Tremendous efforts were made by both the VCT and the PWT. The VCT return to the area between bridge DJW 6 (or Derby Road 4) and the erosion site and opened up further vistas on the Down (west) side of the line ensuring our trains will be visible from the Duffield to Wirksworth Road. It has been a magnificent four fire day.
A goodly sized team were a Duffield further fine tuning the southern crossover and the geometry looks spectacular. Their hard work culminated in one rail from the loop to the mainline headshunt being installed with the second to be achieved next week. You can now visualise how the end product will look and most impressive it will be.
One penalty of having so many new shunting opportunities is that after assembling the Works Train at Duffield, dropping off the Flatrol and collecting the now empty Sturgeon at Shottle, arrival at Wirksworth was in pitch darkness with only the Christmas lights to welcome them back to base. There was a novel use of an illuminated mobile phone display screen to relay signals between Guard and Driver - improvisation at its best.
The Booking Hall received a Christmas makeover completing the readiness for our first Santa day on Saturday. There was also much activity on the Santa booking front together with the arrival of more welcome payment cheques. Special mention for Pat Craft who has spent an inordinate amount of time and effort compiling the bookings and mailing out the appropriate tickets together with John and Yvonne who have assembled the presents suitably graded by age and sex for the children. To do Santa well, and we do, takes a great deal of behind the scenes work not to mention the creative talents of Rod and Mary with the Jolly Roger about to leave the slipway. Santa reported a beard crisis and I am pleased to report that strike action has been narrowly averted as my own safety was at risk.
Phil was gently returned to his institution after day release, we hope they will let him out again tomorrow.