Sunday, 20 July 2008

Press Release from - a Venture by WyvernRail plc

FOR IMMMEDIATE RELEASE – a venture by WyvernRail plc
Contact: Neil Ferguson-Lee
Tel. (01629) 822806

On Track for Export
Sperry Rail International and Partner for International Success

Wirksworth, 20th July 2008: and Sperry Rail International have announced a partnership programme to test a range of rail vehicles and other products equipped with Sperry’s rail flaw detection equipment at the test facility on the Duffield to Wirksworth branch near Derby.

The partnership has been established to provide Sperry with virtually unlimited access to the whole 9-mile line which incorporates a range of rail conditions and types, ranging from a mile of continuously-welded concrete-sleepered track, a variety of points and crossings through to a 1 in 30 incline.

“My’s facilities at Wirksworth give us a perfect combination of high availability at very short notice, a range of environments to support real-world testing and a ‘can-do’ attitude that means that we have minimal downtime when we are on site.” remarked Justin Stroud, Sperry Rail’s Production Manager at the announcement of the partnership.

Sperry Rail first used the at Wirksworth in 2004 and since then a variety of rail-mounted vehicles have visited the line, ranging from road/railers through towed test cars to a new trolley being tested for customers as close as Network Rail and MetroNet and as far away as Indian Railways.

As part of the new venture, have taken delivery of a ex-BR Class 20 locomotive to support Sperry’s test programme. “We are responding to our customer’s requirements and providing Sperry with an air-braked locomotive to provide a cost-effective and flexible solution to their testing requirements” commented Martin Miller,’s General Manager.

In addition to supporting Sperry Rail,’s current projects include providing a test site for the transmission-based train control (TBTC) system on behalf of Tube Lines, Halcrow and LH Group and continuing to provide facilities for companies undertaking certification testing for possession-only vehicles to standard RIS-1530-PLT.


Note to Editors:
A series of high-quality digital images are available to download at

These images include:
Ex-British Railways Class 20, D8001 at Wirksworth accompanying London Underground locomotive L18. D8801 has arrived at Wirksworth to support the railway’s testing activities under the banner, while L18 was present as part of Tube Lines’ test programme for the Transmission-Based train Control System on the Jubilee Line.
A Network Rail UTU5 Unimog, supplied by Sperry Rail Services on test at Wirksworth before entry into service on the Highland Lines.
Sperry Rail SRS240 multi-gauge test vehicle at Wirksworth.
Sperry Rail SRS220 Land Rover used for rail flaw detection with Metronet, on test at Wirksworth.

About is a venture by WyvernRail plc. WyvernRail is reopening the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway between Duffield and Wirksworth and, in a very short time, has transformed the line from a neglected wilderness to a clear route suitable for vehicle movements throughout its length. WyvernRail is locally owned and managed with an attitude to make things work. offers competitively-priced service that is available at short notice to railway engineering companies for testing and training. The company offers a single point of contact, including a dedicated rail industry hotline (0870 766 2098), and a range of facilities to suit requirements, whether they be at short notice or for the long term.

Full details can be obtained from

About Sperry Rail
Sperry Rail, the world's leading and largest rail flaw detection company, operates more than 200 test vehicles. They provide rail flaw detection services to enhance the safety and productivity of railroad operations worldwide.
Sperry use state-of-the-art proprietary ultrasonic, eddy current and electromagnetic systems and testing techniques to identify and classify rail flaws, as well as a unique data management system to provide decision support and optimise rail defect management.