Thursday, 30 April 2015

Retirement Day Thursday 30th April 2015

Dear all
After 15 years at the helm I leave behind the day to day management of our Railway and wish the new management team great fortitude and energy to move our Railway ever forward.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Progress Wednesday 28th April 2015

Hi all
Today saw our Car Park full with a large crane from Holland for 1530
testing and three other lorries which delivered four trailers and
weights and another crane for unloading. 1530 Testing is a name for set
guidelines which road/rail vehicles working on Network Rail must pass
including traversing a 1 in 25 Incline.
Duffield hosted another test customer using radar to test ground under
the ballast but they specifically requested concrete sleepers on which
most of Duffield track is laid.
The PWT continued work on the Shottle North Groundframe.
It was reported the EVRA SK had three more compartments completed but
the LMSCA turned their attentions to stripping the north end buckeye
of the BSK.
The Booking Office phone never seemed to stop with bookings for the
Friday evening Soirees.

for now

Mike Evans

Supplementary Wednesday 29th April 2015

Dear all
Ignore my previous year! Must be demob happy.

Supplementary Wednesday 29th April 2014

Dear all
Today's test customer preparing for the day's activity. The very large road rail crane arrived in the early hours of this morning from Holland.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Progress Monday 27th April 2015

Hi all

The VCT were working around milepost 134 and completed about 300 metres
of wire fencing. With over 18 miles of railway to keep protected these
volunteers do a very important job.
The LMSCA were laying lino in the kitchen area and a group worked on
the EVRA SK internal woodwork.
Two lorries arrived with trailers for the Crane testing Wednesday.
Please note do not walk through the Car Park Wednesday
All the best
Mike bEvans

Saturday, 25 April 2015

ProgressSaturday 25th April 2015

Hi all
Today kept our Board Directors busy, firstly having the monthly Board
meeting in the morning and then the Wyvern Rail AGM in the afternoon. I
hope the Shareholders who visited could see how our Railway is moving
forward and enjoyed the journey to Duffield on our Award Winning Class
In the background the 8F Group continued their tasks on the Duke and
the LMSCA worked late into the evening to ensure the kitchen in the BSK
gets completed for June.
Our two young DMU fitters reblocked 51188 completing its A Exam.
Thanks go to the volunteers who stepped in at the last minute to ensure
our visitors had a good day
Bye for now

Mike Evans

Friday, 24 April 2015

Progress Friday 24th April 2015


Peace in the Peak today as the station team used the sunshine to touch up more paintwork on the temporary buildings.

The Booking Office continued busy with Shottle Soiree bookings and we greeted a member of the DMU Group West Midlands who popped in on the off chance. They operate Cl108 vehicles on the Severn Valley. He was very interested in the work done so far on the PW bubble.

The BSK team were out in force as was exterior maintenance on the 31.

Attached is a photo of a display for an event in June. These replica packs are for sale in the Booking Office at Wirksworth.


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Progress Thursday 23rd April 2015Hi

Hi All
Although a cold start to the day the Sun encouraged a steady
stream of passengers on the Duffield Service ably coped by the Bubble
A surprise arrival of Allelys Heavy Haulage at lunchtime
caught many of us by surprise but we managed to move LUL Pam to the
unloading point for movement to Old Dalby Testrack where they have
live third rail to test Tube Stock. Sadly it is probably the last time
we will see a LUL at Wirksworth.
Will volunteers please note the Car Park will probably be
closed Tuesday and Wednesday next week due to a test vehicle arriving
together with three large trailers which will be unloaded by a crane.
Please park on the ballast dock. With passenger numbers increasing it
now takes a full time volunteer all day Tuesday to park vehicles
correctly so delivery lorries can access the second car park.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Progress Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Hi all
The morning started with the early arrival of the LMSCA's
second LMS Sleeping Coach which has come from the Strathspey Railway in
Scotland. The long term project is to convert it into a Kitchen Car for
our eventual Dining Train. They could still be seen this Evening
working late on the BSK Kitchen preparing the floor for levelling
compound and fitting the 240 volt external socket.
The PWT continued work on the Shottle North ground frame
fitting locking bars etc.,
John Evans commenced training three Secondmen for the Locos
working the Cream Tea Trains which will commence early June.
The Booking Office was busy making arrangements for The
Wirksworth Carnival which will end its parade at the Station at about
1400 on Bank Holiday Monday 25th May. It is the first time we have
been involved with the Carnival before and it all helps to put us on
the Map. There will be a variety of entertainments including a Live
band, Food stalls a bar. All these need licences which need to be
applied for

Bye for now

Mike Evans

Supplementary Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Dear all
A couple of progress photos showing the newly created entrance to the "Tannery" which will be the Booking Hall of the future for Wirksworth. Lots more to do but the project is inching along in the right direction and the other shows the final ballasting of the track relaid past the "dust dock". This resulted from the residue of stone ordered for the Great Wall of Wirksworth and kindly donated by the contractor. The end product looks great.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Progress Monday 20th April 2015

Dear all,

Quite a hive of activity for a Monday. The VCT attended to an issue reported by a neighbour near Duffield today in the sunshine.

The Works Train tripped to Shottle and great progress was made with installing the other ground frame to progress the loop project.

Also out and about the weedkilling team had their first pass of the season.

The BSK kitchen progressed further with undercoat on the ceiling in the remaining guards van.


Friday, 17 April 2015

Progress Friday 17th April 2015

Dear all,

A peaceful day at Wirksworth which saw a meeting this morning about the 1950s event, among the many phone calls to book the Shottle Soirée experiences.

The station team decided to take a small break from the new Booking Office to concentrate on minor beautification of the current station. Our selection of portable buildings seem to have fared particularly badly over the last winter so the opportunity was taken to apply some paint and generally tidy up whilst it is dry.

London Underground completed their driver training exercise on Pam with a trip being made to Idridgehay and back. Also completed today, at last, is the Wirksworth Wall. We await the departure of the machinery!

The BSK progressed with more undercoating continuing.


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Supplementary Thursday 16th April 2015

Dear all
Another masterpiece from the studios of Cecil B de Miller

Progress Thursday 16th April 2015

Hi all
Our friendly Railway saw a lovely shiny electric powered
London Transport Shaumer Loco traverse the Incline most of the day.
Three LUL Driver Instructors were being trained how to drive the loco
now it has been converted from diesel to electric power. Tomorrow they
are going to Duffield. An unusual sight for our Mainline Passengers
The PWT continued with the Maintenance Facility remodelling by
laying stone in the base of the new fuelling point ready for the
The DMU group started to prepare a engine which is to replace
a faulty one on 51188

Bye for now

Mike Evans

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Progress Wednesday 15th April 2015

Hi all
The PWT took advantage of the non service day to take the
Sturgeon to Shottle and return with a lowmac ready to load the Shottle
North Ground frame for transportation next week. On the return they
stopped off at the Hannages to do some more drainage work to try and
stop the nearby Bungalow flooding when it pours with rain.
The lone DMU group fitter started an A Exam on 51188.
Another lone worker cleaned 55006 and 50170. Not to be
forgotten !!
Both EVRA and the LMSCA were completing more tasks on their
coaches as the deadline in June gets closer

Bye for now

Mike Evans

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Supplementary Tuesday 14th April 2015

Dear all
The Great Wall of Wirksworth nears completion and will be a Wonder of the World probably visible from the Moon with many thanks to Network Rail. The Maintenance Facility drainage project has also been completed allowing for a further extension of the third road.
A little experiment north of Milford Tunnel is attached achieved whilst testing my new motorcycle helmet - idle hands!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Progress Monday 13th April 2015

Dear all,

A quiet day which saw Rodurz at Duffield soiling and a 6 man VCT team having plenty of fires around the 134 area in their quest to open up the views and repair the fencing.

At Wirksworth, the walling contractors certainly had plenty of materials delivered as finally they near the end of the project. Spoil was also collected today.

The Booking Office cleared a backlog of e-mails from over the weekend and the LMSCA beaded and sanded in the new kitchen. 


Friday, 10 April 2015

Progress Friday 10th April 2015

So the warmest day of the year so far saw a nice peaceful day without trains allowing much catching up on the admin front. The phone didn't stop ringing with the recent advertisement of the Shottle Soiree on Groupon causing much excitement.

The LMSCA worked on the BSK and Team Tannery worked on the new Wirksworth Booking Office. The floor has been finished in the store room now, the emergency exit frame was also installed today and the office/shop divide was panelled.

The DMU Team washed Iris and 55006 and the PW bubble received some more welding repairs on the front.


Supplementary Friday 10th April 2015

Dear all
A short interlude at Cromford Station for you.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Progress Thursday 9th April 2015

Dear all,

There we have it! A day off tomorrow, sort of. We have just come through one of the longest continuous runs of passenger service days we've ever had. We have had lots of happy passengers over the last 10 days and the weather has been largely kind to us from Saturday onward. I would like to thank everybody for their efforts in ensuring that there were no dramas with the service trains and no headaches on the rota either. Today was generally busier than yesterday and Tuesday, with 61 on the 11:15 from Duffield.

The DMU team, pitless, decided to use the nice weather to wash the vehicles in platform 1 so that they're all shiny and clean for the public.

I asked the Infrastructure Manager what the PWay team had been upto today and he recommends a simple sentence as more than that can't glorify their task any further. They dug holes and laid pipes.

A start was made on the doorway to the new Wirksworth Booking Office too.

The LMSCA are really getting to grips with the new kitchen in the BSK now and even entertained some customers for five minutes who have booked on to the Shottle Soiree and got interested in what the facilities looked like!


Supplementary Thursday 9th April 2015

Dear all
What a difference a day makes - where there was a hole there is now a tidy area with water running underneath it. This is after some 40 tonnes of white gold was delivered today and every stone is numbered.
One of our supporters. Andy Chubb, found a video on youtube which some of you may not have seen. Into the video around 4 minutes shows Ravenstor as it was some 50 years ago.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Progress Wednesday 8th April 2015

Hi all
Another warm day and the School holidays ensured the Bubble
Car had some good loadings on the Duffield Service.
The PWT were seen in wellingtons in holes filling up with
water trying to relay new drains near the new road three in the
Maintenance Facility. It has become necessary to move the drain has it
ran directly under the new track. Eventually this shed extension will
ensure our volunteers can repair road rail vehicles and coaches under
The LCC worked her magic on the 119 W51073 and the Incline
coach 108 50599
The Steam Team checked over Henry Ellison after its four days
working the Incline service

All for now

Mike Evans

Supplementary Wednesday 8th April 2015

Dear all
A photo of our superstars dealing with yet another drainage challenge. This is part of the improvements to the Maintenance Facility which moves ever forward but will remain unsung and underground when this stage of the project is completed. All these complex projects seem to move forward at a snail's pace but then it suddenly is done to the credit of all concerned. Another few months to go yet!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Progress Easter Monday April 6th 2015

Hi all
Today must have been one of the warmest days this year. For
those with no hair a hat was needed !!
The Duffield Service and steam Incline trains all received
good passenger figures.
The Model Railway had queues several times in the day and
Lesley the Lister was heard chugging up and down the Narrow Gauge.
The smell of the Barbeque serving Hot Dogs and Burgers filled
the Station with that Summer feeling
All the Bunnies and Rabbits on the Easter Egg Hunt stall
received new homes, one in Cheadle Hulme near Manchester
Having new activities like the Family Workshop Circus has
certainly helped to give our visitors a day of varied activities
Thanks go to all the volunteers who helped make this Easter
Weekend a Success

All the best

Mike Evans

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Hi all
Although dry the sun didn't quite come out enough to make it a
more pleasant day but the service to Duffield saw triple numbers which
is a very good start to the weekend.
The main feature was a Family Party Workshop Circus where the
Public could try their hands at juggling, plate spinning, hula hoops
and unicycle. It was very well received by all and was advertised on
air by Leigh this morning on Radio Derby.
The steam engine was on the Incline working to Ravenstor
having a Pay and Play in the morning.
The Egg Hunt was very popular and was hosted by our two Bunny
Girls in the Bubbles brakevan.
Our shunting loco L J Breeze was visited by LJB's Grand
Daughter and Mrs Breeze who is 89, Mr Breeze would have been 96
With Fire Dancing on platform 1 and all the other activities
there was a real feeling of activity

That's all for today

Mike Evans

Friday, 3 April 2015

Progress Good Friday 3rd April 2015

Evening all,

Well I suppose you could have guessed it's a Bank Holiday by looking out the window. It seems the weather features in the progress reports quite regularly really but it does affect so many of the different activities which go on around the railway so it becomes quite important. Today didn't break any passenger records but a steady flow throughout the day rode on both the Duffield and Ravenstor lines. A steam experience first thing this morning went well too.

The DMU team spent the day giving the 'bubblecar' a FP examination as it was a rare opportunity to grab hold of it whilst it wasn't running. This is the smallest of the exams and takes approx. 1 day to complete with all things well. It takes in simple oil checks and brake adjustments, things like that. One member of the team spent the day welding on the PWay's 'bubblecar' and this is the subject of tonight's photo. The pillars at the bottom of the cab have been renewed and the sheet steelwork is ready to go back. The interior fibreglass dome has been taken down so that an assessment of work to be done could be done. Actually, this area isn't quite as bad as 55006 was a few years back which is good news.

The LMSCA fitted the new water storage tank to the kitchen in the BSK. All was well during a test fit but now the insulation has been wrapped round they did have a struggle, but weren't beaten. Also the rest of the roof space insulation was installed.

The Class 31 is gradually receiving new electron storage devices and these are quite heavy so it is a difficult process!

Tomorrow morning sees Party Workshops Family Circus come into town for the three days. This is an unusual kind of circus where young and old can take part and learn some of the skills that are used in a circus, including juggling, wire walking, unicycling and the like! The circus will be located on the dust dock which with the recent works going on in the bottom car park could make parking tight. It would be appreciated if people could park on the ballast dock if possible to leave some room for customers. The forecast is good so let the excitement commence!


Thursday, 2 April 2015

Progress Wednesday 2nd April 2015

Hi all
We introduced Wednesdays earlier this Year and were not
disappointed with the Passenger loadings today.
The sun literally shone down on us !! Lets hope it continues
for the next three days.
The service was supported by the Pullman Buffet, Model Railway
and EVRA Shop.
The PWT sorted out their toolvan and brakevan and continued
fishplate greasing
The DMU group shunted and fuelled the Units ready for the
Easter Weekend. An evening group worked late into the evening preparing
the PWay Bubble for painting and removing parts from southed cab ready
for dome removal to cure excessive tinworm

Bye for now

Mike Evans

Supplementary Maundy Thursday 2nd April 2015

Dear all
A little taste of today's activities.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Progress 1st April 2015

Dear all,

It may be the first of April but no improvement in the weather so far. We had reasonable numbers for saying it wouldn't stop throwing it down at random intervals. More trains coming up tomorrow!

The LMSCA were insulating the ceiling and new partition wall in the BSK ready to put the ceiling panels up. It is important to insulate to keep condensation at bay!

The PWay and S&T departments were in go mode today. Construction and testing work on the new Shottle ground frame progressed well whilst the rest of the team were sleeping on chairs… oh sorry, putting chairs on sleepers, for the new road down the side of the shed.

Meanwhile, various DMUs had a clean ready for the coming days.


Supplementary Wednesday 1st April 2015

Dear all
Another task has been completed today in the gentle handover to our new Managing Director. All email from the main address of is now in the name of Mike Evans and with the significant assistance of Robin and Leigh I have a separate account for those areas of the Company that I will remain involved with which is