Sunday, 29 December 2019

Progress Sunday 29th December 2019

Dear all,

...and there we have it. As I write the final service of 2019 is sat at Duffield bringing the curtain down on another exciting year. Fairly similar passenger numbers to yesterday saw a reasonable load for the time of year. It is always a time to reflect on achievements on the past year but so much has gone on it is hard to remember it all! The opening of Phase 1 of the new Station Building at Wirksworth and construction of the new toilet block is up there in the list of achievements, as well as the introduction of new lifting jacks for coaches, or maybe our first proper Steam Gala? 2020 should continue in the same fashion I would hope. The introduction to service of the LMS Brake Third coach should be a highlight as well as the teak coaches. Who knows what else might come along with the building project, maintenance shed, signalling projects etc?

There were a few souls down the yard today with work continuing on the former Caledonian Sleeping Car, Faraday and the Derby Lightweight trailer.

Thank you to all of our volunteers for their hard work and effort over the last year and Happy New Year to all of our followers. Hope to see you in 2020, possibly starting with our first service day on January 1st?


Saturday, 28 December 2019

Progress Saturday 28th December 2019

Dear all,

The first day of our post-Christmas service trains today which saw reasonable loadings on board Iris. Ideal for those looking for something to do during the holiday period. We have a further service day tomorrow as well as New Year Trains and Fizz on New Year's Day.

It was fairly quiet down the yard except for a little further progress on the Derby Lightweight trailer car.


Friday, 20 December 2019

Progress Friday 20th December 2019

Dear all,

Fairly quiet on the railway today, not surprising given another awful day of weather.

The Santa train was taken for fuelling ahead of the coming 4 days of service. This was much to the delight of a long-term testing customer of ours who was able to get more flange measurements when he wasn't expecting them. Iris was also prepared for service on the 28th/29th weekend including fuelling and a blowing EP valve dealt with.

Further work continued on the Caledonian Sleeper car as well as work on the underframe components of the LMS Brake Third, which is up in the air on the jacks at the moment.

Sean attended to the foot crossing at the north end of the station at Wirksworth to make sure there weren't any tripping hazards.


Thursday, 19 December 2019

Progress Thursday 19th December 2019

Dear all,

The rain didn't dampen spirits today for a mid-week Santa service day. Great to see more happy and smiling faces. Thank you to everyone involved in making the wheels turn again today.

The new toilet project continued apace with the urinals and privacy screens being hung on the wall in the gents and all of the pipework for the hot water system being ran to the boiler. Just the urinal pipework to connect up before the water system can have a grand switch on (with hopefully no leaks) but this will now be in the new year. It'll soon be cubicle construction time.

Speaking of wood work, the C&W were working on the Mark 3 sleeping car as they continue conversion work to make the vehicle suitable for use statically, including creating fire escapes.


Saturday, 14 December 2019

Progress Saturday 14th December 2019

Dear all,

Santa was the aim of the game again today with two out of the three trains being very busy indeed! Santa's throat certainly knew about it. Well done to the team once again, who posed for a photo at Duffield earlier. They did very well as a few of them were Santa 'newbies'. They were especially grateful to today's support team too who managed to change a faulty heater control panel on one of the cars in between trains to provide a welcome boost to the heating.

As I left, the late shift were booking on for this evening's Carols on the Train special which has been kindly sponsored by Portabrook Leasing. Tickets for this community event were largely distributed through local churches.


Friday, 13 December 2019

Progress Friday 13th December 2019

Dear all

Friday 13th is unlucky for some but just seemed to bumble along at the railway. There's no services this time of year on a Friday so it was just a few maintenance-types on site. One team carried out further work on 55006's routine exam and the Carriage and Wagon Dept worked on the Mark 3 sleeping car as that is made suitable for use here. A lone ranger worked on the Derby Lightweight trailer car too.


Thursday, 12 December 2019

Progress Thursday 12th December 2019

Dear all,

The monsoon rains didn't help activities today and it can't have been too pleasant for the PW Gang down the line doing drainage work. I suppose at least they can see if it is working as it should be!

Down the yard, the Maintenance Team started the routine exam on bubblecar 55006.

The toilet block has progressed well this week with the new hot water boiler being installed which will supply hot water to all of the sinks in the building, including running the electrics to it. The sink basins have been installed in both the ladies and gents, with pipework being ran round the room for the ones in the gents.


Sunday, 8 December 2019

Progress Sunday 8th December 2019

Dear all,

Santa was very much the name of the game today with very little else going on around the railway. We entertained many happy families on the railway today. My thanks go to all those involved in this significant operation from those serving in the marquee, the train management, the entertainment, the train crew, platform staff, Booking Office's, catering etc. Not to mention the man himself and his grotto helper. There seems to be a bout of winter virus going round so thank you to those who stepped in at late notice to keep the show on the road (well rails).


Thursday, 5 December 2019

Progress Thursday 5th December 2019

Dear all,

Slightly milder today. The Mark 3 sleeping car was placed into Platform 3 at the request of the Ivatt Diesel Recreation Group as it is their opening ceremony of "Centenary Works" tomorrow. Their president, who is in his 100th year, will open it and they have a charter on Iris booked in.

The PW were preparing for their January works programme and the S&T department were busy building signalling bits for Shottle box.

The plumber has worked three days on the new toilets at Wirksworth with all of the toilets now being in place and plumbed in. He has been working on the fresh water mains connections today and bringing them into the building from outside.