Friday, 29 May 2015

Progress Friday 29th May 2015

Today started with torrential rain but it didn't deter the crew and their guests for a Bronze Drive a Diesel Day. Firstly, the two car Metro-Cammell DMU was sampled before trying their hand with the Class 31 after lunch.

Team Tannery continued work on the new Booking Office at Wirksworth with good progress being made on the framework for what will be the front sales desk. Progress was also made on the BSK with one man turning into his own courier and the other continuing inside.

We saw the arrival of Class 33 103 "Swordfish" today from Nemesis Rail at Burton. It is on a season-long loan and will assist greatly with our tea train operations on Tuesdays.


Swordfish has arrived!

Dear all
The much travelled Class 33 Swordfish touched down at Wirksworth from Nemesis Rail, Burton this morning and is on loan until the end of October to help out with the Afternoon Tea trains and be available for driver experiences.
A little of the Circumvesuviana is attached with narrow gauge high speed action!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Progress Thursday 28th May 2015

Hi all
Another well patronised service train, once again handled by Iris,
supported by the EVRA Shop and the Pullman Buffet
Daniel was seen praying for the rain to stop early this morning so he
could varnish the fresh paintwork on the BSK. He had actually signed on
at 0545 to work around the weather. He later appeared in the afternoon
looking as if he had just come up from a coal mine with a black face.
But is was grease not coal dust after adjusting the brakes. Nothing is
boring at the EVR !!
Welcome back John Allsopp who varnished 55006 east side in the first
phase of its spruce up for its visit to the Llangollen. Graham and his
group replaced head gaskets and cylinder heads on 55006


Mike Evans

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Progress Wednesday 27th May 2015

Hi all

One of our first Wednesday service trains was handled by Iris and good
numbers were recorded.
The PWT were out in force at Shottle with the cement mixer working hard
completing the fixing of the signal wire. posts
The LMSCA completed many varied tasks on the underside, kitchen area
and compartments in an attempt to finalise outstanding jobs.
If I have missed anyone it is because I covered third mans duties all

By for now

Mike Evans

Supplementary Wednesday 27th May 2015

Dear all
Some of you may have seen the splendid new entrance to what will become the new retail and booking opportuinity at Wirksworth on Facebook but for those of you who haven't this is it! Our training customer is beginning to make an impact on our infrastructure with a large team undertaking some remedial work on the Wirksworth permanent way.
More Italian goings on for those who are interested!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Progress Tuesday 26th May 2015

Hi all

Tuesday is a day where most groups seem to attend and the total man
hours can reach nearly 300.
The PWT were at Shottle digging 18 holes and concreting in pulley
stakes to take the eventual signal wire. Crossing timbers were also
replaced and weed killer was applied.
The DST were out in force continuing frame painting and handbrake
linkage on Catherine. The wheels are now painted in the maroon which
will be the body colour. No 3 had its usual fettling after working
three days on the incline.
EVRA's SK received some more attention to its vacuum cylinders and the
LMSCA moved the kitchen installation further forward in the BSK

Bye for now

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Progress Saturday 23rd May 2015

Hi all
The warmer weather helped to make the first day of the Bank
Holiday weekend successful and the Pullman Buffet was also busy
Tim Oakes and the 8F group returned for a days work on the
Duke having respite from the track salvage operation at Spondon. They
are due to return next weekend to collect the track and sleepers etc.,
Graham Walker and the MD buckeyed the LMSCA BSK and SK,
tested the Vacuum on EVRA's SK and removed the cylinder heads on 55006.
The DMU team continued with refurbishment of the doors on
50253. LJB was also placed on the Pit ready for removal of its starter
Steam appeared on the Incline again and EVRA entertained a
Pay and Play customer in the morning


Mike Evans

Friday, 22 May 2015

Progress Friday 22nd May 2015

Dear all,

Nice and reasonably pleasant outside saw a hive of activity surrounding the BSK as the deadline is looming. The professional gasman-come-plumber was there all day and there's now running water at the sink and one could light the oven should one wish. Ben lent a hand to get the reading lights working in the compartments, LED of course. Nick started to fit the kick boards in the kitchen.

Also in production mode was the station team. They battled forward with the new Booking Office at Wirksworth. A start was made on constructing the framework for the till positions so that eventually the electric sockets and network connection cables can be laid.

Meanwhile, inside the current Booking Office, virtually the entire day was spent on the phone dealing with all sorts of enquires regarding the Carnival this weekend, Shottle Soiree evenings and of course, Afternoon Tea. Fred and Iris could be seen through the window planting new flowers to ensure the station looks pretty for the visitors.

The Infrastructure Dept was also constructing today with the new bund wall beginning to take shape down the yard.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Progress Thursday 21st may 2015

Hi all
Both our Coach restorer groups were hard at work trying to complete
their projects before the June 2nd deadline when our first Afternoon
cream tea train commences.
Our service train was handled by Iris supported by the EVRA shop and
the Pullman Buffet. Iris hauled a brakevan to Duffield for the Derby
Amateur Radio Society who will be transmitting from the brakevan over
the Bank Holiday weekend.
The DMU group completed a shunt to place 55006 in the Maintenance
Facility for replacement head gaskets and varnishing ready for its
visit to the Llangollen DMU gala in June. They also fuelled units ready
for this weekend.


Mike Evans

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Supplementary Wednesday 20th May 2015

Dear all
It was good to see the progress on the EVRA SK with the underframe and bogies looking quite splendid. They are working against a tight deadline for the requirement to field locomotive hauled coaches and seem to be rising to the challenge.
There are two videos for you tonight, both of which may give encouragement that we do not live in a tagging area, although I am sure some consider it art.

Progress Wednesday 20th May 2015

Hi all
The PWay Team enjoyed a day of dry weather at Shottle and competed the
North Ground Frame. It has yet to be connected to the signal. Two
crossing timbers were also changed.
Richard completed some weed control in Wirksworth Yard even though a
short shower may have washed some away.
Track patrol on the Incline ensured the line is safe for our weekend of
I must not forget our LCC who cleaned the present two car DMU. Next
week she has the mammoth task of thoroughly cleaning the two coaches
being used on the cream tea train.


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Progress Tuesday 19th May 2015

Hi all
Once again the Heavens opened and Mick Thomas was seen saying his
prayers after the cement was delivered for the new fuelling point base.
His prayers were answered and the sun shone allowing the cement to set.
The Pway also sourced parts for work at Shottle later in the week.
The Service train carried some good numbers which was not expected
considering the poor weather.
The Dream Steam Team continued the restoration of Catherine. Being in
the Maintenance Facility the rain did not affect their progress.
Another group prepared No 3 ready for the Bank Holiday Weekend.
The DMU lone worker commenced the removal of 55006's Number 1 engine
cylinder heads.

Mike Evans

Monday, 18 May 2015

A liittle light relief

Dear all
From the studio of Cecil B de Miller I attach a couple of videos from the many hours taken during our time in Rome and sundry other parts of Italy. There will be more - you have been warned!
The first is the effect of privitisation in Italy although 20% is owned by SNCF and the second is a 3ft gauge suburban railway or 950mm if you prefer.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Progress Saturday 16th May 2015

Hi all

The warner temperatures seemed to lure people out but, it was much
later in the day. Our passenger income was boosted by a party of twenty
four travelling from Duffield to Wirksworth and return.
The DMU group usually has a boost of numbers over the weekend so
repairs were completed to the 119's batteries, Iris received a FP Exam
and 50253 had one of its door interior replaced..
The LMSCA were undercoating the brake area of the BSK. If anyone was
wondering why they are on the end of platform 1 its simply much easier
to carry kitchen units on the level.
The PWay reclamation team continued into their second weekend at
Spondon. Our thanks must go these volunteers for giving up so much time
and which is very heavy work

Mike Evans

Friday, 15 May 2015

Progress Friday 15th May 2015

Dear all,

A sunny day in the Peak District which saw the Mark 1 kitchen project continue as the deadline looms. The tables for the compartments were given an experimental coat of resin to give them a really hard surface. The exterior of the rebuilt part of the coach was sanded flat and given a primer and further electrical work continued inside with the installation of the fly light.

The Booking Office was very busy dealing with a huge range of phone calls for Shottle Soiree evenings, Afternoon Teas and even taking two Drive a Diesel Experience bookings.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Progress Thursday 14th May 2015

Hi all
UK Railtours transported ninety passengers by three coaches to
our Railway just after lunch.
55006/IRIS covered the Ravenstor trips and the three car took our
guests on the 1415 service train and return.
Richard did his usual Yard tours and all the shops and Buffet recorded
good takings.
The Railtour visit utilised most of our volunteers and thanks
go to everyone who put in extra effort to ensure it was a successful day
Carrilion filled in the two holes in the lower Car Park and
will lay final tarmac tomorrow

Bye for


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Progress Wednesday 13th May 2015

Hi all
The PWT continued fettling the north Ground Frame at Shottle
and changed some rotten crossing timbers on the point turnout. Tony
Watt took the Lesmac Trolley on its maiden voyage to Shottle for
The LMSCA have been preparing the BSK north end for painting
having replaced metal in this area.
Duffield had its lawn cut and weedkiller sprayed on car park.
Carillion will be filling in the holes in the car park and
the Car Park will be closed for next two days. The two coaches bringing
the passengers off the UK Railltours Special stopping at Alfreton will
use the car park.
Will volunteers please park on ballast dock.

for now


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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Progress Tuesday 12th may 2015

Hi all
Even though the temperature rose our Service train saw a quiet
We were descended on by a army of orange when trainees from our
locally based Academy came for their first day of Permanent Way
practical training ably hosted by Mick Thomas.
The Steam Team continued painting Catherine's frames and
started work on the eccentrics.
Iris received its overhauled dynamo by the DMU team and
coupled it to 55006 ready for the Incline service on Thursday when UK
Railtours visit

All the best
Mike Evans

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Progress Sunday 10th May 2015

Hi all
A usual quiet Sunday even though the temperature rose. It was good to
see Shottle Station being utilised with a party of walkers travelling
on the first service from Wirksworth.
The Drivers Apprentice came from Stourbridge and remembers 55006
working the Stourbridge Jct to Town Branch.
Tim Oakes and his group continued the removal of points and track from
British Celanese at Sponden.The points will be used to replace worn
ones to pit road and new one to road three in Maintenance facility.

All for now

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Progress Wednesday 6th May 2015

Hi all

It must have been the coldest and wettest due so far this May but the
PWay Team managed to locate the crank bases at the North Shottle Ground
Frame even when the holes filled with water.
The Class 31 took a trip to Duffield for Driver and Driver Assistant
training. The DA's were familiarising themselves with two Duffield
Ground frames and practising coupling Vacuum pipes. This role requires
a young slim agile individual to couple and uncouple and on a normal
service day they complete this task at least sixteen times. To fill
these vacancies during a weekday is an obvious problem for the Railway.
This training is part of the new skills required to run about twenty
after.noon. Diesel hauled Cream Tea Trains.

Bye for now


Saturday, 2 May 2015

Progress Saturday 2nd May 2015

Hi all
Today was the first day of our Rocks and Rails Weekend where visitors
could buy a combined ticket to travel on our service train, traverse
the Incline with the steam engine and visit the Steeple Grange Railway.
EVRA took advantage of the extra passengers to hold a three day Bric a
Brac sale.
The Narrow Gauge was in operation and all supporting shops and catering
establishments recorded good takings.
At Duffield weed killer was applied on the track in the platform area
and the car park

Bye for


Friday, 1 May 2015

Progress Friday 1st May 2015

Hi all

Today was a day of preparation for the Bank Holiday Weekend with the
EVRA ladies arranging the Bric a Brac stall in the training Room, the
DST ensuring the Steam Engine is available for its three days work and
the DMU Team fuelled the Units for the Weekend.
The Friday Station Team ensured all the bins etc were emptied are
continued in the Tannery filling the main partition with insulation.

All for now