Monday, 31 January 2011
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Phew, another day in which we tirelessly thundered along. Iris received
the main thrust of our attention, in which the DMU team began exchanging
her current slightly incorrect seats for the right ones. The right ones,
reproduced at considerable expense, bear a very lovely green pattern
moquette with (rather inexplicably) small sea-shells on them: they are
quite delightful. This is, however, a hugely time-consuming process, and
as the former seats are removed from Iris and her own inserted, the
former seats (which are themselves of a high standard) will be going
into the Met Cam centre car. This is likely to take the whole of
February to achieve. Iris also had her bogies cleaned, with several
parts and a number of our cadets being well greased up.
Meanwhile, the steam team ministered to Ferrybridge No3, and it is being
de-winterised ready for a boiler inspection to take place shortly. The
LMS Brakevan continued to be de-constituted to its framework, with a
further application of the angle grinder today.
In the BSK, where the paint fumes were clearly beginning to have a
hallucinogenic effect on the three slappers inside, Captain Jack, Prince
Bradley of Narnia and a rabbit on a motorbike were in full production,
and the cage-work has been undercoated, to our considerable satisfaction.
Once again a magistrate of conscripts tested our vast organisational
skills and more painting was undertaken (the ladies toilet will be
returned to again next week), the North End School path fence was
repaired, and the carriage sidings walking route made more level. There
also appears to be an acute national shortage of wheelbarrows in
Wirksworth Yard, and I appeal for their return.
The Booking Hall completed the laminating of price labels, a task also
progressed yesterday by Rooney's Professional Printers Plc, and dealt
with a range of visitors from cyclists to bikers, potential new
volunteers and the Hon.George Aldridge, who was inspecting his property
in the north; as well as parting our busy staff from their hard-earned
pie money and miraculously (for us) selling a copy of Derbyshire Life.
All the best,
Saturday, 29 January 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Monday, 24 January 2011
Sunday, 23 January 2011
A useful day with many small groups of volunteers around the site
carrying out a wide range of jobs. The most challenging of these jobs
transpired to be a reformation of the Gat Ex set, which involved a
gathering of carriage and wagon expertise not often seen in one place
together, and which took every hour of daylight we possessed,
unfortunately, whilst this proved successful at the end, we were not
able to get the requested dogfish into the ballast dock before night
overcame both us and an exhausted Rolling Stock Supervisor, and I
apologise for this.
Notwithstanding the shunting of the vast rake of wagons and carriages
which were sat in line 3, to enable the above to take place ("its like
Clapham Junction"), work proceeded with the crucial door backs to the
Met Cam centre car and now half are completed, along with their
associated Formica and the staining of two of them, thanks to Ashbourne
Stains. Even this apparently simple statement disguises a type of work
where the drilling of one hole took the best part of an hour, and which
was clearly trying the patience of the DMU Team, as well as exhausting
our supply of drill bits.
Around the yard, the Inspection Saloon progressed, with more painting to
be done tomorrow and the LMS brake van resounded to the sound of the
angle grinder. Lamport Dave put up two outstanding signs and then
proceeded to assist Allenby Enterprises and a lightly painted Captain
Jack with the application of undercoat to the BSK parcels compartment.
Another huge turnout of conscripts tested our supply of shovels and
wheelbarrows, and a whole series of winter potholes were filled in
station approach; the carriage area walking route levelled, and the
ladies toilet received the first of three coats of floor paint. Ladies
may have to wait a day or two now.
The Booking Hall spent the day repricing our interesting range of
goodies and dealt with several visitors including yet another charter
enquiry, who were shown the FO, fortunately back in its siding by the
time they arrived.
All the best,
Saturday, 22 January 2011
A brief report to say we had a most productive day continuing the work on the class 108 guards van trim; dealing with driver training (congrats to Tom T and Pete) and progress was made on the LMSCA Third Open's Art-Deco lights and other parts.
All the best,
Mike Evans via Anton
Friday, 21 January 2011
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Monday, 17 January 2011
Sunday, 16 January 2011
A pleasant start which turned damp as the day wore on. This did not
divert our volunteers from a huge range of tasks which were achieved
today. We will begin with the Steam Team, as they arrived before the
milkman. On Henry Ellison, which we shall call no 2217, panels were
welded to the cab back and welding also done to the front drawbar as
well as making some joints and cleaning the clack valves. On 2360 known
to you as No 3, some time was spent with the brick arch and making the
fire bar ring complete. Taking a break from their engines, the Steam
Team then freed the drain cap on the Tanker Wagon, repaired the thread
and welded the frost damaged pipe.
Meanwhile the milkman had delivered some green top and a wad of
conscripts, so many that it was necessary to create three teams. Tiny
Conscript was delegated to the removal of the Christmas Tree, which had
over-extended its welcome somewhat, or past twelve days anyway: this was
consigned to the potash pile accompanied by the annual ritual of burning
a year's supply of the Daily Mail. Small Conscript was delegated to the
eradication of Mount Thomas, a large pile of snow deposited outside the
Booking Hall during the recent execrable weather, which had refused to
melt: this has now been removed and much of the area around it swept and
some potholes filled. Regular Conscript was delegated to the tidying of
scaffolding poles to enable the transfer of certain scrap, sorry,
valuable railway artefacts from one carriage to another in the yard, for
later sorting by the LMSCA.
While this furious activity was taking place, the DMU Team had also bred
during the night into two teams and Team Blue proceed to eliminate the
Guard's Ejector System, a loose plank in the Guards Door of the class
108, which is famous for tipping guards onto the nearest pile of mud,
platform or slightly miffed passing waitress from the buffet car. Team
Blue then proceed to refit the lamp irons to the corridor end of the
108, a simple task taking a mere five and half hours of big hairy men
(sorry, Rob) swinging on elephant-sized spanners to return the said
irons to their correct places for the first time in 12 years. The ends
of the newly fitted handrail bolts were also successfully removed using
a very small tool, and this is of course no reflection on Brad or the
size of his tool. Team Green on the other hand occupied themselves with
the door backs for the Centre Car and these are composed of,
miraculously, the original 1957 Formica, which had survived various BR
refurb attempts and the infestation of the foul orange, so much a
feature of feckless 1970s BR interior design. The door backs are
therefore a delightful pale green, as they originally would have been.
I am sorry this is such a huge report, I won't keep you. Meanwhile in
the Gat Ex, Bramson Enterprises continued the replacement of the FO
armrests and now there remain only three to repair, in what has been a
long saga. Taking a break from this some roof scraping was also engaged
in, in the BSK, in preparation for its interior painting. Up in the
yard, the narrow gauge Lister received fitters attention, and the repair
work to the LMS Brake Van proceeded to the sound of the angle grinder.
We were quite, quite, exhausted. Fortunately the Pot Noodles arrived in
time for tea.
All the best,
Saturday, 15 January 2011
The only operations of the day were some further DMU driver training runs. These three guys have been providing their valuable assistance generally around the railway for a while now and it is excellent that they are finally getting close to not only fulfilling their ambitions of becoming a driver but also becoming a valuable addition to the team of drivers who will help us out significantly during the packed 2011 operating season.
Elsewhere, the second corridor connection of the Met-Camm Centre car was completed which is another great step towards having this vehicle ready for the opening. This means the vehicle can now be coupled up to other DMU vehicles properly so that passengers can walk through the train. Unfortunately, without an adapter, DMU corridor connections are not compatible with MkI corridor connections. Luckily though they do fit with LMS corridor connections!
The LMSCA were again in full swing working towards their ambitious target of completing the TO in time for the opening.
The 8F group were in attendance and so were the Passenger Department, who reported that it was currently warm enough to paint...
A very good day,
Friday, 14 January 2011
Platform work is again in full swing with 8 more tactiles laid, the steps at the North end completed and all the levels along the back edge marked out for installation of troughing.
The South crossover has been lubricated and readjusted after the Siberian weather affected the functioning of the fpl. Difficulty was experienced normalising the lock until Richard Hatch discovered a mammoth tusk stuck in the point blades. We were going to send it for carbon dating but R. Hatch distinctly remembers it dying there about 5 thousand years ago when he was a lad.
VCT have been in attendance again with their scorched earth policy in Duffield cutting. They estimate some 10 train loads of brash and rubbish has been removed including 3 more wagon loads today.
Next Tues all to sign on at Duffield as no works train due to occupation of the single line by one of our customers.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Those of you who have been around the station at Wirksworth over the
last two or three weeks will have noted the testing of maroon hi-vis
vests, and the discussions about it in the Mess Room and in general. For
some ten years now, the Railway has been effectively a construction site
and the standard hi-vis in use has been orange. However, we are now
changing to a fully operational railway from April, and there appears to
be a consensus that this is an opportunity to review the position. We
propose, therefore, that infrastructure and trackside activities will
retain orange, but that Operations and Passenger Dept staff and all
public visitors, such as Days with a Driver guests or persons wishing to
view the yard, will move to maroon in order to reduce the "sea of
orange" around our stations, which so often negatively impacts our
public, community and heritage image. We have used maroon as our
day-to-day uniform almost since the inception of the Railway, it has
been popular and makes us recognisable as having our own image rather
than us being some reproduction of BR or an appendage of Network Rail.
A supply of maroon hi-vis will be made available presently and we hope
you will support this approach.
With kindest regards
Anton Shone, Passenger Services Manager and Stuart Smith, Operations
Monday, 10 January 2011
Once the new site has launched, the live webcam streams will be temporarily unavailable to online viewers.
Sunday, 9 January 2011
A thoroughly pleasant winter's day here today. Starting at the south end
of the line, general tidying was in progress between Duffield and
Holloway Road. At Wirksworth the guerilla gardeners attended in force
and with the plans for the new embankment gardens. There will be three
gardens along the top of the west-facing embankment above the station,
where there are nice views of the trains and the town. At the south end
will be a circular garden with benches, a sitting area and a water
feature, with cottage garden plants. In the centre will be a vegetable
garden where growing things will be grown; and at the north end there
will be a Forest Garden which will be for wildlife including bees, field
mice, tigers and such.
Around the station the new 2011 timetables were put up and repairs and
relocations made to some of the poster boards. The Duty Conscript moved
a great deal of Complete Railway Aggregate Products from around the
coach sidings and then de-balled the Christmas Tree pending its removal
with the Komatsu, as it was a twinge to heavy to move with the mere 40
staff available this weekend.
The main thrust of the day was in the rolling stock. Much banging took
place in the LMS brake van and the brake van team were suitably happy at
the end of the day. Next to the brake van, the BSK, little mentioned in
these annals and a fairly recent arrival from another railway, had its
parcels compartment trim attended to, though not before some
particularly unique previous repairs at the vehicle's earlier home had
revealed themselves, which elicited a brief staff discussion about the
ability to differentiate ones buttocks from ones elbows.
Meanwhile the DMU team when not attempting to superglue Matt to the Met
Cam centre car, had begun work on the newly arrived door backs, which
have to be sanded and varnished as part of the general refurbishment
work on this vehicle. Most importantly however, the vacuum system of the
vehicle was tried and found to be generally sound and this is a major
step forward in its progress.
Continuing with rolling stock (it being one of those days), the
long-running fault preventing the Gat Ex TSO from heating its contents
(that is passengers) was traced to a switch in the heating system. The
TSO now has operational heating (the switch having been turned on).
Finally, the class 108 received its door grab handles and this completes
its exterior attachment work.
Finally, we convey our best wishes to Chris Lings upon his departure to
Australia, Chris has be a friend and ally to our Railway and to the DMU
team in particular, we wish him every success in a country famed for its
surfing and man-eating spiders.
All the best,
Saturday, 8 January 2011
Friday, 7 January 2011
Despite mother nature's best efforts to derail our plans today Hylton Holt and Tony Watt managed to trip the ballast hoppers to Duffield where their contents were duly spread along the platform line. In order to make the point with the said snow mother that we are not to be trifled with, we, with the help of Chris and John, boxed up the platform line with the remainder to be continued next week. Next weeks work will be p way at Duffield Tues, Wed, and Thursday so can shovel candidates please sign on Duffield at 9 am except the rostered works train crew who need to sign on at Wirksworth on Tuesday so they can be taxied to Duffield enabling them to work the hoppers back to Wirksworth on Tuesday at close of play. More white gold to be worked to Duffield on Thursday.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Tuesday, 4 January 2011
Sunday, 2 January 2011
A pleasant day of pottering around with the passenger service engaged in
its final day (we trust) of Idridgehay-only timetabled trains, with the
exception of a single planned service on Mothers Day, which will be
pre-bookable with lunch (details of this will be on the website
shortly), there will now be a short maintenance gap until the Duffield
line opening. We were not so busy as yesterday, but it was still a
cheerful start to the New Year.
Around the yard the DMU team shunted their various units to clear the
running lines and undertook further work on the guards van of the class
108. Various coolant and anti-freeze was topped up as the weather may
yet give us another moment, and Higham Enterprises attempted to do some
topping up of his own. The steam team proceeded with the construction of
a brick arch to the firebox parts of No 3, so that, as I understand it,
it will have a bigger chuff. The steam team has also asked me to see if
anyone wishes to assist with steam locomotive cleaning, the brunt of
this is currently born by Matt and Chris and more hands would be of
help. Should you be interested in applying the oily rag please let Bob
Gibbens know and he will happily describe the job.
All the best,