Sunday, 30 June 2019

Progress Sunday 30th June 2019

Hi all

Today was another first for our new events Committee who arranged the Classic Bus Rally. Eleven classic buses arrived from far away as Barrow and Yorkshire and most took turns in carrying passengers to and from Duffield Station. At one point two were required.
Steam engine 78018 and the green two car DMU were used on the two train service with some loadings being full to capacity
Luckily many of the Classic Buses came loaded with passengers as once again the car park was completely full
The narrow and minature gauge railways ran plus steam on the incline with the catering department running to full capacity. How they ate so many chips in the hot weather I will never know !!. 
Financially it exceeded last years takings and I wish to thank all who helped to make it another very successful day 



Saturday, 29 June 2019

Progress Saturday 29th June 2019

Dear all,

Hats off to the steam crews and the buffet today as the temperature on the outdoor thermometer at Wirksworth reached 34 degrees. Passenger numbers were reasonable given the event tomorrow.

Lots of staff were seen sitting about in the heat but the event for tomorrow was set up in the car park and the Class 73 had ammeter gauge work carried out.


Friday, 28 June 2019

Progress Friday 28th June 2019

Dear all,

Eerily quiet this morning on what turned out to be a beautiful day. Only John and I were on site first thing, with John continuing with the painting of the new toilet block.

Things did begin to wake up around lunch time with LMSCA Nick arriving. The BTO coach is in the Maintenance Facility at the moment having had the bodyside completely stripped of paint and old filler ready for repairs and painting. I believe undercoat is the aim to begin with whilst the interior is finished off, before a final paint takes place.

We welcomed a brand new test vehicle which has been shipped directly from Germany. Despite an entertaining way of unloading with a language barrier, the driver did understand the word "beer" when an arrow was drawn on a map.

As I handed over late on, the crews were arriving for the first of three Friday VIP evening dining trains featuring a three course meal. This is kind of a first as, despite doing dining trains in the past, these are the first to feature hot food. I hope it goes well this evening.


Thursday, 27 June 2019

Progress Thursday 27th June 2019

Dear all,

It looks as though we have had to wait until the end of June for the sun to come out but hopefully just in time for the Bus Rally on Sunday. Today's service saw reasonable passenger numbers for a out-of-holiday Thursday which was supported by the buffet who saw immediately raised ice cream sales.

Yet more shunting took place earlier to prepare for the weekend including clearing the incline of stabled vehicles ready for service, moving 31601 to the pit for a brake block change and hiding the works train out of the way for weekend service too. The Class 14, with it's recently replaced cylinder head, was moved out of the way of steam operations too. The Class 33 was fuelled ready for service next week and the 73 positioned ready for tomorrow evening's dining train. In amongst this, the Standard 2 was coaled up ready for the weekend.

Lots of work around the new building took place today as a grand tidy up post removal of the harris fencing took place and concrete entrance ways were poured to allow wheelchairs and buggies step-free entry. John was busy painting the exterior of the toilet block.

The PW were still in the yard continuing to install the new siding which will apparently become road 5 in the grand plan. It will go as far as it can do for now as to extend it to its full length will require some levelling of the terrain.


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Progress Thursday 20th June 2019

Dear all,

Today's Blue Timetable was handled admirably by Iris. Thank you to Eric and Sean for covering the Third Man at late notice.

More shunting took place in the yard (a daily occurrence recently) and the PW team did some important fish plate greasing on the incline.

Painting commenced on the toilet block with white primer being applied between the showers.

Yesterday, the LMS Brake Third Open was extracted from the siding which it has been for around 8 years to allow for external painting to begin. We also waved goodbye ti A Class 52322 after two months of sterling service.


Saturday, 15 June 2019

Progress Saturday 15th June 2019

Dear all,

It was a day of records and firsts today as we had our busiest ever day on the trains. It was the first time we had fielded two rakes of Mark 1 coaches (albeit with a DMU centre car interloper on one), the first time we had 4 steam locomotives in steam and the biggie - the first time two steam trains have passed each other in the 152 year history of the line.

There were many happy visitors who enjoyed their day despite the weather and thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work in putting on a good show.


Thursday, 13 June 2019

Progress Thursday 13th June 2019

Dear all,

You could easily forget it is June as more heavy rain battered the railway today. Fortunately there doesn't appear to be any flooding issues in the valley which is good. Today's DMU service had a coach party who enjoyed a return journey as well as a light lunch in the Station Café. Thank you to those who assisted with that.

Today was the first day of prep for the upcoming gala weekend. The coach rakes were reformed to create two rakes of Mark 1s (with the aid of a DMU centre car). Both 78018 and 52322 were shunted to the watering point to make sure they were filled ready for service. They were also both loaded full of coal. A warming fire was then placed in 78018 ready for a steam test tomorrow.

The PW declared the newly installed point in the yard fit to drive over as they finished levelled and packing it.

Further shunting and tidying tomorrow.


Friday, 7 June 2019

Progress Friday 7th June 2019

Dear all,

Today we hosted a Bronze Drive a Diesel Experience. Thank you to Lewis and Chris H for entertaining our participants and their guests in the torrential rail which we have endured all day.

We welcomed BR Standard Class 2MT 78018 today from the GCR with loco and tender arriving in convoy. Two tender engines at Wirksworth! The steam team prepared 52322 for service tomorrow and also No3 for some experiences they have on Sunday.


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Progress Wednesday 5th June 2019

Dear all,

Today the Maintenance Team continued working on the recently-arrived Mark 1 SK ready for it entering traffic next week at the Steam in the Valley event. The vehicle has had a full fitness to run examination and other minor repairs. Today they were refurbishing the side panels which edge the seats in the compartments.

The PW team continued with the pointwork installation in the yard with this task on target for completion.

I attach a photograph of the new toilet block at Wirksworth which has had the scaffold taken away this week. Painting of the outside should commence soon.


Sunday, 2 June 2019

Progress Report Saturday 1st June 2019

Dear All,

It was a busy day down at Derbyshire's favourite branch line with busy trains throughout the day. Our visiting locomotive 52322 is certainly  a very popular guest perhaps being one of the most photographed locomotives to date. Down the yard the DMU team were preparing for an evening private charter in W55006.

Todays service was supported by the Association shop, Station Cafe, Miniature Railway and Booking Hall Staff. Special thanks to our visiting engine crew from the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway and GCR who, together with our own on train crew, ensured our many passengers were looked after and trains ran to schedule.

All the best, Tom