Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Progress Tuesday 31st January 2017

Hi all

A little warmer today but still dark and damp. The Pway team packed a bad joint just south of bridge 16 and loaded a ton of sugar stone by hand and unloaded up the bank just north of bridge 11 where the pipe drain there has eroded the soil
Work commenced on the erection of the steel structures for the maintenance facility extension
My test track hosted an Italian firm completing a 1530 test on a RRV crane plus three loaded trailers
The railcar maintenance team commenced the removal of the bogie rigging to remove an offending brake cylinder

All for now


An Italian in Town

Monday, 30 January 2017

Another project starts

Work has started to expand the Maintenance Facility and provide an environment that will considerably improve the lot of the maintainers and restorers together with facilities for visitors to see work in progress.

A video of a sunny Derby Midland Station on the second day of the year:-


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Progress Sunday 29th January 2017

Dear all,

Nearly the second month of the year already! Still damp, cold and miserable as well, with heavy rain to finish.

The weather didn't dampen spirits as we hosted Peter Watts' 50th birthday charter train. Around 50 of his relatives and friends had a ride to Duffield and back as well as warmed up with a cuppa and a retail opportunity in the Booking Office at Duffield. The train had been pre decorated with balloons and things which just added to the atmosphere. Peter, for those who don't know him, has been a volunteer driver with us now for quite few years and often enjoys helping out at Santa time. Happy birthday Peter!

Down the yard, the recently faulty vacuum cylinder on Iris was given a dose of looking at to confirm that it is, indeed, faulty. Stock was moved around to prepare for the coming weeks also.


The job is done!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Progress Saturday 28th January 2017

Dear all,

Wet and miserable for the most part today! This meant that the DMU folks had a massive indoor tidying session in the stores. However, some of the team worked on the PW Bubble with the body side door trim being riveted back on around the No1 end drivers door after metal replacement and also bolted the guttering back on.

In the back of the shed, the 8F group were working on dismantling The Duke's clack valves.

The LMSCA were working on the BTO coach and Derek and Dan were working in the Mark 1 BSK.


Preparation for Testing

A great deal of work went on the day before Friday's tunnel screen demonstration in weather that was bitterly cold as it was on Friday. Credit goes to all our team who managed to keep going in freezing conditions.


Friday, 27 January 2017

Duffield Tunnel Activity

Dear all

A most interesting day where some 45 guests were welcomed and hosted to witness a new tunnel maintenance device in operation at our very tiny tunnel. Nonetheless, despite its claim to be the shortest tunnel in Derbyshire it was very suitable for the demonstration of the new technology.

A masterpiece from the studios of Cecil b de Miller is attached:-


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Progress Tuesday 24th January 2017

Dear all,

Another cold day but every day that goes by where there's no significant snowfall is a bonus!

The Maintenance Team were engaged with finishing off work on Iris which has had to have quite a few issues attended to. An attempt has been made a setting the throttles which is always difficult because you really need to be moving to get a feel of how they are. A leaking oil pipe on one of the gearboxes has also been changed and the inside had a good mop out after being down the yard for several weeks.

The Steam team were out in force once more with Henry Ellison's new ash pan being adjusted so that it fits perfectly. They were also tweaking the valve timing to make it all move smoothly. Modifications were required to the main reverser pin and it's bearings. Meanwhile, Paul is designing and making a new lubrication system (presumably for Cathryn).

The PW were out in force down the line also, attending to the track geometry just south of Gorsey Bank Crossing. All of these adjustments are necessary as we fly towards the start of the new operating system in just over 2 weeks time!


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Progress Thursday 19th January 2017

Dear all,

Another damp and miserable day at Wirksworth. Not that many people on site either with it mostly being the Maintenance Team. Iris had the throttle motors returned to the vehicle after the whole assembly was removed, cleaned up, greased and set. Some EP valves which convert the drivers throttle and gear commands from an electric signal to an air signal were also changed as they were leaking.

Down the line, a small PW gang tripped up to Rolands Crossing to drop some stone there to sure up the crossing. The crossing takes quite large loads occasionally as lorries pass over it to go to the sewerage works. Further work is required to a long-term repair to this crossing.


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Progress Tuesday 17th January 2017

Hi all

Although being a dark, cold and miserable day it did not deter the usual number of volunteers attending
The steam team were out in force fitting a new ash pan to Barclay No 3 and a oil lubricator to Cathryn. The newly fabricated smokebox for Cathryn was delivered to Isaac Newtons
Single railcar Iris had one engines throttle motors removed and cleaned and final pipes replaced on the reinstalled engine after the compressor change
The PWay team built the end steps on the new Shottle Platform and collected rotten sleeper along the line and removed to the disposal site

All for now


Monday, 16 January 2017

Progress Sunday 15th January 2017

Dear all,

A quiet day with heavy rain for the most part. The Maintenance Team continued connecting up all the bits and bobs on Iris' engine that they changed the compressor on tomorrow. Unfortunately, they ran out of day light before completion.

Derek drilled alot of holes in some wood for the BSK.

Stokes Film and Vinyl applied a special material to the windows in the messroom which is designed to reflect the sunlight. Since the messroom moved, the sun shining in your eyes when eating your chips is most irritating.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Progress Report 14/01/17

Hello All,

Today the DMU team were out in numbers, one team disconnecting and dropping Iris's No.1 engine. This was in order to change the faulty air compressor due to it not being able to hold its control air. The second team took on the task of shunting the maintenance facility, this was to put the EVRA LMS brake in the shed for repainting.

Faraday's new sourced compressor was dismantled and the parts left to soak in diesel.

The 8F were having a machine shop day.

The LMSCA were tinkering in the BTK and TO.

Dan and Derek were doing their daily routine, eat, sleep, BSK repeat.

Terror a bit,
Olly Hodgkinson.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Progress Thursday 12th January 2017

Dear all,

A bitterly cold day with rain which turned to snow later on. More progress was made on the platform at Shottle which is good but there wasn't much else achieved! Some work was done on the PW Bubble to remove some rust from around the big opening side door.

We also hosted a testing company who had a trolley. They weren't here too long and went away happy.


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Progress Wednesday 11th January 2016

Dear all,

The howling gale rapidly flung the tumbleweed around Wirksworth today! The Maintenance Team (or man as one half has man flu) continued working on Iris whilst John popped over to continue his repainting work in the cab of 108 53599.

The PW team were down the line continuing with the platform at Shottle and also sorting timbers out on the southern section of line.

I am delighted to announce that we have been awarded £5,000 from the Aviva Community Fund to aid with the return to service of the former Severn Tunnel Bubble Car for the PW team. It'll be a great help to know that the money is there as and when it is needed. Thank you to all who registered on their site and voted for us.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Progress Tuesday 10th January 2017

Dear all,

Another miserable January day but not to worry as plenty of volunteers descended as they usually do on a Tuesday to work on their various projects.

The Steam Team were in full force today with Stuart fabricating new crosshead slippers for Cathryn. Many components were being refurbished and fitted today including the handrails and lubricator. Ian and Nathan were fitting components to the steam heating system too. Meanwhile, over on No.3, the vacuum control is being refurbished and extra lagging is being put round vital components with the weather forecast looking cold this weekend.

The PW team tripped the works train to Shottle today so that they can carry on with projects around there.

The Maintenance Team were looking at Iris today which had the alternator modification at the weekend. Today they were testing the compressors and listening for air leaks as well as investigating a strange engine oil phenomenon which causes false readings on the dipstick.

Finally, the marquee components from Christmas which were taken down last week and left drying in the Conference Room were packaged up and stored pending their next use which will likely be at the Volunteering Day in February. The final Christmas decorations were then placed in to store and the room was configured back to how it should be with the tables and chairs. The carpet was hoovered so that it is tidy for our customers later in the week.


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Progress Sunday 8th January 2017

Dear all,

Not many on site today but still plenty of progress. Barry the Bubble had more cant rail repaired on the north end cab, plus the remaining rust was removed from the body side and primed. After, the faulty hinge on the big opening on the side had the flimsy rivets changed for bolts and then it was oiled.

Faraday was used to shunt Iris on to the pit today so that the alternator could be fitted and the wiring altered. This was completed and now it awaits the fitment of the belts so that it can be tested. After this shunt, Faraday's donkey engine was worked on and the initial thought is to change this engine to a modern electric start diesel engine instead of the crank handle petrol original.


Saturday, 7 January 2017

Progress Saturday 7th January 2017

Dear all,

A damp and miserable day but it still saw no fewer than 10 volunteers beaver away at The Duke's restoration. I'm not exactly sure what they were doing so maybe Tim will enlighten you all.

Work continued to try and resurrect the donkey engine on Faraday but it's beginning to get a bit frustrating now. A start was also made on fitting the second alternator to Derby Lightweight single car 'Iris'. This car has always been fitted with engine-driven dynamos instead of alternators like on all of the other DMUs but after the first dynamo failed last year it had that one replaced with an alternator. The costs of repair of the original dynamo is rather high and spares are pretty non-existant. The conversion isn't just a swap job though as some wiring has to be altered and the regulators changed over. Fortunately the fixing brackets are the same. The examination on 51188 was also finally completed.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Progress Thursday 5th January 2016

Dear all,

The days are flying by at the moment! It was one of those permafrost sort of days today where despite sunny, it never really thawed out.

The PW team were in full swing replacing some switch lever boards in the yard and also completing the rebuild work on the Wash Green ground frame. This frame is going to be pivotal come the main body of the season with all of the loco-hauled movements we have planned this summer.

The Maintenance Team all but completed the exam on Met-Camm 51188. Some work to derust the side of the PW Bubble Car took place this afternoon too. Another team rectified the defective heater on Class 119 W51073 too which is a good job done.


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Progress Tuesday 3rd January 2017

Hi all

The usual large number of Tuesday Volunteers reappeared after Christmas bringing with them mince pies and cakes obviously having eaten too much over the festive break !!
The Komatsu deported North to have brakes fitted to its rail wheels
The PWay team commenced stripping and rebuilding the Wash Green xover crossing with new bolts and remove wing rails to fit new splice bolts which are missing. The ground frame was also re timbered on road 2 trap points
The steam team  removed the ash pan from Barclay No 3 which was collected for refurbishment. The brake shaft bearing on Cathryn was finally tamed and very large holes were drilled for the steam heating. Visits were also made by various contractors regarding Cathryn's boiler, firebox and smokebox re measurements

All for now


The earth moves!

Dear all
Another red letter day for our Railway as the removal of the Dust Dock starts.
A belated happy, healthy and exciting New Year to everybody.
PS - I visited Tamworth yesterday and whilst the motive power is much changed from my spotting days in the 60s there is much to be impressed by on the modern railway:-

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Progress Sunday 1st January 2017

Happy New Year everybody and what a good start it has been! Many happy passengers (about double) braved the miserable weather conditions to enjoy a ride on the train with a Fizz served by Eric and his team. We also welcomed a pre-booked party of 36 who were having a double celebration on board for somebody's birthday.

A great start to 2017!