Thursday, 30 June 2011

Progress Thursday 30th June 2011

Dear all
Another bumper day of activity no without its dramas. The PWT had intended to set off to change rails at Jebbs Lane but L J Breeze was having a moment and declined to start. With the aid of Matt the fault was eventually discovered by nearly midday. In view of intelligence received Shottle became the priority to remove all useful track material from harms way and the team loaded up all available vehicles to move the equipment to Wirksworth.
The VCT had a great day with the much debated southern ramp fencing created to reflect those provided at Wirksworth. This fence has been concreted in and should not be leant on in the immediate future! The team then dealt with two trees with overhanging branches that were whacking the passing trains just north of Hazelwood and reported one good fire to burn the brash.
At Wirksworth Ferrybridge No3 has a steam test following its boiler washout earlier in the week and all was declared well with the loco for the upcoming weekend and taster programme on Monday. The two water tankers were also filled today. All our fire extinguishers were serviced during the day and several replacements provided for life expired cylinders and some foreign imports that had crept into the system.
The lone LMSCA representative continued with table manufacturing and took delivery of some vital components associated with the steam heating system to be fitted to the Third Open.
The Booking Hall remained in revenue generation mode and received a number of casual visitors to the station.
Tomorrow sees a great day for another Derbyshire railway with the extension into Matlock station by Peak Rail. The platform renovation at Matlock looks very well and I extend our fraternal greetings for a splendid weekend. With our extension opening, Steeple Grange moving forward and Peak Rail's achievements it really makes the County a place to visit for anyone interested in rail transport not to mention the National Tramway Museum and the Midland Railway Centre.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Progress Wednesday 29th June 2011

Dear all
A most successful and rewarding day as we provided a comprehensive opportunity for our customer to demonstrate equipment designed by them to a group of Network Rail representatives. This involved our team fitting the equipment, providing a charter train to collect and deliver the representatives from and to Duffield and running test trains through the equipment. The day also included meetings in the Training Room and the provision of a buffet lunch. All involved declared themselves content and pleased with the results of the day.
My thanks go to Mick Thomas, David N, Tom Tait, Hylton, Mike Evans, Graham and Matt for participating and making the event a show case for what we can offer. Jeff looked after the catering and there was little left at the end of the day. The work was associated with Thameslink and the equipment will be left in place on the Hannages to assess how it stands up to weathering and the passage of our own trains over the next few months.
The lone carriage cleaner managed a prodigious amount of work during all this activity and water pump repairs were effected for supplies to No 3.
The Booking Hall continued to process bookings and maintained the impetus of revamping the retail sales on offer there.
PS It is pleasing to report that Phil Tarry attended Birmingham University to received his Independent Competent Person qualification from Lord Faulkner, amongst others, joining a select band of practitioners. His speciality, you will be unsurprised with, is track drainage!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Progress Tuesday 28th June 2011

Dear all
Another bumper bundle of activity to report tonight and a tribute to yesterday's weed treatment exercise by Tony and Richard P ironically timed just right for the rains that fell during the night.
The DST completed a wash out of Ferrybridge No3 where all the team followed the routine dictated by Bob G taking up most of the day and content with their efforts. Henry Ellison also received further painting and the back cab is reported as largely complete.
The banners and supporting structure at Ken Rowland's farm entrance road were removed after a lengthy period with grateful thanks to Ken and Jean who tolerated the intrusion onto their land. The VCT worked in the area of MP 137 and had a two fire day. The recently purchased hedge cutter was put through its paces with satisfactory results so that we now have the combination of the flail and this new gadget to work on our 18 miles of lineside which is a most daunting task that nature continues to throw at us.
The Royal Saloon was washed prior to being returned to the Maintenance Facility during this week for varnishing of the exterior once dry again. We welcomed a customer who trialled and tested two machines the first of which was overseen by a Network Rail engineer. The customer was content that the day had been most productive and grateful to Mick Thomas who not only hosted the testing but was roped in to unload the second vehicle and reload it again at the end of the day. Tomorrow's customer together with Mick T and David N took delivery of the equipment to be used and tested. We are also required to provide a fenced area for observers to stand behind and found that our previous miles of blue fence had disappeared so orange, the new blue, fence was sourced together with the necessary road pins to support it.
The PWT disappeared south at the start of the day and replaced a further two rails under Barnsley Lane bridge. After this task they loaded two flat wagons with logs to satisfy what seems to be an insatiable demand for logs with one delivered for collection at Shottle and one for a Wirksworth customer. Given the small size of the team they did very well. Dawn had further dramatic effects on my office and encompassed the reorganisation and filing of Stuart's operating documentation. Remember gaze in amazement when you enter the inner sanctum.
As I write this our team of Graham, Tom and Richard B are awaiting tonight's charter customer, the Chesterfield Bus Society and Rodney is mowing the Duffield lawns.
Not a bad effort on the part of all concerned.
PS Beverley had prearranged a lunch on Saturday at the Gilbert Scott Restaurant at St Pancras as a belated birthday present for me knowing I had history at the station. I moved to London in 1965 to be a Station Manager's Office clerk which was located at the London end of the then Platform 7. My boss of the time donned his top hat to greet the Midland Pullman and the SMO dealt with passenger complaints of which their seemed many as the Peaks seemed to fail regularly and the Bed-Pan dmus were prone to failure and underfloor fires. Nonetheless happy and carefree times with regular visits to Ada who was the station announcer located in St Pancras Chambers, the former hotel, who broadcast from an office above the clock.
To see the hotel in its present state is such a credit to the standard of restoration and you cannot but wish them every success. I had to smile on the journey up to London, the 1001 from Derby which was a very well filled HST to be cautioned about suspicious passengers and advised there would be no catering due to "staffing issues". Nonetheless, the journey was fast and on time covering the ground a good thirty minutes or more faster than in 1965!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Progress Report Sunday the 26th of June 2011

Dear all,

Well, we certainly sweated today. A gratifyingly satisfactory day, with
many passengers on and around the railway and a very cheerful 70 year
old Day with a Driver guest, who must have inspected every corner of our
enterprise. A number of classic Austin Healey cars attracted the
attention of visitors on the dust dock, and their respective drivers and
helpers tried out our railway, many for the first time. I am very
grateful for everyone's hard work in sweltering conditions, the steam
crew in particular have no need to go to weightwatchers, having taken up
the entire mantel of the Ravenstor service on their own. I am also most
grateful to our Southampton Branch for stepping so deftly into the
breach today.

Around the yard, the class 31 received routine maintenance and was
declared operational after its fan replacements. Bramson Enterprises
spread himself over a vast number of tasks from ECS shunting to the
repair of the GatEx Buffet door and the painting of the south end buffer
beam of the BSK. The entire and utter wideway was mowed, as well as the
picnic area. Meanwhile, the Railway's DMU team were celebrating at the
Llandewi Brefi Boxer Shorts Convention, oh, I'm sorry, I'll read that
again... at the Llangollen Railway Railcar Convention and are expected
back in a very soon moment to report on their experiences and ask for
somewhere to keep a Pacer. (...request already refused).

All the best,

Friday, 24 June 2011

Progress Friday 24 June 2011

Dear all
The most important event today, because it involved earning money, was our group of four Drive a Diesel Day participants. The were very ably hosted by Richard B and John A with a morning on L J Breeze shunting the Saloon to Platform 1 for washing before varnishing and forming up Tuesday's Works Train to ensure a smart getaway that day. After lunch, where Jeff also catered for an extra three that had accompanied the participants, the team set off for Duffield in the Three Car dmu. Much praise for all concerned from our visitors that had travelled from Burgess Hill, Settle and Birmingham. The new formula without the benefit of the Class 20 seems to work very well.
Network Rail contractors pointed up bridge DJW 18, Barnsley Lane bridge, applying "tell tails" that flag up any future movement of this somewhat delicate structure.
Dmu maintenance was in progress today together with fuelling. The Class 31 was shunted so that work could be accomplished on it internals with a prospect of the locomotive being made operational.
The Booking Hall received our guests today together with further group enquiries and bookings.
The promised heat wave has not arrived as the day was mainly grey and overcast but we are promised great things over the weekend. The final specification for next week's testing was received and it would seem that we have an interesting few days before us.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Progress Thursday 23rd June 2011

Dear all
A small PWT turnout achieved great things that included clearing the former Dust Dock of its coal stack so that Sunday's Austin Healeys can park prettily and then moved on to empty the Flatrol of trolleys recovered from Gorsey Bank and the Lowmac of concrete sleepers also recovered from Gorsey Bank. The latter were loaded to the Sturgeon for eventual shipment to store at Shottle. After this productive activity the team moved on to Barnsley Lane bridge and replaced two corroded rails there utilising four of the lift fishplates acquired yesterday. Not a bad day for a severely depleted team.
The Booking Hall had quite a quiet day enabling the web site to be updated to include the participants expected on the up coming Classic Vehicle weekend.
Major test work will occur next week and planning for this has been concluded.

Classic Vehicle Event

Dear all,

The event information and list of attending vehicles for the forthcoming Classic Vehicle Event on 2nd/3rd July is now available on the website at


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Progress Wednesday 22nd June 2011

Dear all
The PWT patrolled the whole line dealing with minor faults and finding nothing to inhibit the continued running of our trains. The pointwork in the Wirksworth area also received an oiling of the slide chairs. This involved quite a team as the Railway is patrolled in manageable sections with Tony ensuring everyone is in the right position for their "length".
The lone carriage cleaner was faced with the three car set we are currently using as the service train. I have promised a smaller challenge next week!
The LMSCA "leg" project continued and Mike "the flail" Billings achieved a further mile of vegetation clearance as he reached Idridgehay.
The Booking Hall continued the endeavours to secure group bookings and minds are now being concentrated towards the Santa season where we will attempt to tap the Duffield market in addition to Wirksworth.
It was a day of sunshine and heavy showers. This tested the fortitude of those involved in outside work resulting in a fairly early termination of the day.

Derwent Valley Line Leaflet

The new 2011 Derwent Valley Line leaflet is available for viewing electronically by following the link under "Train Services" on the left side of our site. The leaflet gives details of how to change from the Derwent Valley main line rail service to our own.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Progress Tuesday 21st June 2011

Dear all
Another day of much endeavour with the DST out in force to give Ferrybridge No3 a monthly fitness to run exam which was a learning curve for all concerned. During the process they tended to leaking water gauges, adjusted the brakes and serviced the drain cocks. Another section of the team concentrated on cleaning further parts for Henry Ellison and resiting the recently donated milling machine to its desired location.
The VCT reported 3 good fires in the area between Shottle and "Willow Crossing" opening up more views on this section of line and a lone S&T worker had a bit of a sort out of his stores to source materials for future work at Shottle.
The PWT completed the canted section of the truncated Gorsey Bank line required for test work and began to stack the chaired sleepers released from this exercise. Three more rails were released for use on the "main" line and the team leader departed for K J Bownes of Worksop to source lift plates used when the rail head wear differs and would cause a step in the rail joint without their application.
An Office Angel in the form of Dawn continued the improvements to the clutter that has built up in my office over the last few years. A tremendous improvement will be noted by all future callers!
Work continued on the Mark 1 BSK and the Booking Hall processed yet more group bookings together with a reorganisation of the Booking Hall product displays. A briefing from next week's test customer of his requirements was most useful and resulted in some extra revenue from additional work required.
At the south end of the line weed treatment of the track through the platform and roadside pruning has taken place adjacent to the Holloway Road foot crossing over the last couple of days.
Prompted by an interested enquiry there were an amazing 35 volunteers on site today undertaking this range of tasks. Not bad!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Progress Monday 20th June 2011

Dear all
Quite a busy and pleasant day for a Monday! We welcomed a MTT customer who hosted a demonstration day a their equipment for Network Rail representatives that included lunch in the Gatwick Express. A charter operated for Wirksworth Childrens Nursery from Wirksworth to Ravenstor followed by a snack in the picnic area. There then followed a driver training trip down the "main" line. Mick Thomas, Patrick and John T ably hosted these projects.
The LMSCA continued their "leg" production and the Booking Hall clerk was somewhat shocked by all the activity.
We achieved a small exposure from Friday's Crimewatch programme and provided a waiting area for the BBC team involved. John Snell represented the Company at Maurice Cracknel's funeral on Friday recognising his contribution in the very early days to what we have today.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Progress Report Sunday the 19th of June 2011

Dear all,

Another fine day in the Socialist Republic of Wirksworth. Business was a
twinge better than yesterday due to the absence of rain and it was
almost warm. A Day with a Driver guest was given the grand tour. In the
yard, the DMU team stripped the ceiling of railcar 51505 ready for its
replacement after their holiday next week in Llanddewi Brefi. Meanwhile
the LMS brake van was surrounded by an entire tea break of engineers,
who were knee deep in cladding and paint.

The Duty Conscripts were allocated to scraping (which next week will
become painting) and digging holes. The said holes being for the repair
of the fencing along the school path and for a small but perfectly
formed bit of fence on the edge of the Community Garden. In the process,
the mower was applied to the community garden path which had become
sadly infested with an assortment of weeds.

In the Mess Room, the cupboard kick plates have been repaired, as well
as the vinyl flooring in the kitchen area. A lemon meringue pie was
reported as lost and will soon be featuring in a special episode of
Crimewatch Roadshow, where the entire Passenger Dept ("Extras" Section)
will be performing as a JLS tribute band in the background.

All the best,

Saturday, 18 June 2011

New Stock List Available for Download

Dear all,

A new version of the stock list is available for download from the usual location.


Progress Saturday 18th June 2011

Dear all,

A steady sort of a day which remained dry for the most part with occasional heavy showers saw again pleasing passenger numbers in comparison to last year. Both services to Duffield and Ravenstor were able to operate with the Responsible Officer being able to fill in as guard.

Down the yard, much work was done on the LMS brake van with new parts being added at last! On the subject of LMS, work continued on the new tables for the Third Open coach. The DMU team started the internal refresh of E51505 with the main area of work concentrating on renewing the ceiling that has rotted over the years.

Mike Evans via Leigh

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Progress Thursday 16th June 2011

Dear all
Another interesting day in the world of the EVR. We welcomed Derby Rotary Club for a journey to and from Duffield which was enjoyed by all the participants and they were ably hosted by Chris BE, David W and Richard B. Wirksworth was the feature of their day with lunch at the Red Lion and a guided Town tour organised by the Heritage Centre.
The PWT introduced some cant at the test end of the truncated end of the Gorsey Bank line and collected up the "small" fittings released by the section of line dismantled. At the end of the day Ferrybridge No3 and L J Breeze were positioned at Platform 1 for reason explained later.
The VCT opened up more views on the Down (west) side of the line at the former erosion site and enjoyed one very large fire.
The Booking Hall collected the Rotary Club contribution and continued to process group bookings.
A special mention for the Duffield Station Master who opened up the premises for last night's and today's charter and achieving some modest sales. His work is much appreciated for these extra demands on the station there.
Dmus were reorganised to release a replacement vehicle for the steam operations this weekend and ensuring that we have a "main line" train for the weekend.
Back to the positioning of locomotives at Platform 1. Unexpectedly a group from the BBC arrived and advised that they were producing Crimewatch live tomorrow morning that would feature the recent fire at the yard across the road from the station entrance. They wished to see some background to Wirksworth and noticed our activities. So I will have to arise somewhat early and we will see what happens! The programme runs from 0915 to 1000 on BBC 1 in the morning and we have provided a suitable background.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Progress Wednesday 15th June 2011

Dear all
Quite a day again with the PWT setting off to complete the first phase of fishplate greasing and achieving a successful result and they have been promised a special "well done".
Mike Billings also achieved great things with a further mile of flailing between Ken Rowland's crossing and Barnsley Lane bridge dealing with another mile of growth but avoiding a pheasant nesting site. This involved three to four passes each side of the line and I feel we are really making progress with this process having now dealt with the area from milepost 142 at Ravenstor to milepost 139 at Barnsley Lane. Only another six miles to go!
Derek has spent the day chamfering his legs with a total of ten produced during the day. Severn Trent Water have been tackling the water leak, eventually, that has been visible at Derby Road One bridge for some time.
The lone carriage cleaner was joined by a "trainee" today in the form of Ann, a new volunteer, and together they tackled the "Bubble Car" that has not been thoroughly cleaned since its excursion to the Severn Valley Railway in September last year. Cleaner number one had previously relieved the Gatwick Express of the detritus of its previous party booking.
Chris, Tom and Richard provided a charter train this evening for the Amber Valley Ramblers which will be followed by a buffet in the Gatwick Express. "Norfolk" Dave had organised this extravaganza and the weather improved just in time for the evening.
The Booking Hall continued to meet what seems to be an insatiable demand for charters and group bookings. Neil arose early to attend at Radio Derby for a feature on the impact of our activities on the Town of Wirksworth to great effect. A very nice piece establishing we are an ever growing force for good!
Essex Pete has been on location a Railtex 2011 undertaking a little undercover marketing resulting in a lead that could be beneficial to our enterprise. This was most satisfactory along with the crystallisation of a test day for a nationally known consulting company which will include charters to and from Duffield to collect their guests that will originate from London.
Newby enterprises dealt with watering, weeding and fertilisation of the flower displays at Duffield. This process was assisted naturally from above later in the day.
All very warming.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Progress Tuesday 14th June 2011

Dear all
Tuesdays always bring out a great attendance and today was no exception. The LMSCA continued their great table project and legs featured today! The DST were split between Ferrybridge No3 giving it a good clean following its exertions over the last couple of days and Henry Ellison (2217) where studs were removed from the dome cover and the boiler received a wash out. A contractor worked on riveting the foundation ring as the locomotive gradually comes together.
The PWT concentrated on the work associated with converting the former Gorsey Bank line to a headshunt and test site releasing much material that will be of use to developments on the "main line". The buffer stop has now been repositioned north of the Hannages footpath and the ballast refettled. This project has released rails, sleepers and fittings from what had become an unused asset saving considerable sums of money for essential repairs elsewhere.
The VCT, with a team of five, continued their endeavours north of Shottle and tended to the removal of overhanging branches and further revelation of views on the Down (west) side of the line. The customary large fire accompanied these activities resulting in some damage to Alan's headgear.
The return of the "Hatch" to active service saw all the Wirksworth ground frames receiving maintenance so that we meet our Safety Case obligations.
The Booking Hall had both an accounting day and continued with the encouraging growth in group bookings. Radio Derby bobbed in to record some sound effects provided by starting up the "Bubble" car and are to broadcast a piece tomorrow morning between 0700 and 0800 about the effect of our activities on the traders of Wirksworth - I gather its all positive stuff.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Progress Monday 13th June 2011

Dear all
A nice earning day today with another first for us with two experinece days in progress, one steam and one diesel. All the participants enjoyed themselves and declared themselves very pleased  with the variety of the day which included a steam hauled freight from Shottle to Wirksworth. Many thanks go to Mick, John HT, Hylton, Richard B and David N who hosted our guests.
They were well received in the Booking Hall and catered to by Jeff. All the activity encouraged a few visitors that benefited the EVRA shop as Pat was replacing goods from the activities at a Model Railway Weekend. The Head of Gardening worked away at the Wirksworth station garden before leaving for a spot of gardening leave in Devon and Cornwall.
A good day.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Progress Sunday the 12th June 2011

Dear all,

Well, for the best part of three months we have had a marquee over the
quad, intended to keep the rain off during the Opening. Naturally it has
barely rained in three months. This morning Rajinder came to pluck it
down, and within 30 minutes of the marquee vanishing up Coldwell Street
in the back of Rajinder's van, the heavens opened and it rained cats and
dogs all day. We were very wet. Very very wet.

However, we strangely took as much as we had yesterday, when the sun
shone and the car park was rammed from end to end. We welcomed a Rolls
Royce meet and they all brought picnics. Given the knee high moisture
bouncing off the picnic area, the picnics were taken in the first class
dining car. A Day with a Driver guest was also present and complimented
us on how friendly all the staff were including the "charming young man
with the hair on the train", and said how much they had enjoyed the day.

The Duty Conscript sloshed around the car park moving a bag of ballast
and dripped gently into a cup of tea at lunchtime. Evans the Pallet made
some useful repairs to the Ravenstor Gate and covered a couple of catch
pits south of Hazelwood to prevent things falling into them. Bramson
Engineering repaired the GLV Buffet Door, and a useful contribution to
profits was made by our cheerful Marxist-Lenninist Booking Hall staff at

I leave you now to steam my socks.

All the best,

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Progress Saturday 11th June 2011

Dear all,

A day which stayed dry right until the death saw a continuation of the decent passenger numbers that have been common so far. The Day with a Driver, who was eager arriving at 08:30, also enjoyed the day.

In the yard, work continued on Henry Ellison and the DMU team completed the replacement of a faulty vacuum cylinder on 55006. The cylinder was tested and seemed to work OK at the end of the day and it is hoped that the vehicle can return to traffic in the near future following a successful test run.

The second of our monthly induction sessions for new volunteers was held in the Training Room today and there was another flurry of people who can't wait to get started with us. For anybody that is interested, the next induction session for anybody wishing to volunteer with us will be on Saturday 16th July 14:00 at Wirksworth Station.

Mike Evans via Leigh

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Progress Thursday 9th June 2011

Dear all
Much activity, as ever, with a small, but perfectly formed, PWT cutting the long welded rail lying in the 4ft south of the Wash Green crossover, previously prepared for a customer, that will now will be used for the truncated Gorsey Bank line releasing useable rail for the "main" line.
The VCT continued their activities north of Shottle and riveting of the foundation ring for Henry Ellison moved to conclusion. The filled water tanker was moved into position for stem operations on Sunday and E51505 was released again to work with No3.
The LMSCA made further progress with tables for the Third Open and the Mark 1 BSK received attention as this project moves steadily forward. Housekeeping jobs occupied the Booking Hall team together with more revenue generation.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Progress Wednesday 8th June 2011

Dear all
A great deal of effort has been put into reorganising the Gorsey Bank line so that it becomes a head shunt for some five vehicles and then reverts to its role as part of the testing process. To this effect the bridge guard rail section has moved north and further work will see the canted track produced north of the Hannages footpath culminating with the buffer stops moving next week. The resultant "good" rail and sleepers will then be available for improvements to the "main" line. The PWT also completed this week's track patrol covering the area between Shottle and Wirksworth with minor faults being dealt with through the day.
The DST were in evidence in support of a contractor dealing with riveting the foundation ring of Henry Ellison. During lulls in activity miscellaneous parts were cleaned and painted. The station garden at Wirksworth received further attention and the Booking Hall had a most encouraging enquiry rate for five group bookings.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Progress Tuesday 7th June 2011

Dear all
Quite a day of activity but the first mention should be of thanks to Patrick, Graham and Richard who ably hosted two charters yesterday giving them quite a long day together with Jeff who provided two catering options for the parties. The first charter consisted of mainly children who had little respect for the seating in Iris which tested the patience of the team. The second consisted of Belper Rotary Club, who were well behaved!, and where gathered from and returned to Duffield leading to a late finish for the crew. The financial results were satisfactory for this amount of effort though.
Today saw many activities with Wirksworth's planters and tubs being refreshed and the LMSCA continuing with table construction together with the flooring in one of the Third Open toilets being tended to. The PWT were in two parts today with the Wirksworth contingent emptying the Tool Van and restowing it in a neat and tidy way. The valuable items in the Tool Van were marked with Smartwater so that it will help if we are visited again in the future. The other part of the PWT patrolled the line between Duffield and Shottle and revealed no undue alarms.
A water tanker was shunted to the refill site and the DST were working their magic on Henry Ellison and gave Ferrybridge No 3 a clean ready for Sunday.
The VCT returned to their work site north of Shottle and achieved a two fire day with their team of seven. They also filled four holes in the area of the Shottle Ground Frame which had been deemed to be a hazard.
Mike Billings had a most productive day with the Komatsu and flail cracking off a further mile of trackside clearance between Gorsey Bank and Ken Rowland's crossing that has been a most useful contribution to this task - only another 7 miles to go!.
The Booking Hall continued its income generating efforts.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Progress Report Sunday the 5th of June 2011

Dear all,

A pleasant, leisurely kind of day. The passenger service settled, for
the first time this year, into its normal timetable and the railcars
pottered cheerfully up and down the line. A Day with a Driver guest from
Crewe and his group declared themselves well satisfied with our friendly
little railway and hope to visit again.

At Duffield work has been taking place to progress the fitting out of
the Booking Hall and some charming flat-pack furniture has arrived on
the scene. At Wirksworth the Duty Conscript was allocated to the
time-honoured task of moving a pile of Complete Railway Aggregate
Product and this effort will, in due course, result in the tidying up of
Dale Tunnel mouth. A reminder to all concerned that the talking tunnel
is once again operational and should be turned off at the end of the
Booking Hall shift, this is so that we do not keep the neighbours awake
when a cat activates the motion sensor at three in the morning, so that
the dulcet tones of Tony Holmes can be heard throughout Bolehill
reciting the history of Dale Quarry.

Meanwhile around the yard, the steam team were progressing Henry Ellison
and the DMU team were covering the bogies of 50170 and themselves in
black paint from breakfast to teatime.

Connor Kilroy was reported to be exhausted from the consumption of a
giant economy pack of Cadbury's buttons.

Will Booking Hall staff please note that Booking Hall floats at both
Duffield and Wirksworth are now £80 effective immediately, as the 2011
fares structure appears to take all the change. Booking Hall floats
remain in the respective Booking Hall safes and do not get sent back to

All the best,

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Progress Saturday 4th June 2011

Dear all,

Another warm day, which saw good loadings on both the Duffield and Ravenstor trains, this being our first weekend of our "normal" timetable since the opening. The weather of course helped!

Down the yard, the LMSCA were continuing their work on the tables for the TO, the 8F group were painting the roof on their van body and much effort was exerted in taking apart the south bogey on 55006 in order to drop the faulty vacuum cylinder that has rendered this vehicle out of traffic for so long.

Mike Evans via Leigh

Friday, 3 June 2011

Friday 3rd June 2011

Dear all
Participants in today's Group Drive a Diesel Day provided a reminder of how much impact we are having on the local economy. Three of the four had stayed in local accommodation having travelled from Southampton, Leagrave and Ealing and converted their experience day into a short break holiday. Perhaps we will get some recognition for this one day?
Lewis and Hylton hosted the four on a varied day resulting in some very complementary comments about the whole experience and ambience of the Railway.
There was a strong dmu maintenance team on site as they dealt with a number of challenges presented by our fleet. Much progress was made with problems being diagnosed and remedies being found.
The Booking Hall welcomed a promising new recruit who has recently moved to the area. After an induction to the jobs to be undertaken she was roped in to the joys of carriage cleaning and I think she will be back with us.
PS - You may be interested that I am being extremely exercised by a personal injury claim being pursued by a member of a "work experience" project that we graciously accepted into our midst and hosted by our ever supportive volunteers. The claim for a damaged finger is being pursued by "no win no fee" solicitors and whilst this has been passed to our insurers this has cost the Company £460 in court fees already and will undoubtedly result in a higher insurance fee next year. You may say what price the Big Society if we are to be pursued at some cost to a voluntary organisation for acting in a charitable and accommodating manner. You can imagine my attitude to any further approaches from outside bodies.
PPS - Further stress has been caused by the injudicious posting of a photo on a Facebook site and it has not aided the future of our project. We live in a goldfish bowl and all I ask is that people engage brain before commenting on our activities.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Progress Thursday 2nd June 2011

Dear all
I have to confess taking an "early bath" today so this report may be less than complete! The VCT, I think, continued their endeavours north of Shottle although it may have been too warm for a fire?
A small, select, PWT started to address the shortening of the Gorsey Bank line to release usable rails for the "main" line by preparing for the northward movement of the bridge guard rail section that forms part of the test track work. Next week will see further activity in this area.
Some brash clearance took place on the Incline and the LMSCA were undertaking seat repairs. A further push with Faraday was in evidence
The Booking Hall had yet more success with group bookings on prearranged service trains which produce a most encouraging yield.
PS - Some of you may have noticed that we welcome our first main line tour from St Pancras to Wirksworth on Thursday 13th October. This will be HST St Pancras to Duffield and Barrow Hill with heritage dmu connections to Wirksworth. Perhaps the first of many?

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Progress Wednesday 1st June 2011

Dear all
A pleasant start to the month as the temperatures start to rise for a few days. The PWT set off by Landrover and achieved a further 18 pairs of greased fishplates. Foreman Tony walked to Cromford Road bridge in response to a report about track conditions from Monday's activities and declared all well, if slightly uneven, and then joined the greasing team.
The lone carriage cleaner was assisted by her son today and dealt with the 3 Car set which had been berthed in Platform 3 for her ministrations. Mike Billings had a frustrating day with the Komatsu and flail with continuing starting problems culminating with a shut down on the Hannages. Nonetheless the Incline is now complete and a start has been made with the Wirksworth to Duffield with the Up side to the Hannages footpath dealt with. A unique rescue ensued with the recently serviced Dumper providing a jump start to the Komatsu and both vehicles returning to base. New batteries have been ordered for the Komatsu together with some improvements to the electrical connections would seem to be the solution to this reoccurring problem.
The Booking Hall continued its revenue generation with another group in the bag.
I have received an invitation to the Thanksgiving Service for the Life of Lady Hilton to be held on Saturday 2nd July at St Mary's Church at 1400hrs on behalf of the Railway with a provision for six representatives. As many of you will know Lady Hilton was the first investor in WyvernRail on the launch day of the share issue and was President of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association. Respresentives of the two organisations should contact me if they wish to attend by 20th June.