Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Wed 30th April

Evenin' all,

One of the biggest turnouts for the Per-way team for quite a long time
saw the other road into the shed re-aligned to provide maximum space
for light maintenance.. The track was also levelled - sufficient for
the shed. More stone was also dropped on the rest of the Water Crane
siding, this is now looking much more loved. Some 'Kangoing' of the
crossing nose of the single slip also took place. this was partially
resleepered in recent weeks. After the use of the 'Kango' the nose
moved not a gnats whisper as successive trains ran over it whilst

The 03 chaps and helpers managed a routine topping up of the blue loco
and a good polish and a dab of paint to get it ready for this weekend.

On the narrow gauge line, the Lister engine ran a gauging trip along
their line and went to Cemetery Lane and back. It recieved a cheer from
the Per way lads.

The Bubble car ran up and down the Incline , because it was in the
timetable. It carried a grand total of 4 passengers! There were very
few people around today - after all the weather forecast said heavy
rain, so we had lovely sunshine.


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Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Tues 29th April

Evenin' all,

A valued customer was on site at the crack of dawn for some vehicle

The VCT operated in the MP 140 area, cutting pre felled logs into
suitable handy sizes, and generally getting rid of regrowth.

The Per way team completed a little light packing at the foot of the
Incline, as well as more work on the Single Slip. After lunch, and
after some shunting the second road into the shed wss emptied of
vehicles and the team got to work clearing the sleeper ends ready for
some realignmant work tomorrow. The opportunity was also taken to
fettle the rest of the old Water Crane siding. A hopper wagon was
filled with stone ready for jacking and packing the shed are tomorrow.

Work was also carried out in the wood cutting area, the narrow gauge
area, some light weedkilling on the footpath to Station Road, as well
as stock renewal for the EVRA shop. More anti Trespass guards were laid
at the north end of Wirksworth platforms.

Meanwhile Martin is sunning himself in Gdansk and Gdynia, possibly
having negotiations with the Polish lads who had the tunnel contract at
the start of this month.

Remember all hands required tomorrow to move the track in the shed


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Monday, 28 April 2008

Monday 28th April 2008

Dear all
A day of some excitement with satisfactory negotiations concluded to block the line at Gorsey Bank a week on Wednesday for a temporary gas main and rent space in our garage for up to eight weeks.
Work on the Wash Green viewing area continued and the Booking Hall welcomed a few visitors.
Behind the scenes there was much activity on the financial front and our newly appointed Independent Safety Officer visited to discuss his remit. This new post is to be held by Peter Taylor, the last Operations Manager for the Wirksworth Branch, who has a wealth of railway operating experience to pass on to us. We will see Peter visiting various aspects of our operations to give an overview of our performance, where improvements can be made and where training may be beneficial. The emphasis will be on learning from his vast experience and enjoying an independent view of our activities.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Progress Report Sunday 27th April 2008

Dear all,

Today at the second largest station in Derbyshire (by platforms,
possibly not by turnover) the weather held until about 5.00pm when a
major cloudburst over the metropolis that is Wirksworth gave Mr Tarry's
new drains a full-scale field test, and I am happy to report that
afterwards there was hardly a wet patch to be found. We had hoped to
enhance the drainage a little during the day but although we experienced
a number of useful conscripts the one allocated to drainage proved to
have no working parts (the mouth is not classed as a working part). The
others, however accomplished further tidying up by Dale Tunnel with the
re-establishment of the mobile fence line, as well as the re-gravelling
of the picnic area, which now only needs the path tidying to make it
tolerably presentable.

At Cemetery Lane Bridge, work continued on the narrow gauge, which is
within sight of Waterfall Terminus. In addition, in this area, a safe
walking route was cleared of valuable railway artefacts as far as the
buffer stop. Some fine-scale finishing tasks followed up yesterdays
painting and several attempts were made to get the focus right on the
platform webcam, unfortunately this proved rather resistant to treatment
and a Higher Power will be called up to look at it.

A steady day of passengers broke no records but 30 walkers were picked
up from Idridgehay by a special service and a number of passengers took
advantage of the that service, including many from foreign parts such as
London, Zimbabwe (offer of a Garrett politely refused on grounds of the
postage cost) and the Netherlands (offer of a fully integrated modern
European transport system politely refused on grounds of UK govt being
unable to spell 'integrated').

All the best,

Friday, 25 April 2008

Friday 25th April 2008

Dear all
A varied day commencing with a full site tour with a potential new customer and the presence of Sperry Rail on another training day. Some light shunting was undertaken to move 11520 to the pit road to join its shunter friends and the Incline dmu coach received further attention.
The IMT (Infrastructure Maintenance Team) patrolled the Ravenstor line and were in receipt of some exciting new lubricants - for point chair slides - and tested their application. I have been guided to say that the IMT is different from the PWT (Permanent Way Team) - IMT being responsible for track patrolling and PWT for track reconstruction!
Wee Yorkie parts were filed and the Buffet Car was readied for the weekend. The Booking Hall welcomed visitors and the phone rang a lot - I fear unproductively. Lastly, I was pleased to meet with Amec who are out and about in Wirksworth tending to the gas mains and seeking a secure storage area - we are happy to help.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Thursday 24th April 2008

Dear all
A day of downpours and sunny spells but the intrepid VCT and IMT (Infrastructure Maintenance Team - they have been uptitled!) ventured forth. The VCT concentrated on the 49 steps area and the surplus timber south of Ken Rowlands crossing. Two fires dealt with the brash and we are now the proud owners of yet more logs. The IMT concentrated on puling out partially buried rail discovered during the track clearance phase but of unknown lengths - this resulted in two suitable lengths for Shottle loop, two short lengths for possible siding use and a quantity for scrap. The scrap rails were duly cut and transported to the China skip. A most useful exercise.
Back at base the narrow gauge project continued and the EVRA shop had a spring clean.
The Booking Hall welcomed a pleasant number of visitors and fielded the usual phone calls.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Wed 23rd April,

Evenin' all,

By George what a nice day!

Once again activity was confined to the yard at Wirksworth, with much
activity again on the narrow gauge line and its environs. The bank
between the SG tunnel and the childrens play area had more of a trim
with much growth being eliminated.

The Per way team completed digging out the single slip point and
dropped some ballast on it. They also changed several more sleepers on
Road 2 north of the road crossing. At the same time the remaining
'chatter' was dropped onto the cross yard roadway to strengthen and
extend it slightly, it is now used dauily for on/off tracking our
road/rail vehicles. Some shunting also took place following the
drainage work.

The incline service carried passengers in the warm sunshine. This
morning we had a rep from a firm supplying track and rolling stock
lubricants. We await their samples and see if they are any good for our

Tomorrow sees the VCT team out as well as the Works train heading out
to revover materials.


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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Tuesday 22nd April 2008

Dear all
A most pleasant day again with the sun beating down on us. The day commenced with the track inspection team setting out for their 3 weekly inspection of the Idridgehay to Duffield section to be followed, at a respectful distance, by the VCT heading for an area south of Ken Rowlands crossing. Previously cut trees were logged and the area tidied up to good effect. Painting of the ironwork on bridge DJW13 moved forward taking advantage of the unusually good weather.
The permanent way team concentrated their efforts at the base of the Incline following the great drain project. Some jacking and packing greatly improved matters and, after a test run with the Bubble Car, the line was handed back for passenger service use. Ballast was fettled and cribs dug out for further work on the single slip point in the Yard.
Maintenance of Faraday and Margaret-Ann was underway. It was good to welcome back Roy (71) and Les (77) after a prolonged period of being struck down by heavy colds - they also made welcome noises as scrap clattered into the skips. (A general plea - both skips on site are for metal only - the blue one for "heavy" and the brown one for "light" - the revenue we derive from these is compromised when other products are loaded into them - today we fished out a battery generously loaded - it is time consuming and very frustrating to keep sorting the contents out!)
Work started on installing trespass guards at the north foot crossing and the children's play area received further attention. A rival one woman VCT tackled the embankment near the "talking tunnel" and Very Wee Yorkie occupied the steam team. Some tidying of the crossing light installation at Gorsey Bank was achieved. Housekeeping reviewed vital supplies and ensured the Training Room was ready for our next customer visit.
Another generous share subscription was banked and the Booking Hall received a number of visitors.
All in all, a good day.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Fw: Monday 21st April 2008

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 5:41 PM
Subject: Monday 21st April 2008

Dear all
A warm, pleasant day at last that saw the completion of the great drain project apart from a little gentle ballast fettling. The machines on hire were used to move and grade the remaining spoil resulting in the Yard looking loved again. Surplus pipes were collected and loaded to the Tube wagon which has become our mobile store for all things to do with drains! - there will be more.
The Booking Hall welcomed a number of visitors and it was pleasing to bank a serious amount of share money for the Dash to Duffield - only another £213,000 to go.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

URGENT: Service Alteration Reminder and Site Update

Evening all,

Just another quick reminded that due to a drain problem on the Ravenstor line, there will be no service tomorrow (Sunday 20th April 2008). Instead, services will operate between Wirksworth and Idridgehay using the Saturday timetable.

Plus, there has been a minor update of the information regarding the goings on during the May Bank Holiday Open Weekend.



Progress Report Saturday 19th April 2008

Dear all,

Today the station flag flew at half mast for Gwyneth Dunwoody, a woman
whose handbag knew more about railways than many at a top secret
location near the Horseferry Road. Meanwhile, somewhere on Coldwell
Street many happy passengers availed themselves of the magnificence of
our endeavour and Iris bobbled them joyfully backwards and forwards to
Idridgehay during the day. Tomorrow, the Idridgehay line will run, to
its Saturday timings, as the drainage work on the Ravenstor line is not
yet complete, so there will be no Ravenstor service. Information has
been posted at Ravenstor Station that there will be no trains tomorrow
and the National Stone Centre café telephoned in case they wonder why no
multitudes have arrived on the hour, every hour. Will booking hall staff
please note that alternative arrangements have been made for the booked
party on the Ravenstor train for the Rail and Quarry Tour, and these
arrangements are in the hands of Mr Vince Morris, who will be attending
in his very own person to deal with them.

In other news both Ravenstor and Duffield Stations were inspected, and
it was noted that the entire and utter staff of Duffield (4) were in
attendance working on the north end of the down slow platform. Back at
Wirksworth the painting of the Information Room was completed in rather
chilly weather, so it should be dry by next week. In a comprehensive
programme of fluffing up the cushions, the anti-maccassars were removed
from all vehicles except Iris and the first class ones will be cleaned
and returned to the Gatex FO in a very soon moment. Routine electrical
work was carried out on the Gatex and the EWS fitter and the ecs driver
were noted attending to a jammed window in that set. Further work was
carried out in the vicinity of the narrow gauge, batteries were
exchanged in the Met-Cam set and maintenance continued on the class 31.
In the absence of any conscripts a threesome of own cadets manfully
moved two huge pile of Comprehensive Railway Aggregate Product from the
former Dust Dock area and tidied up the area opposite the Training Room.
Two of them will be practising their special shaving instructions for
this evening. The new container by the Temporary Storage Facility
received attention. The Marketing Dept's very small dog was also in
attendance, escorted by a man with a suspiciously large loaf of bread.

All the best,

Friday, 18 April 2008

Friday 18th April 2008

Dear all
The great drain project nears a conclusion with the Yard beginning to look tidy again. All involved deserve great credit for achieving a leap forward with this quite daunting task reflecting a confidence in our own abilities and increasing skills.
Meanwhile the Booking Hall entertained a few visitors and the Buffet Car was prepared for the weekend. Further planting took place at Idridgehay, we only await the sun to see a riot of colour.
Phil and I journeyed to Derby this afternoon to say farewell and give good wishes to Zac Grief upon his departure from Interfleet to a job on Network Rail looking after stone blowers. Zac was instrumental in the process of our line being recommended as the only test site, at the moment, for "in possession" vehicles bringing in a substantial income to our enterprise. His contribution was recognised by a small "goodie" bag and an entitlement to free logs for life.

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Mourns Gwyneth Dunwoody: MP A Fervent Supporter of Railways Opened Ravenstor Extension in 2005

Wirksworth, 18th April 2008: With the sad news of the passing of Gwyneth Dunwoody MP announced this morning, representatives of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway paid tribute to the well-respected MP who was seen as a great supporter of Britain’s railways and will be remembered for her opening the Ravenstor extension of the line in 2005.

“Mrs. Dunwoody was a lovely lady who delighted us all when she visited Wirksworth in 2005 to open the Ravenstor extension.” remarked George Watson, WyvernRail plc’s Vice Chairman. “She was genuinely interested in the progress we had made and went to great lengths during her visit to tour the exhibition of products and services that our customers had laid-on for the occasion of the opening ceremony. She even mentioned us in the House of Commons during a debate. We will miss Mrs. Dunwoody and her strong support for the rail industry.”

Mrs. Dunwoody was 77 and as Chair of the Transport Select Committee was known and respected for her independent and firm views on transport policy.


Note to Editors:
A high-quality digital image is available to download at:

It depicts Mrs. Dunwoody on the opening train from Wirksworth to Ravenstor on 3rd September 2005.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

URGENT: Service Alteration Sunday 20th April 2008

Please note that due to "engineering works" in the yard at Wirksworth (jees, we sound like the big railway!) there will be no service between Wirksworth and Ravenstor this Sunday. Instead, public services will run between Wirksworth and Idridgehay using the Saturday timetable.

Also, the new stock list is available for download from the Enthusiasts section of the site.



Thursday 17th April 2008

Dear all
The fourth day of the great drainage project with further progress but still a way to go. The material excavated to create the channels to accept the pipework is as very sticky clay being the main cause of this area not draining naturally. We hope the end product will be a once and for all solution at a cost of some £4000! More work to do tomorrow, Sunday and Monday to return the Incline to service affecting Sunday's scheduled passenger service. We will run to Idridgehay both days this weekend using Iris.
Progress was made with the narrow gauge project and the Logging Dept. were in production. The VCT attacked an area south of Idridgehay benefiting from the heat of two fires. Repairs and painting of railings on river bridge DJW13 that had been damaged by falling trees some time ago were moved forward.
Evans the Paint (79) was in action at Idridgehay and Sperry Rail were with us at Wirksworth with a training exercise for their staff.
The Booking Hall welcomed a number of visitors, fielded the usual phone calls and took in stock for the EVRA shop. Anton was tending to the presentation of two new splendid display boards highlighting the areas of interest in Wirksworth.
It was pleasing to have the first responses to the appeal for funds sent out with the annual accounts and notice of agm.

May Bank Holiday Open Weekend

Hey all,

There is an information page for the May Bank Holiday Open Weekend on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th of May with basic details of the weekend and its proceedings. Just click on the banner on the homepage!



Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wed 16th April

Evenin' all,

Once again I feel totally drained!

Two main worksite in the yard, with the main per way team changing two
more crossing timbers on the dingle slip point. Quite a tricky job as
the sleepers were under the crossing nose assembly with lots of rails
on top and alongside them. The job again required the removal of a rail
in the adjoining track to get the sleepers in. The work also means that
the slip from the Incline to road 2 is now a better fit. As stated
yesterday, many of the chairs are not the correct ones, and were bodged
to fit many many years ago. The sleepers taken out again had the
central chairs heavily indented into the timber and the chair screws
were not connected to anything, many just pulling out by hand. At least
we can now have more confidence in it.

The other main activity was again digging the new drainage system. All
the main drains are now inplace, whilst some of the feeder drains have
also been added, work continues tomorrow. The Incline is still out of
use with some of the pointwork disconnected to give access for the

As the Incline was not in use, passengers had a run to Idridgehay.

Work continued on the narrow gauge line and some lamp brackeys were
fixed to platform 2/3 shelters ready for new lamps to be fitted. Some
further work was carried out on the children's play area.


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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Tuesday 15th April

Evenin' all,
Slightly late report due to nodding off in the bath when I got home.

Once again the main task was constructing a new drainage system in the
yard. Day 2 of the project saw the installatioj of the cross yard drain
and the installation of two catchpits, the third was also cut out and
will be positioned tomorrow. The ditch on the east side of the yard,
alonside the Incline was dug out for half of its length and will be
piped tomorrow, another, gush or two of water was released, this is
water that has been trapped by the clay at the foot of the incline
these many years.
Another team of the perway staff started changing crossing timbers on
the single slip point. Some of the chairs had sunk into the old
sleepers. Some of the chairs were found to be totally wrong for the
assembly. This is why the slip has looked peculiar. Further sleepers
will be changed. Another team took the chance to replace some track
material on the Incline whilst the service was suspended.

The VCT took the opportunity of recovering some fencing material from
opposite platform 3, once again maximising the Possession.

With the Incline being out of use this week, Iris was used on the
Idridgehay line - as it will be tomorrow, this allowed casual visitors
to have an unexpected run. The Buffet car was also in service.

In the new maintenance area, the Landrover had some yellow paint
applied, once again this will be continuing, near theother maointenance
shed, Wee Yorkie sported another gang busy on the cylinder and frames,
scrapers and wire brushes were much to the fore. The Woodcutters also
had a big turnout to carry on chopping the logs recently brought up.

This afternoon more training was carried out by one of our clients,
who loves our training siding.

With all of the action taking place in the yard, the site looked very
busy, with gangs scattered around.

Members arriving tomorrow and Thursday are reminded that due to
outside agencies, the water supply will be stopped between 0900 - 1800
on both days. If you want a brew - get there early And dont forget the
Wellies for the perway chaps.


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Monday, 14 April 2008

Monday 14th April 2008

Dear all
The main project today centred around the commencement of the great Wirksworth cross drain project. This is designed to drain the bottom of the Incline across the Yard to the sough that runs underground on the lengh of the west side of our property. The objective is to stablilise the track bed at the base of the Incline which has been sinking since we built the line. Work started from the sough adjacent to the Museum siding and progressed under Roads -1, 1 and 2 and headed towards the pointwork connecting the access to Watercrane siding. At this juncture there was a very satisfying "glug" as water started pouring into the new drainage trench and our various "ponds" dried out. Great thanks to the very small team orchestrating the work and the project will continue for the rest of the week.
Another high point of the day was a charter in Iris to Idridgehay for a coach party that intended to visit another railway but they couldn't manage them on a Monday! Again many thanks to the train crew that turned in, Julie who opened the Buffet Car for them and Pat who opened the EVRA shop. It was a most successful and profitable exercise demonstrating that the ability to fire up a splendid single unit railcar has many advantages. The Booking Hall reeled from this activity on a Monday and welcomed a number of other visitors.
Wee Yorkie received attention to its crossheads and dmu maintenance continued. The area of outstanding flora north of Idridgehay was more substantially defined so that it is not weed treated and John the Paint (79) was in action again. A potential supplier of drainage materials for Duffield was taken on a site visit and from the activities in the Yard could see we are experts in the field. 
PS - a report from Anthony on Sunday's permanent way activity again featured drains! Progress was made on the problem area south of Ken Rowlands and there is a determination to resolve the problem. Our experience has been that investment in drainage finally pays dividends and it would seem we will have to bite the bullet again!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Friday 11th April 2008

Dear all
When will the weather improve? A damp day to undertake a major shunt of Wirksworth Yard occupying most of the day as part of the preparation for drains week and an opportunity to "refresh" the display vehicles. Steam loco Cathryn is now berthed next to the Cromford & High Peak water carrier and the Shark (ballast brake van) placed for ministrations to its decaying woodwork.
We welcomed a customer who was, this time, piloted by our road/rail Landrover and our other road/rail vehicles received maintenance and minor repairs.
Hats off to John and Julie Ball who largely completed the task of envelope stuffing for the AGM mailout - a long and tedious job that has to be done.
A few visitors braved the weather and the narrow gauge project progressed a little.
Time for a hot shower.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Thursday 10th April 2008

Dear all
A very pleasant sunny day enabling us to welcome a customer with a very shiny new American machine and, not content with our own road/rail Landrover, a very nice new Multicar road/rail lorry giving Phil a taste of undreamt luxury as pilot vehicle.
The VCT worked close to base today in response to a neighbour's request for some tree felling. The road/rail dumper came into its own using both modes to transport the brash for burning north of Cemetery Lane bridge and the logs to the Logging Dept.
Work continued on the childrens play area and the Logging Dept. were trying to keep pace with deliveries. The route of the new cross yard drain to be constructed next week was marked out and some preliminary shunting achieved to prepare for this activity. The yard was track patrolled with some remedial work undertaken and the shunt loco fleet fuelled up for next week's adventures and tomorrow's mega shunt.
Down the line at Idridgehay John the Paint (79) continued his good work and Pat Craft added to the plants in the station area. Late in the day a lone dmu cleaner arrived to ensure Iris is clean and tidy for Saturday's Idridgehay service.
The Booking Hall entertained a few visitors and gathered all the elements needed for tomorrow's start on stuffing the envelopes for this year's mail out of the agm documents.
PS - the great drain project will occupy every day next week and all are welcome to participate!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Wed 9th April

Evenin' all,

Adam applied primer to the Landrover, where the old paint had come
off. It should be readu for painting next week.
The Per way team recovered two 60' rails that had been changed in the
Idridgehay section. These rails were transported to Shottle for use in
the sidings there in due course. Whilst at Shottle, the opportunity was
taken to strengthen the Road Rail Access Point with more sleepers as
well as the use of more stone and others timber. It now provides a
better are to turn the Landrover and lorry.More scrap was also
collected and conveyed to base.
Two 12' 6" crossing timbers were collected and dropped of in the yard
ready fro changing next week.

Some driver familiarisation was carried out on the new loco which will
be a usefull addition to the fleet, routine checking and maintenance
was also carried out.

The narrow gauge team were busy and two more pairs of rails were run

The Ravenstor service was in use and carried a few visitors.

Log cutting continued as did much planting and gardening at
Idridgehay, it should be noted that many wild primulas are now coming
into flower down the line, when the bluebells pop up in the next couple
of weeks or so the wild flowers will look absolutely beautiful

Plans were drawn up for a major drain to be installed in the yard next
week, this will have major impacts on the yard and the foor of the
Incline where we have had a longstanding drainage problem. Next week
will also see much trackwork carried out in the yard.

Tomorrow see whole line testing.


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Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Tues 8th April

Evenin' all,

The VCT carried on burning pre cut trees south of Idridgehay. The Per
way team collected the remaining logs on the Idridgehay section, these
were returned to base for a customer. After lunch, the team went to
join up with the VCT who required a bit more muscle power. Three fires
managed to get rid of quite a lot of brash.

More fitting out of the 40' container along with wiring up . Mo work
was carried out on Wee yorkie in order to release the cross heads. Work
also continued on the Narrow Gauge line with the marking out and laying
of further sleepers.

The Ravenstor service ran to the delight of the few passengers who
turned up..

The track team did a track walk up to Ravenstor before the first train
of the day, this was followed bymaitenance work on Wash Green crossover
and adjoining track.

Work also started on the paintwork of the lorry, with Adam cleaning
off the 'flaky' bits.

More domestic activity with the Mess room and the Training room having
a good clean.


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Sunday, 6 April 2008

Sunday 5th April 2008

Dear all
In amongst the snow showers we welcomed a number of visitors to the Ravenstor service and tills rang in the Booking Hall and Buffet Car. Given the weather it's a miracle we saw anyone at all! The Mess Hall received another deep clean courtesy of Lorna Bentley and it is really great to have her involved in the project.
Claire and the new arrival received maintenance with a view to driver training starting on the blue machine next week.
Young offenders and their minders did good work collecting scrap sleepers and general rubbish around the site and transporting it to the bonfire. They also worked to palletise permanent way stores to facilitate movement around the site.
A good day considering the elements.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Friday 4th April

Evenin' all,

Another quiet day which again gave us a chance to play catchup. The
track inspection team continued to patrol the Idridgehay section, this
included work on the drains along the 'racing straight'. A quantity of
Panlocks were also brought up from Shottle and were inserted at the
northern end of line 2 in the Yard. Some attention was also paid to
tightening the bolts on the crossing noses in the yard.

Work continued on Wee Yorkie with Ernie having a young helper. Some
work was also carried out to the dumper, where some light fingured
herbert pinched the new battery and replaced it with a dud one recently

The Booking hall attracted a few visitors and the staff were kept busy
preparring the Annual Report for the AGM.


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Thursday, 3 April 2008

Thursday 3rd April 2008

Dear all
The Railway had an air of calm about it today masking a plethora of activity. Three panels of track were laid on the narrow gauge project and the team also kindly found the time to blue fence the area prepared for a new customer at the north end of the "dust dock". The housekeeping team ensured the Training Room was in good order for our paying guests, gave the Met-Cam 2 Car an internal clean and the Mess Hall had a good do. These unsung heroes are so essential to our quest for perfect presentation and are seldom recognised for their efforts.
The Permanent Way team was small in number but achieved the reconstruction of a particularly bad joint at the north end of the Car Park siding and re-keyed, where necessary, the north end of Road 2. The Childrens Play Area saw more progress and the EVRA shop was in the process of an end of financial year stock take.
The VCT have really taken to the road/rail Landrover and its ability to take the team to any worksite. Their efforts south of Idridgehay resulted in three fires on the go making the line even more visible from the parallel Derby Road. The Logging Dept. were in full production endeavouring to eat into the huge piles of wood presented to them as we try to eliminate all loose material from the Wirksworth - Idridgehay section.
We were pleased to welcome Sperry Rail for more development work and Evans the Paint (79) was busy with the gloss paint at Idridgehay. Claire's bottom was oiled round and Henry Ellison received attention including the regular team from Anthony Gell School. The compressor for the Maintenance Facility was wired into the electrical system.
A new late arrival last night, a blue Jana look alike, is designed to secure reliable motive power for the works train and the "Dash to Duffield" involving greater distances than hitherto each day - it certainly looks clean and tidy!
Not bad for a "quiet" day.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Wednesday 2nd April 2008

Dear all
The great triumph of the day was the replacement of a rail on the Wirksworth - Idridgehay section utilising a section cut from rail deposited by "Willow Crossing" on the Idridgehay to Shottle section. Sounds easy but was quite a feat to cut, transport to site, insert and fishplate up for our permanent way team.
Back at base preparations were made for a spring change on Margaret-Ann and the Maintenance Facility area received a tidy up. The dumper was treated to a new battery and this one will be secured to the vehicle as will the Multicar battery. The costs of these items of kit seem to be reaching new highs.
Public services ran to Ravenstor and the Buffet Car was open for business. A start was made on the monthly check of first aid boxes and both the narrow gauge and childrens play area project moved forward.
Access was gained to the former Ennis Garage, which now under our control, to assess the clean up necessary. If anyone wants a collection of used tyres and coach seats please let me know!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

1st April

Evenin' all,


Quite a large turnout saw the VCT zooming south, and doing what they like doing best - burning precut material south of Idridgehay.

Work continued at Idridgehay, and the gate lights are now fully operational.

The Per way team, spent some of the morning north of Cemetery Lane, playing in the mud,  and then headed south dropping more ballast around 49 steps and the 140 area. Upon their return they built up the train for tomorrow to collect rail.

A warning sign was returned to Ravenstor, to replace one that had attracted the attention of some feckless ne'er do well!

The Booking Hall staff had a few callers and fresh supplies of consumables.

The Logging dept again attacked their large stock of wood.

The Polish lads working on the northern extension tunnel hit a problem - it was someone's cellar, so they have decided to have another bottle and review the situation again at a future date.


Protect children against online threats -