Monday, 24 December 2018

Progress Christmas Eve 2018

Dear all,

And that is it for another Santa season as we embarked on our final two trains with Santa himself. My thanks go to all of the staff and volunteers for their valuable input in a tiring but rewarding Santa season. It has overall been very successful. Our next service trains are on Saturday and Sunday as well as New Years Day.

There were only two members of staff down the yard, one needle gunning Faraday and the other remaining out of their overalls following a surprise lie in.


Sunday, 23 December 2018

Progress Sunday 23rd December 2018

Dear all,

A sterling effort by all concerned today in damp dull conditions, as we embraced our busiest ever Santa day. It was a new method of working today which enabled us to carry more people and it seems the method worked quite well! Well oiled machine springs to mind. One more day left tomorrow with fully booked trains and then it is on to trains near to New Year. Thanks also to David F for stepping in as Third Man at very short notice.

Down the yard, the team continued to battle with the vacuum cylinder fault and Ben began experimenting with a method of recreating the original-style tachometers in the Derby Lightweight. The standard tachometer to measure engine speed is a dial but in the Derby Lightweight these were a slider.


Friday, 21 December 2018

Progress Friday 21st December 2018

Dear all,

Another day of Santa trains although today was the quietest of all of the 10 days. It was a mere warm up for the weekend which is sold out. The first two trains ran as just the 3 car, with Iris being taken off for welding repairs to a cracked exhaust pipe discovered yesterday. It is now back on the train and ready for action.

Very few other volunteers on site but thanks to all those who continue to take part in the Santa trains. They are very labour intensive!


Thursday, 20 December 2018

Progress Thursday 20th December 2018

Dear all,

Another 2 successful Santa trains dispatched today. A shunt was done at the end of the day to change the train around ready for the weekend. More will be done on this tomorrow too. 50170 was cleaned out to make it ready too.

I attach a photo of the building going up if you can see through the fence. The bottom layer of exterior bricks are covered. The interior wall is blocked for an eventual fire wall. Today work has been taking place on the steel structures in the middle which will support the roof.


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Progress Wednesday 19th December 2018

Dear all,

Our first mid-week Santa trains of the season with the first train having a rather large party from a local nursery on board. Everybody seemed happy and everything ran smoothly.

Down the yard, the replacement of the final drive piston seals on 50170 which has proved very problematic over the last few weeks was finally completed successfully just in the nick of time for the weekend.

The PW gang were down at Shottle sorting materials for forthcoming work.


Friday, 14 December 2018

Progress Friday 14th December 2018

Dear all,

The first real bitingly cold day of the winter so far and the team were still working outside battling with the final drive pistol seals on 50170. Not quite finished but getting there!!

We hosted a DMU charter today which involved picking up a group of people on their office Christmas party at Duffield, pausing at Idridgehay for them to visit the local public house before bringing them on to Wirksworth for a meal in the town. Not sure how they are getting back!


Sunday, 9 December 2018

Progress Sunday 9th December 2018

Dear all,

A much better day weather wise today saw another swathe of happy families riding on the train and seeing Santa. The warm festive punch is going down a treat!

Down the yard, vacuum bits were in order for 55006 had a valve rebuilt. The Class 108 had the corridor end needle gunned as part of the refurbishment there and Faraday had further progress too.


Progress Report Saturday 8th December 2018

Dear All,

Today saw the start of our Santa Specials. The weather was not kind with heavy rain showers at times but this did little to dampen the enjoyment of our guests who all seemed to have been delighted with this year's Santa offering. Down the yard the maintenance facility was busy with work continuing or Faraday, Derby Lightweight and the Duke. In the evening a packed 4 car DMU departed from Wirksworth to Duffield for the annual Carol Service. Pete Watts will be posting photos of the event on our Facebook site.

Today's Santa Specials were supported by the EVRA shop, Miniature Railway and Station Cafe. Thanks to all the volunteers and paid staff who's hard work helped make today a great success.

All the best, Tom

Friday, 7 December 2018

Progress Friday 7th December 2018

Dear all,

Quite a good day with final preparations for Santa taking place around the station and on the train. Clerk Chuck was doing some admin work to do with the closed season till upgrades which was most useful.

Down the yard, work to find out why 55006 had suddenly stopped created vacuum from No.2 engine was successful. It turned out not to be the exhauster in the end but more dirt in the system preventing it from working efficiently.

Speaking of exhausters, a new one was fitted today to 50170 following on from yesterday.

Thanks to Jack for assisting with the surprise departure of the test vehicle at the last minute too.


Thursday, 6 December 2018

Progress Thursday 6th December 2018

Dear all,

A day in which further prep for the weekend took place with the Santa train receiving a thorough body side wash. 50170, which will feature later in the period, had a defective vacuum exhauster removed and a replacement prepared for fitting.

Further testing took place to Shottle for a customer using 31601.

Down at F4 near Hazelwood, the PW gang were changing sleepers in the cutting, with concretes being the choice here.


Saturday, 1 December 2018

Progress Saturday 1st December 2018

Dear all,

It officially became Christmas inside Wirksworth Booking Office today with the tree going up!

In the engineerium, Faraday was having a new cab front which has been fabricated welded in to position. The original was quite rotten! Also, the Class 108 which has had rear end corrosion repairs to the framework was receiving further patch welding to the areas where the exhausts bolt on to the back of the body.

The 8F group were working on The Duke but I'm sure Tim will fill you in more on this.

A quiet day generally as it is a weekend off before Santa trains start.