We haven't had a first for a little while but today remedied this with the first ever steam hauled ballast train in our history. We needed a locomotive with a light footprint to commence the ballasting of the Shottle loop and No 3 was the chosen candidate. The down side of steam is that it requires a very early start to raise steam and a long day before disposal can be completed. Nonetheless the steam team rose to the challenge and the exercise went faultlessly ending up with the initial ballast being dropped without incident and the empty Dogfish returned to Wirksworth this evening. Many thanks to all concerned.
Tony W and Richard P took the opportunity today with is dry weather to weed treat the Wirksworth Yard and environs. Their dedication to this essential work is beginning to show good results along the line as we try and bottom the task in 2012 to have a weed free Railway.
The LCC gave the Training Room a clean together with the service two car set and Rod and Mary spent the day repainting the manrider and Lister to enhance the presentation of the narrow gauge.
The Buffet Car had an encouraging day with the assistance of a native of Norfolk who brought friends to swell the coffers.The Booking Hall responded succinctly to enquiry from the Kent & East Sussex Railway about our web cams containing detail that would phase all but the most qualified in computer science. This again demonstrates the wealth of talent we have amongst us and high level of professionalism. On line bookings for future events also featured moving our enterprise up yet another gear.
The day was rounded off by the steam hauled engineering train returning to Wirksworth giving onlookers a delightful sight. It always amazes me how far we have come in a relatively short time.
There will be more photos of today's steam excursion but I hope you find the attached atmospheric. It shows of all the efforts of the VCT to open up lineside views and the PWT who have fettled the track together with the hard work of the restorers of the locomotive emphasizing that the Railway is a collective of a multitude of skills and endeavour.