Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Progress Wednesday 31st March 2010

Dear all
As we prepare for the fourth month of the year the main activity surrounded a thorough briefing of members of the Derby & Derbyshire Rail Forum of the components of MyTestTrack. This involved an inspection special from Duffield to Wirksworth and return to illustrate the features of this work. Tim Shoveller, MD of East Midland Trains welcomed the group to Duffield Main Line and "flagged off" the inspection from Duffield "EVR". Our team explained the various features en route and welcomed them with tea and coffee on arrival at Wirksworth. There then followed an MTT presentation in the Training Room with a tour of the facilities at Wirksworth with opportunities to sample a drive on L J Breeze. Lunch was served in the First Open and the conclusion of the event was a couple of round trips to Ravenstor. My thanks go to everyone who worked hard to make the event go so well and, in addition to the Railway getting paid for the day, a couple of useful testing leads emerged. There was also a reminder of how necessary these events are from the comments of some of the participants - "we didn't know you were here"!
Working quietly in the background were a large contingent of DRE who loaded an amazing amount of S&T equipment into Mick's van for transit to Duffield and disposed of surplus bits and pieces to the ever waiting scrap skip. Ferrybridge was emptied of ash and water in preparation for painting was placed back in the Maintenance Facility. Opportunity was taken to cleanse the pit area of sundry steam loco products so that normal maintenance of our fleet can carry on.
Anton commenced the slog of putting the road side signage out for the Easter weekend. John Gratton reports that the Idridgehay gate will be complete at 1030hrs tomorrow.
A very satisfactory day.
PS - All the team should report to Wirksworth tomorrow for permanent way activities prior to the transport and re-hanging of the Idridgehay gate for the Easter weekend.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Tues 30th March

 Evenin all,

A day of showers and a big thunderstorm (or four), saw everyone get a
good soaking!

Firstly, congratulations to the Dream Steam Team as No3 obtained its
final steam ticket, the boiler will now be emptied and the loco moved
into the shed so that painting can start. More parts of the lubricator
still need fixing, but the end is definately in sight.

The Ash pit team continued with the construction of the facility, but
had to have the bilge pumps working so that they could keep themselves

The VCT managed to clear a particular tree at Hazlewood that had been
causing problems - telephone cables running through it, they also
managed to continue clearing the thorn trees that are in abundance in
the Hazlewood area.The Flail was out again and has now cleared as far
as Derby Road 2 bridge (scene of much filming recently).

The Per way team managed to change 26 sleepers as well as drop the
next 100, this takes them nearly to the foot crossing north of
Hazlewood yard.

S&T continued with the fixing and installation of the signalling at

Stuart has now attached the Fowling Point plates to the track in the
yard. These have been attached in the 4' and mark the point where no
vehicles must be parked beyond as they can foul any crossings.

The Catering Dept preppared things for a party of visitors tomorrow.

In the middle of the afternoon, another coach arrived, this is 27162
built 1945 at Wolverton and is a Third Open. This is the vehicle that
was here last year and has been to Shildon for full exterior recladding
and painting, new gangway connections have also been added. This
vehicle is currently in Platform 1 and coupled to the Inspection
Saloon. It is currently totally empty inside, and looks vast. Internal
fitting will start in due course. We now have three maroon coaches on

Tomorrows per way team should report to Hazlewood, for digging out
sleepers. Please phone me, with contact details. Trollies must be
removed from track and lookouts posted.There will be no Works Train, as
whole line testing will be taking place.



Monday, 29 March 2010

Ferrybridge No.3 Steams at Wirksworth

Hi all,

John has kindly uploaded this video ( of Ferrybridge No.3 in steam and rather than let people find it themselves on YouTube, I thought I would pass it on for everybody to watch!


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Progress Monday 29th March 2010

Dear all
Back to grim, miserable weather as Easter approaches. Dmu maintenance occupied the team through the day and Anton masterminded some alterations in the Buffet Car that will aid the sales process. Opportunity was taken to familiarise ourselves with, and check the effectiveness of, the Saloon's vacuum brake system. The Saloon was repositioned on Platform 1 to allow for a surprise arrival tomorrow in the form of the second LMS Stanier coach to grace our enterprise. This vehicle will join the Saloon on display over the Easter weekend and the LMS Carriage Association will be on hand to welcome visitors aboard both vehicles.
The Works Train departed for Shottle this afternoon to give the opportunity of a prompt start to sleeper changing tomorrow.
Ferrybridge was readied for a further steaming tomorrow with expectations that a further hurdle will be swept aside on its route back to service. As the day drew to a close further work on the new till system was in progress to release its great potential.
PS With today's transfer of the Works Train to Shottle the train crew should report to Shottle. The remainder of the permanent way team should go direct to Hazelwood or Shottle - whichever is more convenient.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Progress Report Sunday the 26th March 2010

Dear all,

Another whirlwind day with the line throbbing with activity just about
anywhere it could throb. At Ravenstor, the display wagons received the
Rod and Mary treatment and every effort was made by staff and passengers
to avoid treading on a vast number of fornicating frogs. It cannot be
said that we are not doing our bit for ecology. The fornicating bit,
that is.

At Duffield the entire and utter S&T Department, allegedly not having
time for leisure pursuits, have put in the first of Duffield's ground
signals, covering the north end loop to the main line. While this was
going on the Rodders Sack and Bag Team were stripping overgrown ivy from
the bridge support walls.

At Wirksworth the steam team carried out a further test of Ferrybridge
No3 and various passers-by observed that it sounded like a steam engine
for the first time (not having heard it the last time presumably). The
DMU team had their first serious look at newly arrived Railcar E50599
and it was given a jolly good hoovering and attempts were made to excite
it. The excitement mainly involving the battery charger, as opposed to
showing it the centre fold of DMU monthly. The couplings were also
greased and a major shunt then followed. The team, spreading themselves
far and wide, or at least as far as the buffet car, also fixed a broken
droplight on the north end Met Cam. The Passenger service ran happily
all day and a modest and useful trade was done by all concerned.

Around the yard, the conscripts were whipped out of the Mess Room before
their feet touched the ground and promptly moved three fridges and two
sets of shelves to the new kitchen stores and fixed up the whiteboard in
the Training Room. They then set about moving a gargantuan pile of
Complete Railway Aggregate Products from near the former bus garage and
several trips with trolleys, wheel barrows and builders bags were made
to the fire and other locations while said Products were sorted and
disposed of. We were quite exhausted watching them. Though possibly not
as exhausted as the frogs were.

All the best,

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Progress Saturday the 27th March 2010

Dear all,

A glorious sunny day with only a little chilly breeze to remind us it is
still March. Today was the first day of the regular 2010 summer
timetable and we had a steady stream of passengers and visitors, enough
to keep us occupied and not enough to stress us. It was delightful.

We learned (for the information of Duty Managers, train crew and Booking
Hall staff) that two units are indeed needed. In addition, the Passenger
Manager herewith amends the working timetable to move the optional
Ravenstor 10.20 to 10.40. On days when you have passengers arriving
early (as we had today) the 11.20 published service is too late; and the
10.20 not ready. Duty Managers have therefore the option of running a
10.40 unpublished service on demand.

Today's conscripts made further efforts to deal with spare ballast and
to get on top of rubbish and rubble in various public places before
Easter. The Booking Hall clerk jumped on a number of tillbugs and both
the booking hall and the buffet car had a modestly lucrative day. The
Day with a Driver (from the Wirral via the Travel Lodge) was very happy,
as were all our passengers taken today. Carriage 27001, to be a brake
third open "BTO", that is a carriage with a guards brake section and
open (rather than compartmented) seating for standard class passengers
(speaking in the modern way: "Third Class" for the historically
inclined) saw some of its first attention today. Gardening took place on
the platform 1 flowerbed.

Regards, Graham Walker via Anton.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Progress Friday 26th March 2010

Dear all
A little less exciting today with only one vehicle completing its tests. Opportunity was taken to show the customer our long welded section and the need to transpose a section of rail with a view to a mutually beneficial solution emerging.
The IMT were occupied with jacking and packing at the base of the Incline concluding their day by forming up Tuesday's Works Train. The ash pit project moved forward and DRE continued to work on the Duffield North Junction installation. Iris and the 2 Car Met-Cam dmus received attention and fridges were transferred from the Booking Hall to the new Catering HQ.
Further training and revision of the the Booking Hall and Buffet till systems was achieved and I now know how to use the "back office" functions which are linked by the new network to my laptop. The next step is to bottom an online diary system as we are catapulted into the 21st century.

Railcar Gala Photos

Dear all
Came across a nice set of photos from last weekend's gala on
Look out for NFL leaping about at Ravenstor!
Worth a view

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Progress Thursday 25th March 2010

Dear all
I don't know how we do it other than amazing genius and skill as we witnessed the car park filling with an ever growing number of exotic machines that required our services for testing. More vehicles than seen at all the major exhibitions gathered and were processed to the delight of our customers. Of course, any financial gain was immediately dissipated by the arrival of 200 nice jarrah sleepers with their attendant cost!
Whilst all this joy was concentrated on Wirksworth only one of the test vehicles traversed the whole line allowing the Permanent Way Team to prepare the way for the insertion of 70 new sleepers that will bring us very close to footpath F5 just north of Hazelwood. The VCT also had a nearly free run at the Up (east) side of the line south of Hazelwood revealing more views and the production of two fires.
DRE made further progress at Duffield North Junction with an ambition to complete this installation next week and the ash pit project moved steadily its close. Special mention should be made of John Gratton who has been refurbishing the southern gate from Idridgehay and the end product represents extremely good work making a rehanging possible before the Easter holiday.
There has been a lone pruner of the overgrown bank opposite Platform 3 and his work has dramatically improved this area. The station garden at Wirksworth has received much needed attention after a harsh winter.
Another very good and pleasant day.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Progress, Monday 22nd March

Good evening,

Consider this as a message from Martin’s spirit guide as he is presently in a better place with his feet immersed in Radox and a large therapeutic snifter placed by his exhausted frame.

Today, the railway played host to representatives of Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate who were given a tour of the new works south of Shottle. As this involved an on-foot inspection for the whole section to Duffield, I am sure you will understand the reason for Martin’s present discomfort. Suffice to say that the visit was extremely successful with no heart-stopping moments (er, sorry) and a clear understanding obtained as to what tasks remain to be completed to allow us to obtain sign-off later this year.

As always, it was the team supporting the main event that deserves the real praise. Graham Walker and David Newby provided excellent support by coming to the party’s rescue in the DMU at the appropriate moment, while Dorothy maintained her reputation as the railway’s cake-baker extraordinaire.

We return to near normality tomorrow and normal service will doubtless be returned on the email front.

Kind regards,

Pocahontas Ferguson-Lee

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Report 21.3.10

Dear all,

We speek to you now from a public house in Shottle via iPhone.

A plesent and sucessfull event took place today. The sun bringing many
visitors to our railway. There were many positive comments and low
flying passangers.

At Duffield the s&t dept continued with rodding for the ground frames.
The steam team cleaned the tubes on no3.
The young offenders continued digging out the headshunt buffer stop.

Many thanks to everyone involved this weekend.


Anton Shone via John Stokes.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Progress Saturday 20th March 2010

Evening everybody,

A long and exhausting day with the rewards of the opening day of the new timetable season. It has been a while since everybody was last in full swing but today proved we hadn't forgotten the already proven formula, with the usual goings on. The DMU's performed faultlessly today on their gala and there was some moderate interest in the "new" saloon. Brake van rides were very popular too. The new season also welcomed the typical happenings, including working out a new Booking Hall system and some visitors needing more attention than others. Oh well, we wouldn't want the clerk to get bored! Open for business today was the new style buffet car, headed by out new catering gourmet with some varied cuisine on offer.

Well done everybody. All in all a good day considering the near constant torrential rain. Same again tomorrow but with some sun please!

Mike Evans via Leigh

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Friday, 19 March 2010

Progress Friday 19th March 2010

Dear all
A great buzz around the Railway today as the preparations for the start of the passenger season and the weekend's gala reached fever pitch. Jeff's catering enterprise was stocked with a number of interesting new products that I think will appeal to visitors and members with hot food featuring for the first time. As I departed his new till was being energised and it is to be hoped our take in the Buffet will dramatically improve. Similarly, the Booking Hall and Car Park were readied for the weekend and the Class 20 and Brakevan moved into position.
The IMT concentrated on greasing all the Yard pointwork together with the Wash Green crossover. Scrap was gathered from Gorsey Bank and behind the Weighbridge. DRE continued to assemble parts for the Duffield ground frame installations and the attractive catering display in the Saloon received much interest.
The Bubble Car had a full service including brake adjustment and Ferrybridge No3 was returned to the interior of the Maintenance Facility. The LMSCA were out in force again and have fixed a fine interpretation board to the fence outside the station that explains their objectives and achievements.
Phil and I were pleased to welcome Bill Ford, President of the Great Central Railway and Bill Devitt, a Director of the GCR, and host them on a full line tour and subsequent discussions of areas of mutual interest.
Quite a day.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Progress, Thursday 18th March

Evenin' all,

A busy day on the full length of the line.

The works train and Komatsu left Wirksworth. The works train crew
dropped stone and concrete at the erosion site, carrying out urgent
repairs, they also dropped off further sleepers and collected some
former sleepers and making piles of them. The Komatsu flailed south
from Gorsey Bank, and reached nearly as far as Derby Road bridge before
finding some generously donated scrap, which meant a return to base and
some cutting gear!

The VCT continued work at Postern Lodge, and have installed the new
accomdation gates, which operate wonderfully, and are able to close -
no excuses now. They also cleared more growth on the Cess to improve
sight lines and managed a couple of fires.

S&T were busy at Duffield North, installing more bits and pieces. Work
was also carried out on a former Loc box at Gorsey Bank, to make the
box usable at a new location.

At Wirksworth, the Craft's Railway Ash Pit team moved blocks to site
as well as sand and other materials so that construction of the
blockwork can satrt next week. Much cleaning and tidying ready for this
weekend's DMU event. The Inspection Saloon was given more TLC and the
interior was dressed.More visits from senior Till consultants as well
as internet chappies meant that a lot of hammering noises came from the
fibre optics. We appear to be back on the internet now so we will keep
our fingers crossed.

Next weeks Per way teams are required at Wirksworth Yard

Phil (posted by Neil)

New Stock List Available for Download

Dear all,
Possibly one of the most exciting stock list releases with all of the arrivals and departures recently? John has kindly updated the stock list and it is available to download from the usual location on the official website.
Notable updates include the addition of information surrounding Class 108 DMBS E50599, Inspection Saloon M999504 and LMS BTK 27001. Class 108 DTCL M56224 has been removed.

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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Progress, Wednesday 17th March

Evenin' all,

Another nice Spring day saw activities at Wirksworth as well as

The Per way team completed the unloading of the works train and
setting up the per way base at Shottle. Some bits were transferred to
Duffield for further trackwork. A lot of scrap concrete was also
dropped of at the Errosion site near Hazlewood, During the last two
days, many tons of material have been handballed , sorted, stored/
scrapped. There will be many aching mussels tonight.

At Wirksworth, the Ash Pit team have been busy all day, inserting re-
bar, mesh, final digging and had the arrival of a wagon load of
concrete this afternoon: 6 cubic meters of concrete was dropped,
shovelled and levelled. This task was still ongoing into the evening.
The new arrival, the Inspection Sallon recieved a wash and brush up,
and looks rather cleaner than it did yesterday. It is presently on
platform 1 for external inspection. The whole site had a tidy up ready
for this weekend's event.

The Komatsu had a jet wash to remove traces of previous oil leaks, and
a major under carriage greasing up. Two more filters will be changed
when in stock, but the machine is ready for use tomorrow.

Tomorrow requires all per way staff to report to Wirksworth for
departure by 0930. The VCT will not be able to leave Shottle until the


Monday, 15 March 2010

Progress Monday 15th March 2010

Dear all
Mondays used to be a day of tranquillity and quiet reflection but the pace quickens as we head for Duffield and the start of the 2010 season of passenger train operations. Great progress was made with the steam locomotive ash pit and we now have a hole with much muck transported off site. The track chairs in the area of the pit are dated 1901 which suggest the age of the track we are now disturbing.
We welcomed a customer who combined testing with staff training and a photo shoot for their publicity material with indications they may return for more training sessions.
D8001 received a makeover and now sparkles for its role in this weekends gala and quite a number of Drive a Diesel Day commitments in the immediate future. Some refamiliarisation took place with the machine and the Incline was used for this. Driver training on Tommy and Hydra was undertaken and a lone member of the permanent way team gave the Tool Van a good sort out.
The computer upgrade inched forward and the planned movement of dmu vehicles has been deferred to tomorrow.
PS - apart from the train crew all activity will take place at Shottle for the remainder of the week
PPS - it anyone has been sending emails to the station address and having them bounce back the problem has now been solved and all is well again!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Progress Sunday 14th March 2010

Dear all,
A reasonably quiet mothers day didn't deter the volunteers from progressing ahead with preparations for the season opening next weekend. A lone member mopped and swept Iris, the Bubble car and the 117 so that they are clean and ready.
Down the yard the Dream Steam Team were also spotted sitting in deckchairs whilst pondering the next moves, whilst Rod and Mary painted the display narrow gauge wagons. Ballast shovelling continued in Platfrom 3.
The booking hall seemed to be totally overstaffed today but it was useful because products could be reorganised and replenished whilst training on the new till system took place.
Not a bad day,

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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Progress Saturday 13th March

Dear All,

A day of two parts, one down the yard and one in the booking hall.

The maintenance team serviced two vehicles for next weeks gala. 51188 and 51360 both had final drive, gearbox and engines oils checked as well as having the brake rigging adjusted. After this they were connected together ready for next weekend. The Bubble car had paint applied to the gutters to cover up the anti-corrosive paint.

The other part was a team making the till work for next week in between attending to customers. Hopefully we are good to go.

Mike Evans via Robin Lee

Friday, 12 March 2010

Progress Friday 12th March 2010

Dear all,
The day started early with Phil meeting up with Central Networks at Duffield as the new pole was connected to the power cables that stride over to the east side of the Midland Main Line. This was a small but quite necessary part of the reopening to Duffield as the original pole was too close to the new run round loop. Those of you who have dealt with great national companies will understand that what is regarded as logical requires a determined and repetitive approach and I am pleased to say we have arrived at where we want to be.
IMT patrolled the section from Barnsley Lane to Wirksworth tightening fishplate bolts as required and replacing one broken bolt emphasizing the value of these exercises. DRE maintained a low and quiet profile while they prepared components for the Duffield installations. Further progress has been made on the computer upgrade project with Helen assisting Chris to fix the exterior optical cable - I judged this cost him a lunch.
It was good to see the LMSCA present in bulk to begin the start of sorting the interior of BTK M27001 with some of the contents being moved to their new workshop. They seem to be settling into their new home quite well but lunch times seem to be a little too long.
Driver training took place on L J Breeze and Tommy and the Motive Power Superintendant single handedly mopped our the 2 Car Met-Cam set. After the release of the former Vodaphone hut at Duffield a very large cheque was handed over to Carter Developments and we are now formally the owner of this small but vital piece of land at Duffield.
Whilst at Duffield Phil noticed a "For Sale" sign going up at the adjacent house on Chapel Street - Ecclesbourne Cottage - a snip at £795k with amazing views of our Railway making a good base for an embryonic Station Master. For those of you anxious to take up this opportunity visit and I look forward to joining you for the housewarming.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Progress Thursday 11th March 2010

Dear all
Another milestone! I know the word is overworked on these reports but the movement of Ferrybridge No3 under its own steam with all the sounds we know and love was a real treat. I just happened to arrive at the Maintenance Facility at the right moment to be invited onto the footplate for a journey up and down the Pit Road. Great credit goes to all concerned with the first Wirksworth based live steam engine. There remain a few more obstacles and tests before No3 is released for traffic but that day does not seem far away now.
The VCT turned their attention to the Postern Lodge (Travis Folly) farm crossing where the arrangements need a radical approach to improve the sight lines and manage the farmer's activities. There was a special delivery by rail from Wirksworth of new gates and fencing materials and much progress made with replacement gate posts and associated fence posts. Opportunity was taken to burn sundry brash from work on the adjacent river bridge together with much other rubbish in this area. The creation of new gate post holes was somewhat hampered by hitting the brickwork of the old Travis Folly.
The Komatsu was put through its paces to load crossing timbers stacked in the car park to a waiting Sturgeon, move bags of ballast on the Incline and then went on to flail the down (west) side of the line between Wash Green and Gorsey Bank. Work continued on the renovation of the south side Idridgehay crossing gate and development work continued on the new till system although there remains a frustrating clitch on its ticket printing function which we are assured is soluble.
The Permanent Way Team concentrated on some emergency repairs at the base of the Incline and then turned their attention to jacking and packing just north of the Incline point in an area that has been affected by the underlying clay. Most of the afternoon was taken up by loading permanent way materials stocked at Wirksworth for transhipment to storage at Shottle. This begins to create an area adjacent to the proposed locomotive ash pit for the storage of coal and lighting up wood.
DRE had an expedition to Butterley following the purchase of point rodding from the Midland Railway Centre necessary for the completion of our installations at Duffield. These were duly delivered to Duffield courtesy of Gavin's long wheel base van and then work was directed to the fitting of stretcher bars to the Duffield North point work.
An historic departure took place this afternoon when one of the first structures on our site departed for the Dean Forest Railway. This started life with us as a blue and white Portakabin that was provided by our very first test customer for their staff. It then was transformed into Kave Theatre Services first base and store and with the arrival of the new Kave cabins was further recycled into the Passenger Office. Rendered surplus to requirements again with the creation of our new office, catering support area and training room we have donated it to its new home as the office base of their dmu team.
Quite a day.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Progress, Wed 10th March

Evenin' all,

Per way reported to Shottle and Hazlewood to continue sleeper
changing, they managed 14 today as well as removing a rather large tree
stump that was entwined with the track. This was between interuptions.
The Works train had to zoom to Duffield whilst a vehicle was on its
1530 test., The test took all day and proved one of the slowest
vehicles that has been here.

More trial light steaming of No 3 and sorting out of minor escaping
whisps of steam - all perfectly normal. Work on the Idridgehay Level
Crossing gate continues with the removal of old rotten wood whilst new
pieces are made. S&T were on site creating more intricate bits and

Tomorrow sees all Per way Staff to report to Wirksworth. The Works
train is there.


Monday, 8 March 2010

Progress Monday 8th March 2010

Dear all
Arctic conditions continue with temperatures below zero all day, or so it seemed! Nonetheless it was ever onwards and upwards as the first exploratory works were conducted for the new ash pit to be located at the north end of the Museum Siding after earlier work had established it would be clear of the sough running under the station yard.
32 tonnes of ballast were delivered to the Wash Green dock and tipped into the waiting Dogfish ready for transfer to Duffield tomorrow and an opportunity was taken to use the new brush cutter on the area opposite the Idridgehay platform. It was reported that the primroses area appearing on the embankment north of the level crossing there just as Mike Craft remembers when he was in short trousers.
Dmu maintenance continued as the start of the season approaches and the Komatsu had some very thorough attention to stem the loss of hydraulic fluid and will be put through its paces tomorrow as flailing recommences.
I received a delightful call from Saturday's charter customer who expressed much gratitude and pleasure of the reception and welcome received. Many thanks to all who made it work so well and the very thoughtful production of a birthday card was much appreciated. EVR at its best!
PS - the plot for tomorrow is for the Works Train to travel from Wirksworth to north of Hazelwood for sleeper changing, drop the team off with tools, and continue to Duffield to drop ballast. The train will then return to Hazelwood and berth at Shottle at the end of the day.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Progress Report Sunday the 7th of March 2010

Dear all,

Glorious sun enabled us to progress cheerfully. At Duffield the S&T
Dept, assisted by the division of charter catering and the chief
technician (poles), removed rails, replaced the necessary crossing
timbers and replaced said rails, to enable the fitting of the facing
point locks, and have connected the cranks to the frame, a major
achievement for the day.

At Wirksworth the certificated First Aid took place and a number of
colleagues have saved Annie yet again, though just how much mouth to
mouth took place cannot be discussed in this e-group. In the
engineerium, routine maintenance work took place on the class 31; and
training proceeded in how to multi-up DMUs (that is how to connect
several together without requiring Duck Tape). Shunting was undertaken
to place the class 108 in a more accessible location, and the engineers
have asked me to draw the attention of colleagues to Breeze being put on
charge tonight: please disconnect the wire before commencing operations.

The sun brought an almost vast number of visitors to the station today
and a new till system, involving writing sales down manually and putting
the takings in a bucket was found to be necessary, but I am assured this
will be short term. The only conscript to appear was delegated to litter
clearance in response to the request from IMT for Cromford Road Bridge
to be cleared and the whole of the Ravenstor - Wirksworth section was
therefore litter picked. Our own staff also took some time over tidying
up as the very surprised Wheelie Bin will testify.

Around the station, the gates were oiled (just in case speedy closing
catches you out), and new closers fitted to the toilets and the staff
footgate. Repairs were carried out to the front of the Booking Hall and
an undercoat of paint applied. Those of you who have been with this
e-group for a long time will remember it is time for the annual reminder
about the Car Park. Our season begins in less than two weeks and the Car
Park is now needed: should you have left anything in the Car Park, for,
say... six months... your washing; Complete Railway Aggregate Products;
things you meant to move but didn't, well, now is the time for it to go.
We can't make money if the public can't get in: your annual co-operation
is always appreciated.

All the best,

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Saturday 6th March

Hi all.
55006 completed its first run of the year with a charter to Idridgehay and Ravenstor. Iris received a new set ofinjectors to its No 2 Engine which greatly improved its starting and running. Ferrybridge No 3 received some further work, and lesley the lister was run up on the Narrow Gauge.

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Friday, 5 March 2010

Progress Friday 5th March 2010

Dear all
Will it all be explained tonight? Will the diva Tarry have another appearance? Will we see the wig?
Meanwhile, the IT system moved ever forward and the new till system is installed in the Booking Hall. My first impressions are that it is an improvement on the previous system and should be fairly easy to use. There was much shunting of stock this morning and a transfer of freight stock to Shottle to make room for the anticipated arrival of the first of the passenger coaches next week.
The Dogfish have been in and out of the Wash Green Dock as it was realised that we had a charter to Ravenstor tomorrow. This gave the mechanical team an opportunity to prove that both Hydra and Tommy are ready for service. There was a slight glitch with Hydra which revealed some bodged repairs during its residence with BP. This discovery has enabled a solution that ensures the locomotive moves in the direction selected. Three cheers to all that we have achieved the plan to have three operational shunting locomotives.
The collective efforts of DRE and IMT saw the transfer of stock to Shottle, the movement to the DRE van to Duffield and a track patrol on the Idridgehay to Wirksworth section.
There was a little activity to extend the track bed of the 3 1/2 gauge track towards the former Ennis garage and work started in ernest to remedy the defective woodwork on the Idridgehay gate.
A sunny, pleasant and cold day to round off this week.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Progress Thursday 4th March 2010

Dear all
A very pleasant, if cold, day allowed a smooth process for today's test customer and further development work on Ferrybridge No3 as preparations advance for its first movements under its own power.
The VCT reported a two fire day and two trees felled at bridge DJW6 (or Derby Road 4) together with clearance of vegetation from the river bridge at Postern Lodge. The PWT achieved a 16 sleeper day with quite a small gang and are a little north of milepost 135 1/4 leaving a mere two miles to go before they reach Duffield tunnel.
At base the talking tunnel is now talking again, a socket has been fixed on the exterior of the Training Room for the benefit of travellers berthed on the Dust Dock and DRE completed the work needed to ready their van for transit to Duffield tomorrow.
Phil has been quite unbearable after his second appearance on Five Days 2 and we still await a view of the Evans wig - maybe tonight!
PS - DRE will be active at Duffield on Sunday and need assistance to change two crossing timbers at Duffield North before they can fit the rodding runs associated with the ground frame - all welcome

Progress Wednesday 3rd March 2010

Evenin' all,
Another nice spring like day saw the Per way team at Duffield, where
the remaining Check rails have been fitted to Duffield South crossover,
quite an exacting task, everything was screwed down as well. Rails were
pulled and gaps set. A hard but most rewarding day We had a visit from
NR electrical engineers who were trying to trace a missing cable to the
lights and things on the platform, they were shown and have now claimed
the cable buried about 6" down - advice has been given about the
arrival of the tamper and the cable imminent destruction!

Back at base, further final work on No 3 took place on shed, whilst
the S&T team continued fitting out their vehicle, and loading material
(taking care not to scratch the 42" plasma screen TV). A start was made
on the rebuilding of the Idridgehay gate, after all the gate is very
old and various bits have started rotting and dropping off. Lynette
carried on gardening, getting things tidied up for the forthcoming
season. The last of the PTS courses for the time being was held, so
that all working members now are up to a basic level of training.

Tomorrow sees the Works train departing fromn Shottle by 0915 and
going to the resleepering site. There is whole line testing tomorrow,
so VCT and Works train will need to keep the line clear.


Progress Tuesday 2nd March 2010

Evenin' all,

After a frosty night, today was fairly warm, with sunshine. Just the
sort of day when the Per way team could play with water. The morning
was spent north of Shottle where we have been having problems with
flooding. Various channels were dug and two major cross drains and
associated ditches were created. A 6" as well as a 9" pipe were
inserted, and the main ditch was cleared out. the result looks
pleasing. After lunch was taken, the southern gate was removed from
Idridgehay crossing. This has some rotten timbers that need replacing,
it was delivered to the timber dept foe refurbishment. Some routine
clearance was also carried out on the outfall on the Racing Straight.

The VCT, took delivery of their new trailer, which was given a good
baptism.They removed a few trees near 134.25, and then returned to the
Postern Lodge area to continue work around the foot crossings.

The DST continued making final tweaks to No 3 and also coaled up ready
for its first movement under its own power, this is not far off.

The Passenger Dept held one of their group meetings as things prepare
for the new season, the new tills have started to be installed and
some training has started.

Another large shunt of the yard took place, to rearrange vehicles for
the next few weeks.

Tomorrow sees the works train crew reporting to Wirksworth and the
train travelling to Duffield forb more snagging work, before stabling
at Shottle.


Monday, 1 March 2010

Progress Monday 1st March 2010

Dear all
This month has started very well with an informal visit of the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Willie Tucker, his wife Jill and diary secretary Susan. They enjoyed our whole line experience with the participation of Phil, Neil, Mike Evans, Graham, Mike Craft and Anton concluding with a visit to Ravenstor and the Museum Coach. They were charming company and extremely complimentary about all our achievements reflecting on everyone who has participated the great adventure. Anton's lunch in the Gatwick Express attracted particular appreciation and rounded off the visit. It was also good too see Martin Smith from the Steeple Grange Light Railway as our near neighbour which is also extending its railway with some vigour. The sun shone and the temperature rose to present the valley at its best.
Before the Lord's arrival Phil and Neil has been hoisted out of bed to do an early interview on site as part of Radio Derby's breakfast programme on the subject of tonight's first episode of Five Days 2 to be shown on BBC 1 at 2100 hrs each night this week. Your task is to spot the scenes that involve Mike Evans as a hand double at the controls of the Met-Cam set or even with wig as he doubles for the driver. We wait with interest!
The Dream Steam Team started their first day of a working week to draw the project to conclusion that will culminate, all being well, with a full steaming and movement under its own power of Ferrybridge No 3. Truly another milestone in our development.
Last, but least, was Lynne tending to the Wirksworth garden, noted by the Lord, and Pat Craft who returned from the model railway exhibitions at Chapel and Ilkeston to return the unsold goods to stock. I should also mention that Pat had prepared the Museum Coach for inspection in anticipation that the Lord might visit - it turned out difficult to tear him away!
A most satisfying day