Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Progress, Wednesday 30th June

Evenin' all,

At Wirksworth, the R & M division of the C & W dept spent a most fulfilling day working on the flatrol (or whatever, the maroon flat wagon with the wooden floor) They have added new timber to the sloping ends as well as replaced damaged panels in the deck of the wagon. It is now back in service. The flat wagons are bearing the brunt of per way activities, this particular wagon was redecked on its arrival about 8 years ago by Rod and Dave Mee. It is in daily use and has carried several thousand sleepers as well as other materials. Thank you to Rod and Mary for putting in an extra day to make the wagon ready again, more sleepers are coming on Monday.

The per way gang changed 30 sleepers and greased up 8 1/2 pairs of fishplates. They found another sheared bolt and new materials were added as required.

60 concrete blocks were added to the southern end of Duffield platform in order to get the platform face up to the new height, The coping stones will be going on the southern end in the next couple of weeks. Real progress is being made.

Work was also carried out to mark up the joints on the main line ready for welding alternate joints, this will reduce maintenance as well as make a smoother and quieter ride. The rails in the tunnel were examined and the tunnel rerailing programme has been brought forward, materials have been ordered.

Back at Wirksworth a courier arrived to recover the air conditioning plant from the cabin by Wash green bridge, he couldn't lift it. A couple of hours later, an electrician from Bristol arrived to detach
the items from the cabin! (Hum, I wonder if they want a Project Manager/ Logistics Supervisor to plan the work).

The Booking Hall was open and a 'stagger' of walkers parked at the station whilst they went a-rambling.

Tomorrow's works train will be a little late departing from Duffield whilst it waits for some bodily fluids.


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

2 for 1 Website Voucher

Take advantage of our summer offer...

Use the link on our homepage to download a 2 for 1 voucher which enables you to get 2 for 1 on Adult Day Rover tickets on standard non-event operating days throughout July and August 2010.

If you have 4 adults who would like to visit, simply print two vouchers!

See you soon!!

Progress, Tuesday 29th June

Evenin' all,

After overnight rain, everything smelt fresh again, and a nice day followed.

Per way had another good day and managed to change 36 sleepers, they also managed to add easing oil on the fishplates from 134 - 135.

The carriage team were again working on the TO, where more T&G side walls were added, as well as some partitions going up around the loo areas. The new experimental lighting was again tested in their workshop and proved most illuminating!

The flail was in use in the swamp area north of Cemetery Lane and then working the Down side of the Gorsey Bank line. This time it was much easier now that all of the electrical bits and pieces used in connection with the Tube Lines project have been removed.

No 3 was again in action, this time some of the drivers were being examined, I am pleased to say that two have now got their wings - or is it wheels?!

The VCT have ranged far and wide, collecting material from Wirksworth before heading south with materials. They collected posts and rope from the area near Jebbs Lane, the posts being cascaded to one of out local farmers who sought our help to reinforce his fence. The fence was
complete from the railway point of view, but we able to help our community where we can. They also replaced a fence post knocked over at another accomodation crossing.They collected some waste material from near 139, as well as doing more work around F5. What busy little bees!

The Starter motor has been removed from Tommy, and awaits testing to see what problems are to be found therein.

A few Admin notes from Stuart Smith:

  • There have been a few new faces, or ones that we have not seen for a bit, Stuart will be holding another PTS course so he requires names.

  • Please call in at Wirksworth on Tuesday or Thursday for your photo to be taken for your new PTS cards.

  • The new Rule Book and Sectional Appendix will be added to the members section of the website very shortly.

  • Now some of our members have been passed out as steam crew there are a few vacancies coming up for training courses.

  • The timetable for the upcoming steam Gala is being corrected and will be available in the next couple of days.

An Admin note from Neil, please have a look at the one last push part of the website, and pester your friends with it


Monday, 28 June 2010

Progress Monday 28th June 2010

Dear all
Quite a peaceful day where the opportunity was taken for a whole weed treatment run. Having been involved in these since the last war, or so it seems, it is most encouraging to see that we are much more advanced than previous years in getting on top of this job. None of us can be proud of a weed strewn line and we seem to be bottoming this task with the notable exception of areas of mares tail that blankets the track in places. I am not sure how we conquer this one but we will keep trying.
Back at base an attempt to resolve a fault on Tommy revealed that the starter motor is defective. A solution is being sought.
The only other activity today was the Booking Hall which failed singularly to attract any income other than Phil's Pot Noodle - I think that's what was.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Progress Sunday the 27th June 2010

Dear all,

Vot a scorcher. Oh, I'm sorry. What a scorcher. Well, today we did so
much I barely know where to start. At Duffield the Sunday gang (Gold
Card section) in a whopping performance, mixed, poured and laid 2 1/2
tons of concrete, or tones, as we say in the stock book, and constructed
40 foot of wall for the platform, before retiring for a sweet sherry and
an afternoon listening to Radio 2.

In the engineerium a Mess of Fitters, at times resembling the shed at
Bangalore, furtled Hydra; addressed the clutch of the narrow gauge
engine; tightened the nuts on the luggage racks of the Met Cam centre
car; refitted and polished its heater ducting; dealt with the clay
something of the blastpipe of Brian Harrison and then shunted her to the
water crane to be watered for Tuesday. This not being enough, there then
followed a frenzy of tidying up around the shed including the despatch
of scrap to the skip and the shockingly neat stacking of the bowsers,
this was then followed by the construction of a bothy for Iris's
generator, which now only needs a very small wire to connect it up
before it can be some considerable use.

A magistrate of conscripts undercoated the middle yard gate which had
been scraped yesterday and then painted the outside north end door of
the shed green and the inside grey. In addition to this a ballast top
dressing was applied to the headshunt buffer stop area following
yesterdays work to top dress the down cess drain. Weeding and gardening
continued on the Booking Hall embankment and the much admired flowers
were watered by Henshaw Enterprises.

The passenger service was busier than expected and once again the
weekend's results were better than last year. The Day with a Driver
spent all day with us before returning to Wolverhampton in a more
leisurely way than was the case yesterday. In the soaring temperatures
filming took place in D8001 which thundered round the corner to the
Hannages for the camera and this will shortly be available in HD and on
Blu-ray entitled "How to drive a Class 20 wearing only a thong".

All the best,

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Progress Saturday 26th June 2010

Evening all,

A glorious day with the morning starting off warm and it becoming very hot by the afternoon - almost too hot to work but we soldiered on.

The day started with a private party which gave our catering team and early morning workout. After this, passenger numbers were rather on the light side until the final train, where much to the guards surprise, a large party of walkers were waiting to greet the train at Idridgehay. These people helped us beat last years numbers.

Down the yard, a small team continued in the heat to refurbish the 101 Centre Car. The ceiling trim was put up and cleaning of the floor heater ducting was continued. After the trim was all put up, the day culminated in the newly cleaned luggage racks being returned to their rightful positions. This is a great step forwards.

A short distance away a lone ranger continued work on the south vestibule partition in the LMS TO.

Ballast was shovelled into the headshunt drain to make it look more presentable and work continued on the North End footpath overgrowth to make the path visible again.

A good day,

Mike Evans via Leigh

Get a free e-mail account with Hotmail. Sign-up now.

Friday, 25 June 2010

New Stock List Available for Download

Evening all,

A new version of the stock list is available for all to download from the usual location. This time it includes mainly minor updates.


Get a new e-mail account with Hotmail - Free. Sign-up now.

Progress Friday 25th June 2010

Dear all
Another very pleasant day with a satisfactory work rate at Duffield platform with the completion of the second layer of stone blocks on the section of wall that had to be taken down and rebuilt. The master craftsman will be in attendance both tomorrow and Sunday and would welcome any help you can give.
Much dmu maintenance took place with both 51505 and 51188 receiving attention. Gary the Pole removed the camera from the lighting pole near the Maintenance Facility together with its casing for relocation in the new grand plan. He then undertook watering duties to refresh the station garden and all the pots and planters.
Further flailing of the Incline was achieved together with a little more attention to the perimeter of the Car Park. IMT patrolled the Incline and the line from Idridgehay to Milepost 139 1/2 remedying minor defects as they progressed.
The Booking Hall welcomed a few visitors and prepared for the weekend.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Progress Thursday 24th June 2010

Dear all
The PWT star again with 35 sleepers changed and 8 pairs of fishplates greased and I am running out words to describe their remarkable performance over the last few weeks but you really do have to take your hat off to the outstanding productivity that is being achieved.
We also earned some funds today with a Group Drive a Diesel Day admirably hosted by John Allsop and Richard Buckby who orchestrated during the afternoon a transit of the Sturgeon to Shottle conveying a mixed load of materials for the VCT and building materials for Duffield platform. LJB collected the vehicle from Shottle allowing the VCT materials to be discharged at Hazelwood and the remaining load to reach Duffield.
VCT completed their work at bridge DJW8 just north of Postern lodge and delivered scrap to Shottle for the skip located there. It was a two fire day and two new posts were installed at footpath F5 incorporating the "Ecclesbourne" solution that moves the decision point closer to the track giving much better sight lines to both the pedestrian and the train driver. This is proving to be a most satisfactory development that will extend to all our crossings over time.
DRE continued with Duffield platform and added more stone blocks to the reconstruction with a threat to increase productivity quite dramatically over the next few weeks.
The Komatsu 130 commenced a further whole line flail by concentrating on the Incline today in addition of giving the Car Park perimeter a trim and moving bags of ballast from near Platform 3 to the area north of Cemetery Lane bridge. Some further attention was paid to the miniature railway main line and the Booking Hall opened to welcome our Drive a Diesel guests and a few visitors.
In the background there was an intense day of financial management as the books were brought up to date - not exciting but very necessary!
PS - owing to holidays there will be no Sunday Permanent Way gang but normal service will resume the week after

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Progress Wednesday 23rd June 2010

Dear all
The day started with almost welcome donation of fuel closely followed by today's customer who continued to develop a new rail carrying device. A little work was achieved on the Shell/BP tank before the sun got too hot. A new pole was erected on the former dust dock that will host a super wizzo web cam sourced from China at some cost to the Company.
L J Breeze tripped the Lowmac and Flatrol from Duffield and the Sturgeon from Shottle and positioned the Sturgeon in Wirksworth Car Park to receive building materials for Duffield platform. The Lowmac and Flatrol were berthed to be available when the next delivery of sleepers arrives. LJB returned to the work site north of Duffield where the team have achieved a commendable 29 replacement sleepers despite most of the gang departing early to watch television to see an England victory.
The Buffet Car was occupied this afternoon by a Relate meeting and the Booking Hall welcomed a number of visitors before closing early for the match!
A most pleasant day again

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Progress Tuesday 22nd June 2010

Dear all
A day of frenetic activity with the PWT taking the accolade for yet another earth shattering record of 52 sleepers changed. We have never come close this total before and we all take our hat off to this spectacular achievement. The team also encompassed fishplate greasing which is such a final part of the process.
More humble achievements were made elsewhere with the VCT dealing with an area around bridge DJW 8, cutting and burning much brash and completing the repainting of the bridge's handrails. Gate stops have been fitted to Ken Rowland's crossing to prevent the new gates swinging across the railway. Milepost 136 has had its final coat of gloss white and awaits the back numbers.
The DST modified the blast pipe on Ferrybridge No3  and fitted a new blower ring.( I don't really understand what this means but I think it helps the loco steam more freely)
The Komatsu was returned to Wirksworth, having had the flail refitted, dealing with areas of growth that had began to strike the trains. Maintenance ensued so that a whole line pass can commence on Thursday.
DRE continued wall rebuilding at the Duffield platform exhausting the supplies of materials on site. Further deliveries are planned for tomorrow.
Time was spent with further fixing down of the miniature railway track and the LMSCA tested their prototype LED light system declaring it to be a success. Work also progressed on the Stanier Third Open with further tongue and grove wall panelling and the toilet wall panels being manufactured.
The Booking Hall welcomed quite a number of visitors and Catering prepared for their BuyaGift clients tomorrow.
A most pleasant day.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Progress Monday 21st June 2010

Dear all
A most pleasant "longest day" as we welcomed a customer who was demonstrating track surveying equipment to his potential customers. The day was declared a success and I am hopeful of repeat business.
Ferrybridge No3 was returned to its ash pit and progress was made with the ceiling of the Met-Cam centre car. The Saloon had its final coat of roof undercoat and should be extremely well sealed against water ingress.
Many visitors were brought out in the warm sunshine and the Booking Hall managed to relieve some of them of their loose change. Today's customer paid by debit card making this the largest single transaction to go through our new chip and pin machine - isn't technology wonderful?
Phil met with the InTraining representative to clear down some administrative issues that surround our young track renovation recruits.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Mail on Sunday 20th June 2010

Dear all
A nice piece of publicity for us and the Day with a Driver product in the travel section of today's Mail on Sunday.(Page 50)
Nice to make the national press!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Saturday 19th June 2010

Evening all,

Day one of two of this years Teddy Bear Days and in all, passenger numbers were up on last year - probably due to the this being the first Teddy Days in living history where it hasn't rained!

Thanks to all involved for running the intensive timetable, setting up the bear hunts and story telling and for running cab rides. Todays Day with a Driver also had a good day.

Mike Evans via Leigh

Get a free e-mail account with Hotmail. Sign-up now.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Progress Friday 18th June 2010

Dear all
We welcomed today's Drive a Diesel participant who had travelled from Hull with his partner. They were ably hosted by Richard and Hylton and participated in a little shunting at Wirksworth with Tommy and a journey down the line with D8001. They both left the site this evening declaring that they had enjoyed the day very much.
IMT journeyed to Shottle to collect L J Breeze for refuelling at Wirksworth and returned the loco to Shottle to await the Class 20 conveying the sleepers that were delivered this morning. These vehicles were transferred to the waiting LJB and tripped to Duffield. The Class 20 resumed its driver experience duties between Shottle and Wirksworth culminating with a run up the Incline.
The Komatsu 130 also moved from Duffield to Shottle to resume flailing work next week. DMU maintenance embraced the rectification of a throttle defect on 51505 and curing a leaking heater on 51188. Judging by today's weather it won't be long before we need the heaters again.
Amongst the shunting at Wirksworth, the Saloon, Ferrybridge No3 and Tommy were placed at Platform 1 for the Teddy Bears Weekend. The rebuilding of Duffield platform moved forward and Thales removed the last of the equipment associated with the Tube Lines contract. All that now remains is the Halcrow Portakabin which will depart in the next couple of weeks.
The Booking Hall welcomed a few visitors and prepared, along with Catering, for record crowds tomorrow - I am an optimist.
A busy and productive day.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Progress Thursday 17th June 2010

Dear all
Quite a hectic day with four customers on site at one time or another. Today's test customer had a disappointing day with the machine having a mind of its own - still that's the value of testing in the serenity of the Wirksworth Test Track. Thales commenced stripping out the equipment associated with the now completed Tube Lines contract and a third customer entertained guests from Network Rail. The fourth customer dropped equipment off for their demonstration day next Monday.
In the midst of turning attention to a future visit of Turkish Engineering students a request was received from a Korean rail company to visit our test facilities. We will conquer the world!
Work continued on preparing the Shell/BP tank wagon for repainting and the miniature railway track laying team were fastening their main line down.
VCT had a final day at the cutting near milepost 1341/4 declaring themselves satisfied with the result. PWT had a day fishplate greasing, replacing a G clamp with a fishplate and digging out ready for further sleeper supplies.
DRE completed a section of footings in connection with rebuilding and repairing Duffield platform wall.
Jamie's photo studio was open during the day in connection with the issue of new PTS cards. He will be in residence each Thursday for the foreseeable future to catch everyone who has passed the course.
The phone rang non stop all day with some productive calls and the Booking Hall was open to welcome a few visitors tempted out by the warm sunshine.
PS - Those of you who have spotted that we a webcam up and running on the web site will have seen a great deal of activity in the normally peaceful car park.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Progress, Wednesday 16th June

Evenin' all,

A glorious day, with a rail temperature of 35 deg.

The Per way team raced to Duffield and collected any sleepers lying around, in odd wagons or in the long grass, they laid a total of 9 today (yesterdays total actually reads 15 changed - I just put 10 down to see if anyone reads this blurb!). A particular problem at Hazlewood was addressed, many years ago BR staff 'stitched' a shallow culvert by putting rails outside the running rails and bolting them around the sleepers leaving long ends of bolts exposed. These wer highlighted last week with a low ride vehicle for test. These bolts have now been reduced in size, and their ends removed. This meant a great deal of cutting.

The yards at Shottle and at Hazlewood were weed treated, as well as Shottle platform.

The roof of the Inspection Saloon had a coat of primer.

At Duffield, the Civils team unloaded more blocks, sand etc on the platform and continued to remove the facing wall at the south end, as suspected there were no footings, shuttering was built up reafdy for the first 45' to have a load of concrete dropped tomorrow.The Komatsu was again in use unloading the train.The machine has been finished with for a few weeks and will go back to mowing duties next week.

All of the site fire extinguishers have been checked and updated.

Tommorrow is a little hectic, with one vehicle carrying out a whole line test, another client working on the length of CWR on the Hannages, the start of dismantling the TBTC system on the Hannages, and next weeks client bringing bits in.


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Bus and Rail Gala

A very late evening,

Just a quick note to say that the information page for the Bus and Rail Gala in July has now been created. It may get updated as the event draws closer but it is useful to get the information out early as I know some are eager to discover what heritage buses will be attendance!

The page can be viewed at


Get a free e-mail account with Hotmail. Sign-up now.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Progress Report Sunday 13th June 2010

Dear all,

A dry morning and a moist afternoon. In news from the south, the Sunday
P-Way gang at Duffield greased a selection of fishplates and proceeded
to jack and pack the road-rail access siding (the bit at the end of the

At Wirksworth, the dry morning enabled us to deal with a great deal of
cleaning and scrubbing. Half the steam engine was cleaned, possibly the
top half, though Matt said the bottom half. Ted said it was the left
half and Bob said it was the right half. In fact it was probably the
front and back halves. Meanwhile the Class 20 crew adjusted their
locomotive's many working parts and also indulged in some cleaning. To
add to this frenzy of mops, buckets and rags, the Met Cams received the
full attention of Leigh and his scrubber, even on both sides, or halves,
as we sometimes say.

The Day with a Driver extracted his maximum value for money from our
selection of service trains and the entire and utter provision of
refreshments available both in the Booking Hall and the Bistro de Jeff.
The service trains were modestly busy in the morning but rather less so
once the heavens opened in the afternoon. The Duty Conscript, reported
to have been "on holiday" (at Her Majesty's Pleasure) assisted the
cleaning of the Met Cams, both interior and exterior; moved the scrap
picnic tables to the great picnic area in the sky, and then collected
assorted piles from near the garage, where the process of cleansing has
been almost completed apart from several intransigent barrels.

In the engineerium a bucket was constructed for the transmitting of
coals to the steam locomotive via the miracle of the fork lift truck.

All the best,

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Progress Sat 12th June 2010

Evening all,

A nice and (eventually) warm day in which all drivable DMU vehicles moved! Iris ran the Ravenstor service whilst the Bubblecar bubbled up and down to Idridgehay, with reasonable passenger numbers. The 117/101 hybrid was split and the two 101 vehicles were put back together, these have been delivered to Platform 1 ready to be cleaned tomorrow. The 117 was then coupled to the newly arrived 108. This helped today's Day with a Driver guest have a most pleasant experience.

First thing this morning the works train was assembled, fed and delivered to Duffield...before our Duffield Stationmaster reported for duty! Tommy and Hydra were then moved towards the pit to have their batteries excited.

The lawn by the side of the incline was mown and the Class 20 Locomotive Society held their AGM on a platform bench in the sunshine. Painting inside the LMS TO coach also progressed.

Not a bad day,

Mike Evans via Leigh

Get a free e-mail account with Hotmail. Sign-up now.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Progress Friday 11th June 2010

Dear all
A day of great activity with building materials arriving early for loading to the Works Train for shipment to Duffield providing all the necessary materials to commence the platform reconstruction. In addition the cement mixer had a new motor fitted so it could play its part in the scheme.
After days of effort, and the Motive Power Superintendent receiving a bump on the head, the fluid flywheel on E51505 was installed and the result declared a success. Preparation of the new webcam pole was achieved and painting will ensue next week. The EVRA shop contents were emptied, or so it seemed, and transported to Bakewell for a show this weekend.
Track laying of a more light nature continued on the miniature railway along the frontage of the station garden.
The IMT did extremely well today with their first venture into vegetation control achieving a whole line pass to Duffield and back together with a trip along the Gorsey Bank line. During their return from Duffield they tended to a sleeper that had been dislodged in the accommodation crossing A6 north of Idridgehay.
The ash pit water pump was improved and we entertained a Drive a Diesel Day with the participant being an avid Class 20 enthusiast. He was very happy and full of praise for Richard and Hylton's running of the day.
The Booking Hall welcomed a number of visitors encouraged out by a little sunshine and distinctly warmer temperatures.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Progress Thursday 10th June 2010

Dear all
A dank, cold day taking us back to wintery weather evoking sympathy for today's charter train group. After enjoying lunch in the Gatwick Express they journeyed to Ravenstor and Idridgehay as part of a week long study tour of Derbyshire's canals and disused railways. Happily in our case, a disused railway that has returned to life.
John Allsop made great progress with the Saloon roof to be interrupted for a short while to prepare and platform the charter train due to a late running Lidgett. There was a lone LMSCA worker making parts for their coaching stock and Ferrybridge No3 had a clean out of the fire and smoke boxes - a very dirty job reserved for the real enthusiasts.
The Permanent Way Team had a further day of jacking and packing at Duffield together with a track slew to put the main line in the right place for platform construction. The Works Train then returned to Wirksworth picking up the Sturgeon at Shottle for loading with building materials tomorrow. The VCT were active in the Hazelwood area.
Contractors working for Severn Trent Water started modifying Ken Rowlands Crossing and, at our request, are replicating the worked achieved at Postern Lodge (Travis Folly) whereby the gates are brought closer to the Railway greatly improving the sight lines for both road and rail vehicles. This is at their expense and we are grateful for the generous gesture.
A regular customer visited the Gorsey Bank line to experiment with a new piece of kit and the length of long welded rail provided for the purpose. We welcomed visitors form the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway and the Booking Hall till earned its keep.
PS - Charlie who lives opposite the Booking Hall has had a slight heart attack and is in hospital recovering with every hope of returning home soon. He has been very helpful in checking on the security of the site overnight and we wish him a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, anyone who can is asked to check on the area out of hours to ensure we are as secure and safe as we can be. 

Monday, 7 June 2010

Progress Monday 7th June 2010

Dear all
A most encouraging day with a group of four on a Drive a Diesel Day ably hosted by John Allsop and Richard Buckby. They all expressed much appreciation for the hospitality shown to them. Jeff provided their lunches and prepared for tomorrow's influx of commercial customers requiring both lunch and afternoon tea.
Elements of tomorrow's customer arrived with a road trailer from Berlin and a rather splendid machine from Austria. The drivers had a brief introduction to our handsignals before moving onto the Gorsey Bank line for some last minute adjustments and the machine is resting in Platform 1 overnight.
The Booking Hall played its part in today's proceedings with a welcome for our Drive a Diesel Day customers and fielding a number of telephone calls.
Some work was done on the shape of the steam gala to be held in early August and the timetable for it finalised.This will be published shortly when a few more details are resolved.
For those of you anxious for news about our web cams, a new pole was delivered today which will be fixed to the former dust dock allowing more panoramic views of the Wirksworth site.
A little late news from Duffield where the main line hanging baskets and planters had attention from Dorothy and David on Saturday.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Progress Sunday the 6th June 2010

Dear all,

A rather close day with the morning wake-up call being composed of a
6.20 am thunderstorm. Naturally this got us all up and a rapid start to
the day was made within three and a half hours. This was followed by a
cup of tea.

In late news from yesterday, the LMSCA proceeded with painting and the
Group Drive a Diesel party were very happily entertained to a morning's
shunting of bogies, amongst other things. Examination of the flywheel of
railcar 51505 resulted in progress and further work is now in hand with
the arrival of fresh tackle today.

At Duffield, a small but sturdy team progressed the fitting of 10 pairs
of lift plates, dealt with various base plates, greased themselves up
and addressed a panel of track in the tunnel, by the general heightening
thereof. In the engineerium the DMU team's most dedicated scrubbers
continued the cleaning of the luggage racks, one of those necessary but
interminable tasks. The rest of the DMU team being occupied with cream
tea testing in the buffet car, as well as inserting the weekly enema
into the till system.

The weekend in general was steady rather than busy, but some
gratification was taken when it was found that we had doubled Saturday's
passenger income compared to the same weekend last year. We also had a
Day with a Driver guest from Banbury and some courthouse notes were
exchanged. On the subject of the courthouse there having been no
conscripts this weekend, the odd job list was left to the rather bruised
and mildly groaning passenger dept. That the bruises were about the size
of paintballs was entirely co-incidental. The main thrust of this
somewhat aching process was the clearing, shovelling, weeding and
sweeping of the Station Approach footpath and the removal of a redundant
box half way along it.

Overall a pleasant weekend with no alarms or excursions except the
traditional cow on the line and inevitable wasps in the paint store.

All the best,

Friday, 4 June 2010

Progress Friday 4th June 2010

Dear all
A wonderfully pleasant day in the foothills of the Peak District with much technical endeavour with a fluid flywheel that had sustained a broken bearing on Met-Cam car 51505 that will require further effort tomorrow. I have now used up all my technical knowledge and I am sure further details will be appended to tomorrow's report.
IMT were charged with changing over the Works Train locomotives with LJB being taken to Duffield and Tommy returning to Wirksworth for servicing and brake adjustment. The return journey with Tommy was extended as the loco overheated and needed topping up with water at Shottle with thanks to Peak Oil.
Catering were in action preparing for the weekend and a second picnic table was assembled without the help of the Czech instructions.
DRE reported achieving absolutely nothing today but assured me that enhanced productivity would be in place next week.
The phone rang constantly with BuyaGift bookings and preparations for a rather special test day next week. It is quite encouraging that we entertain test customers every day next week after quite a fallow period.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Progress Thursday 3rd June 2010

Dear all
As seems to be the case most days now there were work parties at several places as the Dash for Duffield proceeds apace. The Permanent Way Team were one sleeper away from milepost 133 3/4 with only 9 available to them today. The remainder of the day was spent clearing away the remnants of the previous timber and transporting them north to a site where they can quietly rot away. Supplies have been arranged for a week on Friday and Phil has some exciting new projects planned for the team next week that are all based at Duffield.
A little further north a reduced VCT reported a splendid fire in the area of milepost 134 1/4 concentrating on despatching previously cut brash and transporting sundry pieces of metal scrap to Hazelwood. Earlier in the day the Works Train had delivered the Sturgeon to Shottle pursued by the Komatsu which unloaded the coping stones removed from Duffield platform. A proportion have been retained for future repairs to Shottle platform and the remainder stacked for sale to assist with the shortfall of funds to complete the Duffield project. The Komatsu was returned to Duffield at the end of the day.
At Wirksworth the rail drill had a much needed full service and the LMSCA took delivery of timber sourced in Sheffield to aid the completion of the interior of the Third Open coach.
The Booking Hall welcomed a few visitors, fielded the usual phone calls and assembled one of the new picnic tables. The instructions appeared to be written in Czech!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Progress, Wednesday 2nd June

Evenin' all,

After a dull and misty start, it was a day of warm sunshine.

The Civils gang continued work on Duffield platform by removing some
of the obviously loose stonework from the platform face. Their work has
already been seen by some of the locals who are again happy to see

The per way team were out in force on 'heart-break straight' north
from Duffield, where they laid 26ish sleepers. On return to Duffield,
some shunting was carried out and the Sturgeon added to the consist of
the train for tomorrow.

A trip was made to our purveyor of track components and various lift
plates were brought to site ready for work next week.

Tomorrow sees the last few of the present sleepers being laid, then a
collection of the pre-used ones will take place.