Saturday, 30 August 2008

Sat 30th Aug

Evenin' all,

Another exciting day saw the first of our Wirksworth Goesa Green days.
Afairly steady stream of visitors saw our green locos in action,
including the class 20 hauling a passable pick up freight. The trips on
the brakevan proved popular and with the added security of doors to the
verhandas proved a safe and much appreciated feature. Several visitors
saw the advert in the Railway Herald and came to see the 20 in action.
The event was quieter than others, and was an extra event squeezed in
a spare weekend, when different things could be tried. At close of play
some further route learning was carried out.


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Friday, 29 August 2008

Friday 29th August 2008

Dear all
I may be guilty of many superlatives relating to today's activities. But, we achieved an extremely professional demonstration of the whole range of opportunities we can offer the rail industry in an enjoyable environment that delivered sound messages in a succinct and measured way.
The team involved did not fail to impress our distinguished and appreciative visitors with what can be achieved on our Railway to the benefit of the companies involved. My heartfelt thanks go to Phil, who masterminded the day, the support team of drivers and guards who provided many new activities for our guests that were very sought after, and the whole welcoming and catering team that demonstrated the range of support services we can provide.
We have cemented existing relationships and have presented new ideas to existing and potential new customers. It was particularly gratifying to welcome a  strong contingent from Network Rail, East Midlands Trains, Rail Accident and Investigation Branch, the Health and Safety Executive and the various vehicle acceptance bodies. We were also able to illustrate new ideas to our major customer, Sperry Rail International, that will further influence our capital works over the next few months.
An extremely good and very productive day that will shape our future over the next few years.
Who would have thought a few years ago that we could muster such a group of influential people that take us very, very seriously.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Thursday 28th August 2008

Dear all
The highlight of the day was the group lift of the tank proof new entrance gate for the Wirksworth station approach. An amazing construction designed, planned and constructed by the VCT was successfully lifted onto the main hinge bolt. The level was then produced and, with not much modesty, the installation was proved to be perfectly horizontal. There is a little more work to do before the gate can be made operational before it challenges any unauthorised visitors. When in operation there will not be opportunities to visit our site when Duty Managers are not present so there will need to be a little more preplanning than has been the case so far in our existance.
There has been a great deal of preparation for our Corporate Day tomorrow including the arrival of a marquee that will be left in place for the Green Weekend and the Festival Weekend. During the Corporate Day that runs from 1400 to 2000 the site will be closed to all but invited guests and operational staff so that we can maximise the investment made in this event.
Preparations were also made for the "Wirksworth Goes Green Weekend" with much shunting to assemble vehicles in the desired order and to transfer the Sturgeon to Shottle with a return load of 2 Dogfish. We had to busk cover for the Booking Hall with a little respite provided by Karen Butterfield, a trained Bluebell Railway Booking Clerk - the takings were somewhat less than a Thursday at Sheffield Park.
Margaret-Ann and D8001 had some attention to prepare them for the next three days and a Pig Roast was arranged for Sunday.
A most productive day with a rare showing of the sun

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Wed 27th Aug

Evenin' all,

Another day with activities in the yard. The Per way team completed
the re-railing of the Bogie siding, there remains some jacking and
packing left to do, but at least we can use it and its extended length.
I am told that size matters!

More finishing off to fitting 'doors' to the brake van to make it
suitable for wider use. The Narrow Gauge coaching stock recieved a coat
of grey paint, as its completion groes ever nearer.

The start of a massive shunt to get stock into position for this
weekend as well as extricating the LMS brakevan, which will be in
service. Much more shunting tomorrow.

A steady trickle of passengers availed themselves of the Incline
service - not enough to raise a sweat though. The buffet car was open
but was very quiet allowing Julie to start preparing for this weekends

Once again the admin unit was at full stretch.


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Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Tues 26th Aug

Evenin' all,

Today was mainly a per way sort of day, owing to many enjoying the
summer holidays.

The team completed the fitting of the point lever to the Bogie siding,
that has now been commissioned, The Bogie siding was partly stripped,
and the concrete sleepers moved, the two rails from mear Willow
Crossing, which were down a bank, have been installed and clipped up.

The IMT replaced a fishplate at Idridgehay which had caused trouble,
and carried out a routine patrol fettling as required.

Passenger services put more paint on themselves, with a little going
onto the Booking hall.

The VCT spent the day building up the new gate at the end of Station
Road, and installed a gate post.

New 'doors' were fitted to the platforms of the LMS brakevan, ready
for this coming weekend.

Much more work carried out with the planning for Wirksworth Goes
Green event thisweekend.

Tomorrow sees the Per way team completing the Bogie Siding at
Wirksworth yard.


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Monday, 25 August 2008

Mon 25th August

Evenin' all,

Another busy day - the highest earning of the weekend, saw a constant
stream of visitors. with all trains having good numbers, and the Buffet
Car kept busy all day. With todays income we are several hundred pounds
up on the same weekend last year

Hectic but worthwhile.


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Sunday, 24 August 2008

Daily Report Sunday 24th Aug.

Dear all,

What a civilised way to spend a summer Sunday, sitting on the platform
with a pot of tea watching the ebb and flow of trains and passengers at
a typical country junction station. It makes it all worth while!
Reasonable passenger loadings were experienced on both services and the
buffet car did steady trade. The DMU Director made a brief celebrity
appearance during the morning with guests to check on the performance of
the train crews, a small contingent of YOT returned the picnic benches
from the former elevated picnic area to the platforms where they are
more useful and then swept the car park of the detritus remaining from
the marathon track panel strip of last week. Down at the southern
extremities of the empire the Sunday team were again hard at work with
the usual Sunday drain "rodathon".

Steve Lyne via Anton
Station computer being whores de combat

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Progress Saturday 23rd August

Dear all,

A bright summer's day (that great rarity) found the railway on solid
form, with passengers from the four corners of Wolverhampton travelling
through the luxuriant green countryside in our luxuriant green vehicles.
A party attended for a day with the driver (both on and off the
footplate) and many sandwiches were consumed.

Up the yard a team of considerably experienced engineers worked their
way through our pristine wagon fleet oiling bearings and scratching
heads while examining the journals (I have no idea what a journal is,
you'll have to look it up). Work was carried out to ready the two-car
for the Monday rush and a gentleman of Kent addressed the various
separate parts of our steam locomotive engines.

Mike Evans,
Duty Manager, via Anton

Friday, 22 August 2008

Fri 22nd Aug

Evenin' all,

A quiet day containing a little light shunting in order to get
vehicles ready for the Bank Holiday weekend, sveral routine maintenance
items seen to.

THe Per way IMT checked the joints and lubed them from the Trap points
through to Wash Green on lines 1 and 2.

Some of the steelwork for the new gates was sorted out and marked up
ready to be planted.

Much admin work also undertaken

Ian completed the work on the Incline car for the time being, so that
is now back in service.

After cessation of work, a little celebration with strawberries and
champagne - to celebrate.......... wel it is Friday, so civilised.


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Thursday 21st August 2008

Dear all
Another highly productive day with the Car Park cleared of the last of the track components donated by Network Rail and ready for the up coming Bank Holiday weekend. The VCT claimed to have had a "normal" day with much clearance in the Old Lane bridge area.
We were pleased to entertain another group from Atkins Rail to brief them on our test opportunities and one of the team turned out to be leading light on the Golden Valley narrow gauge at Swanwick! Roy (72) and Les (77) completed their refresh of the Mess Hall and it does look so much better.
Further Class 20 training took place and the former Helen-Louise is gradually returning to a green livery. There was activity on our narrow gauge and a delivery of ready mix to complete the Tunnel End platform.
Many visitors passed through the Booking Hall on a day of sunshine and downpours.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Wed 20th Aug

Evenin' all,

Is the Queen coming? There is an outbreak of painting, the Mess room
is in the process of being redecorated internally by the well known
70's duo of Roy and Les. Once again its the colour that money just cant
buy, it is to their own special recipe. The Mess room has a great deal
of daily use and deserves a bit of TLC. Martin also chose to start
decorating his office and have a change of scenery by rotating his

The Per way team carried out yeoman work in hand-balling over 100
hardwood sleepers onto the works train for use further down the line.
These are from the donated panels. Sorry but there are no sleepers for
sale. They also prepped the Sturgeon panel wagon ready for loading
tomorrow. Then the tean returned to the Bogie siding and dug out more
spoil from around the switch blade so that the lever box can be
connected. They have worked really hard with the panels and deserve a
pat on the back.

Pat Craft has been grass cutting again around the entrance to the Car

Some reasonable passenger loadings were recorded with the Incline
trips, and many members of the public dropping in..

This afternoon, an Environmental Health Officer arrived to discuss the
future development of the Buffet Car. We had invited him down to talk
about options. The outcome was extreemly positive, and we can now move
up a gear with the Buffet Car and the Catering. Yet again, he was
pleased that we had contacted their department to seek advice.

Another good day for the project.


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Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Tues 19th Aug

Evenin' all,

Torrential Tuesday - certainly in the morning, when we had a flurry of
activity on the Testing side, bringing much needed funds into the
coffers. All of a sudden, more enquiries and bookings are coming in -

The VCT went to Shottle and carried on trimming trees and having a
large fire. Several trees were trimmed to ground level. They were also
able to witness some of the testing that we do.

The dream steam team have now moved on from the frames of that which
is not 'Wee Yorkie' and have startede work on the boiler, managing to
attack the regulator and start on de riveting. Progress.

The Per way team demolished the remaining panels, and loaded
components to the train. The IMT managed to effect some repairs to the
crossing nose on the Pit Road Point, this has caused some problems
recently, the nose bolts have been soaking for a few weeks.

Further upgrading of the Admin block continued, artists are not
required to paint the new window frames.

The trip down the line revealed that there were many fields that are
waterlogged and some minor flooding was noted.

Tomorrow sees the Per way team once again in the yard loading
materials and tidying the site.Rails to be uplifted on Thursday.


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Monday, 18 August 2008

Monday 18th August 2008

Dear all
A little bit of a lift when I returned with my newly repaired motorcyle to find a new window fitted to the Office. A fine replacement after the "temporary" repairs of some seven years ago - I can see! Many thanks to David Newby, Roy (72) and Les (77) - a splendid job.
There was much computer furtling towards restoring our systems and in the Maintenance Facility dmu painting continued in spite of the dreadful weather demonstrating once more what a great investment this has been by the Company and EVRA. Fitters attention was needed to the dumper and Landrover.
Track panel disassembly continued and the last steel work for the new entrance gate was delivered. The Booking Hall welcomed a few hardy souls to our enterprise on this less than summery day.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Progress Report Sunday 16th August 2008

Dear all,

A good day was had in regard of the weather and visitors through the
Booking Hall, and a solid performance was put in on the Ravenstor
service in terms of passengers, and the buffet and shop were
satisfyingly busy throughout the day.

Buckby Enterprises provided a popular attraction once again and with
Faraday demonstrated that there's nothing like a good ride to part the
public from their well-earned small change.

Up the yard the class 31 received a new lift location notice plate and
in a supplement to yesterday's report (which appears to be somewhere in
the satellite) the pit pump was repaired after its water feature moment,
and further paint applied to the blue (presently to be green) 03 and to
the bogie parts of what I think is the class 117 driving end DMU. A
conscript and his close personal friend spent the day unscrewing track
panels in the car park. The narrow gauge line buffer stop took shape
outside Dale Tunnel.

The Booking Hall received its annual paint job over two days and the
proportion of filler to building was once again increased prior to the
further application of top secret recipe Crimson Lake paint as supplied
by B&Q. Replacement 1950s posters were also applied to give the
establishment an air of throbbing excitement ("Butlins Holidays" and
"Conway Valley: New Diesel Trains").

At Duffield, Miss Toseland's P-Way gang proceeded with their now famous
Sunday ritual of hunt-the-catch-pit (another 3 found) followed by a
jolly good rodding from the end of the platform to the A6 bridge, from
which they returned quite exhausted.

Thanks to all.

On behalf of John Ball, Duty Manager.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Friday 15th August 2008

Dear all
A wonderful sunny and warm day that has been somewhat of a relaxation of, what has been, a very busy and exhausting week. In the luxury of the Maintenance Facility dmu painting continued and the EVRA shop received new stock tempting a few of today's visitors to part with money.
The track panels in the Car Park received further attention to break them down into manageable components and various pieces of pw equipment resting in the Training Room were returned to their usual home in the Tool Van.
L20 completed its test programme and has been placed on the Car Park siding ready for departure on Monday. Repairs have been completed to the dumper and it is again available for service.
After last night's report we welcomed a group of some 50 Soroptimists for a train ride followed by tea and cakes. Our team remained on site until 2200hrs and the visitors were fulsome in their praise of the service delivered. I appreciate the energy and effort put into delivering this style of product.
It was good to welcome a couple who have recently moved into North End at Wirksworth and enquired about an allotment. They would like to create a "dig for victory" theme and have been gathered in to help manage our existing gardens so fresh veggies might be the order of the day next year.
The Readypower machine that was so successful yesterday was collected from site and the Booking Hall opened this afternoon, due to the late night yesterday, and welcomed a number of visitors including a guard from the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.
A pleasant day.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Thursday 14th August 2008

Dear all
A quite unusual day with peaks and troughs. One peak was the component of the Dash for Duffield that saw movement of pointwork with the help of Readypower, Margaret-Ann, the sturgeon and brakevan. The achievements were the rotation of made up point work to form the catch point for the north end of Shottle loop, the transport of sections of point work to form the south end turnout of the Shottle loop and the transport and placement alongside the site of the north end point work for the Duffield loop. This represented the culmination of a great deal of planning and synchronisation of all the elements involved.
The sturgeon was returned to Wirksworth ready to receive the rails released by stripping down the panels of track donated by Network Rail. This panel stripping continued today with a very small, but active, PW team.
The VCT worked successfully north of Old Lane bridge and Iris performed a task from Wirksworth to Ravenstor and Idridgehay. Alongside all these train movements L20 was under test on the Wirksworth TBTC test track with all involved declaring it a productive day.
At the north end of the site there was much painting of a dmu car and the former "Helen-Louise" as she converts to a green liveried vehicle. Amongst today's post was the final formal approval of our level crossing installations fro the ORR allowing this very long process to be finally closed out.
Now for the trough! On arrival on site at around 0630, poised for the day's exciting events, it was discovered that we had been delivered of a catastrophic computer event leading to the loss of much information needed to run our enterprise. The thought of all the time and effort to rebuild our information is quite daunting but we will overcome!
Meanwhile, anyone used to the Wirksworth Station email address is encouraged to use my home email at as I am not sure how long it will take to get up and running again.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Wed 13th Aug

Evenin' all,

What a day!

The per way team set off bright and early to recover two long
abandoned 30' lengths of flat bottom rail frpm between Idridgehay and
Shottle, these were brought back for use in the Bobie siding. On the
way back the team brought a load of logs for the woodcutters.

Meanwhile back at base, a lorry arrived bringing 5 track panels, which
a crane offloade in the car park, these 113a panels on wood sleepers
and Pan 11 plates - absolutely ideal. The perway gang immediately got
to work stripping them down for reuse.The track was flame cut from CWR
panels, and the ends have been trimmed by the disc cutter. At close of
play one of the panels had been fully stripped, alhad their pandrol
clips remove..

No sooner had the panels been unloaded, and the crane moved to the
rear of the new shed to move various steam boilers and bits, than
another low loader arrived bringing a Mega railer for use tomorrow..
Within a couple of minutes of this arriving, yet another low loader
turned up with another LUL Battery Loco, L20.

The incline service was busy and passengers had plenty to look at with
all the activity in the carpark - which was obviously closed for the

The Narrow Gauge team of Rod and Mary continued to fettle the ballast
on their line.

Roy and Les came with the intention of carrying out some work on the
03, but got roped in for other things.

In truth it has been a hectic day with great benefits.

A charter train is booked for this evening , (Another is booked for
tomorrow evening as well.)

Tomorrow sees a very early start with an 0700 departure of a works
unit. The main per way team will continue stripping the panels in the
car park and loading sleepers and materials to the works train.


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Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Tues 12th August

Evenin' all,

What do you mean the glorious 12th? It poured for much of the day,
however a potential new customer was given the grand tour along the
line. We await developments.

The VCT continued clearing around Old Lane bridge, despite the rain a
good bonfire was soon raging. The team also carried out some fencing
repairs in the area as well as diging out and clearing a steel culvert.

The Per way team worked on clearing the point leading to the Bogie
siding at Cemetery Lane and bringing it back into use.The IMT carried
out more work on the Incline, and also along the old line 3, where the
Gatex once stood.

A great deal more assorted valuable heritage crap was removed from the
former bus shed and was relocated to warmer places, or the skip.

The Steam team started the replacement of worn pins, and various bits
and pieces were removed for further cleaning.

A few hardy souls had a ride up the Incline.

Despite the rain, everyone enjoyed themselves (it says here)


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Wirksworth Goes Green

Dear all
Our first shot at internet advertising for an event can been found in the latest issue of Railway Herald - worth a look.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Mon 11th Aug

Evenin' all,

Quite busy for a Monday! A small party from the Severn Valley Railway
paid a visit and spent some time, as well as some pennies here. In fact
a steady trickle of people throughout the day kept John Blackmore on
his toes.

Iris had a thorough cleaning inside and out. Sounds of a strimmer were
heard around the front of Wirksworth station with various banks and
grassy knolls being cut down to size.

Some setting out work carrield out at Duffield, and some admin ready
for some new visitors tomorrow.
Tomorrow will see Per way in the yard around the Bogie siding, VCT to
make their way by road if working down the line.


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Sunday, 10 August 2008

Progress report Sunday 10th August 2008

Dear all,

A variable start to the day eventually developed in a warm and sunny way
and a number of tasks were undertaken in very peasant weather. Miss
Toseland's P-Way gang made an early start down the line and cleared
various overhanging trees between Hazelwood and Duffield. Once at
Duffield they began work on uncovering various blocked catch pits and
drains in and around the station compound, although some of these have
proved intractable to remedy and in one case the rogering rod could not
be extricated from the drain and this will be subject to further work
next week. At the same time the station mower had been despatched to
Duffield and the station staff occupied themselves with the mowing of
the station garden and the strimming of associated areas.

At Wirksworth efforts proceeded towards the regulation of the ballast on
the narrow gauge assisted by the conscripts, who also carried on with
the clearing of the former bus garage; in the process of which rescued
An Hedgehog from the pit. Thirty minutes later a passenger arrived and
passingly mentioned she ran an animal sanctuary. The Said Hedgehog was
duly presented for safe keeping. Meanwhile, the painting of the Grampus
was completed and it is now turned out in a delicate powder blue livery
so beloved of hoary-handed P-Way men and haute couture costumiers. Oh,
I'm sorry, i was reading the tin the wrong way up, it actually says
"Speedlink Grey".

The passenger business was steady and we entertained the Chairman of the
Foxfield during the day, as well as assisting the archaeological society
in the taking of the relative temperatures of the headwaters of the
Ecclesbourne at the top and bottom of our culvert. The 31 was started
after service and a good throb was had before tea.

All the best,

Friday, 8 August 2008

Friday 8th August 2008

Dear all
A day of serial activity involving many members of our team. Three Gatwick Express coaches have departed our site for pastures new and the resultant free space has enabled a total rearrangement of our Yard together with a variety of necessary jobs. D8001 has been moved to a new position by the Maintenance Facility to free Road 1 for next week's arrival of another Battery Locomotive and Faraday has been readied for its role tomorrow giving cab rides.
Surplus stone has been discharged from the Flatrol as this vehicle is required for next week's programme and the repairs to the damaged Derby Road bridge are completed. There has been a general scrap collection within the Yard and useful brake blocks have been put to a container for safe storage. At the same time our stock of heavy duty batteries has been sorted with the good ones put to store and the remainder offered for disposal.
My thanks to all who have made our site at Wirksworth a much more presentable place occupying some three days of activity but setting the scene for the immediate future.
Phil and I disappeared during all this endeavour and gave the whole line a thorough weed treatment paying particular attention to the very green patches on the Wirksworth - Idridgehay section - we will win! Peak Oil at Shottle were kind enough to let us recharge our tank on the Up journey.
The narrow gauge project moved forward and I am encouraged that we now have smoking and non-smoking accommodation in first and third class.
The Buffet was prepared for the weekend and the Booking Hall held the fort while all our activities were being undertaken.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Thursday 7th August 2008

Dear all
The main, most pleasant news, is that the fishplate greasing between Wirksworth and Idridgehay has finally been completed. Great thanks to everyone who took part in this very long, but essential, process. The siding at Shottle was shunted to release the Sturgeon for work to be accomplished next week that will include the delivery of the north loop point to Duffield and the positioning of the south Shottle loop point signalling the start point of the Dash for Duffield. However, we should not forget that the VCT has already been dashing for some time reporting another, two bonfire, successful day in the Old Lane bridge area.
At base, a hiab fitted lorry was called in to further move the two steam engine boilers so that we could access coaching stock spares under Cemetery Lane bridge. Advantage was taken of the visit to clear the "bogie" siding and load the spares to the flat bogie wagon. Two working motor alternator sets were recovered from the Gatwick Express stock to be disposed of and, once again, many thanks to all who participated in these exercises involving much shunting and stock movements.
Deliveries were received of part of the steelwork for the new entrance gates and a second consignment of hideously expensive fishplate grease. The PW team have now been totally spoilt with new bolts, new spikes and now, new oil!
Fred and Iris gave the Mess Hall a good do and the narrow gauge project saw further work at Waterfall Halt. The Logging Dept. prepared bags of sticks and the renovation of the Shark moved forward to conclusion.
Clerk Birtwistle looked after the Booking Hall welcoming a number of visitors, selling a few products and delivering a little training on the mysteries of the new till system.
All in all, another very good day.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Wed 6th August

Evenin' all,

Horray! The team carrying out the fishplate lubrication have reached
Idridgehay, but not without incident. Yesterday's broken fishplate was
repaired, when lo and behold another was found today. Hundreds of pairs
have been removed and checked with no problems(!) and two broken ones
within the last hundred yards. But that is what per way work is all
about. So apart from repairing this plate the task has been completed.
Very well done to all who have helped.

More driver training on the class 20, which took the works rain to
site and then carried out shunting in the yard to get used to
'Buffering up'. The hours of training are building up.

Some weedkiller was applied to Shottle platform now that greenery has
started to reappear following the work done by the weekend gang in
clearing the platform - you cant apply weedkiller to a bare surface, it
flows down through the new foliage into the roots. Some surveying and
setting out was also carried out at Shottle North. Weedkiller was also
applied in various parts of the Yard at Wirksworth as well as Wash

More work was carried out at Derby Road Bridge, with the main
stonework now back in place.


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Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Tues 5th Aug

Evenin' all,

A day of non stop drizzle, broken by periods of rain!

The VCT were working in the Old Lane area, both repairing fences as
well as burning precut brash. A little light trimming was also

The IMT completed their study of the CWR section south of Idridgehay,
and have uncovered some more work. They were able to make some minor
repairs in the process.

The Per way team freed off 6 pairs of plates and found a broken pair
which were attended to. It all shows the need for regular attention.
They would have done more but had to be back early for a charter down
the line along with a fine afternoon tea. This was for 35 people, who
had a marvellous time. They dined in the F/O. Well done to all

The Steam team were able to gather their remaining bits and pieces
from various locations around the yard and were able to continue
sorting things.Some shunting had to take place to enable them to get
the Multicar into position to access some of the bits.

The Bridge repair gang continued with repairs to Derby Road bridge,
and more stone returned to Wirksworth for cleaning and it is easier to
get it to site by road.

The Shark continues to have more new bits of wood added to replace the
time expired ones.


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Monday, 4 August 2008

Monday 4th August 2008

Dear all
A most pleasant day with little to distract from the production of invoices that pleasantly need to be done at the start of the month. Nonetheless, the restoration of the Shark quietly continued and the Class 108 dmu had its battery charged after a period out of use.
The damaged bridge had single line (road) working introduced and repairs commenced. Representatives of the LH Group visited to complete some more paperwork associated with the Tube Lines project.
A special journey was arranged to video the Idridgehay - Shottle section in association with a MTT promotion.
The Booking Hall welcomed a number of visitors who seemed to have deep pockets and short arms.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Progress Report Sunday 3rd August

Dear all,

An interesting day of many parts with the unrostered arrival of Ryan in
the Booking Hall allowing staff to be transferred to the buffet car
which was not scheduled to be open today and which therefore added a
small groat to the day's takings, celebrating its fifth birthday in the
process. A little modest tidying after yesterday evening's jamboree took
place and the Sunday staff considered whether it was possible to become
inebriated on 0.5% low alcohol Stella, and if so, how long it would
take: (thanx to Gary). In between services, the train crew undertook the
repair of the broken stores container hasps and we are now as secure as
we ever were. Some further stripping of the Gat Ex continued and the
back of the weighbridge saw almost the entire removal of outstanding
valuable railway artefacts and is now tidy. The annual summer pastime of
ragwort pulling took place around Dale Tunnel in order to prevent any
possible threat to passenger's horses.

Miss Toseland's P-Way gang traversed the entire length of the line
inspecting catch pits and rogering drains and The Pump had to be washed
on their return. A magistrate of conscripts was spread far and wide
around the site with a party continuing the painting of the Grampus; a
further party assisting the ballast regulating of the narrow gauge and
another starting the clear out of the former bus garage: shortly to be
renamed the Phil Tarry International Bier Keller and Pie Shoppe and
which will in due course be made available for My Test Track events,
training meetings, team building, model railway exhibitions and civil
ceremonies - "You may kiss the bride." "Something just fell down the
back of my neck." "Yes. Its rust".

All the best,

Friday, 1 August 2008

Friday 1st August 2008

Dear all
Another day of variety with an early start to service Faraday and replace a lost bolt from the compressor. The IMT set off to patrol the Idridgehay - Shottle section with the objective of checking the fishplates and bolts that hold together the former continuously long welded section. Much information was gathered on the condition of the rail joints and many bolts were tightened.
Some seats and seat backs were exchanged on the Incline dmu car to improve the presentation of the vehicle and one of the "blown" windows on the second open to be retained was successfully changed. Fred and Iris gave the second open, first open and buffet car a deep clean and the end product means these vehicles are a great credit to the Railway.
A further burst of weedkiller was given to the Yard, around the former Ennis garage and entrance footpath. Weather conditions defeated giving the Wirksworth - Idridgehay section treatment which is greening over quickly in the warm humid weather.
The M1 Gas Alliance had a good clean up of their materials on site and gifted a new security lock for the building.
The Booking Hall received a number of visitors and products for the Buffet Car were assembled for the weekend.