Friday, 28 February 2020

Progress Friday 28th February 2020

Dear all,

The Day of the Drowning today but, as the great Freddie once sang, the show must go on! The Maintenance Team took a raft of DMUs to be fuelled ahead of the Multiple Memories event and in the process coupled them together to test the Blue Square multiple working on W55034 which happily seems fault free. The Class 14 team were also wet through preparing the locomotive for the rods to be returned to the wheels.

Our tenants over in Centenary Works as it is now called, received a delivery in the form on a 19 ton 16 cylinder English Electric power unit. It came accompanied by a 220t crane! This is the original type of power unit that would have been in the 10000 locomotive which was languishing as a hospital generator. Apparently it is very low hours too.


Thursday, 27 February 2020

Progress Thursday 27th February 2020

Dear all,

It was another shunt day today. The Class 14 was positioned in the car park ready for the rods to be reinstalled over the next few days. They have been away for rebushing so the ride should improve. It also has a refurbished exhauster ready to be installed. Just behind, steam locomotive No.3 was also receiving attention with the boiler arriving back from the boiler people already! Positive signs.

W55034, which arrived yesterday, was placed on the maintenance pit for a Fitness to Run examination which was carried out. A test run later in the day followed which was useful as the unit hasn't done much work in two years. One or two niggles were discovered that can be ironed out before the gala. The run provided a useful opportunity to inspect the line following recent weather and also measure up some steps for Idridgehay platform to assist with passenger boarding there.

The line is in good shape to be fair. The PW team ditched around F8 south of Shottle today to relieve the drainage there which has been the area most likely to flood recently. Recent flailing is most evident too.

Further work continued in the new toilet block with the frame work for the interior door between the vestibule and the Gents being installed.


Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Progress Wednesday 26th February 2020

Dear all,

We woke up to snow today and strangely it was worse in Derby than in Wirksworth. Thankfully though it had disappeared by the time the haulage company arrived to deliver our Multiple Memories Gala visitor, Class 121 W55034 (or as it is still on TOPS should we say 121034?). I believe this DMU is the last remaining mainline registered first generation unit and is quite impressive. Retired from Chiltern Railways a few years ago, it now resides at Crewe. Not only does it have a beautiful paint job, it also features all of the required systems including GSM-R, OTMR, TPWS, CCTV, secondary door locking and a PA! The unit is planned to operate at the gala in a few weeks time but may be seen out and about on the line from time to time as it undertakes some work more aligned to MyTestTrack.

Elsewhere, the PW took a two-pronged attack. One part worked on the new siding in the yard at Wirksworth whilst the other did an exam on shunting locomotive Tom, with an oil/filter change taking place. The Maintenance Team repaired an engine stop fault on our "bubblecar" putting that back into service.

A further round of medicals took place too.


Monday, 24 February 2020

Progress Sunday 23rd February 2020

Dear all,

Lots of floods around on the roads today but thankfully the sun came out for most of the day. This led to a fairly steady stream of passengers all day, sometimes there can be a lot of passengers for the first train and very few for the others, but today was evenly spread. The line has thankfully fared rather well during the bad weather recently. Once again, many of our visitors enjoyed food in the Station Cafe.

Down the yard, the Class 31 received a B exam ahead of the season and Class 08 08605 had a fault rectified which was preventing it from taking power. This locomotive is fitted with the unusual remote control electronics which makes fault finding rather more difficult than a standard Class 08.


Thursday, 20 February 2020

Progress Thursday 20th February 2020

Dear all,

Well the elements continue to batter us but it didn't deter the passengers, we've had two days of really pleasing numbers on the train for the time of year despite the rain. In fact we even had a smidgeon of snow last thing to top it off.

The PW have been at Wirksworth this week with services running sorting things out for their upcoming projects. S&T have done two days this week with them doing their routine level crossing inspections and ground frame adjustments.

The Maintenance Team have finished off the final DMU exam which was E51505 and released that to traffic. They've also worked through some work arising on W51073 too. It'll be on to coaching stock next week.

Good progress has been made on the new toilet block at Wirksworth. The Gents now has proper cubicles. There are some finishing off jobs, like more boxing, bits in the urinals and also the board edging to do but its looking very nice (for a 'public' loo).



Saturday, 15 February 2020

Progress Saturday 15th February 2020

Dear all,

Well today was supposed to be the first day of the season but we had been proactive and taken the decision to postpone our Volunteering Event and suspend operations ahead of Storm Dennis which was incoming. It took a little while to arrive, with it being eerily calm first thing this morning, but sure enough the wind and rain was in full flow by mid-afternoon. Fortunately we didn't disappoint any members of the public as a combination of bad weather and what I hope is effective communication meant that nobody came to the railway expecting a ride. Social media and the website aside, we were actually part of the main news bulletin each hour on BBC Radio Derby today and we were even read out on BBC East Midlands Today during the 17:30 bulletin. Services are still suspended tomorrow but we plan on opening as scheduled on Tuesday. Volunteering Day has been rearranged for Saturday 18th April.

There were still a few volunteers on site though with work taking place on 08605 to find out why there is a power fault as well as Faraday. Lewis continued tiling in the new toilet block at Wirksworth, this time negotiating the area around the urinals. A further round of medicals for safety critical staff also took place.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Progress Thursday 13th February 2020

Dear all,

The PW gang did their last day under possession ahead of the season after relaying a section of track just outside of Wirksworth town. This is very good going and well done to all for maintaining a tight schedule.

Of course, services should be starting this weekend kicking off with our Volunteering Day but it has been decided that services will not operate this weekend in light of the atrocious weather forecast. We wouldn't want falling trees or flood water compromising safety. The Volunteering Event will be rescheduled. We fully intend to run on Tuesday as planned.

Work continued on the new toilets at Wirksworth with the boards being cut for the toilet cubicles.

The Maintenance Team began the exam on E51505 but were frustrated for several hours by a troublesome pump in the pit.

The S&T gang were down the line too progressing the Shottle project.


Sunday, 9 February 2020

Progress Saturday 8th February 2020

Dear all,

It was actually quite a nice day at Wirksworth for the most part, ahead of the wild and windy weather expected on Sunday. With just a week to go before the start of the 2020 season, today featured quite a bit of planning and also the undertaking of medicals for safety critical roles.

In preparation for the season, the Class 33 received an A exam on the maintenance pit and had a few minor lighting issues rectified. It also was seen to have a bodyside scrub up too.

Just behind, in the engineerium, the LMSCA were most delighted with their refurbished bolster for the Brake Third coach and James was seen beavering away at EVRAs SK which is having new steel welded into the crash pillars at the north end of the coach.

Lets hope that Sunday's weather isn't too wild and that the marquee survives ready to host Volunteering Day next Saturday!


Thursday, 6 February 2020

Progress Thursday 6th February 2020

Dear all,

A cold and sunny day today saw the PW team working at the relay site adjusting the alignment and cross levels of the newly laid track. It is looking good! Photo attached. With just over a week to go before services restart they are bang on schedule. This week they've had the luxury of the Class 33 working their trains too!

At Wirksworth, work has continued on examining the DMU fleet ahead of the gala next month.

Lewis has very kindly been tiling in the new toilet block as that nears completion. They look great! Unfortunately it looks like the toilet block completion will be more towards the start of next month due to various reasons in January but at least they are getting there.