Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Website Updates and Kirtley

Evening all and Happy New Year,

Firstly, for those of you who read Phil's report and thought it not possible, there is a full resolution photograph of Kirtley conquering the summit at

In other news, a page has been created with various bits and bobs regarding the Home Fleet Gala and there is also a new version of the stock list available for you to download.


Wed 31st Dec 2008

Evenin' all for the last time this year,

The Spring cleaning of the yard continued, with the Per way team
collecting assorted sleepers from around the yard, some went for
regrading, whilst reusable ones were transported to Shottle. More scrap
was recovered.
Please remember that the Museum line must now remain clear from Rod's
Cabim northwards to the 3 way point.

The Shunter team resumed work on Kirtley, changing the batteries and
working on some plumbing. Kirtley ended with a run up the Incline and
behaved well.Buffers were also taken off the donor loco for exchange
with the bad ones on Faraday.

Some light shunting of the DMU stock was also undertaken.

This has been a year of great expansion for our railway, next year
promises to be even more so. All our different teams have worked well
and have achieved a great deal. The next 20 months should see us
opening to Duffield, so there remains a great deal to do. Many thanks
to all concerned who have helped with this project.

Have a happy New Year and I shall expect everyone back to normal next


50% off the best games of 2008 -

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Tues 30th Dec

Evenin' all,

A day of much endevour, with many members turning up to work off the
excesses of the Yuletide spirit,

A hyper mega shunt of the yard meant that some vehicles were exchanged
on the Museum line, with the Shark transferred to the paint shop,
whilst the Ogre's castle was put on the Museum line. Loco 11520 was
also promoted to the vistors area.

The Gleaming steaming team turned out en masse and enjoyed themselves
working to free the foundation ring whilst others were needle gunning
the tank. Routine servicing and clearing of D2158 following its work at
Duffield recently. Routine servicing also took place on Faraday and
antifreeze was placed in the radiator of Kirtley.

The VCT gang went down the line to carry out some emergency fence
repairs south of
Shottle, some replacement stiles are also required. They then returned
to the Old Lane area, where they managed three fires and recovered some
further scrap chairs.

Several visitors came for a look around, and some logs were sold by
the logging Dept., who were also here mob handed creating more bags of
logs to sell.

David Statham has now been discharged from hospital following his
recent heart attack and is now at home - now the boring bit starts,
believe me! Hoping for a speedy recovery.

Once again some serious admin work to meet deadlines for the end of
the year.

Tomorrow sees more crealance in the Yard at Wirksworth.


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Monday, 29 December 2008

Monday 29th December 2008

Dear all
A lone brave soul joined us today and conducted maintenance of the cross drain and catch pit on the Hannages. Phil and I remained in clerical mode doing much good work! The phone remained quiet but there were a few very hardy visitors looking round the site.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Progress Report Sunday 28th December 2008

Dear all,

I have been asked to convey the following report on behalf of Mr John
Ball, Duty Manager:

A dry if rather cold day with a modest number of passengers using the
Ravenstor service, but at least into double figures.

The conscript and his close personal friend completed the primer
undercoating of the Briefly Green Container and this is now ready to
accept its gloss coat of magnolia and burgundy, unfortunately we don't
have any gloss magnolia or burgundy at the moment, but in any case it is
rather too cold for gloss to dry effectively.

In the department of engineering, major work continued on D2158 in the
general area of its parts. Also in the department of engineering a
wide-ranging movement of valuable railway artefacts took place to enable
the generator which was formerly in Iris (when it was a test car) to be
mounted in the engineers container, in order to provide power to weld
DMUs and save us having to transport said DMUs to another nearby
heritage railway famous for its Much Bigger Shed and proximity to the
Butterley Pie and Tart Shoppe.

In the division of Lavatorial Infrastructure, now under the supervision
of Mr I C Todger, some cosmetic work has been taking place to ensure
that the Staff can be used more comfortably as Emergency Ladies in the
future, and a whole £7.99 has been spent on a new mirror. If the paint
is not dry in the morning please do not sit on the seat.

All the best,

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Progress Saturday 27th December 2008

Evening all,

In a day where the volunteer count nearly matched the midday temperature, moderate progress was still made.

This morning, the team concentrated on doing a few more jobs on the 119 restoration project. Every little bit of progress helps! Down at the station, our stationmaster kept one eye on the booking hall and the other on todays single conscript who has made a pretty decent job of undercoating the 'new' model railway container.

This afternoon saw a private birthday charter train to Idridgehay followed by a very late lunch in the buffet car laid on by external caterers. I think they had a good time even though it was very cold!

Long live warmer weather...

Mike Evans

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Xmas Eve Progress 2008

Hey all,

As there wasn't a progress report sitting in my inbox when I got home, I thought I would update you on what had been happening. I didn't want anyone thinking that just because it is Christmas Eve that nothing had been done!

This morning, the logging department were in action and the booking hall was also open for business. The usual Wednesday clean up and empty the bins task was performed. A few other administrative duties were also performed by the clerical department.

Down the yard, two members put in a full day on the Class 119 restoration project with a lot being achieved in a day. It is surprising what can be done in a day when there is nothing else to interrupt.

Have a Merry Christmas - and don't drink too much!


Christmas Eve Wednesday 24th December 2008

Dear all
Thanks to Leigh for today's notes and I would like to wish all of you a great Christmas - you deserve it! Wirksworth Station and our line will be closed for the next couple of days but if any of you are out and about near any part of the line please just have a look to make sure we are secure and have no unwelcome visitors.
Onwards to 2009

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Tues 23rd Dec

Evenin' all,

A day of little activity. However the Dream Steam Team were here mob
handed (nearly), they needle gunned, removed studs, worked on cylinder
covers , and generally had a jolly time, and finished all of the minced

The woodcutters were here and chopped wood, some logs were recovered
from north of Cemetery Lane. The Passenger Services dept were busy with
phone calls, as well as some visitors.

A lot of end of year reports were carried out in the Admin centre, as
well as future planning.

Next Tuesday, we require train crew as a big shunt is required in the
yard, to move the Shark and numerous other vehicles for customer

As far as progress is concerned, I have been looking back over the
notes of late. In December last year we were struggling with fishplate
bolts at Gorsey Bank, when the rail temperature dropped sharply and we
had a devil of a job to reconnect the main line. That was part of the
fishplate greasing. Since then we have completed and had inspected the
line to Idridgehay, which is now open for passenger running, making us
the longest heritage line in Derbyshire.
A Narrow gauge line has been completed and now awaits signing off. The
Gatex got into its stride as a Buffet and has also been transformed and
will be dealing with the public seriously next season. The VCT have
worked miracles on clearing lineside growth and have opened up the
views. Locos and DMUs have been worked on under cover and have managed
to keep the trains rolling.

This has been a fantastic year and next year will be even more so,
with new equipment and opportunities in all departments. After all, who
knows what the future holds. I know that the whole team have worked in
a great fashion and will surely rise to the challenges yet to come.

May I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and hope to
see you next week.


50% off the best games of 2008 -

Monday, 22 December 2008

Monday 22nd December 2008

Dear all
A day of measured calm after the hectic weekend. The dmu fleet were filed in the correct order for a charter on Saturday and the last service trains of the year on Sunday. Space was created at the north end of the "Museum" siding to illustrate to our new customer, Harsco Track Technologies, the area that they will occupy on a semi permanent basis. We also journeyed with Harsco to Gorsey Bank were we plan to create a section of heavily canted track for test purposes.
Today's young offenders were concentrated on clearing Platform 1 of moss that has sprung up around the bases of the buildings and the Logging Department were in production to meet Christmas demand. The proceeds of a legacy in the form of a large model railway were united with a container donated by Belper Model Railway Club and installed by the Weighbridge. I am promised that the container will be painted in house colours in the very near future and we hope that this will be a further facility to encourage a longer stay by our visitors.
Contractors were employed by EVRA to conduct tree surgery north of the Cemetery Lane bridge where the Inspector was concerned about the possibility of falling branches onto the narrow gauge.
Yet more stock was absorbed by the EVRA shop. I think it is really a Tardis, and the Booking Hall fielded a number of the usual phone calls.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Santa Special Sunday 21st December 2008

Dear all
Well, this year's Santa season drew to a close after a weekend of full trains and universally happy passengers. A really large vote of thanks is due to the team that makes it all happen from present selection and purchase, processing the bookings and despatching the tickets, producing the booking form, assembling the drinks and mince pies, mulling the wine, entertaining the children both at the Ogre's Castle and on board the Gatwick Express, preparing the "set", serving the visitors, cleaning up between trains and at the end of the day and delivering a world class product. Today's passengers took the time to specially mention the admiration they felt for all the team and there is no doubt the Railway benefits significantly from the goodwill the whole project produces.
Further thanks are also due to Mike Evans and the dmu team who were on hand like the fourth emergency service to ensure the trains behaved faultlessly also managing to continue restoration of the Class 117.
Visitors were welcomed in the Booking Hall and attracted to last minute stocking fillers and the EVRA shop reported a satisfactory trading day.
Another day that fills you with pride in what is achieved on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Fri 19th Dec

Evenin' all,

Let there be light!

Anton has been busy fixing new ornamental lights on the outside of the
Admin block and the foot crossing between the platforms. They have been
wired in for the short term and are operational. The ones on the foot
crossing are switched on in the Weighbridge. The ones on the Admin
suite are on a timer from Martin's office. Well done.

The IMT carried out track inspection which included checking
fishplates between Idridgehay and Barnsley Lane, several bolts were
tightened up, the cross drain on the Racing Straight had to be rodded
again but yielded to pressure. This will have more machine attention
W/c 12th Jan. The team then carried out a track walk on the Incline so
that it is ready for the intensive workload over this coming weekend.
Nearly all Santa trains are fully loaded this weekend with some people
booking today. We have got a waiting list!

A minor check was carried out on our new Landrover, and it was given a
good wash to get it up to our standard. This vehicle has come to us
from Harsco Track Technologies, who have been using us for testing work
in the past. I am delighted to say that a new contract for testing has
been agreed between us, on a similar basis to Sperry Rail. This is
excellent news and provides them with testing and storage facilities
and gives us a good income for further work. Harsco were testing
yesterday and are very pleased with the improvements made since their
last visit. They were very complimentary on the clearance work done and
pleased to see that our yellow landrover uses their rail gear (we have
had spares for that vehicle from them). Another cause for celebration.

Certainly the hard work of members carrying out track upgrades as well
as the huge amount of clearance work achieved, is paying dividends and
as we saw on Wednesday the potential for passenger traffic heading
south suddenly appears much brighter.The fact that a two car set went
to Duffield on the 'Workers special' shows what can be done, and what
needs to be done. With the first steam hauled passenger train from
Wirksworth to Duffield booked for October 2010, there remains a great
deal to do, but with the aquisitions made this week and further income
sources coming in, the prospects seem very good indeed. A big well done
to all concerned, it is a great team effort which allows us to look
forward with greater confidence.


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Thursday, 18 December 2008

Thursday 18th December 2008

Dear all
A satisfying, if somewhat long, day with early and late shift customers. The first customer brought a new road/rail lorry varient and also delivered a new addition to our fleet in the form of a further road/rail Landrover. This had its first outing on our line accompanying the second customer with a road/rail electrification support vehicle whose test ran on into darkness. On site to talk with both customers was Network Rail's road/rail vehicle supremo who was pleased to be updated on our endeavours along the line. Opportunity was taken to discuss new business opportuinities that may see another "Sperry" like arrangement - a quotation has been prepared!
In amongst today's testing the VCT accomplished a final clear up at Jebbs Lane and then moved on to the Old Lane area. A neighbour waited on them with teas and coffees, apolgising for the lack of biscuits "as the grandchildren had consumed them all". I must call round and discourage these interuptions to productivity.
Down at Duffield there was further brush bashing by our lone representative there and two more attractive lamps were positioned on the Wirksworth Office for future wiring up. A special mention for Pat Craft who restored the Gatwick Express after yesterday's event finding a great deal of food ground into the carpets - I must cut down on the portions in future. In between vacuuming Pat also managed sales from the EVRA shop to sundry visitors who seemed particularly interested in the large collection of bus orientated books that have been recently donated.
Patrick Keef returned with a new axle and wheels for the narrow gauge manrider and supervised the tests of the air braking system between the car and Lesley the Lister. All tests were satisfactory and we are nearly ready for the final signoff by HMRI.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Wed 17th Dec

Evenin' all,

Today saw the slightly delayed 8th anniversarry special and Christmas
'do' for the working members. Iris and the Bubble car ran around the
yard and Incline before setting off to make a non stop run to Duffield
- at least it was planned as a nonstop run, but we found some sheep the way just south of Shottle. We ran non stop from Duffield
back to Wirksworth where a sumptious feast awaited us (it says here).
It was the first time that we used outside caterers for this event and
it was a little less in quantity than one might have hoped.

Certainly it was a chance for those who work in the Booking Hall, or
who work back at Wirksworth to have a whole line trip - one forgets
that some members have not been down the line before. The changes that
have taken place are truly awesome (dont you hate that expression). A
great thank you to everyone who has helped out throughout the years.
Also thanks to the team who helped with the catering, it was a scratch
team who achieved very good results - thannk you

Sperry Rail were also here today carrying out some driver training
with their Unimog, they also had a run down the line.

Found Property - A Whistle has been found in the yard, attached to it
is keyring from another preserved railway. If it is yours and you can
name the railway, the whistle is in the office.

Tomorrow sees not one but two companies coming for whole line testing,
there is little opportunity for trackside work.


50% off the best games of 2008 -

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Great Machine Day - Tuesday 16th December 2008

Dear all
An intrepid team ventured to Bracknell today to view three road/rail Komatsu machines and see whether one of them would be suitable for the task of flailing the whole line. Having satisfied themselves that a machine would be worth the considerable investment the deal was done! We are now the proud owners of a piece of equipment that should transform the lives of the VCT, is also capable of lifting up to five tonnes and will arrive with a variety of other useful attachments. This has all been possible by a group of donors with one particularly large contribution and great thanks are due to these people. We have paid a substantial deposit and will pay the balance on delivery to Wirksworth in the new year - we have truly moved up a league.
Less dramatic events back at base but useful tasks were achieved. The Steam Team removed 20 studs out of the dome and four from the manifold fastening. 10 wash out plugs were retapped and attention given to the gauge glass stand and fire door boiler fitting. The Buffet Car was prepared for a large party tomorrow and a start was made on fitting some attractive light fittings discovered by Anton. These are in keeping with the station "image" and a great deal less expensive than the Midland Railway reproductions that have moved out our reach economically.
The VCT and PW team joined together to have a final clear up between Jebbs Lane and Barnsley Lane. Fencing repairs were completed and each team had their own fire with the PW team claiming victory for the amount of brash consumed. Logs were gathered and delivered to the car park to satisfy a lively demand for this product. The PW team also gave the cross drains on the "racing straight" another good rodding with satisfactory results although a more radical solution will be needed in 2009.
The Booking Hall maintained a presence and further sales of Santa means that we are approaching 100% capacity this weekend.
Another very good day.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Monday 15th December 2008

Dear all
A pleasant and profitable day where we welcomed a new customer to our test facility. The sun was shinning and the customer had a successful day in Wirksworth Yard, on the Incline and at Shottle, expressing great satisfaction with the professionalism of our organisation. We said goodbye to L44 Battery Locomotive as it departed for Ruislip and many thanks to Richard who was dragged from decorating the Buckby Christmas tree to move L44 to the car park.
Faraday received a service and new glass was offered to the driving compartment of the Museum GLV.
The Booking Hall dealt with a few visitors and continued enquires for our remaining Santa trains.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Santa Sunday 14th December 2008

Dear all
A very satisfying and exhausting day as the Santa Special programme got into its stride. Everyone on site played their part which included the preparation of the train for service, the positioning of a second train alongside Platform 2 to aid the safety of passengers and then the trains were disposed at the end of the day. Visitors were welcomed and checked in at the Booking Hall, guided either to the train or the Buffet Car if they arrived early and then boarded for departure to Ravenstor. After seeing Santa and meeting the cast of star performers the cue for mulled wine was given to Wirksworth and the train gently returned. The mulled wine, mince pies and fruit juice was served at seat in the Gatwick Express coaches and on the departure of each set of guests the train was readied to receive the next party. At the end of the day the train was vacuumed throughout and all glasses washed up so that all is neat and tidy for next weekend. I mention all this as it does seem to fall on the same faces to deliver this most excellent and much praised product each year and we all should applaud their endeavours and perhaps give them a little more help!
In addition to the Santa activities the EVRA shop had a good trading day and the train preparation and disposal team filled their day with more restoration work on the Class 117 dmu car. The Youth Offending Team took the opportunity to achieve a little more ballast fettling on the narrow gauge line. A special mention for Steve who fitted the much needed door closer on the Gents toilet and John who repaired the closer on the Mess Hall.
The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at its best.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Sat 13th Dec

Evenin' all,

I know what you are thinking......Whats he doing here again. Well
today was the first day of this years Santa Specials. We ram three
trains from Platform 3 up to Ravenstor where Santa was with Jack and
the Beanstalk (Oh no he wasnt.. oh yes he was) The customers saw the
Giant (Fe, Fi Foh For, I am the Giant of Ravenstor), and also saw
Henrietta and the golden egg. The trains were driven by Jack, etc. etc.
After visiting Santa the guests returned to Wirksworth for Mince pies,
etc. It is a good tried and tested formula which works very well
indeed. Congratulations to everyone involved It was day when everyone
mucked in together - even the Duty Manager was waiting on and doing the
washing up. Everyone enjoyed the event and much favourable comment was
made.The rain fell nearly all day, just stopping when the last train
arrived back at Wirksworth. The Buffet Car and Gatex were fully in use,
and everthing worked perfectly, Passengers were pleased that the DMU
was heated!

Another team carried on with the restoration pof the 117with attention
being paid to the windows and their surrounds.


Discounted hotel bookings -

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Thursday 11th December 2008

Dear all
A bitterly cold day that saw us welcome Battery Electric Locomotive L44 and say goodbye to dmu Class 177 Trailer Composite Lavatory which has gone to kick start the economy. The VCT headed for and area halfway between Jebbs Lane and Barnsley Lane proudly announcing that they had achieved 2 and one half fires - the only people on site to remain warm. The PW team venured to Duffield for the last time for a while and completed the installation of a working point lever and the two short rails that maximise the length of the siding for the time being.
A further burst pipe in the Buffet Car was repaired and the hired in dehumidifier ran all day and then was off-hired. Heat has been left on so that all will be well for the first of the Santa days this Saturday.
The Booking Hall had quite a busy day and the platforms were gritted as the surface was trecherous.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Wed 10th Dec

Evenin all,

Another cold and crisp day with activity mainly centered at Duffield.
Once again the Per way team split into two. One team completed the
jacking and packing of the turnout, then the whole new layout was
packed with the 'Kango' hammers. The turnout is now reasonably secure.
The other team dropped stone in the siding line and then ran out some
more sleepers and also installed the next two short rails. Tomorrow
sees the end of work at Duffield for the moment. We now have a short
operational siding.

Back at base, the checking of the First Aid boxes was completed, and
the burst pipe in the Buffet car was sorted out. The carpets were dried
and the heating left on to further aid drying out prior to the weekend.

The Firewood dept were again in full swing to catch up with orders.

The Booking Hall team dealt with some more enquiries regarding Santa
Bookings - not much time left.

Tomorrow sees some light shunting in the yard before going to
Duffield. Duffield arrival time expected to be 11.00.


Discounted hotel bookings -

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Tues 9th Dec

Evenin' all,

A cold and crisp day with brilliant winter sunshine. Just the day for
some light exercise. So the Per way team set off for sunny Duffield,
all the junction and lifting plates were sorted on the new pointwork
and most of the turnout has been jacked and packed - no one cold after
that! The rest will be completed tomorrow. Rodders put in an
appearance, but when offered a shovel so that he could help, he claimed
that he didn't know which end to sit on and beat a hasty retreat.

The VCT continued work near to Jebbs Lane, where a big area has been
opened up and a new fence errected, they had a two fire day - probibly
cold! More logs were produced, these were collected by the returning
works train . So another customer will have a warm Christmas. Our own
logging and Firewood dept chopped some more firewood for those who want
hand crafted logs

Back at base, Santa's little Grotto has been completed and outshopped.
It is ready for the massed hoards that will arrive this weekend. The
inside is a closely guarded secret but Rod and Mary have done a really
good job in converting the Brake Van into a Giants castle Fe-Fi-Fo Fum

The Dream Steam team lept warn using the boiler of No 3,, they have
turned it onto it side and have extracted the Foundation Ring - sounds

As the Booking Hall was unmanned, until Pat Lidgett turned up, there
was a flurry of last minute bookings for Santa, which Martin had to
deal with, Martin was glad when he had some back up to take over the

Dave N, found a burst pipe in the new Buffet Car following the cold
weather and started bailing out the vehicl ready for the weekend -
Remember to leave the heating on in the Buffet Car whilst this cold
weather keeps up.

Fred and Iris gave the Mess Room a good sort out. There was another
very generous contribution to the RRV fundwhich means that a visit will
be paid next week to hopefully bring the purchase of the machine to a
satisfactory conclussion.

Tomorrow sees further work at Duffield, works train leaves at 0930 and
arrives at Duffield around 1030 ish. Tomorrow and Thursday will see the
conpletion of the installation of the point, and hopefully its
commissioning as well as a short siding being made available.


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Monday, 8 December 2008

Monday 8th December 2008

Dear all
A bleak, damp and grey day sapping most enthusiasm for outdoor work. Nonetheless, one brave soul tended to the dmu fleet and readied the redundant Class 117 trailer car for its final journey. Sperry Rail attended so we could move their vehicle to facilitate the release of Santa's elegant new home for his occupation this weekend.
A lot of form filling took place to see whether we might access a little financial help towards the "Dash to Duffield" and the Booking Hall was occupied with a few phone calls.
PS - we now begin the countdown to a further performance by Rand and the Band in the Malt Shovel this coming Saturday

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Progress Sunday 7th December 2008

Evening everybody,

Today was the day when thoughts began to pop into your mind whilst you are on the drive to Wirksworth, with the car's thermometre reading -5 degrees, about whether or not the trains would start or indeed whether there would be any public to travel on it.

First thing, with ice everywhere, a small team set off the young offender, his minder and his minder's trainee cleaning the old grime off the formica inside the 119. There were reasonable results with this although there is still alot to do. Other conscripts arrived soon after and began to fettle the narrow gauge ballast. With all six conscripts sorted out and working, it enabled the team to get on with other jobs.

At the back of the shed, the Dream Steam Team continued with their boiler whilst at the front, a small team began to prepare the DMUs for Santa Specials. Just before lunch, the crunch time came and it was time to attempt to start the service train. Everybody knew that this would be hit and miss but with ice on the windows, inside and out, 55006 gradually bubbled into life very slowly and received a cheer afterwards. Diesels do not like the cold! It was worth it though as there were quite a few people milling around in the winter sunshine. The booking hall and EVRA shop relieved people of some money as they passed.

After lunch, work continued on the Santa train. As there is a minor issue with an engine on 51188 the decision was taken to couple the 117 power car on the front of the two Met-Camms creating a three car for the Santa Specials but also giving the train a little bit more insurance against the weather next weekend. Whilst underneath the train, opportunity was taken to oil various bits and pieces as well. This consist was then taken on a test run to Ravenstor creating quite a stir in the windows of the houses that grace the incline. I don't think they had ever seen three car passenger stock in their neck of the woods!

Elsewhere, Rod began to apply the finishing touches to the castle for next weekend but couldn't resist a play with the new narrow gauge toy that had arrived earlier in the week.

It was such a fun day (bring on Summer),

Mike Evans

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Progress Report Saturday 6th December

Dear all,

A sunny winters day which saw the Wirksworth Christmas Extravaganza
bring us two passengers and the Egyptian Tourist Bureau three more,
consequently the on-demand service to Ravenstor chugged bravely up the
hill, but only briefly.

Engineering work proceeded apace however, and a compressor was replaced
on D2158 and this locomotive is now operational. In the class 31 the AV
board was exchanged. The class 119 Appreciation Society appears to have
gone shopping but a small contingent proceeded with a large amount of
screwing (technically, unscrewing) and the ceiling panels are now off
ready for further work.

Around the station, the quad was decorated for Christmas and the full
panoply of of coloured lights was turned on causing a brown-out in
Gorsey Bank. A set of PW lights has also been put up to illuminate the
crossing, please note these have been carefully adjusted not to shine in
people's eyes. Further work was done on the gents door, which has now
received a door stop, though not yet the promised closer. Please note
this door sticks a little at the moment. Will station staff please note
we have used all the salt, however there is some sand in the weighbridge
in the event of icing, and doubtless a road bin can be raided in an
emergency, while we await deliveries.

Duffield Station was inspected and the staff there were found to have
been undertaking further work on the fencing.

All the best,

Friday, 5 December 2008

Friday 5th December 2008

Dear all
A day of gentle progress with Santa's grotto approaching completion and the decoration of the station at Wirksworth beginning to come together. We have a bonsai Christmas tree, these are hard times, but I am sure it will be tastefully decorated in time for start of business tomorrow! Meanwhile, Anton has been applying the corporate image for Wirksworth and generally ensuring we have a "Santa" feel for the Town's launch into the "feel good" for Christmas.
Track inspection has checked the Idridgehay to Shottle section for loose clamps prior to welding and unearthed some lift fishplates necessary for the Duffield installation. For the EVRA narrow gauge project a "manrider" was delivered from Alan Keef - this looks a little bit like secure transport to a penitentiary but I am sure will be modified to be warm and cuddly

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Thursday 4th December 2008

Dear all
After a slushy start the snows gradually cleared enabling the PW team to return to Duffield and secure the first two rails of the loop and clip them up. The VCT followed to the Jebbs Lane area where a further 50 yards of fencing were secured following the great escape of cattle at the weekend. This was a very wet process as they were working in snow and water that was knee high. Their visit to the area also yielded more logs and the creation of the customary fire for the brash.
Back at base a replacement PIR light was fitted to the south end of the Training Room and the Logging Dept had a day of housekeeping following the completion of the Shark renovation. The new gents toilet door received a coat of gloss on the interior side and it is declared they are open again in time for the Santa season to the relief of all intending visitors.
Pat and Mike returned from an excursion to London proudly bearing a Runners Up Certificate from the National Railway Heritage Awards - The London Underground Accessibility Award - for Idridgehay Station. Not bad when they were up against multi million pound projects at Durham and Hull!
There was a lot of white collar work as the likely costs and timescales were reviewed for the Idridgehay to Duffield section taking into account the experiences of the last couple of months. It was decided that after a tidy up at Duffield over the next two weeks we would concentrate on the "Hustle to Hazelwood" and you will all be pleased to know that the next six months are now mapped out!
We also welcomed two kind donors who were responding to Mick Kingsley's appeal and provided funds to ensure the road/rail flail will be ours with just a little more input.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Wed 3rd Dec

Evenin' all,

Another day with a hard frost but a clear crisp sort of day,
absolutely right for some gentle exercise.

The Per way team headed south and collected a wagon load of logs and
made them ready for a customer to collect. The team then continued to
Duffield where they split into two teams. One team replaced some track
material inside the tunnel, including three new sleepers, baseplates
and spikes, and packed the joint. The other team plated up the first
panel of the siding and started clipping down, a lot more work before
it can be run on though. An early finish was assured as we had to pick
up the empty wagon and reload with logs, unfortunately the load had not
been collected. Possibly just as well as we have almost run out of
logs, certainly not another wagon full

Back at base, the Shark got further attention to the rain strips and
other fixtures, whilst Stuart continued with the wiring up of the
various power tools etc in the maintenance area.

Martin was busy being creative. Also Pat L stepped in to the Booking
Office at short notice to recieve more enquiries and bookings for

Tomorrow we will meet at Wirksworth - subject to weather conditions.


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Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Tues 2nd Dec

Evenin' all,

A cold and snowy day, but a day when several 'roun-tuit' jobs were
carried out.
The VCT headed south to repair a length of fence near Mp 139, where
cattle had been wandering, new posts were inserted and fencing material
was added. work will conclude on Thursday, but the beasts are secure.

The Per way team had a sort out of the tool van as well as the Brake
van following intense activity, some restocking was also carried out.

Faraday had repairs carried out to the fuel coupler and was released
for service after lunch. The Per way team carried out some shunting
before venturing down south to collect a wagon full of logs, which were
duly unloaded for the woodcutters dept. More to be collected tomorrow
for an increasing list of customers.

The Dream Steam Team were busy at their end of the yard where
sandboxes were readied and painted as well as more boiler/firebox
works. The Shark had work done to the roof and is now almost ready for

Down at Duffield, some clearing up took place in the environs of the
cabin and more fence panels were added to the boundaries in various

The Gents toilets at Wirksworth had some more TLC applied after the
new door was fitted last week.

Tomorrow sees the works train departing by 0930, collecting more logs
and detatching the waggon en route for some further work at Duffield -
sorry I dont know that arrival time.


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Monday, 1 December 2008

Monday 1st December 2008

Dear all
After last week's excitements there was a small pause for breath today. However, despite it being bitterly cold the dmu team completed the base preparation of the Class 117 roof and used the Bubble Car to shunt the Works Train into Platform 1 so that the contents of the Tool Van can be rearranged tomorrow ready for the next part of the plot.
Faraday was serviced and awaits Steve's ministrations before returning to service and a few last minute jobs were achieved on the Shark. Templates were made for the new windows to be fitted into the driving cab of the Museum Coach and the Booking Hall was kept fairly busy with a few sales and Santa enquiries.
The usual first of the month invoicing flurry was somewhat warming and it was good to take a booking from a new MTT customer.
Where is this global warming?