Friday, 4 December 2009

Progress Friday 4th December 2009

Dear all
A lot of money rolled down the station approach today, in excess of £5,500!, as two lorry loads of permanent way materials were received comprising the crossing timbers for Duffield South Junction and the planned Wirksworth steam servicing facility (or pit). Some of these timbers will also form the bases of the ground frames to be installed at Duffield. Some 60 concrete sleepers were also received to complete the sleeper count for the "main line" at Duffield. All the Duffield timbers were loaded directly to the Sturgeon which will be accompanied by an armed guard for its transit to Duffield on Tuesday. DRE was roped in to supervise the reception of the materials and ensure all arrived that we had paid for.
The Motive Power team were out in force and achieved a major success with the fitting of a replacement air pipe on LJB that enables the locomotive to generate air very quickly and will resolve problems we have been experiencing with air braked stock. The prolonged process of fitting up the new engine on E51505 inched forward with a degree of urgency creeping in as the Met-Cam set will be the backbone of the Santa Specials. The is still work to do on the flywheel assembly and fuel system.
More materials were delivered for the catering stores and preparation area and driver training was continued using Iris. We now have half a new station approach road with technical difficulties slowing work down. The project will continue tomorrow.
Many of you will know that we intend to recruit a full time Catering Manager in the New Year to put a great deal of energy into this area during 2010. Through the good offices of Leigh the vacancy is now on our web site and before it is generally advertised I offer the opportunity to apply for this exciting opportunity. By way of background our catering turnover (not profit!) in 2009 has been of the order of £9,000, near neighbours achieve around £70,000 and the Bluebell (another nine mile railway) now turns over £2,000,000. If you would like to be part of the future, this is the time - - the post has a low salary with a great incentive.