Thursday, 31 December 2009
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
As a supplement, the DMU team were out in force at Wirksworth in the cold weather and managed to fettle an injector on one of Iris' engines so that the engine runs much more smoothly now. This seemingly small job makes such a difference to, not only ride quality, but also the lifespan of the engine.
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 17:32:51 +0100
Subject: [wirksworths_railway] Tues 29th Dec
Two activities today.
At Wirksworth the Dream Steam Team had a very successful day and
managed to shunt No3 around the yard, propelled by diesel power. This
proved that everything ran smoothly, the wheels, connecting rods,
coupling rods etc, tehy also managed to start adding the cylinder
covers and a start on cladding, so real progress.
At the Duffield end of the line, all of the main line sleepers have
now been laid, a 30' panel has been added to the southern headshunt,
this will be filled in shortly to make a RRAP for road rail vehicles to
on/off track Plenty of sleeper drilling The ice is over an inch thick
in Duffield yard, and had to be broken by the Komatsu before some
sleepers were laid.
Tomorrow sees Per way at Duffield but again no loco required.
2009: A year in review - http://www.tiscali.
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Well Christmas is over and it was back to work.
With heavy snow forecast later this week, the chance was siezed to
take LJB down to Duffield and move the works train, as well as recover
the Sturgeon. LJB realised that supervision was on board, and that it
had better be on best behaviour. It was. At Duffield, the newly
promoted platform Superintendent of Hazlewood was present, complete
with trolley on as well as his tools, not to mention the yacht
On the way back we took the opportunity to throw a few logs aboard,
these were discharged outside the Logging dept (should keep Geoff off
our backs for a few days). I know that they are upside down, inside out
etc, but if you try log hurling on ice, you are just glad to get rid!
So the Sturgeon is in the car park ready for loading rails. A few
hardy souls visited the station today for a look around, we also
noticed a great many neighbours out and about.
Tomorrow sees the Per way team at Duffield. No loco is required.
Thanks to Dave N, for coming to help with LJB
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Today, in Graham's fashion tips, we were chiefly wearing double
underpants, which was um... a comfort. A rather early start saw a
mechanical person arrive at sun up to collect the General Manager's
horseless bicycle, a mere three hours before the Duty Manager arrived
after his morning croissant and second latte. However, once all were
assembled the scheduled shunting began, work proceeded apace, with
Paxton Enterprises being in charge of the shackles. Shunting continued
throughout most of the day and even LJ Breeze performed faultlessly
having first been shown the skip and given a warning about slack
attitude by Driver Stokes.
Meanwhile various tasks were being ticked off the to-do list including
the reconstruction of the station clock weatherproof box, which had
suffered from the same hi-tec engineering fault as the nation's
Eurostars, though with rather less of the knock-on effect. The new
Catering Office was next on the list for external work, in which sealant
was applied to the split stanchion supports and its fecklessly fitted
air cowl was taken off, turned the right way up and put back, so that
rain water runs out of the building not into it. Once the last of the
mince pies had been demolished (feeling a bit queasy now) and Mr Gration
had done his Christmas Shopping, the interior of the said Office
received some preliminary flooring work and a severe tidy up. This
process was then applied to the Mess Room in readiness for our
re-opening on Monday.
It only remains for us here in Wirksworth, once and true capital of the
Peak Province of the Kingdom of Mercia, to express the hope that your
Yule Log will glow joyfully in the night, and for the Officers and
Volunteers of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway to wish you all a very
So, the days are getting longer, but what has happened to this global
It was another freezing day, but a team of hardy per way chaps turned
up at Duffield, to await LJ Breeze, but once again it failed to leave
the yard due to freezing air in the breaking system, the crew tried all
they knew but by 1100 they still could not move, so the train was
cancelled.The team did some more drilling and screwing of the new track
at Duffield, but were limited as to what they could do with a train
sitting on the worksite. We tried digging some of the ballast to insert
concrete sleepers, but the permafrost beat us. Next week, the sturgeon
MUST be returned to Wirksworth, for loading over New Year.
The other activity, was at Wirksworth where the last of this year's
Santa Specials ran. This year we put in an extra day of Santa trains,
We ran all of our advertised services, many of which had 100% loadings.
It means a great deal of hard work but the fact that people come year
after year, shows that we have a good package, Very well done to all
concerned, and thank yoy for your efforts.
The site will be closed for the next couple of days, whilst we sort
the sprouts out. May I take this opportunity to thank all our members
and supporters for their toils, and to wish everyone a very happy
Christmas - Per way will meet again next Tuesday at Duffield.
The day started with a deep frost and freezing fog. LJB didnt like the
conditions and was unable to leave Wirksworth Yard - it was required at
Duffield to assist the per way team. Without the means to shunt the
trains we resorted to other methods to offload about 150 concrete
sleepers for the main line at Duffield.Most were dropped into position
using the Komatsu, the rest were stockpilled on the platform, ready to
be laid once the train is shunted. This in itself was a big achievement
given the fact that most of the sleepers were frozen to the wagon! (not
to mention frozen toes, noses, etc.)
The two man VCT went to Barnsley Lane and managed a good fire of left
over brash, before taking their Landrover to Wirksworth.
The Dream Steam Team continued work on No 3, with coupling rods fitted
to both sides and the crossheads now fitted. All pipework in the
smokebox was also completed
Further driver training took place on Iris, around the Yard, watched
by members of the Logging dept, who are now down to chopping sawdust,
as they await more stocks.
A young 'willing volunteer' managed to clear the platforms of snow
again, whilst restocking and cleaning of the Gatex was carried out by
Pat Craft on her lonesome. This is ready for tomorrows' final visit of
Santa and the team. More calls and bookings have been taken today. I
think that this 'Santa Season' will prove to be our best yet.Well done
to all concerned.
A long drive home through 'whiteout' conditions (Why is it that
drivers of grey cars, seem unable to find the light switch on their
Tomorrow,sees the laying of the remaining sleepers at Duffield, once
we have a loco to move the works train about a bit (weather
permitting). Also, as mentioned, tis the last day for visiting Santa at
Wirksworth, I am sure that the 'clean team' would welcome some help
with the mince pies etc.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
A short day, but fairly productive.
The DMU team turned out and have rectified the Met Cam, so that it is
back on 4 engines, the fault causing the fire alarm to activate
yesterday was traced to water getting into the electrics on the engine
- never happen on the big railway. Other locos of the fleet have been
run up. LJB is now on the Pit Road and is wired in to keep it warm.
The Parrot was rescued from the Guards compartment of the Met Cam
where it ducked for shelter at Ravenstor yesterday. It has been brought
into Martins office where it is being defrosted ready for its roll on
Wednesday with Santa. Several more bookings taken for Wednesday's Santa
specials. As for yesterday, despite the long and often tortuous drive
to and from Wirksworth, the show went on. The thought of Santa Specials
being cancelled due to snow was too horrible to think about!
Half of the IMT turned up - the other half being snowed in, a quick
walk around the yard was all that could be achieved, some electrical
bits arrived and were taken into stock ready for some work on the
communications suite as well as the new catering unit.
Duffield station was visited and work will resume there tomorrow
(unless there is a massive snowfall overnight).
I spoke to Bod Birch today, and Mary is still in hospital with
Diverticulitus (or however you spell it) - something to do with the
intestines. She is responding to treatment.
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Friday, 18 December 2009
In the absense of any report so far, I thought I would report on what we had done today!
The DMU team were all there bright and early in the freezing conditions, snow lying on the ground and a biting wind that made it so that you couldn't feel your face; the aim was to try again to finish the new engine on 51505 to make it available for use on Santa Specials. We are happy to report that after successful testing this afternoon, Santa's North Pole Express has now had a significant horse-power (or should that be reindeer-power) boost and is back to four engines (first time this set has had four engines since October 2007)! This is the end of a task that has taken much longer than expected, about five weekends in total, but well done to all involved.
Being the only team on site, I can safely assume that the sole other task that was undertaken was light admin work and much planning.
If the snow continues to lie, the Santa Special trains tomorrow will be very picturesque.
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Thursday, 17 December 2009
A wet day from start to finish! The sort of day when sensible people
are indoors - The Per way team waded through the mire at Duffield again
and completed the cutting and laying out of rails for the Duffield
south crossover. More rail and sleeper drilling and mor clipping up.
After lunch, 'Iris' paid a visit to Duffield and ran into platform 3
via the Loop and new crossover. We are now quite adept at slewing the
track with the Komatsu.
The only other job was a start being made on refurbing the former
'Kave' cabin and converting it.
Various meetings were held to discuss internet requirements and
tickets demands for the future.
Tomorrow sees more work at Duffield, with more screwing down and the
laying of more sleepers.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
A dank grey day certainly did not dampen the spirits.
The Per way team had a very good day at Duffield, with everyone busily
drilling, cutting and clipping up. More rails cut and installed with
the result that at the close of play, the Works train managed to access
Platform 3 (south) and 'kiss the Buffers'. A great achievement.
The VCT started work at Holloway Road footcrosing in Duffield, where
the crossing is being remodelled. The descision point for pedestrians
is being moved closer to the track to improve visability, both for foot
users as well as our train staff. They alsohad a fire at Shottle to
have a bit of a tidy up.
Back at Base, the logging dept were counting sticks, the Carriage dept
continued insulating their new premises, and the stocks for Santa were
replenished reeady for the weekend. Some S&T staff turned in, to fettle
some more cranks as well as fitting the kitchen sink in their mobile
workshop. A willing volunteer continued to work in the swamp north of
Cemetery Lane bridge trying to improve the drainage. Fred and Iris,
once againvisited the Messroom to give it a good clean up.
The Dream Steam Team fitted the other crosshead to No 3, as well as
fitting the Connecting rods, as well as various cotters and split pins,
they claimed a successful day.
Tomorrow sees more track work at Duffield.
Another cold and overcast day, but a day of more preperation.
The tool van has been delivered to Duffield ready for an early start
of work tomorrow. The remaining concrete sleepers have been uplifted
from the car park at Wirksworth and loaded onto the Sturgeon. The
Komatsu ha been refuelled and greased ready for its return to Duffield
in the morning.
On the DMU front, Mike and Graham are pleased to report that the
replacement engine on the Met Cam has been fired up and is now running,
although a little more tweeking is required.
The Sturgeon and LJB are outside the VCT store ready for loading, at
first light, with bits for the new gates at Holloway Road in Duffield
LJB will be shunting at Shottle to free up the VCT landrover on the way
Per Way team to report to Duffield, for more tracklaying
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Another major advance at Duffield saw all of the new crossing timbers
laid out for Duffield South. The large chunks of ironwork were also
craned into position, this consisted of two crossing noses, two
switches and other assorted bits. One can now see what the layout will
look like. The rails still need to be added as well as a mass od
cutting and drilling, but the warm sunshine helped to raise spirits.
Near Derby Road (4) bridge, the VCT had a very good day with three
large fires and are busily attacking the hawthorn in the area, they are
now close to the erosion site and can thus help to monitor the
situation. Mile posts 135.25 and 135.5 were also painted with gloss.
Back at base, L54 the last battery loco arrived for testing. The
logging dept had another stick chopping day, before Geoff ventured to
Duffield to see what real work was like - he was offered a crow bar but
politely declined as he did not know which end to sit on!
The Carriage dept had a 5 strong team turn out, to assist in setting
up their new suite. Allison has now made a new stepped approach to the
The DST have been fitting the crossheads and main steam pipe to No 3,
and report good progress.
The Santa Support Unit, decorated the Gatex ready for the season
whilst the 'Jolly Rodger' was pronounced seaworthy and awaits departure
for Treasure Island. More gardening took place to tidy up the area
ready for our little visitors.
50,000 2010 timetables have now arrived and are being made ready for
Tomorrow sees another big day at Duffield, where a start will be made
on connecting up the new crossover. I, of course, will have to depart
early as I am visiting the Institute of Mechanical Engineers to tell
them of our progress.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Quite a pleasant and mostly sunny day at Wirksworth. The day began with
some traditional shunting in which the Sturgeon was transmitted from the
car park to the weighbridge and a number of hernia inducing jarrow
crossing timbers unloaded for the use of the S&T Dept, as part of their
cunning plan for Duffield North Junction. This was followed in S&T by
some further sorting of strange and wondrous components.
Down the yard, Santa preparation work was taking place with the final
touches being applied to the Jolly Roger and the reindeer being mucked
out. Related work was continuing in the engineerium, once the shed
leisure pool had been evacuated (the morning's torrential downpour
having filled the pit and glum looking engineers having to wait until
nearly lunchtime for the pit pump to have any impact on the water level
at all). However, in due course work re-commenced on the "new" engine of
E51155 ready for Santa next week, but a naughty little fault persisted
all day and the Director of Rolling Stock Servicing has said he will be
spanking it very severely tomorrow. Also in the engineerium the lagging
was completed on Ferrybridge number 3. In the Booking Hall, Paxton
Enterprises, assisted by the Voyager Windowlickers Society, took some
further Santa bookings (with money).
The Duty Conscript, assisted by the University of Derby Engineering
Department Miniature Railways Netley Branch (phew) continued to moved
the piles of Complete Railway Aggregate Product from the car park in the
direction of the headshunt drains.
All the best,
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
In any case, all questions and queries should be to the General Manager.
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Another busy day at Duffield saw the installation of the new switch
panel on our main line at Duffield south, This quite a large chunk of
bits , being a D switch. This has now been rebuilt. It arrived a few
weeks ago in one piece but had to be stripped for transport to
Duffield. More digging and levelling means that the rest of the track
can start going in. More crossing timbers arrive on Friday. The chance
was also taken to carry some S&T material from Shottle to Duffield
north, wher S&T work will start shortlt.
S&T were also gathering parts for Duffield as well as making handrails
for Shottle north. Back at base, the logging dept got stuck into some
large logs that were deliverd recently, they have a rush of orders on.
Also a team set out to mark up the Fouling points (also known as
Clearance ppints around the yard - this is to the new euro standards.
More work was carried out on the 'Jolly Rodger' to get it ready for the
upcoming Santa specials. The gardening dept were also busy tidying up
and preparring for the winter season.
Tomorrow sees more work at Duffield in the morning.
A bitterly cold day, rarely above freezing, saw battery problem with
many vehicles, but at least the manpower was warm.
The main activity was once again at Duffield, where the southern
extremity of the line was dozed. The new Stop Block was positioned as
was the main line headshunt. There was some hanging about waiting for
machines to do their work, but by close of play we were more than happy
with the result.
We had a couple of interuptions, the Duffield Parish Council arrived
en masse, and were given a full tour of the site. A Test vehicle also
put in an appearance, they were testing a road rail tractor mounted
flail, this new customer went away very pleased, which is why we are
The S&T dept continued work at Shottle, creating a walkway so as not
to fall over the rodding runs., this met with some success.
The VCT were again working at Derby Road 4 bridge and managed a huge
The DST had a trying day1 They wondered why bits and pieces failed to
go together, and after much measuring, found that certain new bits on
No 3 were made on the large size.
The Carriage Dept continued to decorate their store/workshop with
woodchip., they managed to muster 5 bodies to help.
Tomorrow sees more work at Duffield with much skilled work involving
the rebuilding of our new pointwork.