Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Progress Wednesday 3rd August 2011

Dear all
Our second Wednesday of passenger operations produced satisfactory results again on a hot, humid, day that tested the resolution of all involved. My thanks go to the train crew of Tom, John and Richard who had little time for rest and recuperation, the Booking Halls at Wirksworth and Duffield together with the EVRA Shop and Model Railway. I am not sure what happened to the narrow gauge staff promised for today!
The PWT fielded their track patrol teams and reported that all fishplate bolts were tightened between MP 136 3/4 and MP 135 1/2 and many between Idridgehay and Wirksworth where rails had been changed. There was an alert for potential rail buckling after the series of hot days and warm nights but no problems were encountered.
Improvements were made to the Wirksworth Station area security and the hand rails on the Works Train brakevan received attention. A starter motor was fitted to the replacement engine for 51505 and the viewing area on the footpath to north end at Wirksworth was sealed off after repeated littering and petty damage.
A very pleasant surprise was the presentation of a Duffield to Wirksworth token from the Electric Token Block instrument that resided on Duffield Platform until mysteriously disappearing before we came on the scene. The donor operated the last rail vehicle to access the branch, a tamper, and knowing that the line would now be mothballed took the token released home. This may help to explain a slightly surreal discussion before we were granted permission to start clearing the line. It was said that we could not be granted access because the token had been withdrawn and it was not know where it had gone. Therefore we were not protected whilst working on the line despite the fact that nature had taken over and over a mile of track had been removed! A certain relative of Bob Gibbens resolved matters for us!