painting the interior of the Emporium and Information Suite proceeded and work was done on the station north end foot crossing. The Booking Hall received over 30 visitors and the Gat Ex was aired and various material moved from it in preparation for its upcoming role as VIP waiting area for the Opening.
The drain covers on the west side of the car park were completely rebuilt, as were the steps to the Training Room and the Passenger Office. The car park was re-stoned, swept and re-marked; many items remain to be moved, however. At Duffield, work proceeded in the compound. A supply of EVR logo hi-vis vests was brought from Milton Keynes (where else) and these will be on sale in the Booking Hall in a very soon moment.
All the best,
Friday, 15 February 2008
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Fresh back from my fact finding trip to study the SNCF in Tunisia, it
was back to reality with a bump.
Three main areas of activity in various locations. Firstly the Per way
team marked up the remaining defective sleepers and dropped off 85
sleepers at the respective locations, they also replaced a further 9
rotters, the trouble is that they are now more spaced out (a bit like
the team who have been working extreemly hard to keep to schedules).
Extra new sleepers wer picked up from further along the line where thay
had been used for a on/off tracking point.
A team were busy clearing mud off the sleepers between 139.5 and
139.75, this is very hard work but they made steady progress, they also
managed to creat more drainage facilities.
The VCT were in operation at the north end of Wirksworth platforma
where work continues on the northern foot crossing. fences are being
built on both ramps along with associated hard surfacing. great changes
The Idridghay new platform Co. were busy with their timber, it is
hoped to transport the new 'umbrella' platform to Idridgehay next week.
Meenwhile, more rubbing and painting was carried out to Idridgehay
crossing gates as well as some gardening opposite the platform.
In the woodyard, another consignment of assorted bits of trees were
deliverd to the logging dept for conversion to domestic fuel.
More strategic planning, where daily events for the next three weeks
activities were drawn up. There is not much time left to get everything
ready for the Opening!
What can Tiscali do for you? Visit www.tiscali.co.uk/services
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Monday, 11 February 2008
Just a couple of site updates I thought I would report.
- Minor changes on the Idridgehay station page.
- Minor changes to the information regarding the Opening Day (check the Saturday afternoon and Sunday running information).
- Updated 2008 Accommodation List
But, probably the biggest update is the progress with the webcams. You can now access feeds by clicking CCTV at the top of the homepage. At the moment we are still very much testing this new way of serving the images and therefore they may go offline or change without notice. We hope to be adding more cameras in the near future.
If a feed fails to load, simply refresh the browser. If you get an offline message, don't worry, the image should be back shortly afterwards.
Saturday, 9 February 2008
By the miracle of t'internet, I speak to you now from the wifi enabled
front desk of Mr Won Hung Low's emporium of Chinese delights (2 number
45s with egg fried rice). A bright sunny day was had, perfect for
trackwork. Indeed, Miss Toseland's PW Gang were off bright and early
(Miss Toseland possibly being at the hairdressers but having made sure
the ganger was here first) and have, in a fine demonstration of their
masculine prowess, cleared the mud off all the sleepers between 40 steps
and Derby Road Bridge, also inspected the line to Idridgehay and picked
up the Marketing Manager at Barnsley Lane on the way.
At Wirksworth a great mote of engineers were in attendance and work was
carried out on many of the parts of the class 31, Clare and Jana, and
the 03s, which involved some shunting; in addition, the chassis of an
0-4-0 steam engine, possibly Wee Yorkie, or possibly not, was also
shunted pending work next week. Some red paint was applied to the
Temporary Storage Facility with a very small brush.
Some clerking took place as the Marketing Manager is presently dealing
with some Opening related matters, and a number of visitors were
received. The coffee machine returned from Turnditch but is not fully
operational yet, requiring a small part. Work proceeded on the new
Emporium and Information Suite.
As much as £8 was spent on a new rake and a small body of conscripts
raked the minor loose stone off the wideway, the large stone having been
removed over a 3 week period. This was the last task to be done on the
wideway, which, you will remember, began some time ago in the form of
levelling a large amount of Costly Railway Aggregate Piles. This job is
now finished. The conscripts will be redeployed shortly on something
suitable, probably involving moving many heavy things from one place to
All the best,
Friday, 8 February 2008
Thursday, 7 February 2008
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
The Per way teamsettled back into the rythem of sleeper changing,
after a week or twos break. They were working in the muddy remains of
the floods from several weeks ago. 16 got changed, not bad for the
The VCT were in action at Idridgehay completeing fencework. This is
now finished, some landowner adjacent to our line was so impressed with
the work being carried out by our team that they carried on the good
work and have trimmed the hedge, put new gates on etc. A touch of
clever work by the fencing chaps has closed the gaps.
The Pit area saw work carried out in the new container and strip
lighting being installed, it will take a few days to complete but is
promising.In the same area, logs were cut, and surplus waste material
Work was also carried out around the site of the new interplatform
crossing at the North end of platform 1 and 2 The position of the new
service trenches were marked up ready for digging on Thursday.
On Platform 1, the boys with the black stuff were busy and have
resurfaced around the new Information suite and surfaced around the new
troughing route, as well as the new entrance gate.
Behind the scenes a great deal of admin work involving the 1001 tasks
involved with dealing with all of the various authorities, meanwhile
more MTT bookings. The diary between now and opening is filling up with
all manner of activities. It is a conjuring job trying to fit it all
in, especially with the Testing side as well, but the Testing side does
pay for many of our costs.
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Monday, 4 February 2008
Slow start in regard to passengers with the cold weather, but a good afternoon, with the Ravenstor services in which a good number of visitors who travelled.
Activity has been on several fronts during the day with a limited number of volunteers:
(a) Further work cleaning sleeper's towards Idridgehay Station with the lorry
(b) Stone clearing on the embankment futher up the yard carried out by the youngconscripts
(c) Gatex open for light refreshments wich welcomed a number of visitors
(d) Work carried out on sleeper's for norrow gage railway
(e) Further work on the garden carried out tyding up, oppsite car parkFurther work carried out on the DMUs and 31.
Thanks to all concerned for your efforts