Monday, 30 December 2013
A mostly wet and breezy day which saw the usual Monday slumber awoken early by the arrival of Allelys to collect the Class 108 E50599 and Class 101 E51505. These vehicles have gone to the Bluebell Railway on loan for a few months to operate winter services there. Not only is it the first time a DMU has operated on the Bluebell (remembering that the Bluebell has been operating as a heritage concern for the whole length of time these vehicles have been built) but it will also be the first time these two vehicles have operated as a pair because they face the same way with us.
After this excitement, some small shed improvements were undertaken and some painting took place in the guards van of 50253.
Sunday, 29 December 2013
A rather pleasant sunny winters day saw the Austerity Team scraping their chassis and painting their parts. In the shed, the Tarp Tuggers were also busy painting, welding, stocktaking (!) and measuring glass in relation to unit 50253, as well as making last minute improvements to the two units going to the Bluebell. This was shortly followed by the
antimaccassars being checked to make sure little greasy fingered tykes hadn't been in to muck up our pristine presentation.
Back at the station the New Year ritual of changing the timetables took place which also involved cleaning the running in boards. This was followed by sweeping the forecourt, which is also part of a process to record our assorted potholes, with a view to dealing with them once the weather warms up.
All the best,
Friday, 27 December 2013
It was slightly breezy round our parts today, as it often is in December, although this seemed to be major news to the media, presumably who all live in Surrey and to whom wind is probably something the cat has. Meanwhile, the Christmas hangover continued and so we tidied up as quietly as possible.
Down the yard, the tidying up included the Tool Van and at the station the wheelie bin had been miraculously emptied by the skip fairies and so we filled it again.
The Higham Charter rumbled its way down the line, pausing only for a very short moment to allow a senior magistrate to address a tree with the loppers, but the line in general was gratifyingly tree free, a testament to the work being done to keep our wood nice and presentable.
All the best,
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Plenty of people around the railway today from LMSCA and the steam team. However, since they decamped long before we returned we haven't the slightest idea what they were doing today- though I suspect more of the usual.
P Way trundled off to Shottle with the Komatsu and the land rover with tools since no breeze driver was forthcoming. This allowed us a useful check on the line for fallen trees etc.
Land was levelled out on the down side of the loop to form a stock ground for all the unused copings laid around the site and said copings were duly removed to their long term resting place. The turned out rail in the up side track was replaced along with all the missing fish bolts on the up side of the loop. A rail has been removed at the south end of the down side loop for protection so we can use this side for the works train during further works. Points at each end of the loop have been normalised, clipped, scotched and the switch blades secured with fishplates in the time honoured manner for out of use points pending their connection to ground frames in the near future. This means that from today up and down trains will travel through Shottle station on the up side track and although the platform wall is now complete the platform surface remains to be done so trains will not stop here just yet,.A lot of work completed by a gang of four.
Did you know that days off during Christmas holidays since the dinosaurs vanished has been approx 130 million days which equates world wide to approx 390 trillion trillion man days of wasted labour. And people moan there just isn't enough time to do anything- well I know the cure for that! Bah Humbug.
Sunday, 22 December 2013
Well, the final day of Santa Trains saw us entertaining children and adults alike throughout the day: we have had tremendous feedback and, with one or two tweaks, we seem to have a winning formula. Many thanks to everyone involved in securing such a successful outcome.
In the background, the Tarp Tuggers, sorry the DMU Team, stormed along with wiring and Formica stripping in unit 50253, as well as undertaking some much needed yard tidying jobs. At Duffield, the Station Foreman also carried on the theme of tidying up.
I convey, from this cheerful corner of the inglenook fireplace at the Whore and Trumpet (A Marston's House), which is strangely full of elves, reindeer and Santa's Christmas Wheelbarrow, and where my feet are even now being embrocated in a bucket, the warmest good wishes to you all for the Festive Season. May Santa empty his sack in your sock and may your
Yule Log be seen burning brightly in the night from far distant and remote places.
All the best,
Saturday, 21 December 2013
Thursday, 19 December 2013
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Sunday, 15 December 2013
The main activity of the day was once again Santa, and all things
considered we did remarkably well with busy trains and happy small people. My thanks once again to all involved.
Down the yard the Austerity Team, which is not a government department devoted to tanking the economy back to 1948, continued with their parts,
as well as baking gently in their brake van.
In the shed the DMU team continued with their efforts in the form of giving the guards van of 50253 its first gloss coat of paint and restoring some of its Formica. By way of celebration the DMU team are at this very moment having a conflagration at a certain Chinese restaurant.
Sorry, a collation at a certain Chinese restaurant.
All the best,
Saturday, 14 December 2013
The main focus today was the second weekend of our Santa Trains. All services to the North Pole were fully booked and thank you to everyone who, despite a very tight schedule, helped ensure all trains departed on time. Our new catering arrangements for the Santa Trains is proving exceptionally popular with our visitors and I attached a photograph of a very festive decorated T.S.O.
Compliments of the Season,
Friday, 13 December 2013
A day of leisurely preparation for the weekend's Santa trains, around the station, in the vehicles and in the buffet.
The Booking Hall's administrative powers were put into gear stuffing the annual Christmas Greeting to Shareholders, and this will be hitting your doormats in a very soon moment.
Down the yard the Head of DMUs attended to his charges and the LMSCA attended to the Third Open, which received more spray paint and became increasingly watertight.
The Station Foremen spent the morning on the monthly inspection and then fixed various things which had fallen off due to rot and over-excitement.
All the best,
Thursday, 12 December 2013
I have received an email from one of the parents who uses the path over the railway line in Duffield. They have asked me to express their thanks for the work you have done to widen the gates and posts.
I would also like to pass on my thanks and to let you know that I appreciate all the work you have done over the last 5 years to improve access on paths over the railway line.
Rights of Way Inspector
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Sunday, 8 December 2013
A pleasant winter day, largely dry and sunny, saw teams working on both
the LMS Brake Van and Railcar 50253. However the main theme of the day
was of course Santa and we spread a great deal of happiness around
especially amongst a large number of small people. We received
compliments and commendations too numerous to mention but I would like
to thank our cadets in particular for their contribution today (a giant
economy pack of hand gel will be available shortly) also the fitters in
dealing with the day's engineering challenge and the train crew in
dealing with the Santa experience as well as the surprise embankment
All the best,
Friday, 6 December 2013
A slightly chilly day saw the LMSCA welding the roof of the Third Open in the balmy confines of the shed, however the welder expired, technically the welding machine as opposed to the welder himself, and this saw the hoped for culmination of a finished roof missed by a short hair.
Down the line, the windy woodland bowsaw gang (which makes it sound like the Trumpton Fire Brigade had a secret criminal life) endeavoured to clear the line of newly blown tree parts.
For the rest of us, the morning began by manning the National Confused Customer Helpline, followed by an afternoon of the European Tinsel Challenge.
I am most grateful for all the assistance given towards Santa
preparation, from bookings to presents, from electrics to decorations, and thank everyone involved, in whatever capacity. While I don't know about anyone else, I propose to be face down in a wheelbarrow outside the Whore and Trumpet (A Marston's House) for some time to come.
All the best,
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Monday, 2 December 2013
Sunday, 1 December 2013
A delightfully sunny winter day here in the Gem of the Peak, which brought a multitude of Santa's Little Helpers who beavered away in the Present Preparation Emporium, while the dwarves blew out the fuses on several sets of Christmas lights. The tree arrived at an astonishingly convenient time (compared to when it usually arrives) and this was put up in a very soon moment before being decked out in Yuletide Celebrants (No elves were inebriated during this process).
Meanwhile, down the yard, the Tarp Tuggers (the shed seems to have acquired a tarpaulin for bad weather operations) proceeded with the grinding and welding of unit 56223 as well as fitting the carriage connection bellows and painting the guard's van interior.
Nearby, the Austerity continued to receive attention to its wheels and now four out of six have been painted and the fifth was getting a jolly good scrape.
Various visitors attended these proceedings including friends from Germany and from Holland, who were given an in-depth experience in LJ Breeze courtesy of its personal assistants, who later shunted the LMS nut roasting van into platform 3.
From their lofty heights, the Guerilla Gardeners surveyed our endeavours, handed out chocolate cake, consulted about their hedge, demonstrated a curious sewage problem and began working their way down part of the embankment, which will see an eventual improvement to the hoary old view from our platform.
All the best,
Saturday, 30 November 2013
Friday, 29 November 2013
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Another 4 Drive a Diesel participants thoroughly enjoyed their day on this sunny and reasonably mild November day.
Down the yard, the LMSCA continued with the Third Open. Today some more roof panels were attached.
The Booking Office fought with the continual stream of Santa bookings that continue to arrive.
A good day
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Monday, 25 November 2013
A frosty start on Derbyshires friendly railway as we enter into the run up to the Santa specials.
The 3 car unit was brought into the station ready for its big clean and preparation to receive our many Santa guests and not forgetting the big man himself Father Christmas.
The Schools team had a meeting in the Pullman buffet .
The duty conscript salted the footpaths and platforms at Wirksworth.
The Dmu team fixed Iris radiator leak as well as worked on the guards compartment on the ex Strathclyde unit.
The 8f group worked on Cathryn and the duke despite the freezing temperature .
All in all a steady day for the time of year , many thanks to all who entertained and looked after our passengers .
ATB John Evans
Friday, 22 November 2013
A sunny but chilly day in the valley which saw us host a charter for ex-Coalville Depot staff. Some of them are now retired but some are still working for the railway. Some of them last travelled on a first generation DMU some 20 years ago and indeed some of them used to be drivers. One now drives Sprinters for East Midlands Trains and another drives Turbostars for Cross Country! After a tour round the yard, our 'bubble' and the Class 119 in multiple went firstly to Ravenstor and then to Duffield, where Town Street Fish Bar didn't disappoint.
Back in Wirksworth, the Station Foreman and his colleague continued to attend to door issues on the Training Room and carried out a few routine jobs around the station ready for a service day tomorrow.
The Booking Hall processed yet more Santa bookings. Currently, the first weekend has the most seats as you would expect. The final Sunday, 22nd, is virtually sold out with Saturday 21st not far behind.
An enjoyable day.
Thursday, 21 November 2013
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Please extend my thanks to all involved for the friendly welcome and excellent tuition when my wife & I attended the EVR for my Double Gloucester DMU Driver experience at 1300 hrs on Sunday 17th November. I look forward to the next one.
Undoubtedly our experience offers wins friends and certainly influences how our enterprise is perceived. Many thanks to the teams that make them happen.
Today saw the VCT descending on the Holloway Road footpath crossing where we had been asked by the County Council's footpath officer to widen the access to permit the safe passage of buggies. You really couldn't make this up but apparently we are oblidged to do this as it is a walking route to a school and who are we to question current legislation despite the fact that styles were provided from around 1865 to 2011 - no buggies then, then!
The M1M were in action on the Second Open and the LMSCA tended to guttering on their Third Open which is really beggining to take shape again. The DST were tending to a variety of jobs including painting the wheels from Cathryn a very fetching pinky peach. The dmu team were assembling and checking the Santa train with an achievement of heating the centre coach of the three car set.
The PWT were small in number and transferred their attentions to Shottle keeping company with the SBT. After some lifting work at Shottle Mike the Flail trundled to Wirksworth for repairs and fuel returning to Shottle at the end of the day.
Fred & Iris gave the Mess Hall a very good do and it is to be hoped that today's participants have left it in good order. The Pullman Buffet Car benefitted from the good, but cold, weather and the Booking Hall had another record day. Santa bookings have now overtaken last year's entire revenue as of today which is a marvellous achievement with some 83% being booked online. We should recognise the in house skills that have made this possible - only two years ago this just would not have been offered with all bookings being made by post or in person.
Today's photo is of our "Bubble Car" visitor and, if it works, a refurbishment project for the dmu team - all expenses paid - at the Railway Museum, Galvaston - a Budd railcar with potential
Sunday, 17 November 2013
A cold start to the day at Derbyshires friendly railway as we welcomed our guests for the Double Gloucester Dmu driver day which was enjoyed by all.
The Dmu group were busy dealing with the unit repairs and sorting out the new supply of parts.
Mike and Brian visited the miniature railway to test Conway and check on the track.
All in all a pleasant day , many thanks to all staff who participated in making this a great successful day
ATB John Evans
Saturday, 16 November 2013
It was a very pleasant day down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line. We welcomed a surprise large party of walkers on our mid-day service resulting in well occupied trains and a busy buffet and shop. The booking hall dealt with a steady stream of Santa bookings boosted by our new banner (photo attached). Down the yard the DMU team focussed on 55012 heaters, the LMSCA and 8F group continued work on their respective projects and the duty conscripts gave the pullman carriages a well needed external wash.
Finally congratulations go to eight volunteers who successfully completed part one of the shunting course.
All the best,
Friday, 15 November 2013
A leisurely sort of a day where the duo of Lewis and Richard managed to successfully dispatch another 4 Drive a Diesel guests with beaming smiles.
Around the station, the Station Foreman and his new colleague attended to a couple of issues including a leaky door on our Training Room. The Booking Hall dealt with yet more Santa bookings and the station gardener attended to the quad.
At Duffield, some leaves were moved.
…and that is about it. Nice and peaceful!
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
I hope to be able to return and have another go in the future using some of the different locomotives and rail cars that you have available.
Thank you once again for a fantastic day!
We visited the EVR on Saturday and had a wonderful day.
I wanted in particular to thank Richard the ticket man for his wonderful guide to the track and the history of the railway - to Graham for allowing me to sit by him in the cab and also to Mike?Tom? the wonderful Operating Officer for the very interesting tour of the sheds.
Once I had said that I was a fellow volunteer working on the North Norfolk Railway were we given such a special welcome. Thanks to all.
I finished the day by finding some gems in the shop! and spent up!
I wish you all the best as you continue your restoration work over the winter months.
with best wishes
All good stuff!
Sunday, 10 November 2013
A wonderfully sunny winter day. We pottered around painting, fixing DMU cab electrics and dealing with a charmingly leisurely charter. One of those rare quiet days when we could admire the progress of our endeavour without endeavouring too much.
All the best,
Saturday, 9 November 2013
A cool start at Derbyshires friendly railway as our hardened passengers braved the cold to travel in the two car unit to Duffield and back.
The Pullman buffet had a steady stream of business as our passengers enjoyed the warm drinks and food on offer.
Down the yard the Dmu group were kept busy repairing the electrical faults on the newly arrived 122.
The 8f group were found playing with the Dukes wheel sets as well as Kathryns boiler.
Four members of staff attended the Railwayman 2 course and all were successful .
The passenger services manager was to be found working on the steps at Shottle .
The Duty conscripts worked on painting the fences and filling in the uneven ballast with ash .
All in all a good day until the heavens opened up and heavy hailstones hit us as we tried to head home.
Friday, 8 November 2013
A typical chilly, damp November day. Our usual Friday selection of Diesel experience guests wended their way up and down the valley. Around the station the recalcitrant Gents door finally yielded to reason and is now pristine once again. Would Booking Hall staff please note that it is no longer on a mortice lock, but on the usual internationally famous top secret code, known only to several thousand people, but which I cannot possibly state here in case GCHQ reads this email and comes for a pee and a strip search during the night.
In the shed the slightly damp LMSCA attended to the gutters of the Third Open and carried on filling and sanding the bodyside which will shortly be smooth enough to see yourself in.
All the best,