Quite a satisfactory day today when it was thought the world would still be sleeping. Richard and Hylton responded to an appeal for a day of shunting in Wirksworth Yard which achieved a number of very useful tasks. The three Dogfish were put into the Wash Green dock for loading with ballast next week, The Duke was moved back to the Maintenance Facility area so work can commence in ernest to return it to operational use, the Saloon was put within the Maintenance Facility ready for work to start on its exterior restoration and the SK visited the new steam shed construction before being berthed before its next outing. Dmus crowding the Third Open restoration were moved out of the way.
The work on the "steam shed" speeded up a little and the presentation of the SK demonstrated that the structure could accommodate the largest of our fleet and, thus, any other visitors that might arrive.
The LMSCA were in evidence with further work on the axle boxes and the movement of the dmus has facilitated this work. The recently arrived LMS Brakevan has received further attention and the owner left at the end of the day to collect more new timber for the vehicle.
Late advice was received of the immanent arrival of a second water tank wagon sourced by EVRA from the Llangollen Railway and the vehicle was duly unloaded onto the Car Park siding. This comforts us that we will be able to water visiting steam locomotives in 2011.
The DMU team had an exploratory trip to Butterley and returned with a few goodies.
The day has been dank, foggy and quite miserable and I congratulate everyone who contributed to pushing our project forward.
As this will be my last contribution of 2010 I would like to extend my very good wishes for 2011. For our Railway this will represent such a step change in so many ways and cause our many specialist teams several excitements as the opening deadline approaches. The opening of the whole line to passengers will not be the end of the project as there are so many other things to achieve but it will mark the first 10 years of endeavour. If you can actively participate between now and April 2011 we need you! Other behind the scenes work is equally important to ensure our admin, ticketing, marketing and publicity are all in place for the great day.
We have got this far by the extreme generosity of people giving of their time, a stupendous 400,000 hours; their money, £600,000 in share subscriptions, other peoples money, some £500,000 and trading profit. 2011 sees a new dawn that will test everyone's health and temper with a programme of pretty constant activity from April through to October. The prize will be an ability to invest in areas of our enterprise that have had to live on a shoestring - maintenance, station buildings, Shottle etc. ect.
PS - I attach a photo of part of the interior of the Stanier Third Open that illustrates how much this shell has come on but, equally, how much work is needed to make this coach part of our pening train some three months away.