Progress report 11th June 2018

Evening all,
                   Though the day started fine and warm and we of the VCT were good in numbers and well armed each with a 4 inch paint brush and a 5 litre can of Cuprinol we were only able to treat half of the fence at Duffield because mid afternoon we were rained off!  At least it was our side of the fence.   Cheers for now,   Mick Kingsley 

Progress Report Saturday 11th June 2018

Tom Tait

Dear All,

We had a most satisfactory day down at Derbyshires favourite branch line. The Jinty 47406 having received some TLC from its owner’s support team earlier in the week performed faultlessly on the Duffield to Wirksworth service. Brian Harrison (no.3) had also received attention from of steam team and was tested on the incline in a rather strange formation being ‘double-headed’ with shunter 08704 on the incline. Down the yard just when we thought 55006 had finally had its vacuum problems rectified, another issue manifested itself but it is hoped this will quickly be rectified and the vehicle returned to traffic soon.

Jam and Jerusalem was the main focus of our catering team who played host to a group from the Woman’s Institute who had a most enjoyable time with us. The LMSCA gathered for a meeting in the training room and it was good to see their members from other local heritage railways in attendance.

Today’s service was supported by the EVRA shop, miniature railway and booking hall staff. Grateful thanks to the Duffield team who went the ‘extra mile’ to assist one of our visitors today. Such high customer service helps to ensure our railway maintains its proud reputation for its friendliness and courtesy. 

All the best, Tom

Progress Friday 8th June 2018

Leigh Gration

Dear all,

A peaceful day in the valley. In the Maintenance Facility, the Derby Lightweight trailer car was having the sliding lights refurbished and further finishing touches were being put on BSK 35006.

This afternoon recently arrived 08605 was run up and down the car park road. The condition isn’t as good as 08704 but routine maintenance should improve this.

In to the evening and fault finding continued on the electrical issues with 31601. The fault was traced enough to temporarily isolate it, allowing the engine to be started for the first time in preservation. Strangely no drama for a 31.


Progress Thursday 7th June 2018

Leigh Gration

Dear all,

Another pleasant sunny day with the first of our summer Thursdays. It was a steady day comparable to the same day last year but those who travelled said that they had a thoroughly enjoyable time. 

Down the yard, the C examination on 53599 got under way with investigations into why No1 engine is making a strange ticking sound. Work also started on replacing some rotten wooden panelling in the Guard's compartment, caused by previous water ingress.

The Jinty, which was repaired by the home railway's maintenance team on Tuesday, had a steam test today and should be good for service at the weekend following last Sunday's issues which prevented it from operating.

As I write we are taking delivery of a second 08 shunter, which has arrived courtesy of Rivieria Trains who have brought it for kind-of warm storage. It is numbered 08605 and was collected this morning from DB Cargo at Wigan. The locomotive is fitted with the equipment for remote control, although regrettably the controller isn't with it so we won't be playing with that just yet!

I have had a rare day at Duffield today and I thought I would share a few photographs of the station. It really is a credit to the volunteers who work at Duffield as the station is beautifully well kept. 


FW: Progress report Monday 4th June 2018



From: mick kingsley [mailto:mick.kingsley@...]
Sent: 05 June 2018 14:46
To: ''
Subject: FW: Progress report Monday 4th June 2018




From: mick kingsley [mailto:mick.kingsley@...]
Sent: 04 June 2018 22:58
To: ''
Subject: Progress report Monday 4th June 2018


Evening all,

                   My first attempt at using our new communication site, thanks to whoever created it.

   During summer those of us of the VCT avoid disturbing our feathered friends by occupying ourselves with other activities, last year it was fencing in and around Wirksworth and this year our artistic talents will be put to use as we pick up our paint brushes and work our way along the line. 

   Our first job will be to treat the platform fence between ourselves and our neighbours in Duffield and so today we met up with their representative and agreed a plan of action hopefully starting next week.

   On leaving Duffield near mp 134 we reinforced our cattle defences before proceeding to just south of Derby road bridge 3 to erect a safety fence in line with the parapet of a culvert which passes under our line, en route we met a sheep with a lamb dining on our grass, one hour later they were back in the field after we had dismantled a stile crossing to enable their return. We are  actually looking forward to next week when it might be a little less eventful!!

            Cheers  Mick Kingsley.


Re: News From The Other End Of The Yard

Leigh Gration


The Bubble Car for the PWay is progressing slowly in the background. Volunteer labour has been temporary redeployed on other commercial projects, such as coaching stock, but a substantial amount of work has already taken place.

The exterior bodywork and also structural repairs have taken place and are now virtually complete. These were far more extensive that initially imagined, with both fibreglass domes having to be removed to allow cant rail repairs. It seems when the vehicle was converted in the early 2000s both cabs didn’t receive any attention despite major alterations to the rest of the body.

The majority of underframe components have been sourced and some have been refurbished and tested. This includes the two Leyland 680 engines which had various components missing. Both engines have been test run on the floor and are now fitted to the vehicle.

The cab windows have been cut new and are awaiting fitting. The vehicle should be due back in the Maintenance Facility soon to allow the roof to be glossed.

Going forward, progress will be steady with work on other mechanical components on the horizon as well as making the vehicle completely water tight. There is still alot of electrical work to take place, especially in the cabs where the plywood flooring is also rotten. We also await sourcing suitable lifting jacks so that both bogies can be changed for serviceable ones, as some of the wheelsets currently under the vehicle are defective.


Re: News From The Other End Of The Yard

B Hall

Any news on the Aviva grant aided bubble car for the PW staff?

PRESS RELEASE: Ecclesbourne Valley Railway volunteers and Passengers Rally Round to Support Victims of Conflict

Neil Ferguson-Lee

Good evening everybody,

Just in case this hasn’t found its way direct to your inboxes, a little bit of good news for all.

Kind regards,



From: Neil Ferguson-Lee <neilfl@...>
Sent: 04 June 2018 23:12
To: Neil Ferguson-Lee <nfergusonlee@...>
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: Ecclesbourne Valley Railway volunteers and Passengers Rally Round to Support Victims of Conflict





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The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Contact: Neil Ferguson-Lee
Tel. (01629) 822806
Email neilfl@...



Wirksworth, 4th June 2018: Thanks to the generosity of volunteers and supporters in Wirksworth, Duffield and villages along the Ecclesbourne Valley, the Derby Refugee Advice Centre (DRAC) received a donation of £450 raised at Christmas when the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway ran a Christmas Carols train to support the charity.


The railway’s relationship with DRAC began in September 2017 when a group of refugees visited the railway as part of a day trip to Wirksworth.  Since then, the two organisations have maintained a relationship and have worked with train and operators to organise other trips out.


John Snell, Chairman of WyvernRail, seen here remarked “We are delighted to assist Derby Refugee Advice Centre and this donation reflects the spirit of the people and churches of Wirksworth, Duffield and the whole Ecclesbourne Valley”.

It is hoped that DRAC will be able to undertake further visits in the future and possibly give refugees the opportunity to experience life on our delightful branch line.



Note to Editors:
The following high-quality digital image is available:


It shows John Snell, Chairman of WyvernRail plc, presenting a certification of donation to Janet Fuller and Ahmed, both of Derby Refugee Advice Centre at Duffield station.

The following video shows refugees travelling on one of the EVR's trains in September 2017:



About the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway:


WyvernRail plc has worked with the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association to reopen the Duffield to Wirksworth railway in the heart of Derbyshire.
The line passes through the beautiful Ecclesbourne Valley to the award winning and beautifully restored town of Wirksworth, nestling in the foothills of the Peak District.
The line is a time capsule, with its intermediate stations largely intact and the layout at Wirksworth virtually unchanged since the days of steam.
There are 8½ miles of single-track railway, which meet the Midland Main Line at Duffield Junction near Derby.  There are five station sites, two level crossings, a yard with extensive sidings and a mineral branch to the old Middlepeak quarry at Wirksworth.

Services run at weekends between April and October and are timed to connect with Derwent Valley Line services between Nottingham, Derby and Matlock operated by East Midlands Trains.


WyvernRail plc t/a Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Wirksworth Station, Coldwell Street, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, DE4 4FB

01629 823076 - ticketoffice@...

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News From The Other End Of The Yard


The maintenance facility is strangely empty with the first brake coach moved outside. Work continues on the other one and that is not far off either. Much of the effort will shortly shift to the LMSCA Brake Open which promises to be a very interesting vehicle indeed.

LMS report that the new firebox side sheets on The Duke are fully stayed and the new stays have been caulked. Back at Wirksworth, the tank has had another session with the pressure washer and is as clean as we can expect. Simon has been re-making the atomiser for the cylinder lubricator with bits that " just happened to be on the shelf". Mick and John have been working on the bunker, the top beading is ready to bolt on and they are presently working on the coal rails after study of the similar installation on the Jinty.

Meanwhile Craig has been preparing the LMR brake van for a repaint; I hear he may have recruited a signwriter so it may get some lettering shortly. The deck of the Long Low has had a good dose of creosote.

We have had £3,000 pledged to the salvage job. The target is £5,000 so we urgently need further offers of support.



Progress Report Sunday 3rd June 2018

Peter Watts <g0fqb1@...>

Dear all,

Another day in glorious sunshine with good passengers numbers throughout but one that started off with a morning of many parts, parts drawn together by the common factor that they were all leaking! 

First news came from up the yard that the Jinty has developed a "water feature" where water shouldn't be and it had been failed. My thanks go to the DST who acted very quickly to arrange for alternative traction and crew to cover their services, more of that later. Shortly after this No3 hearing of the news that the Jinty was getting the day off decided that sounded a rather fine idea and promptly started also leaking water, today was clearly not a day for the RO to buy a lottery ticket! 

Iris was rudely awoken from her day off and put on duties on the incline and my thanks go to Graham, Joe and Pete who set sail in 33103 Swordfish with Chris, Howard and Pat as on train crew exactly on time for the first service. In view of all the above a remarkable effort, I might also add one of the guys was working on their birthday. Also my thanks go to Eric and Steve who crewed the inclined service for the rest of the day. Plans are already well advanced to return both steam locomotives to the former glory in the very near future.

Down the yard work was starting on the painting of Tim's brake van and in the engineerium work was finishing on the latest carriage which is going to look truly resplendent when it is revealed to the world in the near future. A coach party arrived in the morning to travel on the mainline service and a party travelled to Wirksworth later in the day to sample our food in the Pullman buffet which also had a busy day.

The bookshop reported a good takings and Duffield was also busy with as our passenger took advantage of the range of items on sale at our southern terminus. 

It was quite noticeable as the mainly services arrived at Wirksworth, the stream of smiles and thanks as people left us, we clearly continue to do many things very right.

As I sit here with my feet in a tray of tepid TVO I look back on a day of many challenges but one where we closed proceedings providing all promised services and sending away many happy customers. My thanks to everyone involved in todays successes. 

I leave you with a picture of Swordfish on final approach to Platform  2 in the glorious sunshine.

All the best


Progress Report Saturday 2nd June 2018

Tom Tait

Dear All,

We enjoyed another successful steam Saturday down at Derbyshire’s favourite branch line with the ‘Jinty’ on the Duffield to Wirksworth Line and ‘No 3’ on the incline. Down the yard there was much joy from Joe Marsden who successfully resolved a long standing vacuum problem with the ‘bubble car’. Final preparations also continued on the ‘BSK’ which look great following its period of re-furbishment and is scheduled to return to traffic on Tuesday for the first cream team train.

Richard conducted his ever popular yard tours which are not only enjoyable and enlightening for our visitors but voluntary contributions make it another income stream for the railway. John Rhead held a loco hauled stock preparation briefing for interested guards before today’s first Duffield service. Please spare a thought for our footplate crews on both steam services who worked extremely hard in uncomfortably high temperatures today. Thanks go to our catering team who ensured there was a steady stream of bacon rolls, bottled water and ice lollies available to keep our crews hydrated and their energy levels up. The catering team also played host to a small party on the train which everyone seemed to enjoy.

Today’s service was supported by the EVRA shop and miniature railway and my thanks to all our volunteers who gave up their time to ensure our visitors could enjoy a day at our railway and delight at the beautiful Ecclesbourne Valley in bloom. The carpet of  forget-me-nots along the ‘racing straight’ looks stunning.

All the best, Tom

Progress Thursday 31st May 2018

Leigh Gration

Dear all,

As May draws to a close we had another nice warm day. Passenger numbers were reasonable for a midweek service. Trains are running again tomorrow too with it being half term.

Down the yard, the Mk2 TSO had a fitness to run examination ahead of the season and BSK 35006 had the final door hung as we get closer to this coach entering service too. The BSK(K) fresh gleaming from the works was tidied and readied to enter service this coming Tuesday.

Work continued on trying to get 31601 running but with some sort of earth fault manifesting itself late in the day, it hadn’t been run up as I left.


News From The Other End Of The yard


The Bagnall  team were slightly depleted on Saturday - some of our regulars were on the domestic turn, others engaged in operations. Nevertheless, progress was made. The bunker rim is now fully finished and ready to fit, subject to two coats of red oxide primer. Mick has been making his initial plans for the bunker rails, which are a new item on this locomotive. The saddletank is just about as clear of scale as it ever will be, I think we will have a final session with the pressure washer and then close it back up.

The carriage teams have been hard at it on the brake coaches, I think they are on to their final snagging lists now. The Long Low plate wagon has been swept off and received a little TLC; it has held up very well considering it is 14 years since it received any serious attention. It remains fit for use but could do with a few timbers replacing and a repaint.

The railway seems to have been very busy for the last two days. Our little stall for The Duke on platform 2 has done very well which may be a useful barometer. One item of Guerilla Marketing has been to make a sign and erect it alongside the A6. I am told similar things were done in the past: do the signs still exist, if so where are they?


Progress Sunday 27th May 2018

Leigh Gration

Dear all,

Another warm and sunny day which saw steam in the valley once again. Passenger numbers were on a very good par with yesterday, if not a twinge higher! The Catering Department were busy once again, putting on an Afternoon Tea for 31 guests and the Miniature Railway reported another good day. Even the crew on the incline reported that they had done a good number of trips.

More of the same tomorrow hopefully!


Progress Report Saturday 26th May 2018

Tom Tait

Dear All,

Steam was the name of the game today with steam traction staring on the Wirksworth to Duffield line, Ravenstor line and miniature railway. The uncharacteristic warm and sunny bank holiday weather ensured we had many visitors. Our first service was a 09:30 trip to Ravenstor with a local scout pack. Unfortunately our visiting Jinty had a leaking washout plug and was deemed not fit to run. Rob fired up the 08 and shunted the stock into platform two and then started to prepare the Class 33 to haul the first Duffield service. Thankfully when the Jinty’s boiler pressure was sufficiently low the offending plug was tightened and the Jinty was good to go. This had resulted in a 15-20  minute delay in departure from Duffield and the crew were unable to make up any time and the subsequent Duffield services ran late.

Tat Wirksworth the Station Cafe played host to a party of guests as did the on train Buffett which swelled our numbers and we had very good loadings on all steam services  throughout the day. The miniature railway had its busiest day of the year carrying some seventy passengers! Down the yard work continued on the Duke and the BSK and Richard was gainfully employed taking visitors on his popular yard tours.The Ravenstor service was in demand too with footplate and brake van rides. Interestingly we welcomed Chris Richardson as footplate crew on the incline service. Chris is an experienced fireman and driver previously at Peak Rail and teamed up with Mike Ball on the footplate. Chris taught Mike to drive when Mike was a volunteer ‘over the hill’. My thanks to everyone who gave up their bank holiday Saturday to ensure our visitors had an enjoyable day.

All the best, Tom

Progress Friday 25th May 2018

Leigh Gration

Dear all,

It was all about Bank Holiday weekend preparation today as the coaching stock was cleaned and Jinty 47406 was fired up and tested around the yard. All seems to be well!

We hosted a Bronze Drive a Diesel Experience which seemed to have a gang of very happy participants at the end of the day. They sampled Iris this morning and after lunch in the Station café, the Class 33.

Work began in earnest to return 31601 to service with the aim of running the engine the first priority. There wasn’t enough time in the day to achieve that today but hopefully it won’t be far away.


Progress Thursday 24th May 2018

Leigh Gration

Dear all,

Plenty of activity around the site today as a rake of coaching stock was created and brought down to the platform ready for the weekend and the marquee was put up for the summer, albeit in a new location.

The S&T gang were at Shottle fettling up with ground frames and the PW team were also preparing for their next tasks in the coming weeks.

A lino contractor came to fit the flooring in the BSK(K).

Right at the end of the day we waved goodbye to the W&M railbus as it begin the journey back to the Ribble. A most popular visitor during it’s short stay.


Re: Progress Sunday 20th May 2018

Rupert Brennan Brown

Wish I had made it to travel on the Railbus.

I have fond memories of these from when living in Oxenhope...

On 20 May 2018, at 20:10, Leigh Gration <leigh.gration@...> wrote:

Dear all,

Another glorious day for Multiple Memories. It is tradition that the Sunday isn’t as busy as the Saturday in most enthusiast events and this one was no exception but happily the weekend has finished around 15% better than the same event last year. This is a pleasing result considering everything that has been going on around and about this weekend.

The railbus continued to be popular today and it performed well. Sadly it is leaving us this coming week already though.

These weekends take a large number of staff who have to put in a large amount of effort. Without them it wouldn’t be possible so thank you to everyone who helped out this weekend.



News From The Other End Of The Yard


Bagnall 2746 The Duke: more progress on the saddle tank. The vacuum cleaner shifted more scale but finally admitted defeat on the right hand side - the Cemetery Lane bridge is in the way and we couldn't wriggle the 20ft copper pipe into the far corners. However, now we have water pressure - and a very long hose, it was possible to use a pressure washer to blast in through the dome and get most of the rest. There are still a few obstinate bits to get next time. Mick and John continued work on the bunker and Mike Ball was cleaning and painting small fittings. LMS report serious progress on the boiler; the firebox crown has been reformed to the correct profile to take the new tubeplate, which is also ready to fit. All the new outer plates have been drilled and tapped and 75% of the new side stays have been fitted. The crown stays are in production.

LMR Brake Van: Craig Hibbert is preparing this for a repaint. This time we hope to give it a full set of lettering.

Track Salvage Operation: We have been working to set up another track salvage operation for some time. We don't have the green light yet, but the shape of the thing is now clear. The site is within 20 miles of Wirksworth - never mind just where for the moment. We have offered a price, not a big one, and our offer has been accepted. Suffice it to say that the material comprises 3 1/2 sets of turnouts, one buffer stop, 200 yards of rail and some time ago I was offered one buffer stop for the same price. The total estimate including transport is roughly £5000. The word is that this layout was re-laid many years ago, then abandoned. The rails appear to be very good, we would not attempt to recover timbers.

The deal is subject to working up a satisfactory safety case to a very high standard, slightly higher than the Spondon project which was tough enough, and Mike Evans has been working on some very difficult paperwork, which is now just about ready to submit. The work must be done Monday to Friday only, all persons working on site must have an EVR certificate of competence as a track worker,(not just track safety) attend the safety briefing on Day One and have a complete set of hi-viz overalls, not just a waistcoat. It should take about 5 days to dismantle and 2, possibly 3 days to recover the material to Shottle. A second hand turnout can cost upwards of £10,000 from a merchant, the half set is a pair of B switches, we have a No.8 crossing to match.

The main problem is that we have an estimate - but no budget. Are there sponsors willing to pledge money to the company for this specific project? Please contact Mike Evans or myself if you can offer support, physically or financially. Then we can try to finalise the arrangements and organise a date.


Progress Sunday 20th May 2018

Leigh Gration

Dear all,

Another glorious day for Multiple Memories. It is tradition that the Sunday isn’t as busy as the Saturday in most enthusiast events and this one was no exception but happily the weekend has finished around 15% better than the same event last year. This is a pleasing result considering everything that has been going on around and about this weekend.

The railbus continued to be popular today and it performed well. Sadly it is leaving us this coming week already though.

These weekends take a large number of staff who have to put in a large amount of effort. Without them it wouldn’t be possible so thank you to everyone who helped out this weekend.