Saturday, 31 January 2009

Progress Report Sat 31st jan 2009

Dear All,

The last day of January 2009 brought a bright and sunny (if not a little cold) day to Wirksworth and there was activity on a number of fronts.

On the narrow gauge, a team was working in preparation of the HMRI visit that is now imminent.
We were also pleased to welcome two new volunteers to the Railway. After they had had their induction by the duty manager they set about cleaning DMU Bogies, an unglamorous but no less important job. Got to keep the stock looking nice for the punters.

Else where down the yard more progress was made on the Class 119 restoration. A lone member spent the day stripping paint and cleaning pelmets. Also on the DMU front the class 108 trailer 56224
had some more new batteries installed to match those inserted last week.

In the afternoon the DMU team received a consultation on wooden and ceiling matters.

The booking hall fielded the usual enquiries.

John Stokes on behalf on Mike Evans.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Friday 30th January 2009

Dear all,
A little less frenetic today as the process of re-filing everything after yesterday's excitements commenced. The Works Train and Faraday were recovered from Shottle which allowed the Gatwick Express stock to be returned to their normal resting place and the three stored locos and freight stock to be returned to Road 3. During the recovery of the Works Train opportunity was seized to top up the Flatrol with logs and stable in the Car Park for collection tomorrow.
Our first Battery Locomotive of the year was put through its paces on the TBTC test track and will leave us during next Monday.
Julie gave the Gatwick Express an interior clean and removed the detritus left on board although the film crew were extremely well behaved with little left behind to show they had been.
DMU maintenance was undertaken during the afternoon.
The Booking Hall welcomed a few visitors including, ironically, a free lance location manager although her budget did not seem of ITV's proportions.
So we end the week with the site returned to normal and ready for next week's adventures.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Thursday 29th January 2009

Dear all
Early rising was the order of the day as we welcomed the whole pageantry associated with a film crew. ITV Productions descended to film a segment for a series entitled The Street being made for the BBC. A train consisting of D8001 and the three Gatwick Express vehicles shuttled between Wirksworth and Idridgehay where all the action took place on board. Winning the job was a close run thing between ourselves and the East Lancs Railway but quality shone through!
From our point of view the day ran like clockwork and ITV were fulsome in their praise of a job well done. The train crew team are to be congratulated on delivering all that was promised. The Location Manager proved to be an old friend from the days of Sweet Medicine that used our present car park for four months some six years ago. The revenue from that exercise funded the landscaping that created the present car park from an area of wasteland that had suffered from many years acting as a dump for the good people of Wirksworth.
Meanwhile, the work carried on with further progress on the north end of the Shottle loop and the VCT achieved a 3 bonfire day south of the Shottle road bridge. It was good to see Alan Taylor on his feet again after a severe bout of 'flu and I am sure the fresh air as he resumes his duties next week will do him a power of good. Opportunity has been taken of the absence of the Gatex stock from the bay platform to lag the external water pipe.
To add to the general level of activity at Wirksworth, Battery Locomotive L45 arrived mid afternoon for unloading tomorrow morning and testing on the TBTC track.
A splendid and most profitable day

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Wed 28th Jan

Evenin' all,

Once again, the main thrust of work was at Shottle. The digger/dumper
team completed the transfer of ash base from the heap to the trackbed
of the loop, they also put some of the spoil in the existing siding.
There are now several car parking spaces at Shottle. The rest of the
Per way team continued to work on installing two rails between the Trap
point and the point on our main line at Shottle North Junction. Most of
this was screwed down and slewed into its final position, some rail
'trimming' and final fixing is required.

Back at base, a battery was fitted to the crane and that has now moved
under its own power, across to the shed area, another first. The Class
20 was dried out after some dampness got into it. It also had a light
buffing, its prime role is to help in the MTT role, for one of our
clients. Whilst the gatex was out of its berth, the chance was again
taken to fettle the track into Platform 2A. The chance was also taken
to give the coaches a bit of a pre-season wash with the Jet wash.

Harsco were on site trying out the facilities with their first vehicle
on test and were getting to know the place. All of a sudden, the
Testing side has come back to life with bookings for this week as well
as one for next week. All of this is good news at it pays for continued
work and restoration.

Some more fettling work was carried out on the Narrow Gauge line, and
the logging dept were in full swing.

Dont forget that the VCT as well as the Per way team will meet at
Shottle tomorrow.

A good and varied days progress on a pleasant day.


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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Tues 27th Jan

Evenin' all,

Today saw most of the action down at Shottle, with the VCT continuing
to chop and burn south of the station, whilst a great deal of top
quality ash was moved from the yard and run out along the formation of
the Loop, work continues on that tomorrow using a contractor and our
own Dumper which worked very well. Vince 'Wheels' Ware was the main
dumper driver and now knows every inch of the yard!

The Per Way team spent the day connecting the Trap point at the north
end of the Loop to the Main Line. The Trap point itself had to be moved
a little to create the right curvature, a lot of work for half a dozen
chaps. By tomorrow that should be connected uo and work can start on
laying the Loop, or as we call it a siding!

The opportunity was taken to haul the Gatex stock out from its berth
on Platform 2A, this is done occasionally, and gives a chance to check
things out and get the lubrication sorted out. As the Class 20 was
being used for training, it seemed a good opportunity to couple the 20
to the Gatex - an interesting combination. The Gatex is in Platform 1
for the moment as work is also being carried out to the services on
platform 2A.

The logging department were busy, the Dream Steam Team were again
playing with their boilers.

The Booking Hall would have been busy if it was covered, several
visitors came for a look around.


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Monday, 26 January 2009

Monday 26th January 2009

Dear all
A steady day with a member of the Class 20 Group giving D8001 the once over. A meeting was held with members of the Derby Youth Offending team to see whether we can get a more useful attendance from their clients.
The Booking Hall received a number of visitors and field the usual useful phone calls. The first booking was made by our new long term customer, Harsco Track Technologies, for later in the week.
The joy of preparing the end of month invoices brought a spirit of rejoicing!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Progress Sunday 25th January 2009

Good evening all,

A bright winter day with many visitors looking around the station and many volunteers on site.

The Maintenance Team were out in force today as a sudden realisation hit them that after today there would be only three more weekends to prepare rolling stock ready for the onslaught of the 2009 timetable! With this in mind, no progress was made on the Class 119 Restoration project as efforts were being concentrated on stock which was needed for the gala and timetable instead. A new battery was fitted to the Class 108 trailer and all new batteries were tested today with a test run being achieved satisfactorily. The realisation also brought the 03 team out and work was done on both locomotives.

The Carline Drains and Co were out in force today with a 'new' recruit and much pumping was done in the Duffield direction. More noise was heard at the back of the shed too with work being done on No.3. It was kind of strange though as generators were in stereo with Severn Trent Water working hard to fix a burst water main that was causing a river on Coldwell Street.

A brief break in the wet weather of late allowed the painting of the Mermaid to be progressed to pretty much completion by the conscript of the day.

Many thanks,

John Ball

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Progress Saturday 24th January 2009

Evening all,

Another minus minus sort of a day where the weather was clear but where temperatures were hovering just above zero.

Most of the activity today was on the 119 restoration project where many heads were scratched over the lighting circuits laid out by BR in the 1980s. After these had been fathomed and simplified, new bulb holders were installed and the lights actually work from the batteries!

Speaking of batteries, 51188 had a new cell installed and managed to start but is still out of service pending more testing.

Elsewhere, some logging and drainage was done and a conscript scraped leaves from the Narrow Gauge sleeper-ends. In the Booking Hall, Garth was having a creative moment with the stock.

Mike Evans

Friday, 23 January 2009

Friday 23rd January 2008

Dear all
A gentle day with the IMT dropping our remaining ballast, just a few tonnes, along the straight between mileposts 139 and 140 as a first gesture after the ditching work. All three ballast hoppers are now empty and can be refilled with the appropriate stone in due course.
The Booking Hall received a few visitors and new shelves were erected to improve the display area. The EVRA shop received and despatched stock and the interior of the Model Railway container was in the process of being painted out.
Much planning and preparation was achieved for a busy week ahead.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Thursday 22nd January 2008

Dear all
I am happy to be back amongst you and witness the first tentative steps with our very splendid new road/rail machine. Mike Billings and Phil started to gauge the actions of the flail on the car park bank and then proceeded to the Incline to hone their skills. The effect was truly amazing with a first pass being achieved from Platform 3 to Spring Close in a period of about 3 hours. This machine will certainly transform our lives!
Meanwhile, everyone else took the Works Train to Shottle where a commendable 11 sleepers were changed and the temporary crossing strengthened for next week's dumper work. Gorsey Bank's crossing lights battery had a change over and sundry phone calls fielded.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Wed 21st Jan

Evenin' all,

Another cold but sunny day saw Rod and Mary carrying out repairs to
the Guards door of the GLV Buffet car, although the door frame is
fairly rotten around the hinges, they managed to get it operational
again. One of those Roun-tuit jobs.

The logging Department further increased stocks, and the Booking Hall
opened its doors to several visitors.

The Per way team headed to Shottle with more spares, and attacked
Panel 6 (the one with the Raised Check Rail). This had to be spot
resleepered due to the check rail. Despite the slow and delicate nature
of the work, six sleepers were changed. The temporary crossing was re-
inforced ready for action next week.

Sperry Rail Int were in force with one of their machines testing on
the Gorsey Bank line.


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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Tues 20th Jan

Evenin' all,

A bright, cold day with plenty of wintery sunshine.

A little light shunting and the per way team headed south, A wagon
load of sleepers were unloaded and sorted - these were the ones from
Whatstandwell. The train then continued sout and met up with the very
small VCT (most of them had thrown a 'sicky') A wagon was loaded with
logs ready for a customer, and much recovered metalwork was also loaded
up. On theway back, the concrete catchpit rings were unloaded ready for
the new pit to be built shortly. Attention was also paid to the
southern cross drain-the sheer volume of water was overwhelming the
existing outfall.

As mentioned the |VCT were at Shottle and soon had a good fire
blazing, burning brash that has been cut down during the last few

Back at base the Gleam Steam Team were hard at it, burnishing the
boiler of No.3. They also started upgrading the small road/rail lorry
especially the crane motor.

Our Man in Havana came in from the cold, actually Martin said it was
slightly warmer in Cuba - he failed to bring back any more orange
clothing from one of the Bay's in Cuba.

The Logging department were baffled by the reduction in the size of
their stockpile of logs. It appears that someone has been helping
themselves. They soon got into their stride, with Geoff coming to
report progress every few minutes.

Steve and Will completed work on one of the 03's so that is now
available once it has been run in again. Upon inspection, the brake
block on the donor Ruston were no better than the ones they were going
to replace, so some bits were recovered before th skeleton loco was
returned toits berth.

Some new stock arrived for the shop and were sorted, these include
jigsaws featuring our own stock, new mugs and a money box.. Several
visitors turned up for tours of the yard.

Tomorrow sees work at Wirksworth Yard, with some light shunting and
s0me BH chairs been stored whilst other Pan 11 are loaded and taken to
Shottle. So please report to Wirksworth at the normal time.


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Monday, 19 January 2009

Monday 19th Jan

Evenin' all,

A lovely quiet day saw a landrover trip down the line with prospective
clients. The ditching work on the Racing Straight certainly has had a
good flushing out with the storms - so far, so good! There was flooding
furtyher down the line, with the river nearly reaching bursting point
in places.

The DMU fleet had a shuffle round after some battery work.

A late delivery of fuel means that work willcontinue on the Racing
Straight tomorrow, so everyone to report to Wirksworth please -
departure time 09.30.

Also a quiet day in the Booking Hall - the weather keeping people


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Sunday, 18 January 2009

Progress Report Sunday 18th January 2009

Dear all,

A pleasant sunny day saw activity on many fronts and the sun brought out
a large number of visitors.

The painting of the Mermaid continued but was held up later in the day
by running out of paint, with the stores now only containing Creosote
and Procor Blue. This will of course shortly be renamed Wyvernrail
Infrastructure Blue and may well appear on a wagon near you. Meanwhile,
in some green DMUs (Iris and the Bubble) various conscripts cleaned the
windows. Down the yard further conscripts were detailed to the removal
of accumulated rubbish at the north end of down sidings 1 and 2,
including the removal of a large barrel of sleeper screws which were
then filed in the correct stillage (box) round the corner.

On the engineering front, the division of steam locomotive redevelopment
engaged themselves in the descaling of the firebox, the welding of the
boiler and work on the regulator of Ferrybridge Number 3. Work was also
undertaken on the class 31 and the DMU team had a cup of tea and a
consultation about class 119s. Having had a cup of tea, they then set
about sourcing some batteries and parts for the Met Cam and the 108
trailer car which are out of service pending these parts. There then
appeared to follow an Awayday to another heritage railway close to Mrs
Murkins Butterley Eel and Whelk Stall where more tea was had and an
engine placed on the ground for reasons to do with head gaskets, at
which point my eyes glazed over.

Finally, new timetables were delivered to Duffield and the station there
was inspected. Interestingly Duffield is beginning to look significantly
different to its incarnation of the last few years.

All the best,

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Progress Report Sat 17th Jan 2009

Dear All,
On a sunny but cool day a small but perfectly formed team of volunteers showed up for work. They were aided by a large turn out of Young Offenders, who cleaned the windows internally on four of the DMUS and the Bogies on IRIS.  
As this way happening a second set of Offenders were employed on moving some Costly Railway Aggregate in Piles, from under cemetery lane bridge to create a walking route to the bonfire site. This work was overseen by a member of the logging department.
Else where on site the DMU Engineering team were in action. 51188's batteries had a further cell changed and was charged, however she still refuses to start up. 51360/56224 were run up together as a pair and both heaters were found to be in working order. A problem with 56224's batteries was discovered and they have been declared life expired.  
Further progress was achieved in 51073. Some external window frames were stripped of paint, and a general tidy and clean up was carried out.
Meanwhile back at the station the Carriage and Wagon Superintendent manned the booking hall.  He was overwhelmed buy the large turnout of visitors that came to see us, and managed to extract a considerable amount of money from them.
All in all a rather good day.
John Stokes on behalf of Mike Evans.


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Friday, 16 January 2009

Friday 16th Jan

Evenin' all,

The end of a very tiring week along the Racing Straight. The rest of
the Down Cess from Alton Manor to Callow Park has been scraped. The two
Catchpits in the middle of knowhere have been removed, the concrete
rings have been recovered and will be used to form the new pit on the
site of the cross drain. There is a lot of tidying up to be done. This
will be carried out next week. Hylton and Richard did what they could
but a lot more hands are required.

The Met Cam had attention to the batteries, a dead cell was changed.

There was the report of a car crash on Derby Road 4 where two cars had
collided on the bridge. I sped down there but the car had gone through
a hedge missing the stonework.

Garth had a quiet time in the Booking Hall, but he had the time to
review the stock.

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Thursday, 15 January 2009

Thurs 15th Jan

Evenin' all,

A very busy start to the day, with Hylton and David N taking Steve and
the digger to the Racing straight, whilst I gave the safety brief to
some paying guests. Once the works train returned, then the VCT
departed in the yellow landrover for Shottle.

Once they had departed, the yellow machine was on-tracked for its
brake teste in the yard. Once it had gone up the Incline, the white
landrover was ontracked. When I had confirmation that the digger and
VCT were clear of the main line, the white landrover escorted the
yellow machine to Duffield and back - quite an involved activity.

The digger has again concentrated on the Racing Straight, with nore
activity around the Farmers bridge and a scrape along the Up Cess, once
again releasing large quantities of trapped water. This work will
continue tomorrow.

The VCT plus other members went again south of Shottle, where a huge
bonfire was soon blazing with much felled material been dispossed of.
Also initial attention was paid to a culvert.

The Logging department as well as the Booking Hall were covered and
both did business.

We have not started spoil moving at Shottle this week, as we
concentrated our efforts on the Racing Straight.


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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Wed 14th Jan

Evenin' all,

Once again work centered on the Racing Straight and the main outfall
half way down the straight, which has caused many problems in the past.
The drain was found buried about 6' down and was broken for about 8' of
the length. Wedged inside was a wedge cut from a passing tree which had
formed a dam. A temporary repair was made but some construction work is
required in that location.

Another part load of logs were brought back to base, whilst other
members of the team cleared sleepr ends and created the gaps under the
rails. Another day will be required tomorrow.

More stocktaking in the EVRA shop , more chopping of bags of firewood,
even a couple of visitors to the Booking Hall. Two members were due for
training on the Class 20, but the instructor must have got lost in the
foggy conditions.

Tomorrow sees the digger being transported to site, the works train
returning to line three, the VCT landrover zooming to Shottle and off
tracking, as a vehicle is carrying out a whole line 1530 test.


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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Tues 13th Jan

Evenin' all,

Today we revelled in warm sunshie, what a change from yesterday.

The Digger was transported to site and statrted work on the Racing
Straight again The Per way team were also joined by members of the VCT.
Between them, sleeper ends were cleared off and longsince pre-cut tree
trunks were chopped, as well as other growth was cleared. A very
usefull day with much progress.

The Stedam Team carried on with boiler work on No 3. The Boiler
Inspector attended and will be responding to the team shortly. The
Foundation Ring was transported to the Weighbridge for welding work.

The Booking Hall has been emptied of boxes that were delivered

The lights that were added around the Admin block were wired in to
remove the temporary wiring and are now more permanent.

Log chopping was in full swing and more logs will be brought up

Tomorrow sees the first works train departing at 08.15 and then
returning to Wirksworth for locl changing. The Class 20 will be then
used for the works train and will allow for driver training.


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Monday, 12 January 2009

Mon 12th Jan

Evenin' all,

A day of non stop heavy rain (why couldn't it have been like last
week) saw the mini digger returning to the Racing Straight to get to
the root of the problem. Steve managed to pull out over a dozen tree
stumps to help get the ditch working. Patrick, todays driver assisted
by keeping the Brake van nice and warm!

Vince (the Elder) and David N answered last weeks call for assistance
today where we had a delivery of 100 concrete sleepers. Some were
loaded onto the trolleys that arrived last week, whilst the rest were
put to ground by the entrance to the tunnel. Fortunately it was raining
to stop us from over heating.

The Booking hall ended up looking like a warehouse, with boxes of
timetables as well as boxes of donated books - some for us but many for
an offsite customer who hopefully will collect them soon!

Tomorrow, as stated earlier, the first works train will leave
Wirksworth at about 08.15 to drop the digger off. When it has returned
to Wirksworth it will set off again with assorted Per way and VCT
members for a full day on the Racing straight where both teams skills
will be required. The Cross drain will be cleared out and sleeper ends
cleared. more cutting and trimming will then ,hopefully, leave the area
ready for the flail in due course. Please bring wellies!!


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Sunday, 11 January 2009

Progress Sunday 11th January 2009

Good evening,

A much welcomed break today from the freezing temperatures of late, with progress on many fronts. The warmer weather bringing a few visitors through the Booking Hall.

Behind the shed the Dream Steam Team were in action whilst at the front of it there was activity on two fronts. A small team continued with the Class 119 major restoration project whilst the Class 20 Locomotive Society helped their locomotive make wind for the first time in a few months.

A bit closer to the station, a team of two conscripts and minders painted the Mermaid wagon and it actually looks quite good (although I am told it is only undercoat).

At Duffield, Carline Drains and Co went to investigate more drains.

John Ball

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Good morning everybody,

For anybody who has our Blogspot bookmarked (or who is reading this after the event), we apologise for an unplanned website outage caused by our web hosting company. The outage started on the evening of Saturday 10th January 2009 and is still continuing now. We hope to have the site back up shortly.


Saturday, 10 January 2009

Progress Saturday 10th January 2009

Good evening all,

Yet another day with sub-zero temperatures where a few brave volunteers attended and made good progress. In fact, we even inducted a new brave young volunteer as well, who had visited us on a Santa Special train and liked us so much that he decided to come along and help our cause.

Today, apart from some clerical work in the Booking Hall, pretty much all of the progress was on the Class 119 major restoration project. There were alot of volunteers on this project today with people all falling over themselves inside the vehicle as the heater was on. When a workforce of six-strong turn up, real progress can be made.

Mike Evans

Friday, 9 January 2009

Fri 9th January

Evenin' all,

A quiet but cold day with little activity, an ideal day to play

The IMT checked the line from Duffield, and replaced a fishplate which
had been put on back to front, as well as tightening a few nuts! They
also walked the Incline These regular patrols are always finding little
bits and pieces and are able to remedy them.

No visitors, just a few phone calls


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Thursday, 8 January 2009

Thurs 8th Jan

Evenin' all,

The VCT were strengthened by members of the Per Way team as they
started work south of Shottle. On the way down they cleared some
further tress at 49 steps and kept the fire going. At Shottle, a 3 fire
day saw a couple of hundred yards felled and burnt, so they are on
their way to Duffield!

A number of trolleys arrived from our new customer and these are
stored atv the northern end of the Museum Line, their loads of concrete
sleepers arrive on Monday.

Poor David W felt very lonely in the Booking Hall as he had no trade
apart from a couple of sales at lunchtime, and those were from members.

Much in the way of admin work was also undertaken.


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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Wed 7th Jan

Evenin' all,

Well, what a lot of interest about 'breathers'. Between Idridgehay and
Shottle, we have about one and a half miles of continuously welded rail
-well it will be in due course. Rail expands and contracts with
heat/cold. On jointed track of 60', the expansion is taken up at the
rail joints which expand or contract only a small amount. Over 1.5
miles this movement can be quite large. To conpensate for this movement
at either end we have breather switches aka expansion gapd, where the
rails are cut along the last 18" or so lengthways, one rail is fixed
and the one attached to the CWR slides back and forth to take account
iof rail movement. Our rails have not been serviced for many years and
had seized up fully tight. The best way to open the gap is to unclip
the cwr on a really cold day so that the rail contracts, as it does so,
it breaks the rust seal, which is what occured. The ends are then
covered in grease including all fishing surfaces. When the rails heat
up, the gap will close again. If there was no movement the rail would
still expoand in hot weather, but instead of the rail getting longer,
it would bow outwards and the track would spread.
This treatment allows for natural expansion over the last 130 meters
only, at either end, the remaining rail between the two ends can then
either have a natural stress (rail temperature 27 - 34 degrees) or can
be machine stressed. This will be done once welding has been completed.

We had planned to do the Shottle end today but the temperature rose to
a balmy 5 degrees. As that end is on the downhill end of the CWR it
would have to have been pulled back further to open the gap, as owing
to some rail creap extra pressure has been put on the breather, this
will have to wait for another day.

However, other work was carried out at Shottle including the creation
of a temporary roadway in the yard to allow the spoil mountain to be
moved, the RRAP had more stone dropped on it to allow road/rail
vehicles to on and off track easier., sleepers were moved as were
concrete fence posts and bags of clips/pads etc. More logs were
collected on the return trip.

Some visitors were given the grand tour, which may lead to new

A number of visitors arrived for a look around and spent a couple of
bob in the Booking Hall. More log cutting and sales. Pat Craft spent
most of the day carrying out a sortout and stocktake.


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Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Tues 6th Jan

Evenin' all,

It was very cold this morning with temperature readings of -4 degrees
at 0900, this caused some problems with starting the loco. However
things soon started working.

The Per way team went to Idridgehay and the Breather Switch at the
north end of the CWR. This had been rusted shut for many years and
obviously not working. The scientic approach was used. With the rail
being so cold 100 mts of both Up and Down rail was unclipped on the CWR
side. The temperature then caused the rail to contract and open the gap
in the Switch. Copious quantities of grease was applied to the joint,
which should now work better. The rails were then clipped back up again
(Rail Clip Down Temperature -1). This is the first time that we have
undertaken such a task, and not many other Heritage lines can do it. A
load of logs were brought back.

The VCT visited the 39 steps (or however many there are) and set about
felling more trees, they managed a good fire to keep the winter chill

The Dream Steam Team were heard banging and otherwise making other
technical noises and ended the day no further forward. They are still
trying to free the Foundation Ring of the firebox of No 3.

More logs were chopped ready for more chilly customers. The Dumper
truck was also started ready for its major work next week.

Tomorrow sees more work on track so all please report to Wirksworth -
train leaves 0930


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Monday, 5 January 2009

Mon 5th Jan

Evenin' all,

A cold and snowy day with little activity. The scrap skip was replaced
(by one not quite as scrappy). Also a day when businesses returned to
work, so the e-mails and telephone were on the go for much of the day.

Tomorrow hopefully sees a return to normal work here. The Per way
train will depart from Wirksworth at 0930 and will be returning to
Wirksworth each day this week, we had hoped to try something different,
but that has been postponed until next week.

Next week we will be using a machine and will require train crew for
the works train ready to depart from Wirksworth at about 0800 on
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - any takers.


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Sunday, 4 January 2009

Progress Sunday 4th January 2009

Good evening,

Lots of volunteers turned out today creating activity on many fronts throughout this bitterly cold January day.

This morning, a journey down the line was made in the lorry and logs were collected from near Idridgehay to keep the logging department busy for the next few days. At the same time, the passenger department were busy doing all sorts of jobs including painting, mending and installing! The station and yard area was generally tidied up and jobs were ticked off the list.

Down towards the shed, 03158 had a thorough clean down with an oily rag to make it look sparkling whilst 03084 had various bits of preparation done ready for a top coat of paint when the weather warms up. Iris also had her bogies cleaned up to make them look better too. Some of the 119 restoration team were in action again with much sorting being done to ensure that there are enough comfy seats for the passengers to sit on.

The Dream Steam Team were also in action as well, making lots of noise.

I'm sorry if I have missed somebody off, there seemed to be people all over the place!

Steve Lyne

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Progress Saturday 3rd January 2009

Evening all,

Another bitterly cold day, with a reasonable turnout of volunteers.

First thing this morning, the Booking Hall welcomed the party of walkers that had booked a charter train. They parked at the station and walked to Idridgehay. It took them just under three hours to get there and they were pleased to see a train waiting to pick them up at Idridgehay station with the heaters bubbling. They were extremely complementary of the line and seemed to enjoy their day out despite the weather.

The Passenger Department took the opportunity to do some light maintenance today, with new soap despensers being installed in the toilets. A new fridge was also installed in the Booking Hall so that sandwiches can be stored correctly.

Down the yard, the Class 20 had its batteries fettled and progress was also made on the Class 119 major restoration. The restoration team are now dreaming of the arrival of shiny scews and the discovery of a metal plate! Other work also continued on the narrow guage in preparation for it opening to the public.

Mike Evans

Friday, 2 January 2009

Friday 2nd January 2009

Dear all
A gentle day with the track patrol concentrating on the Barnsley Lane to Gorsey Bank section tightening fishplate bolts and during the process both level crossing lights were checked. A large turnout materialised for the Class 117 restoration with their endeavours including the movement of many vehicles to enable the donor Ruston being moved to the pit for brake block recovery.
Faraday had a quick check over and the Booking Office welcomed just a few visitors.
PS - It may help to set the scene for the year ahead with all its financial uncertainties. Our ambition is to continue the Dash to Duffield with a view to completing the "basic" railway by September 2010 which sets a target of refurbishing one mile of track every four months! Our estimates for materials including rails, sleepers and ballast, hire of tamper and various machines, welding up of the Idridgehay to Shottle section together with the reconstruction of a platform at Duffield are of the order of £350,000, again quite a challenge.
It is likely that trading will have to fund a great deal of this expenditure together with further take up of the share issue. Happily our contracts with Tube Lines, Sperry Rail and Harsco Track Technologies are in place and will assist considerably but the success, or otherwise, of our other "commercial" activities will determine whether we can keep the supply of materials etc. up to the pace at which they are consumed.
Phil and I will be doing all possible to maximise income to ensure we can deliver within the timescale we have set ourselves but, as ever, we rely on the good will and support of all of you to achieve this ambitious goal.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Years Day 2009 Progress

Dear all,

A day in which a huge amount of work was done (only kidding). The entire staff arrived at sun up (10.00 am) and had a cup of tea and several aspirin. Once the pounding had died down a brush was extracted from the cleaning shed and the front of the Booking Hall was quietly swept for about 3 hours. In the meantime the possibility of washing a DMU was investigated and after a special new end was put on the pressure washer the tap was turned on. Unfortunately the hose was frozen so that was that, and it was time for another cup of tea. Meanwhile the sweeping had stopped and several posters were straightened up in order to be certain they were really level and that the wonk wasn't due to Smirnoff Ice. As the day wore on various visitors appeared in increasing numbers and were admitted entirely on the basis that they made no loud noises. An inspection of the yard resulted in a large pile of Complete Railway Aggregate Product being found and this was moved to a new home in very a small bucket. Back at the Booking Hall, a lull in the proceedings resulted in the evacuation of the Booking Hall fridge, which had been found to be Whores de Combat, the usual checks of changing the fuse and sticking a screwdriver in the mains having resulted in no joy.

All the best,