Thursday, 31 December 2015

Progress New Years Eve 2015

Dear all,

So here we are again, the final day of 2015. As expected, numbers on site were slim but some progress was made by the DMU team on firstly repairing a defective door on centre car 59303 and then by washing 'the bubble' after it sitting idle for several months with the defective vacuum cylinder.

Progress was made on the station too with various new signs being put up and old ones being removed in preparation for the Booking Office move. The new 'Welcome' sign was also installed above the door and it looks excellent. Unfortunately, the fading light (and a passing monsoon) prevented a decent photograph being obtained so maybe tomorrow. Coupled to all of this activity, some of the poster boards on the fence which has been removed were recovered and the 2016 Timetable posters were distributed around the remaining poster boards.

2015 has been another solid year of progress for our enterprise, not least with a change at the top of WyvernRail but also out there on the ground...

Mid-January saw the completion of the project to relay the unusual three way point in the yard after the timbers had become life expired. This was also the first time progress was made towards the conversion of the former Tannery into a Booking Office. More track work followed at the end of the month with the relaying of another point further down the yard.

February saw Clayton Battery Locomotive "Sophie" arrive courtesy of and contractors made a start on building a lovely new retaining wall to the west side of the bottom car park. It was a busy old time for this area as we had overhead gantries for electric railways by the end of March, yet another venture by Whilst all of this was going on, the BSK team worked long days to push forward to bring us our first ever on train kitchen in the guards compartment of the BSK.

The Circus came to town at Easter in April with the Party Workshops Family Circus proving a hit with the public (so much so that they'll be back this Easter) over three days. Meanwhile, down at Shuttle, S&T department spent April installing ground frames for the loop which would later see service in the same year.

The late May Bank Holiday saw our busiest public day of the year as Wirksworth Carnival rolled into the car park with it's various floats, bands, acts and followers. It was rammed! A few days later, we welcomed 33013 "Swordfish" to the railway which was brought it to operate our new Afternoon Tea trains which were to begin shortly afterwards. The locomotive proved a firm favourite with both the crews and the public and performed excellently each Tuesday for the tea trains.

It was a great moment when our first Afternoon Tea train departed Wirksworth at 14:15 on 2nd June. The chaps had worked unbelievably hard to get the kitchen ready and stunning it looked too. Buffet staff and other volunteers continued to provide an excellent Afternoon Tea service each Tuesday until the end of September. The last week in June saw our first foray into a mid-week special event in the form of the 1950s Week. It was met with moderate success in the glorious sunshine of the time. Also during this week, we ran our first ever Murder Mystery evening special which was professionally acted by Broken Pipe Productions. Look out for this in the 2016 programme too!

July was a very busy month as one would expect. We had the usual Classic Bus Rally and Classic Transport Weekend events, both of which were very successful and enjoyed by all. We also hosted our first ever wedding reception party as Kaye and Matthew got married near to Duffield Station and used the train to get to their reception at Shottle. It was a glorious day and everybody was very complementary about the time they had on the railway. Throughout this time we also operate 6 steam-hauled dining trains to Shuttle and back dubbed the Shottle Soiree. The meals were served on Friday evenings and all six evenings were sold out and my thanks go out to all of the teams who put these on as some late nights were had!

The Permanent Way team busied themselves in Wirksworth yard in August laying a new point for what was to become Taylor's siding. Track kindly donated by Celanese at Spondon was to be used to great advantage in reconfiguring the yard and volunteers had spent many hours down at their site in Spondon recovering the components.

The DMU team had all on September to finish their project on 50253 which was finished just the day before the Multiple Memories DMU gala. They worked until around 23:00 to finish it alongside 53599 which had been in for a repaint. The gala hosted the Railcar Association's Annual Convention and also saw another first - the first public operations using Shottle's loop. This was fantastic and was a great success. Some lessons were learnt which partly sparked off the new timetable for 2016 but it was fantastic to have busy trains passing. The gala also saw another experiment at Duffield too, with the BSK's kitchen being used to serve high quality breakfasts to the public whilst they sat on the picnic benches.

Aside from the ever present Model Railway Exhibition, October saw the arrival of another loaned locomotive in the form of Class 25 D7629. This has already covered a few duties in the winter but will see some action in the summer. However, it goes without saying that one of the most special things happened in October with the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. This was such an honour for the whole railway and it was made even more special by his representatives approaching us to organise the visit rather than the other way round. That was certainly one to remember!

And as we've just passed another successful Santa Season all I can do now is wish everybody a Happy New Year and thank them for all of their hard work and drive in 2015. 2016 should be yet another interesting year with the impending remodelling of Wirksworth Station and maybe even Duffield too!

Maybe you'll join us for a fizz and mince pie on the train tomorrow but remember it's our new Blue timetable tomorrow with departures from Wirksworth at 11:05, 13:05 and 15:05 or 12:12, 14:12 and 16:12 from Duffield.



Progress Wednesday 30th December 2015

 Hi all
The torrential rain obviously reduced the numbers on our last service train day of 2015 but I am sure the festive drink and mince pie helped, together with a warm railcar
The PWay team battled the elements to fit the last shortened length of rail to road 3
The DMU team completed some maintenance on the Pullman Buffet electrical system and started painting the roof on their stores coach. Others started tidying the tool container ready for next seasons examination schedules 
Bye for now

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Progress Tuesday 29th December 2015

 Hi all
Day one of two Mince Pie Specials which are new this year seemed slow to start but many passengers joining at Duffield boosted the figures. Optimistic for a good Day tomorrow
The PWay team seemed out in force and commenced the connection of Road 3
The DMU team of five completed the connection of 55006's bogie to it's body and gave it a successful test run
All the best
Mike Evans 

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Progress Christmas Eve 2015

Dear all,

The only activity on site today was the delivery of our final Santa Specials of the season as we delighted all who travelled on them.

The Santa season takes alot of hard work and dedication by all of the staff who make them happen so I would like to thank them for their efforts.

We'll be back on Tuesday 29th with the outgoing 2015 winter timetable service of 10:15, 12:15 and 14:15 from Wirksworth or 11:15, 13:15 and 15:15 from Duffield.

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Progress Wednesday 23rd December 2015

Hi all
The main attraction at our Railway today was the three Santa Specials which were fully booked and everyone seemed pleased with our warm carriages and festive food
Only two more to go before the Festive break !! 
The PWay team and DMU group had a successful  joint effort to re unite 55006 with it's bogie much to my delight as quotes for a crane rescue had been requested
One more day should see 55006 running again 
All the best
Mike Evans 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Progress Tuesday 22nd December 2015

Hi all
The PWay team. battled the elements to complete rail cutting at bridge 11 between Idridgehay and Shottle.
The steam team working on Kathryn replaced a cylinder cover and another axle box
Mike Ball continued on the internals on the LMS brakevan ready for next years incline service which has seemed an attraction for the public last season
The DMU group attempted to install the bogie under 55006 but without success. Ideas may needed over the Xmas recess
All for now
Mike Evans

Monday, 21 December 2015

Progress Monday 21st December 2015

Hi there,

Mike B was flailing, Tony W was sorting, Mick K was attending, John B
was summing and I continued stripping.

Well that's the short version anyway, now for the l o n g one.

Well the 'working' day was actually quite short and the site was vacated
by 1430. Think the damp, rain and cold may have had something to do with
it, and the Christmas spirit is beginning to overtake any notion of
railway projects.

Mike B came early and departed with 'Komatsu' for the racing straight (I
don't know who won). Anyway when they both arrived more destruction was
lavished upon invading vegetation but due to the weather deteriorating
(rain again) Mike had to make a hasty return back to base. Well I say
'hasty', it took Mike about 2 hours as Komatsu had developed flat feet
and slipped all the way back.

Tony W did some small jobs one of which was to decide how to cut up
short lengths of steel sheet to produce spacers for the rail joints now
being overhauled through out the railway. I offered the services of our
Madame Guillotine and she kindly agreed. She just needs fastening down
and a stop mark fitting then she'll be fit for purpose.

John B kept his overcoat on just in case and also kept busy
arithmetically completing the time sheets. Two heaters were deployed to
ensure success.

Mick K returned briefly from leave to Hazelwood and attended the needs
of 'Landrover' which was very grateful. Mick has now re-retired for
Christmas wishing everyone seasonal greetings.

I ventured into the LMSCA container and put the electric fan heater on.
You may say what a waste but I had some stripping to do so I was quite
justified. Various bits of mouldings, beading, window parts were then
stripped (well you didn't think it was me did you!) of old varnish.

The day began cold and damp and I was getting concerned that the North
Lake might dry up. Relief was at hand during lunch, it got a bit warmer
and the clouds came to our rescue topping it up again. But by 1400 most
had departed for home so I decided to join them. Perversely as I did so
the sky went blue and the sun came out!

Possibly my last report so I would like to take this opportunity to wish
you all a Very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. And remember,
the monsoon season will soon be over and the days getting longer once again.

Derek M

Supplementary Supplementary Sunday 20th December 2015

Dear all
The short video!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Supplementary Sunday 20th December 2015

Dear all
A delightful photo from Peter Watts of today's Santa train team who, as ever, have worked very hard to deliver our quality product, together with a photo of the train ready for the 1000 departure. Also a short video of two departures today.
Many happy and contented passengers.
All credit is due to everyone who participates in this annual burst of essential activity for the wellbeing of our Railway from Robin who created a sophisticated on line booking system, Leigh who manages the day to day reservations, the dmu team who ready the vehicles and are on hand each departure day to ensure any technical issues are swiftly dealt with, the Booking Halls at Wirksworth and the North Pole who receive the passengers on the day, the on board team including the vital Santa, June who spent most of 2015 acquiring suitable presents and the catering team who round off the experience. Quite a military operation that is universally appreciated by our paying guests.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Progress Thursday 17th, Friday 18th and Saturday 19th December 2015

Dear all,

Hectic week this week with progress on all fronts, as usual.

On Thursday the PW team were working hard on sleeper changing but just as they thought they could rest, more were delivered! We also hosted a test customer who were on site most of the day.

On Friday, it was quiet round and about but Nathan was in the new Booking Office at Wirksworth doing yet more painting although I think the end is gradually coming in to sight with the painting there. A final sort out for the weekend was done too.

Today saw full Santa trains all day so many requests were made to the man in red, loads of mince pies were eaten and generally everybody seemed in a good mood. It is probably tradition at this point to mention the weather which is unseasonably mild and not at all like Christmas, it was cooler in August! More full trains to come tomorrow. Meanwhile, down the yard a shunt took place as it is customary to have one a month apparently.

There's still a few seats left to see Santa on Wednesday but that's it - book online at if you haven't already and would like to come.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Hi all
Our French testing customers on their second day had an early start at 0700 to get the most of our short daylight hours. Loading six trailers with weights took longer than
expected and it was late in the day before they set off on endurance towards Duffield. They will return tomorrow to finalise the certification
Work commenced on the new booking hall entrance ramps.
The PWay team loaded all the necessary tools and equipment to turn rails al Hollaway Road and took the works train to the site
Santas grotto 50170 received three new alternator belts to ensure light and warmth prevail this weekend
All for now
Mike Evans

Supplementary Tuesday 15th December 2015

Dear all
Day two of testing with our customer from France in a dank, miserable atmosphere requiring some patience by our reprepresentative, Joe Marden, but has resulted in further action being required tomorrow to our advantage. A photo is attached showing that amount of weight needed as part of the test process with each concrete block weighing 3 tonnes.
A short video shows the ensemble under movement -
PS - there always is one! - the delights of Manchester Victoria's new light rail centre with its junction with the second City crossing opened to Exchange Square last Sunday -

Progress Report 13th December 2015

Hello there,

June, Barry and Nathan attended to Santa presents making sure Santa got
the correct ones in his sack for Wednesday's trains.

John B returned to his weekly arithmetic task.

The BSK started to receive attention to its wooden compartment mouldings
ready for re-varnishing later.

A lone EVRA member (another John B) was seen working inside the SO.

And last but not least a large road/rail lifting machine arrived from
France on the back of a lorry. Although delayed, some testing was
undertaken on the new 8inch (er that's deux cents millimetres) cant
section at Gorsey Bank whilst carrying one of the many concrete testing
weights delivered earlier, successfully I might add. More testing
follows tomorrow.


Derek M

Friday, 11 December 2015

Progress Friday 11th December 2015

Dear all,

Chilly but sunny today which gave contractors a rare window of opportunity to replace the forever troublesome Training Room roof. The roof has been leaking in several places but hopefully this will now cure this problem!

The PW team headed to The Hannages to do some tidying work there whilst Dan and Derek continued on the BSK in the shed.

The Station team did various tasks in the new Booking Office, including installing the first panel of merchandise display boarding.


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Progress Thursday 10th December 2015

Nasty weather today for Rob and his test customers but they were able to take shelter in the warmth of the Pullman.

The PW team also got a good soaking loading and unloading various things in the Shottle vicinity, returning drowned at dusk for a cuppa.

The good progress on the area outside the new Booking Office at Wirksworth was curtailed considerably today due to the weather but some planning took place.

Work continued on the BSK in the engineerium and the DMU team fettled the Santa train to ensure all is good for upcoming duties this weekend.


Supplementary Thursday 10th December 2015

Dear all
Today's test customer from Sweden brought a new Pandrol clip remover for its approval for operation on Network Rail. It is shown moving gently at Wirksworth.
Many thanks to Rob who hosted the visit.
PS - the last of the trilogy from Monday's visit to Birmingham shows train movements at the east end of New Street Station

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Progress Wednesday 9th December 2015

Dear all
The temperatures have plummeted with a mild frost this morning but the teams remained undaunted. The main event was the operation of our Santa trains with the first train booked by a local school. Santa and his helpers ensured satisfaction for all ably assisted by the train crew, Booking Halls at Wirksworth and The North Pole together with the Pullman Catering team.
Work started on preparing for a disabled ramp to and from our new Booking Hall at Wirksworth with John and Geoff getting into their stride removing debris from alongside the building. The new facility occupies premises that even predate the construction of the Railway.
The PWT concentrated on the track side location of the Mess Hall and its proximity to the large underground sough that runs beneath Wirksworth Yard so that drainage had not been compromised by the new location.
The DMU team continued with the work to restore the "Bubble Car" to active life and the Mark 1 BSK benefited from further window work.
Our resident training company candidates made more gentle progress with the reconnection of Road 3 at Wirksworth and a lone worker at Duffield achieved fallen leaf gathering for conversion into compost.
Another good day.
As trams return to the centre of Birmingham after an absence of 62 years today's masterpiece show the extension to Midland Metro opened last Sunday

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Progress Tuesday 8th December 2015

Dear all
A pleasantly mild December day with much activity on our Railway. The Permanent Way Team moved to the area at the south end of Bournebrook Avenue to complete their remedial work there and delegated our resident training company to lay out the sleepers for the reconnection of Road 3 at Wirksworth and they are pictured. Their enthusiasm was boundless. The dmu team concentrated on the bogie removed from the "Bubble Car" to enable a fault with the vacuum cylinder to be cured and took the opportunity to undertake a deep clean. This must be a first for our Railway and its somewhat primitive facilities - at the moment!
The Booking Hall continued with Santa booking activity as did the Catering team who cleaned up after last weekend and prepared for Wednesday's visitors.
The new Booking Hall at Wirksworth benefited from further work on its electrical installation and the DST progress Cathryn as the day the frame is reunited with the wheels approaches. The LMSCA continued work on the oak veneered interior sliding doors for their BTO and are making a splendid job of replanking the interior of the Guard's compartment.
Anothe very productive day.
PS - En route to look at Birmingham's new tramway extension yesterday some time was spent at Derby before and after with the scene recorded here -

Monday, 7 December 2015

Progress Report 7th December 2015

Aye up all, Monday once again.

Five VCT persons were about in force today being their last forest foray
of the current year. Firstly they spent time with a sheepish question at
Travis's Folly, not much conversation transpired unfortunately. So they
reinstated some stakes in the fences nearby which should prevent these
woolly beings from trespassing upon our railway for a while longer. In a
similar vein they then hot footed it (actually the Landrover hot rodded
it) to Jebbs Lane where three large trees were observed attempting to
trespass upon our loading gauge. They were 'removed' in no uncertain
terms (details of which are much too gory to advise here). Their remains
will be put to rest at a later date.

The lone LMSCA person was observed still working on the BSK windows (yawn).

Dan added '.com' to the sides of the Grampus, I was not advised as to
the reason why. And requested yet another final line of text for
addition later? Watch this space!

David arrived later and once again cleaned our disposal areas
efficiently, all now ready for the influx of 29 school persons on
Wednesday taking a spin on the Santa train.

Fianlly and surprisingly John B did not arrive, so all arithmetic tasks
were postponed until next week.

Lots more progress then by lots of persons.

Derek M

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Progress Report Saturday 5th December 2015

Our first day of Santa Trains today was a big success. My thanks go to everyone who went out of their way to support this important commercial event which helps finance necessary projects throughout the winter months.

The class 119 received some attention to a leak in the driver's cab and there was lots of shunting done in the yard. Tim Oakes et. al. were busy drilling out boiler stays and the LMSCA were gainfully employed on various projects.

Santa's new sleigh features in today's photo.

Compliments of the Season,


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Progress Thursday 3rd December

It doesn't really feel like December, it was 14 degrees at one point during shifting 40 boxes of timetable leaflets from the office to the stores.

A delivery enabled the new electric heaters to be installed in the new Wirksworth Booking Office, which, little by little, is progressing well.

The PW made great strides at the back of Bournebrook Avenue on their dipped joint quest and the Mark 1 men continued their BSK quest in the afternoon.

Further Santa bookings were processed as the Santa team turned into final preparations mode.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Progress Tuesday/Wednesday 1st and 2nd December 2015

Hi all
The Pway team took advantage of having no service train this week and worked at Bournebrook Avenue to remove the 15 mph speed restriction. This location has the tightest curve on the line to Duffield and is where BR removed a point and replaced it with plain line. The problem is caused because the joint is on the centre of the curve. The remedy is to cut the rails into four and drill new holes for additional fish plates, to remove central joint. Not an easy task!!
A track patrol was also completed between Wirksworth and Idridgehay
The North Pole was decorated with the help of extra volunteers and new lights were purchased for the tree
The DMU duo commenced work on the north bogie of 55006 necessary to allow it to be jacked for removal for access to defective vacuum cylinder
All for now
Mike Evans  

Supplementary Wednesday 2nd December 2015

Dear all
John Snell and I journeyed to York to meet up with Network Rail yesterday to commence the resolution of the transfer the freehold of our Railway to the Company and explore the opportunity to acquire the remaining NR land at Wirksworth.
This was followed by Beverley and I to attend a concert given by Ronnie Spector in Birmingham's Town Hall.You have to be of a certain vintage to appreciate this! Suffice to say the Ronettes played at the Derby Gaumont in 1964.
This marathon of a delightful of train travel is here:-
and if you would like a glimpse of Ronnie (72) look here

Monday, 30 November 2015

Progress Report Monday 30th November 2015

Hi all,

And here is today's weather forecast:

0940 - heavy rain
Well as much as possible done again despite all the water that was
thrown at us.
1040 - heavy rain
John B was in arithmetic mood again but today had additional help from
the wall heater to prop up his writing desk. Having finished and walked
to site earlier, I volunteered to run John back to his warm abode in
town, to which he gratefully agreed.
1140 - heavy rain
It was much too slippery underfoot for any 'Komatsu' races today so Mike
B attended to the cab heating system which required a new thermostat as
the present one is diverting all the hot water elsewhere than via the
cab heater! Our local supplier could not furnish him with a suitable
model unfortunately. Therefore copious amounts of antifreeze were
applied to relevant places, so that the heater, when working again,
doesn't freeze up.
1240 - heavy rain
Mick K and the VCT team went to Duffield first (where earlier it wasn't
raining apparently!) to collect some donated timber. Successfully loaded
this was delivered safely into store at a secret location. They then
travelled to Wirksworth to load some 'sheep netting' so that we can
refrain more sheep from trespassing. The fence at Jebbs Lane was
reported to be in very fine fettle again after reconstruction by
contractors. VCT will allow them to come again if they wish.
1340 - heavy rain
High water mark of the day was a visit by prospective purchasers of the
class 31. Tim, Chris and Joe duly started up and demonstrated the loco
around the yard and incline to its full potential. I will personally be
sorry to see this leave, hopefully to a place where it can be
rejuvenated once more.
1440 - heavy rain
I survived by keeping myself out of the rain in our workshop
reconstructing more of the BSK window frames. For those of a technical
nature 2BA, 4BA, 3/16W etc.
1540 - heavy rain
Dan completed a much needed task by cleaning up the back of the
maintenance facility. This work provides much needed additional space
during the frenetic winter maintenance period. This is when we get
larger jobs done on a variety of operational vehicles as well as
providing additional space for planned new motive power resources. Some
heavyweight tasks were involved here but Dan as usual retired the winner.
1640 - heavy rain
Cup of hot tea
1740 - bxxxxx this I'm off home!


Derek M

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Progress Report Saturday 28th November 2015

The magic of Christmas lights helped make Wirksworth station a festive delight despite the atrocious weather that descended upon Derbyshire's favourite branch line. We welcomed visitors from as far away as Southport, Liverpool and Northampton with Iris near to capacity on the last run of the day. Down the yard the Chief DMU elf could be found repairing the leaking roof of 57505. The rest of the DMU elves finalised the work on Santa's train including the toilet leak and checking heater functionality together with all water and fuel tanks filled. Santa's Helpers John and Julie could be found having a ball finishing the Christmas decorations in the North Pole Express and ensuring all the carriage floors are 'spick & span'.

Our catering team too were in festive mood putting the final touches to their gleeful Christmas trimmings in the Pullman Buffet and modifying our menus to provide increased gluten free choices. The lone LMSCA Elf focussed with great determination on essential duties, tidying up around 'Cathryn' and a Merry Tim Oakes could be located gainfully employed in his stores van. A group of volunteers was found sheltering from the rain in the booking office reflecting upon this year's successes as the final service train of 2015 pulled into Wirksworth Station.

Finally, my thanks must go to today's train crew who ensured all our guests were well looked after and our trains ran to time despite the inclement weather.

Compliments of the Season,


Friday, 27 November 2015

Progress Friday 27th November 2015

Dear all,

We were getting into the Christmas spirit today as the 14 foot tall real Wirksworth Christmas tree was man handled into position and decorated. This taskette is not to be under estimated as it took most of the day. Also decorated was the Santa train itself once it arrived from the engineerium, the Pullman and coaches, platform shelter and interior of the Booking Office. We have a newly donated tree in the Booking Office which looks great although I haven't come across one which takes 6 plug sockets up before… Many thanks to all who helped with this decoratathon.

There was only a small number of other people on site, with the Mark 1 chaps continuing with the BSK work.


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Progress Tuesday/Wednesday 24th and 25th November 2015

Hi all
Tuesday saw our last weekday service until early February, which was easily handled by IRIS
The main activity of the last two days has been the PWay team who completed turning the upside rails at bridge 11 and changing rails in platform 1
The steam team split themselves into two teams, one preparing Brian Harrison for a repaint and the other fixing the brake hanger brackets to the mainframe and cleaning the second piston cylinder
Wednesday saw the cleaning of the Santa Train which this year sees the  three car green Met Camm in action
all for now
Mike Evans


Progress Thursday 26th November 2015

Dear all

Reasonably mild for the time of year allowing the PW team to complete the rail changing exercise in Wirksworth Platform 1. The Santa train can now be parked up there!

The DMU team did a bit of a shunt to shuffle things round in the yard and the Mark 1 team continued working on the BSK.

The admin teams were in full flow too.


Monday, 23 November 2015

Progress Report 23rd November 2015

Evening all,

Monday comes around once again and sure enough loads of people turn up
at Wirksworth. Where were the rest of you, not shopping I hope?

At the break of dawn, the ARC lads were heard making spade and ballast
shuffling noises from the region of the narrow gauge.

Long standing customers (they didn't stand for very long as it was too
cold) arrived early and in Joe's capable hands resumed much testing for
the '1530'. However, with satisfaction assured it was all over by 1330!

John B was at his arithmetic best with the signing on sheets and was
doing well adding up the list of hours producing a total voluntary
effort. Until that is some idiot came in and asked him if he wanted a
cup of tea, whence he forgot his total and had to start all over again -
er sorry John.

Now that John S restored the telephone in the mess room many calls were
answered. Amongst those included requests for the General Manager, Santa
train tickets and sales of disability magazines. One lady from
Manchester sounded quite chatty and offered me a meal no less. However
she immediately cut me off when I told her that I was the wrong person
to talk to, how rude.

The VCT had a Wirksworth day today as their Landrover sprung an oil
leak. Whilst this and an errant oil switch were being fixed, the group
set to and cleared up much vegetation to the rear of the maintenance
shed. All being well, they were later observed on their happy way back
to base at Hazelwood.

Meanwhile not far away was our own intrepid Mike Billings charging up
and down the incline on his steed (Komatsu) annihilating all undergrowth
which did not have the general manager's authority to be there.

Earlier today in the Pullman TSO, EVRA trustees were present for their
latest trustees' meeting. The meeting was reported to have been a
complete success, with no blood spilt on the carpets.

Martin M visited to meet a customer with a booking for January in mind.
He was later observed at rest in the office, with a large smile on his

Dan started the sign writing on the Grampus wagon and despite the Arctic
cold managed to finish the number and tare weight sections. Seriously
now folks, may we request that no one take any photos of this please as
Dan would prefer to publicise it when all the sign writing is completed.
Thank you.

Me, while all this was going on, I was trying to keep warm in our well
insulated, therefore absolutely freezing container despite a slight rise
in temperature outside. An essential but boring task sorting through and
identifying the many fasteners and seals required to reconstruct the
four window frames for the BSK. I'm still thawing out lol.

All in all another productive and worthwhile day at the headquarters.


Derek M

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Hi all
The mess room was connected to water and electricity today and it  seems a much lighter building now one side  is not against a wall
Wirksworth was very quite with the PWay team down at Bridge 11 between Idridgehay and Shottle cutting rails ready for turning tomorrow
The booking Office started to receive more Santa bookings and the LMSCA were cleaning the removed BSK windows 
All for now
Mike Evans 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Progress Tuesday 17th November 2015

Hi all
There were some lost souls this morning wondering where to sign on duty due to the mess room being relocated next to the training room. The Pway team spread stone on the entrance to avoid mud being taken inside and began connecting services
The persistent drizzle made working outside miserable but the DST made headways with Kathryn inside the Maintenance facility replacing cylinder covers, assembling reversing gear and continuing with the axle boxes
Both CIS keys on Iris were replaced by Ben before todays service and the DMU duo completed a fuel point exam on newly out shopped Met Cam 50253
All for now
Mike Evans

Supplementary Tuesday 17th November 2015

Dear all
Hat's off to everyone who successfully moved the Mess Hall to its new location allowing the new Booking Hall to be exposed to daylight. The Permanent Way Team were involved in the finishing work to allow the Mess Hall to be accessed and connected to the services. Not exciting photographs but a significant event which will result in a much more presentable station frontage and, much more importantly, allow Fred and Iris to resume their cleansing routine.
PS - Jack London Square, Oakland, in California resembles the Weymouth Quay tramway on steroids. 4 tracks down the town's main street with a constant procession of freight and passenger trains - wonderful! - a very brief look in January 1998 - where does the time go?

Monday, 16 November 2015

Progress Report Monday 16th November 2015

Hello there,

Mondays are quiet, soothing days at Wirksworth, not much ever happens.
At least the weather was kind to us, unlike last week.

So -

VCT were again at large, first job was to check all line for possible
storm damage, here there was nothing to report, which is good! Then back
to Jebbs Lane to finish off last weeks fencing, necessary because of its
removal for structure inspections. However the contractors said they
would renew the fencing so that which had been done temporarily was
removed and cleared. Thank you contractors. A one fire day.

Mike Billings was also riding his trusty steed 'Komatsu' and managed to
flail from Rowlands Crossing to Derby Road bridge, BOTH sides, that's
about half a mile in total. Weeds you have been warned, beware of this man!

Tony Watts went to Duffield, but I have no further info' here. But I'm
sure it would have been for good reason.

Dan adjusted the brakes and painted more of the Grampus and then later
started removing more ceilings in the BSK.

Kevin came over from the other side of the hill and continued
refurbishing the BSK's steam heaters.

Rodney was painting at Duffield too as well as drilling 12inch holes in
concrete - don't ask

John B was rescued early from his static position near the quadrangle
and moved to the warmth of the mess room where he attended to the
arithmetic duties associated with the signing in book.

The ARC lads were out and about knocking four bells out of and shouting
at some ballast up the yard.

And me? After the BTK door fell off, I had to mend and oil it ( I
actually employed ''). Success, now tomorrow's
contingent can continue with their BTK tasks undisturbed.

So you see, as I said, nothing much happens on a Monday does it? Do you
want to come along to increase the workforce on Monday then?


Derek M

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Progress Report Saturday 14th November 2015

Some miserable weather descended upon the Ecclesbourne Valley today but it did not deter a surprising number of passengers who still chose to travel on our railway. The train crew coped admirably in the conditions ensuring our passengers were warm and dry and enjoyed their visit.

Down the yard Tim Oakes et al attended to fitting new doors on their supply coach. The LMSCA continued with the glass cleaning in the BSK. The DMU team split into three groups. The first group fitted a new heater to 50170 to help ensure our Santa train is nice and warm. Team two could be found working under the Pullman Buffet fitting replacement batteries to the second class to help guarantee that its only the Christmas Tree lights this year that will be twinkling in the Buffet. Finally Iris's electrical fault received some vital attention.

Interestingly our railway is described as a Derbyshire tourist attraction 'not to be missed' in a feature in the Daily Express and I attached a link to the full article. Its great to see all our hard work being acknowledged in this way.

All the best,


Friday, 13 November 2015

Progress Friday 13th November 2015

Dear all,

A voodoo for some, Friday 13th passed without drama. Nathan did another splendid job painting in the new Booking Office and the rest of the foremen began hanging the fire door at the back. Others worked on preparing the mess room for moving, including taking down the flagpole.

We hosted more volunteers from the Poulton and Wyre Railway to do another driver experience day and they were particularly complementary about the soup served in the buffet at lunch.

Dan painted his wagon wheels and Derek continued with the BSK.


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Progress Thursday 12th November 2015

Dear all,

Still unseasonably mild and for the large part it was actually sunny. This enabled some wood treatment work to be done on the fence which lines Platform 1, instantly improving the vista. Work began on preparing the actual mess room cabin for moving shortly. The groundwork, water and power supplies etc have already been dealt with for the new location and with the move looming, a start was made on removing the boards at the bottom of the metal cabin. These boards are mostly decorative although they do have the added bonus of stopping the wind howling underneath helping to keep it warm.

Derek was rejoicing at finally taking the last 2BA screw out of the aluminium window frames from the BSK. These are all being cleaned up and generally overhauled so you won't recognise them once they're finished. Similarly, the wagon which Dan has been refurbishing is nearing completion with some black paint being applied.

The DMU team focussed on the Santa set, trying to make sure everything is good for the forthcoming festive period. The set could cover 486 miles prior to Christmas. That should help 'run in' 50253 which hasn't long been in traffic! Speaking of Christmas, Rodney reported digging the new Christmas Tree hole in the lawn at Duffield. Things you have to do to make sure the tree is properly upright...

The PWT have pretty well sorted out the new cant on the Wash Green headshunt. Another string to the bow!

The administrative departments continued to administer whatever needed to be administered, although of course, the most important thing to make sure is properly administered on a Thursday is the chip order.


Supplementary Thursday 12th November 2015

Dear all
Whilst taking a new potential customer around Wirksworth there was time to view the progress the Permanent Way Team were making with the extension of the Gorsey Bank siding to meet the demands of our test customers. A really spendid job to achieve the desired 200mm cant requested.
PS - a little more of the unusual track geomentary in Lisbon -

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Fwd: Progress Tuesday/Wednesday November 10th and 11th 2015

-----Original Message-----
From: mrailcar <>
To: wirksworth_station <>
Sent: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 19:31
Subject: Progress Tuesday/Wednesday November 10th and 11th 2015

Hi all
The warm temperatures and dry weather have certainly assisted the PWay team to jack and pack the Gorsy Bank cant extension.
Today Martin hosted a group from the Wensleydale Railway who were interested in the construction of our wooden platform extension
The DMU group completed an FP exam on Iris and our Santa Grotto railcar 50170 ensuring the heater worked.
With only three weeks to go to the first Santa train the group once again find themselves working to a timetable  
No other Heritage Railway uses railcars for Santa Trains but we have managed to use them to our financial advantage 
Network Rail have employed a vegetation clearance company to remove vegetation from all our bridges and culverts to enable engineers to examine them. This should be completed over the next couple of days
All for now
Mike Evans


Progress Tuesday/Wednesday November 10th and 11th 2015

Hi all
The warm temperatures and dry weather have certainly assisted the PWay team to jack and pack the Gorsy Bank cant extension.
Today Martin hosted a group from the Wensleydale Railway who were interested in the construction of our wooden platform extension
The DMU group completed an FP exam on Iris and our Santa Grotto railcar 50170 ensuring the heater worked.
With only three weeks to go to the first Santa train the group once again find themselves working to a timetable  
No other Heritage Railway uses railcars for Santa Trains but we have managed to use them to our financial advantage 
Network Rail have employed a vegetation clearance company to remove vegetation from all our bridges and culverts to enable engineers to examine them. This should be completed over the next couple of days
All for now
Mike Evans


Supplementary No 1 Wednesday 10th November 2015

Dear all
It was most pleasant to welcome a working group from the Wensleydale Railway who wished to understand how we constructed the wooden platform extensions at Wirksworth and Duffield. They looked at Wirksworth and Duffield and met Mick Thomas who had masterminded the work. The Permanent Way Team were at work creating the new work that will accommodate a new requirement for canted track for our test customers.
The photos show our guests with Mick explaining the planning and implementation of our structures.
PS - very much off topic is a look at San Fancisco's cable cars where I ticked off one of my "bucket list" objectives. The time is January 1998 and as we boarded the flight on 1st January it was announced that California had gone no smoking that day. Even a visit to Alcatraz was greeted "this is a no smoking island"! Happily for an addict it was not enforced with any enthusiasm.

Supplementary No2 Wednesday 10th November 2015

Dear all
I forgot to say one of the Wensleydale team was an enthusiastic follower of our blog posts and knew a lot about our enterprise from these views. The reason for this additional post is the delightful work achieved by Dan on one of our GRAMPUS wagons. The wagon fleet often looks quite neglected and it is most pleasing to see a vehicle receiving some well deserved tlc.
So many thanks to Dan and I am sure you will endorse praise for his ministrations on this now elegant vehicle.
PS - just so as you have something to look at there is a return to Belper where I had a little time waiting for Specsavers to mend a pair of glasses!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Progress Report 9th November 2015

It definitely wasn't raining when I left home, but at 0920 Wirksworth
time it was raining, and hard.

Lots of progress today all the same.

Mike Billings had a full tank of fuel and the PWT (thanks) had fixed the
flail onto the Komatsu so off he went happy, flailing from 49 steps to
Rowlands Crossing in the rain, not venturing out of the cab even for
lunch! BTW it took Mike 2 hours to get back in the afternoon. Such was
the adhesion available.

VCT toiled around Jebbs Lane at the cattle creep replacing a fence
required after hedge clearance. Half done, the rest on a dry day
hopefully! They managed to dry out later by having a small fire beneath
the bridge!

By 1130 it was raining buckets.

Dan abandoned the Grampus wagon and kept busy getting ready for BSK
welding work also tidying up more of our working site and ridding us of
more scrap.

MRX Technology ventured out of the office after lunch to test their
'walking stick' between Wirksworth and Gorsey Bank. Only for about 20
minutes though as the rain persisted whilst they were doing so.

By 1430 the Wirksworth Northern Lake filled up nicely and it continued
to rain just in case some of it might drain away!

I continued working on and cleaning the BSK window frames, carrying
buckets of water (what else!) from the mess room.

Tony Watt abandoned his trip to Shottle for one to Idrigehay instead,
river bank erosion investigation apparently. So Tony goes to site,
pre-drenched, only to stand in the river, well done mate!

I think John was the only member of staff to remain warm and dry today,
but never the less keeping an eye on all comers from the safety of the
booking hall.

Only by 1630 it had actually stopped raining as the grey clouds were by
then empty. Not a damp squib of a day at all really, more progress
despite the weather man's inaccuracies. Atishoo!


Derek M

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Progress Sunday 8th November 2015

Dear all,

A miserable wet and windy November day with 7 or 8 volunteers on site only.

The primary areas of activity was with the DMU team with Iris receiving an A exam yesterday and today to ensure that is fit for service. Another portion of the team began looking at the 119. There's a couple of issues that need addressing. Firstly there is a leak at the front which has required a certain amount of interior panelling to be stripped out to find and secondly an electrical fault which reared its head a few weeks ago. Nothing disabling, just irritating.

Derek continued with the BSK window frames and Dan nears completion of the wagon refurbishment.


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Progress Report Saturday 7th November 2015

Today was the first Saturday of the winter timetable and we still attracted a fair number of visitors despite the early inclement weather. The Commercial Department were in go mode today meeting representatives of Derbyshire's Children's Holiday Centre to assist in planning a number of events here to celebrate the Charity's 125th Anniversary. Also meeting today was the railway's Association who held their annual general meeting at a well known local hostelry. 

Down the yard the LMSCA continued their work on third open and the Duke's restoration was also attended to. The DMU team had a busy time with electrical problems being the theme of the day. The centre car's dynamo was successfully tested in preparation for our Santa trains and the EVR's very own 'Red Adair' AKA 'Ollie' sprang into rescue mode to diagnose and rectify the electrical fault with the lights in the Pullman Buffet's second open carriage much to the relief of our Catering Manager.

Today's photos are of the Royal Class 119's new commemorative plaque fitted today.

All the best,


The Denby Dawdler

Dear all
A delightful contribution from Bob Gibbens showing the Denby Dawdler on the Denby and Wirksworth branches including view from the leading cab. Quite a revelation with our Railway looking very bleak and unloved. Wirksworth branch starts around minute 32.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Progress Friday 6th November 2015

Dear all,

A wet and miserable but mild November day was perfect for further painting progress in the new Wirksworth Booking Office. The brown beams were done first, followed by the wooden wall which was sanded down yesterday.

Whilst all this was going on, John and Richard ably hosted a Bronze Drive a Diesel Day with the royal DMU featuring in the morning followed by actually making history in the afternoon. It was the first time a Class 25 with it's distinctive Sulzer tones could be seen (and heard) between Wirksworth and Duffield since BR days.

Work continued on the BSK with more window and electrical work taking place.


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Progress Tuesday/Wednesday 3rd and 4th November 2015

Hi all
This week is the start of the winter timetable where we only run three service trains on Tuesdays and Saturdays
Today we hosted Story Contracting who used our test track facilities to get the necessary certificate to work on network Rail metals. The greasy rails on the Incline caused them some problems
The PWay team commenced constructing an extension to the Gorsey Bank cant which needs increasing  to conform  to the 1530 test regulations
All for now
Mike Evans

Supplementary 4th November 2015

Dear all
Another day with a test customer ably hosted by Tony Watt. The rail conditions on the Incline really did test the capability of the machine but that's what testing is all about. The Permanent Way Team started to position the additional track panels that will form the additional canted track required by new test specifications.
Short video of today's test vehicle.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Progress Report Saturday 31st October 2015

No ghostly goings on to report today as our scheduled service pottered up and down from Wirksworth to Duffield with a fair number of visitors. Down the yard Tim Oakes's team of restorers continued work on with the Duke and the DMU team were gainfully employed on a range of tasks including assisting with the winterisation of the class 25.

John Ball ran a first aid course in the training room and the booking hall dealt with more santa bookings.

All the best,


Friday, 30 October 2015

Progress Friday 30th October 2015

Dear all,

Unseasonably mild but horribly wet to begin with today but it did brighten up for an hour before it went dark again.

Today we hosted a group from the Poulton and Wyre Railway which is near Blackpool. They were participating in a special Drive a Diesel Railcar day with the Royal 2 car. They haven't started running trains and remind you of us around 10 years ago. Actually come to think of it, we have some space on one of our ordinary Bronze Drive a Diesel Experiences next Friday with DMU in the morning and the Class 25 in the afternoon. Our system has discounted it from £199 to just £109 so book online at

Down the yard Derek was cleaning window frames on the BSK and Ben popped down to continue the electrics. 

Big progress was made today on the site which will become the home to the mess room shortly.  Remember the Mess Room is moving to allow the public proper access to the new Booking Office. A photo is attached of the cleared site. Some more work required next week though.

Inside the new Booking Office, a start was made on applying the new colour scheme to the walls. Much filling and priming took place in the morning and the new emulsion came out in the afternoon. Rather exciting and a transformation already! The images don't really do justice to it as it was already going dark when the pics were taken (it does that nowadays). One shows Nathan and Jon working away.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Progress Tuesday and Wednesday 27th/28th October 2015

Hi all
As we enter the winter timetable next week the progress reports may come out every two days or when items of interest occur
The EVRA SO coach resides on the car park road at present to allow the fork lift to remove the vacuum cylinders for refurbishment
The PWay levelled the area around Taylors siding using approximately 40 tons of type 1 stone which will become hard when damp and provide access to the Maintenance Facility. New crossing gates are required at Idridgehay as the original ones have rotted. One gate was collected today by the works train and delivered to a local firm to be used as a pattern  
All for now
Mike Evans

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Supplementary Tuesday 27th October 2015

Dear all
Back to normal life with a couple of pictures showing the where the track panels have been removed from road 3 and grading work near the pit as this area is tidied up after the completion of Taylor's Siding.
PS - this past weekend saw the closure of Midland Metro's Snow Hill terminus preparatory for the system to be extended through the streets to New Street. The video shows Snow Hill in late September with the extension works continuing in ernest -

Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Royal Visit Video

Dear all
I put a couple of video cameras around the Wirksworth quad with mixed results but I hope it has captured some of the atmosphere.

The Royal Visit

Dear all
May I on behalf of all the team involved thank everyone involved in ensuring we showed the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in its best light for the visit. The planning over the last four weeks involved many pre visits by the Lord Lieutenant and his support team, Derbyshire and Metropolitan Police together with the Clarence House people. The plans were changed regularly resulting in a plethora of emails and telephone calls.
Local farmers were assembled as the Prince had expressed a wish to show his support for the farming community and our two neighbouring schools were invited. The permanent way training company, ARC, were also asked to participate representing our links with work for the national network.
Three options of rolling stock were offered and the Class 119 was chosen as the best available vehicle for the Prince to meet a selection of volunteers in small groups during the journey together with the attractive story that it was fully restored by a young group of enthusiasts.
Much preparation and polishing of the two car unit was undertaken and care was taken to ensure the backdrop at Wirksworth Station looked good for the cameras and gave the public a view of the proceedings from Platform 2. Platform 1 was cleared of unnecessary eyesores and the children tastefully arranged to hide the crumbling Booking Hall which will shortly be history. Paint was applied to our other buildings.
Eric, Helen and Anne catered on board with style and some difficulty during the journey ensuring the Prince's desire of tea with local honey was supplied. Access through the coach was somewhat crowded by the many press represented that attended.
Evans, senior and junior, ensured our site was secure for the arrival of the Royal Bentley, Graham Arkwright and Rodney looked after Gorsey Bank and Idridgehay Crossing Gates for a non stop run and Ken Underhill ensured everything was under control at Duffield.
Graham Walker and Tom Tait will have Royal Train Driver and Guard respectively added to their grade cards.
It is difficult to think of anything to top this - wait, is that the White House on the phone!

Progress Report Saturday 24th October 2015

Following yesterday's exciting and successful Royal visit to Derbyshire's favourite branch line, Wirksworth station was a much more subdued place today. Volunteer fatigue may have played a part and I am very grateful to Eric Hills and John Evans who undertook additional operational duties to ensure we could run our scheduled Duffield service. Despite the inclement weather we did attract a fair number of visitors and played host to a troop of Crich Scouts who were undertaking a hike from the Stone Centre down to Wirksworth where a warm DMU welcomed them to take them onwards to Duffield and further challenges. Today's service was supported by the EVRA shop and model railway. The booking hall telephone rang with Santa bookings and the Pullman Buffet's homemade vegetable soup proved extremely popular as the temperature dropped.

Down the yard Tim Oakes et al and the LMSCA could be found gainfully employed on their respective projects and two lonely, wet and weary members of the DMU team undertook a complex shunt to put everything back in its right place.

All the best,


Friday, 23 October 2015

Fwd: Progress 23rd October 2015

-----Original Message-----
From: mrailcar <>
To: wirksworths_railway <>
Sent: Fri, 23 Oct 2015 19:24
Subject: Progress 23rd October 2015

Hi all
I will never have the honour of  making a progress report of this magnitude again. Today we hosted a Royal visit by HRH Prince of Wales. HRH was introduced to local farmers and school children, apprentice tracklayers and  he unveiled a plaque to honour His visit, on the platform
HRH then travelled from Wirksworth to Duffield on our Award winning Class 119 W51073 and was introduced to volunteers who 15yrs ago began clearing the jungle which existed, and the DMU group who restored the 119 over a period of 5  yrs. HRH also spoke to volunteers who rebuilt Shottle platform and restored coaches.
My thanks go to all who helped to make this a successful and memorable day, including those in operational roles who were not able to see his HRH. 
Well done all!
All the best
Mike Evans

Progress 23rd October 2015

Hi all
I will never have the honour of  making a progress report of this magnitude again. Today we hosted a Royal visit by HRH Prince of Wales. HRH was introduced to local farmers and school children, apprentice tracklayers and  he unveiled a plaque to honour His visit, on the platform
HRH then travelled from Wirksworth to Duffield on our Award winning Class 119 W51073 and was introduced to volunteers who 15yrs ago began clearing the jungle which existed, and the DMU group who restored the 119 over a period of 5  yrs. HRH also spoke to volunteers who rebuilt Shottle platform and restored coaches.
My thanks go to all who helped to make this a successful and memorable day, including those in operational roles who were not able to see his HRH. 
Well done all!
All the best
Mike Evans

The Royal Visit Friday 23rd October 2015

Dear all
All went well! A couple of photos taken by Nathan as an early taste of many more to follow.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Supplementary Thursday 22nd October 2015

Dear all
Are we ready?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Progress Wednesday 21st october 2015

Hi all
When the timetable was produced last Year we seemed to have made an error in the mid term school holiday date as it is next week, but we ran today and are not running next Wednesday. Not great numbers but we covered more than our expenses.
The Pway team had a day of tidying the area around the Maintenance Facility. This sounds easy but involves the Kamatsu, wagons and many hands !!
The LMSCA  were seen stripping the insides of four compartments ready to replace parts of the body sides. The pre shaped steel was delivered for this project today
The DMU group cleaned the Pullman Buffet sides, polished the Class119 and cleaned its windows 
All for now

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Progress Tuesday 20th October 2015

Hi all
A coach party  of Senior citizens from Doncaster helped to swell our passenger numbers on which turned out to be a warm afternoon
The usual DST continued painting Kathryns frames and fettling axleboxes and cleaning other parts ready for fitting at a later date. Over in the steam shed another group continued winterising the Barclays and tidying up the surrounding area
The PWay team commenced lifting the old midland track on line 3 to extend the Gorsey Bank testing cant and increase to 200 mm to conform to the new 1530 testing regulations. Track patrols we also completed
The DMU duo commenced tidying the site and washing the 119 railcar ready for Friday's visitor but someone being very particular decided it needed polishing to remove water marks. I wonder who that was !!
All for now
Mike Evans  

Supplementary Tuesday 20th October 2015

Dear all
More track work at Wirksworth in connection with realighing Road 3 to facilitate the adjacent steam servicing road to be installed. The short ex Midland Railway 30ft panels are being recycled to extend the siding south of Wash Green to enhance the canted track area for our test customers.
PS - a visit to the Churnet Valley Railway on Sunday saw a wedding take place in the building at Froghall followed by a reception on the train. I was taken by the presentation in their catering vehicle and the strange sounds emanating from the Polish tank engine.

Supplementary Tuesday 20th October 2015

Dear all
More track work at Wirksworth in connection with realighing Road 3 to facilitate the adjacent steam servicing road to be installed. The short ex Midland Railway 30ft panels are being recycled to extend the siding south of Wash Green to enhance the canted track area for our test customers.
PS - a visit to the Churnet Valley Railway on Sunday saw a wedding take place in the building at Froghall followed by a reception on the train. I was taken by the presentation in their catering vehicle and the strange sounds emanating from the Polish tank engine.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Supplementary Friday 16th October 2015

Dear all
This is a forlorn test to see whether 4 versions of this are transmitted! However, this was the scene in the Maintenance Facility today where it is now time for our Mark 1 vehicles to occupy this space for repairs and painting. To the left is the BSK and to the right the dmu support coach. For the enthusiasts this is the first time the Facility has been occupied by two Mark 1 coaches simultaneously!
We have Hong Kong trams from the tour of the World!

Progress Friday 16th October 2015

Dear all,

As is customary for a Friday, it was mostly about station maintenance today. The weather was doing it's best to prevent this from happening with sprays of water coming from the sky at times but Nathan and Stuart were determined to paint anything and everything. Well it seemed like that anyway. The Mess Room maroon was completed on the end, as too was the repair patch on the back of the gents. The loose paint from the top of the gents block was scraped off and done along with the current Booking Office canopy. Said canopy had received a repair earlier in the day to tidy it up. It's only got a little while to go before the end anyway...

In the new Booking Office, the masonry walls were filled with a sand and cement mix where necessary and are virtually ready for painting. The area above the fire exit was attended to, with the broken old Fire Exit sign being removed to allow for all the air conditioning holes to be filled up properly.

The shunt mentioned yesterday took place with a lot of vehicles in the yard moving. Some of these vehicles had been in their storage locations quite a while so it's weird seeing other things in the their places. The shunt also featured the first vehicle's on Taylor's Siding too.

Dan continued with the wagon refurbishment. For those who were wondering, this wagon has had the old wooden floor which was about rotten taken up and a lovely new steel one welded in. Much more durable for use with the Komastu bucket!

Up the street many volunteers were putting a lot of hard work and effort into setting up for this weekend's Model Railway Exhibition. The show engulfs the town in many ways and takes up three halls in various places.

Work continued on stripping the BSK ready for the compartments to be spruced up ahead of the dining season next year.

That's about all I think....


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Progress Thursday 15th October 2015

Dear all,

Our service today was ably handled by Iris and passenger loadings were reasonable considering the cool weather.

Down the yard a start was made on tomorrows mega shunt. These shunts happen around once a year to get everything in the right positions for winter work to be carried out. It will also allow the PW team access to Road 3 to make the necessary alterations.

Dan continued on the wagon refurb too.

The photograph is one taken in a sunny moment shortly after D7629 arrived yesterday. A trip to The Hannages was just too tempting!!


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Progress Wednesday 14th October 2015

Dear all
First of all, apologies for multiple despatches yesterday resulting from a technology I don't fully understand!
Trying again today, the photo welcomes D7629 to our Railway where the owner has been persuaded that it will be provided with a good and productive home. The Class 25s were regular performers on the Wirksworth branch as well as the Derby to Manchester locals. Our Class 33, Swordfish, departs tomorrow to take part in the Dartmoor Railway Polar Expresses but we hope to welcome it back in the New Year.
The dmu team managed to replace a defective exhaust on 50253 and the LMSCA team continued with refurbishment of the GRAMPUS and stripping out the BSK. The PWT firstly went south to recover some sugar stone, a product of derailments some years ago, transferred this to north of Cromford Road bridge on the Incline. They then topped this off by white gold, ballast, to form a point at which our test vehicles can demonstrate they can on and off track at a maximum gradient. There is some finishing work to be done but we are on the way to keeping ahead of new requirements for our test vehicles.
The Booking Hall continued to deal with the unceasing demand for the many opportunities our Railway is able to offer.
It is with some amazement and a great deal of pleasure I can announce that we have been selected to be part of HRH Prince of Wales tour of Derbyshire next Friday, 23rd October, and travel on our Royal Train from Wirksworth to Duffield. As you can imagine we have been hosts to a number secretive visits and we owe a debt of thanks to William Tucker, Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, for deeming us capable of welcoming such a distinguished visitor.
As more details of the programme are released we will keep you advised of developments. You have to say its not bad to have the reputation that such a distinguished visitor can enter our world!
From the hills of Portugal to the vertical heights of San Francisco is tonight's offering