Thursday, 30 May 2019

Progress Thursday 30th May 2019

Dear all,

Half term Thursday service was well patronised today with there barely being a seat on the first train from Duffield on the two car 101 DMU. It was great to see and there were many happy families and wannabe train drivers. Driver Chuck was most touched as one little lad used his pocket money to buy him a gift of a drivers pin badge out of the shop without his parents knowing.

Some preparation took place down the yard for the weekend including cleaning down the A Class and positioning vehicles.

Work continued inside the new station building as the internal fit out grows closer.

The Permanent Way team are enjoying a small holiday from their usual Shottle base by working at Wirksworth for a couple of weeks. They are installing the turnout which was constructed by the University students way back in September. So far so good. The turnout will eventually allow for some much needed additional siding space.


Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Progress Report Monday 27th May 2019

Dear All,

I have turned off predictive text so hopefully less grammatical errors in this report! The day started in typical bank holiday fashion with customary rain but as the day progressed the sun came out as did our visitors with today being the busiest of the holiday weekend. Again we had both the narrow gauge and miniature railways in operation as well as a steam service on the incline which proved very popular with our visitors both young and old. The miniature railway carried over one hundred passengers during the weekend. Following on from Joe's report for Sunday, work continued on the respective projects in the maintenance facility.

The Association ran a steam experience on the incline in between passenger services and we also entertained a large number of passengers celebrating a birthday on the Duffield service. 

Today's service was supported by the Association shop, station cafe, narrow and miniature railways, crossing gate keepers, Shottle signalling staff and booking hall staff and again my thanks to everyone who gave up their bank holiday to ensure we enjoyed a very successful weekend.

All the best, Tom

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Progress Report Saturday 25th May 2019

Dear all,

Day one of the Spring Bank Holiday proved a busy day here at Derbyshire's favourite branch line. There was an intensive timetable of three steam loco hauled services and Four DMU return services to Duffield. No. 3 provided steam services on the incline as well as a footplate experience at lunchtime. Not forgetting our smaller trains with both the narrow gauge and miniature railways in operation. The station cafe was busy throughout the day and the Association's on train buffet service had a steady stream of customers.

Down the yard restoration continued on the Duke and Faraday. Richard was also busy conducting yard tours throughout the day. We also welcomed two new volunteers today other induction. Delivering such an intense service call heavily upon the contribution of our volunteers and I am grateful to everyone who gave up their bank holiday Saturday to ensure our visitors had an enjoyable day with us. This evening the Association ran a Jazz and Ale charter return to Duffield which was hauled by the Class 14.

Today's service was supported by the Association shop, station cafe, narrow gauge railway, miniature railway, crossing gate keepers, Shottle signal men, train crews and booking office staff. (apologies if I have committed anyone!)

All the best,


Thursday, 23 May 2019

Progress Thursday 23rd June 2019

Dear all,

A nice sunny day saw the PW team locate most of their required equipment up to Wirksworth ready for installing a new point in the yard next week. This is a point which the University students had constructed back in September but has since lay in the yard awaiting installation as other areas of the running line have been greater priority.

Work continued on the recently arrived SK as this gets ready to enter traffic in around 3 weeks time. A fault with one of the engines on the Class 119 was also rectified.

A few meetings were held with a couple of testing customers which should be interesting going forward.


Saturday, 18 May 2019

Progress report Saturday 18th May 2019

Dear all,

There really was a feeling that our 2019 season continues at something of a gallop as we scanned across the carpark, platforms, buffet, shop, miniature railway and passenger service this afternoon and they all looked really very busy under distinctly average weather conditions.

We also performed something of an operational first in the late afternoon as the returning final steam service passed a two car DMU southbound and under private charter at Shottle, more of this later. This could not have been performed without Signamen John and Tony turning out on a Saturday afternoon to ensure safe passage of the later afternoon passing services.

Todays deepest footbath award goes to the catering team, as well as dealing with the aforementioned large volume of hungry visitors, part way through the day they were slightly startled by an unexpected party of a further 22 hungry visitors but as usual rose to the challenge and all were sent away having enjoyed their meal with us. As afternoon turned to evening and still not convinced they had fed enough people they catered for the large evening charter. If you haven't tried Helens cakes I must insist you do so at your earliest convenience, they are to die for.

This evenings private service was to celebrate the birthday of one of our members who is also a very experienced railwayman with his friends and family. The evening comprised drinks taken in the Bubble car, followed by the full group on a 4pm departure on the two car DMU to Duffield. On their return an extensive buffet meal provided by the catering team prior to which all the names were entered into a hat and four lucky winners got a drive a diesel service on two more return trips to Duffield. Under Bens instruction the four lucky winners each took their turn at the desk and provided the crew a rather pleasant ride down and up the valley. As the party organisers left at the end of the evening and enthusiastically thanked us it was clear they had genuinely enjoyed their time with us, its rewarding to see people leave as new advocates of our services and hospitality.

Away from the gaze of the crowds the Engineerium was also busy working on the Duke, Faraday and the Derby Lightweights smallest room was a focus of attention as the toilet facilities were being installed.

A huge vote of thanks to everyone who gave their time today to ensure so many guests enjoyed their time with us.



Pete Watts
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Operations

Friday, 17 May 2019

Progress Friday 17th May 2019

Dear all,

Generally quiet at Wirksworth today with Lewis and Richard entertaining four Drive a Diesel experience guests firstly trying their hand at a DMU in the form of W55006 before taking to 31601 in the afternoon. Incidentally the latter being back in traffic after one of the doors was returned following refurbishment.

Down the shed work continued on the Fitness to Run for the recently arrived Mark 1 coach, in preparation for it to debut at the Steam in the Valley event. Focus at the moment is on the axle boxes and also sealing some leaking windows.


Thursday, 9 May 2019

Progress Thursday 9th May 2019

Dear all,

A dry start enabled a gazebo to be put up at Wirksworth ahead of a wedding reception we are hosting on Saturday. The day will mostly involve catering on the train but it will just provide a little shelter to guests in the interim if necessary. Derek and Dan were working in the BSK(K) to get all the systems working and testing everything out ready for Saturday after winter storage and works.

The PW team dodged the rain as best they could to continue ditching and crib work north of Shottle and the S&T dept carried out routine facing point lock and ground frame inspections.

Progress on the new station building was also hampered on the outside as painting in this weather isn't possible, however the walls were being plastered inside to move the project on.


Monday, 6 May 2019

Progress Monday 6th May 2019

Dear all,

The busiest day of the three day Bank Holiday weekend saw services handled firstly by 33103 "Swordfish" on the first return of the day followed by visiting steam locomotive 52322. Thank you to all staff and crew which made it a steady enjoyable day for our visitors. Numbers were boosted further with a coach party from Lincolnshire on the last train too. It was nice to see the locomotive pausing at Duffield prior to running round for photographs and footplate visits. Even the groups that normally work down the yard were seen enjoying a ride down the line on a Bank Holiday afternoon!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Progress Thursday 2nd May 2019

Dear all,

Can't believe it is May already! Today the PW team were just north of Shottle continuing with the unenviable task of drainage whilst the S&T crew were continuing with signalbox refurbishment; hopefully on the inside due to the weather.

This morning we took delivery of 4 brand new coach and DMU lifting jacks from France which have taken around 5 months to manufacture. They have been very kindly sponsored by our coach and DMU owners and owning groups as they are not a cheap item. The manufacturer have yet to come and install, commission and train staff but it is a real step forward. Previous lifts have involved expensive specialist cranes.

The Maintenance Team continued to wash the body sides of the Mark 1 rake after unloading the jacks.

The Station Building is looking very nice and I attach a picture of latest progress.

Today we have launched two new products. Bookings are now being taken for our Friday VIP Diners in the summer where a three course meal is served on board the train. Numbers are limited over three evenings for these and tickets can be purchased at . The other being annual passes, something which we have been asked about for a while but haven't had the systems to do it. If you're a regular it is an option and can be purchased at