A bleak, cold and wet day that did little to raise the spirits. Nonetheless, steady progress was made on many fronts with DRE making a lot of noise as the locking for Shottle North Ground Frame comes slowly together. (Locking is the mechanical process by which the levers can only be operated in a predetermined order) The VCT initially recovered a gate post north of Idridgehay that had rotted at the base to use as a pattern for a replacement. They then moved onto fence repairs just north of Shottle and managed a three fire day with vegetation clearance in Shottle Yard and around the Shottle footpath crossing.
A lone PW team member cleared ballast away from the concrete sleeper ends at Shottle to allow for slewing of the track next week. The Komatsu was in action flailing between Shottle and south of Hazelwood tackling a particularly nasty section of blackthorn beyond Hazelwood road bridge.
A warm glow was created by events surrounding Hydra, the first product of Wirksworth Locomotive Works, as new brake blocks were fitted and the brake rigging freed. The loco had an oil change and fired up for initial trials.After a few runs up and down Road 2 the challenge of the Incline was taken on with very satisfactory results. Hydra reflects great credit to all involved who have turned a rather shabby engine into something we can be proud of and should make a considerable impact on our ability to complete the Duffield project on time. More trials are to come together with conversion from air start to electric start before we can finally commission the locomotive.
The Booking Hall fielded the usual phone calls and approached the end of the AGM mail out preparation.