Monday, 31 August 2009

Progress Sunday 31st August 2009

Dear all,

Quite a jolly day really, no weather issues and sufficient visitors to
keep us busy all day, equivalent to Saturday. The day with a driver
guest and his family expressed themselves deeply satisfied. All parts of
our empire were fully operational, the Idridgehay service, the Ravenstor
service and the narrow gauge; the booking hall, buffet, bookshop, model
railway and Auntie Wainrights Emporium of Curious Knick-Knacks. The
buffet car sold out of sandwiches and teacakes and a run was had on
bacon rolls and the Victoria sandwich cake, partly due to Mr Tarry
manfully waving a piece of it around every time a train came in.

The DMUs continued to receive various maintenance and a replacement
water pump was obtained for one of them. A single cadet succeeded in
achieving what 10 pressed men hadn't which was the scraping and priming
of 3/4 of an entire dogfish using the best part of B&Q's brush supply, a
long handled roller and, in the absence of a paint tray, the usual
alternative found in all good households: a wheelbarrow. Said dogfish
will be fairly obvious for a few days as the primer was Regional
Railways Light Blue, but the two grey topcoats it will receive in due
course will render it back to its conventional self.

Many thanks to everyone concerned for your efforts this weekend, in
which we happily did at least as well as the corresponding weekend last

All the best,

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Progress Saturday 29th August 2009

Hi all,
A hectic but profitable day with some warm sunshine at times. Many members of public turned out to sample our August Bank Holiday event weekend, with trains running in both directions as well as the narrow gauge. The booking hall, buffet car, EVRA shop and EVRA book stall all did really well too. Our 'Day with the Driver' guest was also very complimentary and thoroughly enjoyed his visit.
The painting of the Dogfish continued by todays conscript and the 31 received anti-rust attention.
It really doesn't sound much to write down but lots of effort goes in to ensuring these event days run smoothly, so many thanks to all concerned.
Mike Evans via Leigh

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Friday, 28 August 2009

Friday 28th August 2009

Dear all
As we count down to the last Bank Holiday of the year Anton has been touring the County to put out the customary signs to say we are in business. Judging by the amount of catering stores being delivered today I trust we see the crowds descend!
The CEO Fence Painting made a start this morning and was rained off and then bravely returned for a second attempt - three cheers for persistence in this dreadful summer weather. The IMT had a mixed day which commenced by discharging the Lowmac and Flatrol of products for the logging dept. and the light scrap skip. This was whilst they waited for today's stone delivery which was delayed by a slight mix up at the quarry. Nonetheless, the ballast eventually arrived allowing for the Dogfish and Shark Ballast Plough to travel south and complete the ballasting of the main line through Shottle. On arrival at Shottle a unique consist of the road/rail dumper and redundant dmu bogie headed north with the now empty ballast train following at a respectable distance to "catch" the bogie if it escaped from the dumper. All was well and both "trains" arrived safely at Wirksworth.
Meanwhile a 2 Car dmu had left at the crack of dawn, well 0930, to undertake pruning between Idridgehay and Duffield and achieved some success allowing these vehicles, when necessary, to travel to Duffield without ruining the paintwork. It was a delight to welcome Evans the Paint to Wirksworth to top up supplies for his ongoing repainting of the Idridgehay gates and associated fencing - our oldest working volunteer is still going strong and looks fitter than ever. Look out for him in action this weekend.
A two man electrical team wrestled with wiring up the Wirksworth foot crossing lights and are nearly there.
Not a bad day.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Thursday 27th August 2009

Dear all
What a day! Activities have spanned the line between Ravenstor and Hazelwood with the Ravenstor public service being well supported as well as entertaining a Day with a Driver. This particular participant had added value with an opportunity to drive Tommy as it shunted a Grampus and Tube wagon to Platform 1 to allow all the drainage material for Duffield to be loaded and clear the ramp to the former dust dock. After the last Ravenstor service an extra run was made to Idridgehay which was also well supported.
Down south at Hazelwood there was a full day of mini digger operation under the supervision of the VCT to improve the access road and prepare the ground for the establishment of a road/rail ramp. This operation revealed that the ground on the Up (west) side was predominantly ash ballast and the material has been spread to provide a base for a working area. Opportunity was taken to dig down to the bottom of the sleepers so that the rotten ones can be changed in advance of the ramp being created.
Less far south at Shottle an additional panel of track was completed on the "loop" and DRE has put the Loop point on the Ground Frame at Shottle North. The Works Train then returned to Wirksworth and concentrated on removing various lineside items between Idridgehay and Wirksworth as part of Operation Hoover.
Pat Craft kindly strimmed the platform at Shottle enabling Phil to apply weed killer immediately afterwards to try and deal with the outbreak of Mares Tail that has been very prolific this year. Pat has also dealt with the east side walkway bank between Platform 1 and Wash Green together with an area around the Wash Green Ground Frame.
Back at base the Director of Fence Painting was in full production although he assured me had properly clocked off and on for his lunch break. The EVRA Shop, Buffet and Booking Hall all enjoyed a profitable day.
At the end of the day the Dogfish were put into the Wash Green Dock for further deliveries of ballast tomorrow with the aid of L J Breeze and our Day with a Driver remained with us until that operation was complete leaving site at around 1800hrs. The Shell - BP tank wagon is now complete and shiny ready to be returned to the Museum Siding.
Another very satisfactory day.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Wed 26th August

Belated evenin' all, (hot bath called first)

A wet and windy day thanks to Bill aparently!

DMU maintenance continued in the Shed area, constant routine
maintenance is required.

The 'Day with a Driver' spent time on passenger carrying duties on the
Ravensto service but also went to Idridgehay with a party from Derby
Mercia Rotary Club who had a good run followed by a afternoon tea in
the Buffet Car.

The Buffet, Booking Hall and EVRA shop were open all day for a steady
flow of visitors.

Idridgehay was visited for routine checks and maintenance of the
station area and the Level Crossing gates.

The Per Way and S&T team were at Shottle, where another 4 panels were
boxed in following the stone drop, 2 rails were brought up from Shottle
South to extend the Loop, the rails were positioned using the Komatsu
and were placed on sleepers ready for spiking up. The Komatsu also
positioned a rodding/crank bench at Shottle North.

At Duffield, a digger was employed to start clearing the Wet Bed north
of the tunnel, much vegetation was moved and the whole area was scraped
to Bottom Sleeper Level in an attempt to lower the water table before
work starts there next month. Man with shovel required to clear off the
sleeper ends of weeds etc. The drains at the foot of the sleeper wall
were rodded out and water is again flowing from the site through the
tunnel. A plastic pipe was found at the southern end of the ditch near
the foot bridge, this was rodded but we used all the rods and never
reached the end of the pipe. A good start.

The machine was then transported to Hazlewood where the VCT will use
it in the yard there. The VCT manager has agreed to meet the operator
at 0800, we'll see!

More work at Shottle tomorrow (hope its drier).


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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Tues 25th Aug

Evenin' all,

Yesterday's stone delivery finally arrived at about 1000 today. Whilst
waiting a Pick up freight was used to collect S&T pieces from around
the yard and transport them to Shottle.

The S&T team completed more fitting to the Shottle North point work
leading to the Loop, stools and benches were run out ready for more
work over the next couple of days.

The Per way tgeam, started changing sleepers where the temporary
vehivle crossing was at Shottle, new baseplates were fitted.

The Class 20 took the ballast train to Shottle where 48 tons of stone
were dropped and ploughed. A start was then made on boxing in, the end
result is quite pleasing .

The VCT were working south of Hazlewood again and again managed 3
fires. They are getting towards the end of this task and have opened up
about 1/3 mile.

Todays 'Day with a driver' started on the Gorsey Bank line, had a run
on the 20, was able to film a stone drop followed by a ride back in the
Shark. After lunch he went on the Ravenstor line for a bit. He had a
wonderful time.

Work continued around the Maintenance shed area, with work on N0 3,
with the fitting of more parts as well as painting. The Yard crane was
over the Pit and some lubrication and cleaning was carried out. Inside
the shed the Tank wagon continues to be repainted.

The EVRA shop and Booking Hall were opened and modest sums were taken.

Tomorrow sees work concentrated in Shottle Yard.


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Monday, 24 August 2009

Monday 24th August 2009

Dear all
It has been a partial sort of day where machines and the weather conspired to frustrate our best intentions. The plot for the IMT today was to Kango the Car Park siding but the generator went on the blink and shore power did not quite fit the bill. Nonetheless there was a little success with the project. They then turned their attention to the Incline keeping an eye out for anticipated ballast deliveries. These failed to appear and the upshot was that the Quarry had the delivery planned for tomorrow!
Phil and I set sail in the Multicar to weed treat the whole line and all was well to Duffield and back to Shottle but then the heavens opened closing that exercise down for today.
Shell BP tank wagon 6090 is now finished in black and there just remains some detail to the picked out in yellow tomorrow.
The Booking Hall was open for business and welcomed a few visitors.
Tomorrow's plan includes the Works Train departing as planned. The Class 20 training will include delivery of the stone train to Shottle as and when the deliveries are made - the first load is promised for 0800.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Progress Report Sunday the 23rd of August

Dear all,

The weather proved fine and a steady number of passengers availed
themselves of the services to Ravenstor and Idridgehay. The book shop
and buffet did a reasonably good trade. The day with a driver went very
well and all enjoyed the experience.

A magistrate of conscripts were employed on a number of tasks including
various weeding, as well as further scraping and painting of the
dogfish, a project which is likely to take several weeks due to these
wagons being quite complicated. The final colour scheme will be as near
to "Mainline" infrastructure livery as can be reasonably be achieved.
This livery, for those of you with an interest, was known as the "Dutch"
livery and I am told by our Carriage and Wagon colleagues that it
"consists of Tulip Yellow and Dyke Grey". So far only primer and
undercoat have been applied. In addition, work began on the green
ballast dock container and this will presently become magnolia, a task
which will also necessitate some removing of Complete Railway Aggregate
Piles which have accumulated near it. The station cat, known to you all
as Spank, being very nearly on the receiving end of a coat of magnolia
having been taken by surprise by the Sunday activity in this area.

In engineering, the class 31 received attention to its many parts and
its appearance; the narrow gauge Lister received routine maintenance,
and LJ Breeze was also in receipt of some attention in the form of
painting to its buffers and other parts.

The painting theme continued with the valances of the platform 2/3
waiting shelter being dealt with. At the end of the day the dogfish were
shunted into the ballast line ready for forthcoming work and a shunt of
DMUs took place.

Many thanks to all,
J Ball
Duty Manager

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Progress Report Saturday 22nd August

Dear all,

In the absence of Higher Powers (Austin Powers lesser known brother) a brief report for those of you desperate for news. An entirely satisfactory day took place in passenger services with the tills ringing all around the station. A happy day with a driver was also undertaken. The DMUs received new rubber bands (I kid you not) and the staff at Duffield borrowed the mower, doubtless an indication of the work taking place there today. In a late report from yesterday a new green signal glass was provided by DRE for the Ravenstor up distant, this was duly fitted and the signal was therefore painted in celebration (of course).

All the best,
Basil Exposition

Friday, 21 August 2009

Fri 21st Aug

Evenin' all,

A day of April showers got the Per way team dreched and then baked.
Some ballast was dropped at Shottle yard to build up the Road Rail
Access Point. The chance was also taken to start tidying the site and
unloading materials cllected following the Shotte relay. Next wee sees
a return to Shottle wih work there all week, starting on Monday.
On return to Wirksworth, another shunt to form up the stone train
ready for refilling first thing on Monday morning, as well as loading
hundreds of nylons for the Duffield job.

This afternoon saw he return of the Komatsu links, ready for fitting,
so that the flailing gang can get back towork.

The DMU maintenance team had the Bubble Car on shed and cleaning and
painting of the ends was undertaken.

The Booking Hall was open nd a few visitors came for a look around.


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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Thursday 20th August 2009

Dear all
A very mixed day that commenced with the early arrival of Fred, our Day with a Driver client and Nick a new VCT volunteer who had cycled some 30 miles to be with us - no wonder he is so thin. As Patrick and Fred prepared Iris for the day's services a very smartly suited gentleman arrived seeking advice and guidance as to what he may see of the Cromford & High Peak Railway. The face looked familiar and it transpired that he was killing some time before attending the National Tramway Museum to unveil a plaque - a clue came when he said his name was Bill.
None other than Sir William McAlpine! You just never know who is going to turn up. As the 1020 Wirksworth to Ravenstor was about to depart I was pleased to host him on our Incline although he has a somewhat steeper one in his back garden. After his round trip he was restored to his chauffeur in time to honour his commitment at Crich.
The rest of the day included a thorough examination of L J Breeze followed by a driving experience by Fred. The pit was cleansed of accumulated muck and the Gatwick Express share supply was restored. DRE's bench making subsidiary was in production and many S&T parts was assembled and manufactured. More surveying at Duffield took place for the works to be accomplished in mid September which will include track and drainage. The sooner we deal with the drainage work the better as local helpful souls had blocked the existing drainage - they will find our ultimate solution a little more difficult to interfere with.
VCT had another very productive day that included a study of the north wicket gate at Gorsey Bank that had been "cracked" by a clever youth, removal of an overhanging tree at Travis Folly which affected the sight lines and a splendid three fire day south of Hazelwood.
The EVRA shop, Buffet and Booking Hall looked after the demands of today's passengers and visitors.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Wed 19th Aug

Evenin' all,

Another 'Day with a Driver', plus a charter managed to swell the
coffers, a steady stream of visitors enjoyed the sights. The EVRA
shop, Buffet Car etc were open for business.

The Per way gang were working south of Mp 135 3/4 and managed to
change 15 sleepers as well servicing 2 1/2 pairs of fishplates. The
Incline was treated with weedkiller as were Gorsey Bank Level crossing,
Idridgehay platform and Level Crossing, and Shottle yard and platform.

The S&T dept refurbished 20 roller stools and sorted some sretcher
bars for pointwork.

Well done to Stuart who has been working on the yard crane for some
time and has overcome a problem that has been taxing the little grey

Further work has been carried out on the Ex Tube wagon, and supplies
have started to arrive foe work at Duffield.


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Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Tues 18th Aug

Evenin' all,

Quite a busy day at Wirksworth, We had a 'Day with a Driver', as well
as a 'Drive a Diesel day', as well as normal services to Ravenstor
which carried reasonable passenger loadings. The Buffet car was also

The Concrete Bench Production Company (a wholly or partly owned
subsidury of DRE) was in mixing mode and created two further benches
for S&T work at Shottle. At the top end of the yard, the Per way team
were busy changing sleepers and kangooing some sleepers in the

The Dream Steam team managed to set the valves on No 3, as well as
wire brushing the funnel. They were also able to demonstrate that the
chasis will roll.

11520 and the Tank wagon were pressure washed as part of their
cleaning process.

The VCT continued working at Hazlewood south and managed 2 big fires
opening up more views. They have also cleared the footcrossing
sightlines from FP2 as far as FP5, these have also been numbered.

The Booking Hall, EVRA shop and the Model Railway were also opem

Tomorrow sees the Per Way team at Shottle.


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Monday, 17 August 2009

Monday 17th August 2009

Dear all
A pleasant start to the week weather-wise. Bubble Car M55006 received some care and attention including a repaint of the north end buffer beam. L50 left us this afternoon for Ruislip and stripping of the Incline Coach continued ready for removal of the roof tomorrow.
Attempts were made by the IMT to channel the surplus water affecting the track on the Incline under Cemetery Lane bridge with some success. The Maintenance Facility saw further action to cosmetically restore 11520 and the BP/Shell tank wagon which included the removal of algae built up over the years of open storage.
The Booking Hall welcomed a number of visitors and fielded the usual phone calls.
The Permanent Way Team should report to Wirksworth tomorrow to undertake work within the Yard due to the indisposition of the Works Train locomotive. The necessary tools will be gathered from Shottle by road.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Progress Sunday 16th August 2009

Evening all,
A very busy day today for my first day as duty manager. The weather was beautiful in the most part and it certainly seemed to bring out the travelling public, many of which were also shaking their purse upside-down in the buffet car. Today's "Day with the Driver" guest seemed to enjoy himself too.
DRE were also busy today with a variety of tasks as were the DMU team. They were noted as having a trip to a nearby railway this morning, followed by a trip to "The Kingfisher" for lunch (you would have thought this was a lovely country pub but it is actually a small burger van in a car park) before returning to base. Up on returning I am told they have painted many things! I am told that coming to Wirksworth is known locally as "going on a Wassex", does this mean that going to Butterley is known as "going on a Buttex"?
Todays conscript did some weeding whilst the ballast on the shed floor was also levelled to make it better to work on.
Many thanks to all concerned,
Mick Thomas via Leigh

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Saturday, 15 August 2009

Progress Saturday 15th August 2009

Hi all,
After what started as a dull day it seemed to turn out lovely and wam in the afternoon, which of course, brought out the public!
The booking hall, EVRA shop and buffet were perfectly able to handle the passengers today with the Bubble car bobbling up and down to Idridgehay all day. It seemed to have reasonable loadings and actually the last train of the day was quite full after a party of walkers paid us a visit!
Elsewhere, a loan member worked on the steam engine at the back of the shed whilst the DMU team decided to finally get round to painting the underframe on the 117, over a year since the job was started. The Met-Camms also had further cleaning to try and return them to a fit state after their endeavours.
Today we entertained both a "Day with the Driver" and a "Drive a Diesel" guest and both seemed to thorougly enjoy themselves. The Class 20 was in operation for this. Further work was done on the Class 31 as well in order to ready it for a role at September's Diesel Gala.
Mike Evans via Leigh

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Friday, 14 August 2009

Railcar Association Convention 2009

We are lucky enough to be hosting the annual Railcar Association Convention this year for the first time. Details of this event are starting to emerge and can be viewed via a link from the Events page.


Fri 14th Aug

Evenin' all,

An easy going sort of day Routine maintenance being the order of the
day, with the IMT completing the kangoing of Postern Lodge crossing and
partolling as far as Wirksworth.

The S&T team were busy in and around the Weighbridge making up benches
for Shottle North junction.

Final mopping out of the two car MetCam after its filming role, and
more work on 11520.

Only a handfull of visitors turned up.

The Komatsu had some attention, with various link pins being taken
away for attenrion - these had caused some problems whilst changing
attachments, and the links wer found to be out of shape, this is being


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Thursday, 13 August 2009

Thurs 13th Aug

Evenin' all,

Our day with a Driver called in on her way from Shetland, where she
has been for several weeks, on her way home in Norfolk. She had a
wonderful day and whilst possibly being our most senior person, she
really had a full day - not bad for someone who is 90 years young!

The Per way team cracked on again with resleepering and again managed
to change 20 sleepers near Derby Road N0 4 bridge north of Hazlewood.

The S&T team had a lovely day playing with concrete whilst making new
bases for some fixings for Shottle north, they also attended at Shottle
to carry out more work.

The Ravenstor service ran all day with fairly light loadings, the EVRA
shop and Buffet Car were open with limited takings.

The Narrow Gauge had some track maintenance as was in service briefly.
In the shed, more paint was applied to 11520.


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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Wed 12 Aug

Evenin' all,

What started out as a wet day, brightened up after lunch, and brought
the crowds out.

The Ravenstor train ran all day, with an extra to Idridgehay for the
benefit of a Day with a Driver and party. The guest had a marvellous

L50, the next Battery loco arrived ready for proving runs starting

Down the line, the S&T team continued with Shottle north, both
connecting up and filling in the holes of already completed work. The
per way team changed 20 sleepers, they are within 100 yards or so of
Derby Road No 4 bridge. They are in perhaps the worst section of line
on our network. Many of the replacement sleepers are Jarrah hardwood
(the next best thing to concrete) this slows down the replacement work
quite a lot.

Back at base, the Booking Hall and the Buffet car were working quite
well as the nice weather brought out the visitors this afternood. The
EVRA shop was also open and managed some trading.

Tomorrow sees the Per way team leaving from Shottle at about 0930.


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Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Tues 11th Aug

Evenin' all,

Firstly today, congratulations to John Ball, who has gained a BA
(Hons) degree from Nottingham Trent University in Health and Safety
John and Julie are in York at the moment.

Meanwhile, the Dream Steam Team had another successful day by
installing the pistons in No 3, as well as drilling the brake blocks
and adding more paint to various parts. 11520 had more rubbing down and
anti rusto added as well as some undercoat.

The Per way and S&T joined forces, (all 4 of them), they packed and
levelled the siding in Shottle yard, they also heated up, realligned
and tightned various components at Shottle north junction ready for
more connections.

The VCT continued work south of Hazlewood, and managed two fires.

Back at base, a machine visited us once again for more tests to be
carried out on its braking system, we gained a Profilling Bucket to add
to the Komatsu kit.

The Ravenstor train ran throughout the day and quite a few visitors
turned up. We had another Day with a Driver, who had an enjoyable day,
not only on the Bubble Car, but also on LJB and was able to see
shunting movements from a drivers point of view. The EVRA shop was also
open, as was the Model Railway .The Passenger Services Manager tried to
paint the platform lamposts, but the wrong shade of red had been
delivered (hopefully we wont find that engineering wagons have been
painted instead).

Tomorrow sees more resleepering south of MP 135 3/4. The Class 20 will
leave Wirksworth early to pick up the train at Shottle.


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Monday, 10 August 2009

Mon 10th Aug

Evenin' all,

After the mayhem of last week, it was back to the grind today.
'Castlebury' returned to being Wirksworth, with the riggers being
present and stripping the set. The Guards compartment of the Met Cam
was reduced to its normal size and the floor was repainted in its
proper continuous. Due to the continuous rain, no repainting could take
place of the platform lamps - still this will give Passenger Services
dept something to paint, other than per way vehicles.

The IMT visited Postern Lodge, where two welds were dropped on the
relay site during Saturday. They managed to lift and clip up the rails.
The welds were dropped as they were right in the centre of the still
crossing. They also backfilled the ballast 'roadway' which will be
compacted before more material is added. They then went to the film set
and unblocked a small dam in the drainage ditch, as well as checking
the fences. More routine work followed.

In the Maintenance shed, some anti rust material was applied to 11520,
to start to prepare it for an eventual repaint. but due to the damp
atmosphere, this anti rust is still wet.

Tomorrow sees the Per way team as well as the S&T team working in
Shottle yard, with no works train leaving from Wirksworth.


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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Progress Report Sunday 9th August 2009

Dear all,

Almost a scorcher today - delightfully hot weather which brought out a
steady number of passengers and visitors to the railway to enjoy the two
lines, and the various other facilities including the narrow gauge. The
day with a driver turned out to be a university student, and a jolly
time was had by himself and his friends throbbing around the yard while
the DMUs were being shunted, as well as with the usual services.

In the engineerium, the class 20 received a new pin for its
interior-exterior discombuberator and was successfully started having
been the subject of the full attention of its many staff who were out in
force today. The Met Cams received the attention of the senior fitter
and the vaseline has been scraped off for use in the shed and for
fitter's make up.

The weather being hot the gardeners were in attendance and the booking
hall embankment received a jolly good seeing to. The wideway also got a
little mowing before heat exhaustion set in. The station planters were
necessarily watered both at Wirksworth as well as at Duffield for which
an in depth report of the latter will without doubt be received before
sunup tomorrow.

The Duty Conscript was naturally appointed to the undercoating of the
trio of dogfish and these now appear in Shone's Improved Infrastructure
Grey on one side only.

A set of engine compartment doors were re-attached to shunter Kirtley to
render it less attractive to nesting warblers.

All the best,

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Progress Report Saturday the 8th of August 2009

Dear all,

A glorious summers day prevailed today and peace reigned throughout the
railway after our exertions during the week. The passenger service put
in a happily solid performance and visitors were also entertained to the
newly opened model railway display, a modest beginning but with plans
for a small empire no doubt.

Both the Day with a Driver and the Drive a Diesel parties were
satisfactorily entertained. In the process of the latter, the yard and
shed were shunted and the tank wagon, shunter 11520 and assorted DMUs
returned to their appointed places for work to continue on them. The met
cams and the bubble car were cleaned.

Work began towards painting the three dogfish wagons in our possession.
Every heritage railway seems to have some of these in varying degrees of
scrubbiness and ours will be less scrubby in a very soon moment.

All the best,

Friday 7th August 2009 - Supplementary 2

Dear all
It can now be reported that the last six days have seen the Railway involved in its largest and longest filming contract yet. The main areas of action have been Wirksworth Station where Platforms 1 & 2 were dressed to be "Castlebury" and an area near Callow Park School where dark deeds were witnessed. The rolling stock selected was the 2 Car Met-Cam which was "dressed" to be in the service of Pennine Rail Express. Certain scenes required there to be no engine noise to drown the dialogue needing the set to be pushed or pulled by a combination of the Bubble Car and a second motor car.
During one day the stage was set for a take at the Derby Road bridge south of Callow Park when there were sounds of crashing road vehicles from above involving a Trent Barton bus and five cars. Our team and the film crew were first on the scene to deliver first aid and comfort before the emergency services arrived.
For those of you who are interested in such things the contract was with BBC Drama Productions for a new series called Five Days 2 that will be shown in January 2010. The actors included Suranne Jones, Anne Reid, Bernard Hill, Matthew McNulty and Ashley Walters. Mike Evans was pressed in to being a double for the driver and his hands featured in many takes!
The successful acquisition of this contract involved a great deal of work with five site visits, extended negotiation of fees and technical arrangements. The delivery involved six extremely long, arduous and interesting days reflecting great credit on the team that managed the train movements. This consisted of Mike Evans, Graham Walker, John Ball and Phil Tarry who were warmly thanked by the production team for all their efforts.
The funds from this exercise will go a long way to providing the materials necessary for the new platform at Duffield.
May I thank all those in the know for keeping the project quiet and respecting the BBC's requirement for confidentiality and undisturbed filming.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Report 7.8.09 supplemental

Dear All,

I am pleased to report that tonighs charter was a great success. The
children (and adults) throughly enjoyed themselves. We entertained
around 37 guests in total. A most splendid way to spend a warm summer


John Stokes

Friday 7th August 2009

Dear all
A lovely sunny day for a change which saw the Executive Director of Fence Painting in full production and the Class 20 returned light engine from Shottle to be ready for tomorrow's Drive a Diesel Day. IMT took charge of this before travelling down to Postern Lodge in the Landrover and prepared the way for tomorrow's welding of the rail joint that lies in the centre of the crossing. This will enable us to make up the roadway to an acceptable level without being disturbed for future maintenance. They also Kango packed the up rail through the crossing.
Tonight sees a Charter Train for children from Belarus as our contribution to their stay over here.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Thursday 6th August 2009

Dear all
Another good weather day that encouraged a number of people to sample the Ravenstor service. The numbers were swelled by today's Day with a Driver who brought five guests with him. After a few trips on Iris he was treated to much shunting using L J Breeze and Tommy. The Buffet Car traded as well as providing lunches for our Day with a Driver and his team. We had the pleasant experience of another burst of activity from the Executive Director of Fencing Painting and the Booking Hall ably tended to our guests and passengers.
Much activity took place at Shottle and the south thereof with 10 sleepers changed and a goodly load of logs gathered and berthed at Shottle for collection. VCT opened up two new vistas and created a big fire which reflects great credit on them with a small team today. DRE had a minor breakthrough with Shottle Siding point now connected and worked from the Ground Frame
A very good day.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Progress Wednesday 5th August 2009

Dear all

A significant day without rain! The Wirksworth to Ravenstor service ran with a sprinkling of passengers some of whom visited the Buffet Car. Opportunity was taken between trips to encompass driver training on L J Breeze. The EVRA shop also opened and garnered a small amount of extra funds for the Association.

Some research was undertaken into our public address system with a resounding success that it now works - not high quality but we can now announce our train departures. Fence painting and catch up electrical work was also achieved taking advantage of the good weather.

The Permanent Way Team managed a spendid 24 sleeper changes and are now in an area where there is a large deposit of sugar stone from a derailment many years ago.

DRE declared satisfaction with another day of sustained progress with the Shottle North installation.

Again the Passenger Manager held the fort in the Booking Hall and dealt with the usual phone calls.

Quite a pleasant day all round.


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Tuesday 4th August 2009

Dear all
Another English summer day with a good soaking for everyone and amazing productivity given the conditions. A gathering of teams took place at Shottle with the VCT setting off to renew their attack south of Hazelwood. They reported another satisfactory day with six trees felled and a giant bonfire ignited said to be one of the biggest and best. A hiccup with the flail attachment frustrated the planned flailing today and will require engineering services to remedy. However, the Permanent Way Team firstly dropped some 170 sleepers off in strategic positions for the next tranche of resleepering and then proceeded to replace 26 in the march south to Duffield. DRE continue their marathon endeavour on the Shottle North Ground Frame and associated equipment.
Alan, from VCT, called in at Idridgehay on the way to Hazelwood to take out growth around the fencing so that Evans the Paint (80) can continue with his repaint of the gates and fencing.
At Wirksworth we had the first day of the August weekday running where a few very hardy souls ventured to Ravenstor. The numbers were swelled by guests attending Chris Ralls 60th birthday party held in the Gatwick Express which was declared a resounding success despite the rain. We also entertained a Day with a Driver and his guests and provided LJ Breeze for him and Chris's guests to sample.
The housekeeping team were out in force to very good effect and Lorna opened the EVRA shop.
The Passenger Manager held the fort in the Booking Hall and a modest amount of money was added to the coffers.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Monday 3rd August 2009

Dear all
A measured day with the IMT patrolling the Ravenstor and Gorsey Bank lines. In between they turned their attention to the Car Park siding which needed some jacking and packing following settlement caused by the volume of traffic it has coped with since it was laid - when we came on the scene the track through the centre of what is now the Car Park was not connected to the rest of the Yard.
Much preparation was undertaken for tomorrow's birthday party in the Gatwick Express and a number of visitors turned up and it is hoped they return through the week when we are running the Ravenstor service. Most of them seemed to be holidaying in the area and it bodes well for a satisfactory August.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sunday 2nd August 2009

Dear all
Blessed with a most pleasant day passenger and general visitors arrived in satisfactory quantities to travel on the train and part with money in the Booking Hall. Our Day with a Driver turned out to be a TransDev Bus Manager from Chiswick who was entertained initially on L J Breeze  and, after lunch, a few leisurely trips to Ravenstor. He was fulsome in his praise to his hosts and said he would be back.
The Buffet Car and Booking Hall enjoyed a moderately successful day.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Progress Saturday 1st August 2009

Dear all,
A day where it rained very heavy pretty much all day but it didn't stop us from operating a reasonably loaded Idridgehay service or indeed, progressing with our various other tasks. The buffet car, booking hall and EVRA shop all did reasonably well today. Maybe it was something to do with people calling in to shelter from the weather causing them to feel obliged to emty their wallets! Our "Day with the Driver" guest also enjoyed himself all day riding up and down and having lunch in the First Class.
The 2-car Met-Camm had further work done on it, whilst a team proceeded to remove one of the two exhausts off the Class 119 ready for cleaning up, welding and painting. They are now suitably drowned!
You could have been forgiven if you had forgotten it was summer!
Mike Evans via Leigh

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