Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Supplementary Tuesday 31st March 2015

Dear all
Pam arrived today to provide opportunities for London Underground drivers to train on these locomotives. We're here to help!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Progress Monday 30th March 2015

Dear all,

A much nicer day than predicted until the end, which enabled the VCT to have 2 fires between the four of them on the straight before Duffield. I am told that this area can now be swept of logs at the next available opportunity.

The LMSCA continued working on the BSK kitchen and things really changed today. The special white faced melamine panels have started to go up in the kitchen-to-be and some buff undercoat has been going on to the wall panels. Things should really start to change in the next few days as they work to complete the wall paneling in the kitchen area. The photographs show the progress.

The Booking Office tried to cram in as many tasks as possible today as we head in to 10 days straight of passenger trains. Don't forget we also have the circus Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Wirksworth as well. 

Tomorrow we also expect a delivery of another Battery Locomotive so can I ask as many as possible to park over on the ballast dock, leaving some room in the main car park. Last week it got very tight indeed and we need to leave some space for our customers.



Friday, 27 March 2015

Progress Friday 27th March 2015

What a difference a day makes, reasonably warm today!

Network Rail concluded their testing on the incline today and the car park was quiet for a change.

The Station Foremen completed a station inspection and managed a little work on the new Booking Office.

At Duffield, Rodney the Riddler continued his work in the car park.

The LMSCA continued working on the kitchen in the BSK although moving the coach has had a detrimental effect on their work, being closer to the kettle.


Supplementary Friday 27th March 2015

Dear all
Just an illustration of the progress being made on the new Maintenance Facility siding. Great tribute to the permanent way team as this project moves steadily forward involving the removal and disposal of a great deal of muck.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Progress Thursday 26th March 2015

Dear all,

A slightly calmed day which saw the overhead masts come down as quick as they went up. The contractor has finished for now, just in time for Easter.

Network Rail continued their testing on the incline and we waved goodbye to LULs Sophie.

The DMU team reformed sets ready for a mad few weeks of passenger trains. We have 10 days straight from Tuesday next week. Not long until the circus now! We took delivery of the new poster for 2015 and it looks superb. Available to buy at Wirksworth Booking Office at full size and A2. Card board Neil's on order too...

The somewhat depleted PWay team continued working in the yard.

The LMSCA continued working on the kitchen project with threat of worktop delivery looming.


Supplementary Thursday 26th March 2015

Dear all
We woke up this morning to snow! The attached photo shows the scene at 0900 Wirksworth.
Another couple of photos from our history are also attached showing Duffield in December 1996 - its not that long ago!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Progress Wednesday 25th March 2015

Hi all
Another busy day at the EVR. Network Rail continued their
testing of Ironmen and trolleys up the Incline.
Carillion Powerlines demonstrated their two new types of
Overhead Masts to Network Rail.
The LCC set to task on the three car DMU after its work on the
Mixed Traction Weekend
The PWT continued work on new third road of the Maintenance
Facility and completed some fishplate greasing in the Platform Area.
The two LMSCA MK 1s were shunted to the South end of Platform
1 to enable easy acess to fit out the Kitchen area of the BSK.
The Duffield worker continued removing ivy from wall and did
some more riddling

Bye for now

Mike Evans

Supplementary Wednesday 25th March 2015

Dear all
Some of today's excitements for you.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Supplementary Tuesday 24th March 2015

Dear all
I still need to blink to envisage that we would ever have 25Kv overhead structures at Wirksworth but today saw the prototype masts and crossmembers erected at Wirksworth. Whatever next!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Hi All
The second day of our Mixed Traffic Weekend saw the Class 31
redeem itself covering all four Service runs to Duffield.EVRA had their
first two hour steam experience ably hosted by John Evans.
Today was busier than yesterday in Financial terms which is
not quite the norm with our services not connecting at Duffield on a
Sunday.The Pullman Buffet sold out except for one sandwich and the
Booking Office Shop needs some more stock !!
The DMU Team fitted the painted seat frames in the main
compartment of 50253,tried to remedy the fault on 50599's final drive
electrical indications and applied more paint to the PWay Bubble roof.
I would like to thank all the staff who covered essential
duties at last minute.A personal thanks to a volunteer from Essex who
stayed overnight in a hotel and covered Gorsey Bank Gates today on
every run making the Journey easier for Traincrew and passengers.
A final note.A volunteer said yesterday the Railway seems
to have a Buzz with all its new activites.Lets hope he is right

Bye for now

Mike Evans

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Progress Saturday 21st March 2014

Hi all
The day started with our Class 31 deciding not to move due to
an electrical fault so LJB pushed the failed train into Platform 1.The
RO quickly prepared 55006/IRIS and these ran the service for the 1st
three trains and the three car Met Camm ran the 1615 WW - DD.
The day has been well supported with 80 on the 1st Duffield
Service and the Ravenstor Steam Incline Service had good loadings
working till !600.
The service was supported by the Pullman Buffet and the EVRA
The 8F Group continued on The Dukes refurbishment and the
LMSCA applied more paint to the BSK guards compartment, working late
I am advised the Class31 has been repaired ready for the
service tomorrow

All the best

Mike Evans

Friday, 20 March 2015

Progress Friday 20th March 2015

Dear all,

A whirlwind of activity today at Wirksworth with several customers and contractors on site as well as the team setting up for the Mixed Traction Weekend coming up.

Firstly, a variety of large road vehicles came seemingly in convoy. We had the main steelwork for the overhead masts come along, followed shortly afterwards by an articulated lorry for next week's test customer. Then the test machines for next week themselves rolled up (known as an 'Ironmen') and had to be constructed from their component parts on the track. The wall contractors tidied up a bit as they're now having to take a small rest until after the Easter holidays. 

R&R Motors took an urgent look at the road/rail Land Rover as it had decided it wasn't coming out to play. Turned out to be a crack in one of the injector pipes for the engine and was swiftly rectified so that it is ready for service also with the test customer next week.

The team then got together a three car DMU to be used as hauled stock for the coming weekend. Normally we'd use the Mark 1 coaches but these are out of service whilst the kitchen work is carried out. This work did continue today with more priming. They then proceeded to fuel up the single cars which are in multiple still ready for Tuesday. The Class 31 was run up and moved onto the stock for tomorrow and a vacuum test was carried out. In amongst all of this, the two car which was berthed in Platform 3 was moved out of the way both for steam services this weekend and also for the testing next week, and EVRA's SK was put back where it belongs after vacuum cylinder work earlier in the week.

Team Tannery, somewhat depleted today, continued working on the new Booking Office. After a conflab this morning about where the front desks were going to be, they went on to fixing in the partition wall.

The Booking Office continued to deal with lots of enquiries and also took delivery of a 5 CD box set of 1950s tunes for a certain week coming up in June. The buffet had some interior paintwork touched up.

Think I've got it all. My thanks go to all of those who put in extra hours today to ensure that everything is ready for the weekend and testing next week.

I haven't got a photo from today but I did receive a lovely image from a lady called Iris, aged 80, who had her photograph taken in the driving seat of her namesake on Mother's Day.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Progress Thursday 19th March 2014.

Hi All
Another busy day with the RAIB having another of their
training days within Wirksworth Yard.
Carillion Powerlines had the Concrete delivered for the two
mast bases ready for the erection of the new structures next week
The EVRA SK received its second vacuum cyclinder.
As the evenings get lighter it enables groups to work later
in the evening.The LMSCA painted the BSK brake area in primer and the
DMU Group welded some more areas on Pway Bubble and prepared the roof
for more paint.
THe PWT continued fishplate greasing in Wirksworth Yard

All the best

Mike Evans

Mike Evans

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Progress Wednesday 18th March 2014.

Hi all

Today saw the EVRA SK receive an overhauled vacuum cylinder
fitted and the other will be fitted tomorrow.
The PWT were at the Hannages completing a drainage system to
stop the bungalow flooding when we get heavy showers.They also had a
fishplate greasing day in the same area.
Carillion Powerlines completed the shuttering of the ever
increasing size holes ready for the concrete tomorrow.
We were visited by another Test Track Customer who is
bringing some new starters to use their tools in a real live railway
situation.All good for the coffers !

All the best


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Supplementary Tuesday 17th March 2015

Dear all
A photo of a hole for you! Carillion have excavated two holes for the masts that will adorn the Car Park briefly revealing that underneath our Car Park is a deep seam of shale hitherto undisturbed for millions of years! Meanwhile the new Maintenance Facility siding grows in length to the credit of all involved.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Progress Monday 16th March 2015

Dear all,

Tomorrow sees the final Winter Timetable today for this part of the season and today was spent preparing for the day. Our schools officer popped in and prepared for a school party who are in tomorrow learning about the railway and local area history.

Down the line, the VCT enjoyed 2 fires at MP134 brought about by 5 men.

The LMSCA continued work in the Brake Smith Korridor to bring it up to on train catering specification. One thing that strikes you when you see the original boards stripped of paint is that British Railways used quality components. The wood is over 50 years old and is still fantastic. The cage arrangement in the foreground is to become the bulkhead wall for the kitchen area. Tomorrow the team will start a clean down ready for some paint to be applied.

Contractors continued working on the new wall, and they were out in force today. It is really starting to take shape now finally. We welcome the new training outit to Wirksworth for a quick look round too.

The Booking Office took quite a healthy party booking as well as dealing with other things.

Bye for now.


Saturday, 14 March 2015

Progress Saturday 14th March 2014.

Hi All
Today having a prebooked party of 17 we decided to use a Two
Car DMU including our Award Winning 119 which used to work the Reading
to Gatwick Airport Service. We made the correct decision as two
services had 68 and 87 passengers.The highest numbers this Year.
One of our Barclays, Henry Ellison was working on the Incline
with Guards training Brake Van handling which gave our passengers some
extra entertainment.
The LMSCA continued working late to ensure our first mobile
catering Vehicle is ready for the first Afternoon Cream Tea Train.
The 8F Group continued with preparatory boiler work on
The DMU team replaced Batteries on the Centre Car,moved 50253
forward in its restoration and commenced painting the Pway Bubble Roof
in primer.

All the best

Mike Evans

Supplementary Friday 13th March 2015

Dear all
Duffield in December 1996 before a few slight improvements!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Progress Friday 13th March 2015

Dear all,

A voodoo for some, Friday 13th turned out to be the usual hive of activity with lots of progress.

The Tannery Team attacked the new Booking Office with vigour today getting some more of the partitioning built and laying some more of the overboarded floor. I attach a photograph of the progress so far. The area on the left of the partition is to be the office for the admin teams, the area on the right the retail space. 

The LMSCA spent the day managing to miss each other, popping to Derby etc but some progress was made on the BSK.

Some wiring was done for the lighting in the EVRA coaches too.

The buffet spent time preparing for a coach party tomorrow and the Booking Office made sure everything was right for the coming weekend.

Marsden Land Rover Recovery continued to work wonders on the road/rail Land Rover. An oil and filter change was achieved today along with some other sundry bits including changing some bulbs and fittings.


Supplementary Thursday 12th March 2015

Dear all
Another couple of scans from our past taken in January 1997 showing Gorsey Bank crossing and the "racing straight" together with the Permanent Way Team progressing the third Maintenance Facility track today.
We concluded a long process with Carillion Powerlines today which will see engineering teams moving into the Wirksworth Car Park from next Monday to prepare for the erection of overhead line masts for evaluation in connection with the electrification of the Midland Main Line from Bedford to Sheffield. This will inevitably put constraints on the use and access to the Car Park but the remuneration will make it all worth while. Everyone's cooperation will be needed to ensure the customer is made to feel welcome as the potential rewards will allow us to accomplish items from our wish list at an earlier date.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Progress Wednesday 11th March 2014.

Hi All
Today we hosted 5 members of Virgins Control Offices on a
Driving Experience.They experienced working Ground Frames and placing
protection for failed trains.On the Big railway that's 1.25 Miles !!
The PWT continued removal of spoil to enable our third shed
road to be laid.This project will enable our volunteers to work in a
warm and dry shed repairing our road/rail vehicles besides coaches.
Both the LMSCA and EVRA coach teams seemed to be having a
ceiling day.
The DMU Group spent the morning moving units ready for next
week and worked on 50599 to try and complete its C Exam.
The Duffield riddler produced some good topsoil for flower
planters and ballast for the Car Park.
Easter will soon be with us and anyone wishing to donate
Prizes for our Easter weekend Prize draw will be most welcome.Please
leave in Booking Office.

All the best

Mike Evans

Supplementary Wednesday 11th March 2015

The photos!

Supplementary Wednesday 11th March 2015

Dear all
Another blast from the past with Wirksworth Yard in January/February 2001 and yesterday's situation with the Great Wall of Wirksworth project.  I would like to add my thanks to Lesmac for there most kind donation of a motorised man rider. They tested this vehicle and a four man version some five years ago for certification on Network Rail and remembered the help and pleasant company from that period resultling a decision to offer the machine to us.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Progress Wednesday 11th March 2015

Dear all,

Well it didnt rain as much as they said and it worked to the advantage of the PWay team until the Komatsu threw a hissy fit. Many with part coming tomorrow apparently. Anyway, they're doing pretty well with laying the new siding down the side of the shed which will eventually be largely covered over by an additional area being built on to the side on the current shed. It is hoped that in the future, all fund depending of course, we can concrete this area with a solid base and use it for lifting vehicles. A lifting area is of paramount important for working on bogies and wheelsets.

Excitement returned to the PWay team shortly after though as we welcomed a couple of chappies from Lesmac. They have very generously donated us a rail mounted…erm..thing which will prove very useful for the mandatory track inspections that have to be carried out. It is has a basic frame with four little rail wheels on, two seats and a little 6.5bhp Honda engine similar to a boat. I have included a picture so that you can see it for yourselves. It was originally tested here around five years ago and has been in Scotland ever since. However, now surplus to their requirements they remembered their days here testing fondly and decided to donate it to us.

Work continued on the Wirksworth Wall project in the car park and the LMSCA were scratching their heads with the BSK project, wondering how best to get thick layers of paint from the old ceiling panels so that they could be painted nice and smooth to match the new panels they're putting in.

I am also happy to report that it seems as though the road/rail Lorry has been given a new lease of life. Originally thought to have a blown cylinder head gasket, it actually turned out to be an easier solution. A crack had formed in the coolant header tank which caused an airlock to form in the coolant system.

The steam team took Henry Ellison out for a little test run today after passing the annual boiler exam yesterday. They're reporting all is good for the new season. The Ravenstor line will be steam operated over the forthcoming Mixed Traction Weekend.

Team Rodney spent the day riddling soil to get the good stone out of it to fill some potholes at Duffield.

The Booking Office had a good day taking various bookings for parties and the like.

The second photo for today is a 'now' version of the photo that Martin sent out yesterday. So much in such a short space of time!


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Supplementary Tuesday 10th March 2015

Dear all
A couple of photos showing the constructed end of the new third track which will be part of the expansion of the Maintenance Facility.
Also shown is a time 15 years ago where shunting of rolling stock was not a problem as there none!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Progress Monday 9th March 2015

Dear all,

I woke up to glorious sunshine this morning but it soon descended back to winter.

The VCT didn't have high hopes of doing much vegetation clearance today but 4 men managed some good clearance around the MP134 area. They simply dodged the rain by tripping to Duffield for some lunch!

Whilst the M1M worked on installing the side parts to the seats in one of their coaches the LMSCA were hard at it again with the BSK kitchen project. There's some serious hard work (and expenditure) going in to this project to make on train afternoon tea and the Shottle Soirée Friday evenings possible. The team are doing near 7 days straight each week and report that there's only 69 days until the crunch point. The brake end of the BSK takes up approximately half the coach. This area has been divided up further with 2/3 of it on the way to becoming a kitchen area. The remaining third will be for disabled passengers. The kitchen will be fully fitted with a mixture of 240v electric appliances running from an inverter and 12v lighting in the form of LEDs. It seems that the electrical facilities can be powered by a simple mains socket on the exterior of the coach when the train is waiting between journeys and this doubles up to charge up the on board batteries. There will be a small water boiler powered by gas similar to a caravan, which will have to be fitted by a registered fitter. I did poddle on down for a photograph but it was very dark and difficult to photograph so it will have to wait I'm afraid.

Contractors continued working on the car park wall rebuild too.

The Booking Office dealt with the usual enquiries and took a Day with a Train Driver experience booking too.

You'll have to settle for a beautiful photograph taken by Tom Tait during the brief tropics on Saturday (slight exaggeration but it was nice) through the front windows of the service train.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Progress Saturday 7th March 2014.

Hi All
The warmest day of the year lured the visitors to our
Railway.The 11,15 from Duffield had 63 passengers (55006 has 65 seats )
and the last train had 50.Lets hope the numbers continue.The service
was supported by the Pullman Buffet,model railway and EVRA shop.
Both the LMSCA and 8F group had Teams in Attendance.The lone
DST member painted the buffer beam on Henry Ellison.
The DMU Group fitted new batteries to LJB,successfully
fitted new gearbox to 50599,painted coat of gloss to one side of 50253
and moved PWay Bubble forward for its repaint.
Rodney removed vegetation form Duffield Station Area.
Thanks go to Staff who came to the rescue at the last
minute to cover essential vacancies.

All the best

Mike Evans.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Progress Friday 6th March 2015

Dear all,

Finally a beautiful sunny warm day which improves ones mood. The Tannery Team were in full flow today and are doing a great job. For those who haven't been following, the former Tannery building's mezzanine floor is being converted into a new Booking Office at Wirksworth as the current portakabin has seen better days. So far they have overboarded the previously lumpy bumpy floor and have now started to build a stud partition at the edge of the mezzanine. Today's photo shows this progress.

The buffet had a bit of work done in the kitchen today too.

Marsden Enterprises began his task of servicing and sprucing up one of the road/rail Land Rovers. A filter change is a good start. This is a most useful machine especially to support test work.

The contractor continued building the new wall in the car park too.


Supplementary Friday 6th March 2015

Dear all
The Wirksworth Car Park has featured in discussions today and I stumbled on a couple of photos taken just after we started clearing the area as our first objective in November and December 2000. You can just make out the tunnel entrance in the top photo.

Progress Thursday 5th march 2014

..Hi All
Still quite a cold Day at Wirksworth but it did not stop the
PWT greasing rails,completing work on the Shottle Ground Frame and
various tanks around the Yard.
The LMSCA continued painting the BSK Brake area.
Clayton Engineering completed some minor repairs on Sophie
before its return to Ruislip.
The DMU Group had a steam cleaning day including the
gearbox off 50599.
Yes I know its 7.30 am Friday but not yet used to midweek
reports.If I have missed any major details its because someone talking
in my other Ear.!!.

All the best


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Progress Wednesday 4th March 2015

Dear all,

A glorious but slightly chilly day saw lots of passing public popping in.

The works train popped down tho Duffield first thing. They sorted out some sleepers at Shottle before going on to Duffield to grease the groundframes there.

Whilst recessing, No.3 puffed down to Idridgehay and back on test. I gather all is well after winter.

The contractors continued with the Wirksworth Wall as per Martin's photo.

I have to report the LCC is no more. She has been up-titled to Assistant Company Secretary or ACS for short. We'd like to thank Ernie for his efforts with all the share admin over the last few years. I'm sure June will embrace this role.


Supplementary Wednesday 4th March 2015

Dear all
A couple of photos showing the Great Wall of Wirksworth just starting to take shape and an indication that the 2015 season is creeping up on us as No3 undertakes a successful trial run.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Supplementary Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Dear all
A couple of photos from the great wall project. Network Rail have engaged contractors to strengthen the Car Park retaining wall at Wirksworth which require metre deep footings. There was a pouring of ready mix concrete today.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Progress Monday 2nd March 2015

Dear all,

Hail and snowy showers today but largely sunny. The VCT worked near MP134. Five men had one decent sized fire and managed to fix and tension another 100m of anti-sheep fencing. Also on the line side, the flail worked from Platform 3 at Ravenstor up the incline a little.

I suppose the main item on the agenda today was the new retaining wall to be constructed along the edged bank of the bottom car park at Wirksworth. The retaining wall there at the moment really is on its last legs and so contractors have started the process of rebuilding it with new stone today. The process involves several items of machinery operating in the area as they dig new foundations and bring materials in to site. This work is expected to take two weeks and during this time the bottom car park will be unavailable to all staff and customers unless by prior arrangement with the Responsible Officer on the day. Additional parking is available up on the dock. It is important to keep the middle gate closed and locked during this time for safety reasons too. Unfortunately, the museum, brake van, talking tunnel, narrow gauge and children's play area will all be unavailable.

In connection with the above work, David kindly braved the hail to disconnect the power supply in the location cabinet. The cabinet will have to be moved as part of the process to rebuild this wall.

The LMSCA continued working on the BSK project. They have been gradually blasting off the old paint from the woodwork and cage so that there is a fresh base for kitchen construction.


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Progress Report Sunday the 1st of March 2015

Dear all,

Sunday began rather pleasantly before deteriorating into a wet and cold afternoon, however we were happily busy given the time of year.

At Duffield, the Station Foreman proceeded with work on the Road-Rail Access Point and a further delivery of fencing material was made to Shottle.

Down the yard, the LMSCA sandblasted the cage of the BSK, cut wood to fit the new kitchen and had a domestic. Nearby, unit 50253 had its light shades replaced, no smoking signs scraped, seat plates painted and caulked its parts. Charles Robson-Green dropped the gearbox off the class 108 ready for replacement in a very soon moment. Close by, the Class 31 received routine maintenance.

In the Tannery, JCB Purves and Ikea of Belper carried on with painting the store room area.

All the best,