We enjoyed lovely Autumn weather today down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line. The valley with its beautiful golden vistas was a joy to behold in the sun and many of our customers commented on how much they had enjoyed the scenery. The royal train set provided today's traction to Duffield and visitor numbers were higher than expected compared to this time last year.
Congratulations to Dave Hourd and Arron Crawford who were passed out as 'third men' today. I hope they have a long and enjoyable career with us. At Duffield our new booking office was open to the public today for the first time. I'm reliably informed the Commercial Manager is pleased with its first day sales! I am also told that the booking hall will feature as part of the BBC's East Midlands Today weekend roundup.
In the maintenance shed at Wirksworth work continues at a pace on the 'Duke's' restoration with final touches of paint being applied to the chassis and the valve glands packed (picture attached).The DMU team were gainfully employed on an 'A' examination for 50253, the Derby Lightweight set having attention to its electrical jumpers and Faraday received some welding. The LMSCA worked on two projects; the BSK bodywork receiving attention and the BTO had its toilet partitions installed. Earlier in the day a team of contractors took various samples of the Dust Dock which are required to be sent for analysis before demolition. It was good to see a small team of enthusiasts commence work again on the miniature railway. Today they lifted the 5 1/2 inch track in preparation for laying new 7 1/4 inch track which is planned to extend beyond the bridge.
Today's service was supported by the EVRA shop and model railway. The catering team between services could be found creating a rather spooky buffet in readiness for next weekend. I am told the blood soup is a speciality not to be missed!
Finally some of you may not know but our railway has been shortlisted for an Aviva community award (£5,000) and the winner will be selected by number of votes received. Naturally, we believe we have the winning submission with the restoration of the 'Barry Bubble' for our Permanent Way volunteers to enjoy a comfortable ride down the line and to have somewhere to keep dry and warm in inclement weather. Below is a link to enable you to vote. You have ten votes in total and it would be fabulous if not only you, but all your family and friends took five minutes to register all 10 votes for our project. Voting is only open for a 7 day window so please vote as soon as you can.
Many thanks and all the best,