Thursday, 31 December 2009

Progress New Year's Eve 31st December 2009

Dear all
 
The last day of the year saw a remarkable degree of activity in sub zero temperatures. DRE continued work on the assembly of the Duffield North Ground Frame at its temporary resting place outside the Weighbridge at Wirksworth and the Komatsu made its way slowly from Duffield to Wirksworth ready for work in the Car Park next Monday.
 
A two man VCT team borrowed Ray Matkin's trailer to collect the chassis of their new Landrover rail trailer for fitting out with flooring. They also took the opportunity to move timber delivered last week into stock for application at Holloway Road Duffield and the planned track fencing at Duffield station.
 
At Duffield a hardy team fitted a pair of lift fishplates on the headshunt, continued screwing down track components and tidied some more surplus material for shipment off site.
 
Back at base the shape of some operational changes were finalised so that we can make better use of the time left available to us to complete the Duffield project. We have determined that more days of the week will have to be used if we have a chance of finishing the main parts by August 2010. To this end we will introduce the following from Saturday 9th January:-
 
1    The Saturday team will have the responsibility of placing 3 empty Dogfish in the Wash Green dock for loading with ballast each Monday morning
2    A ballast train will depart Wirksworth each Monday for the foreseeable future and work to a designated site, discharge and plough out, returning the empties to Wirksworth
3    Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays will be predominantly devoted to resleepering with the occasional relief for jacking and packing
4    Fridays will be devoted to the Infrastructure Maintenance Team (IMT) for "statutory" track inspections and on the spot remedial action. The team will also be trained for periodic weed treatment runs.
 
To aid this process and try and introduce some certainty into the train operation, Robin Lee will try and identify volunteers in advance for the various tasks of Driver, Guard, Third Man and IMT teams and I would ask you to give him every assistance to do this through the wondrous mechanism of email.
 
Additionally I will be requesting the Motive Power Superintendent to give priority to the availability of a second shunt locomotive so that we can out base a loco at Shottle each week utilising Saturday as a change over day for fuelling and maintenance.
 
Lots to do and so little time to do it in!
 
For those of you who watch life through the web cams please take your fill over the next couple of days as they will go off line next week while we upgrade our computer system. They will not cease recording though!
 
Undoubtedly 2010 will be the most frenetic year we have experienced so far and will test our resolve and good humour. I will raise a glass or two of that splendid product from Scotland to you tonight all and wish you all a most pleasant New Year's Eve and an energetic and healthy 2010.
 
Martin