Drive a Diesel Train Experience, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

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Text © Copyright Dave Hitchborne, October 2010
Images are under a separate Creative Commons Licence.


Contents
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


Idridgehay Station - Passenger trains travel the 3.5 mile distance to Wirksworth on summer Saturdays and event weekends.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


Shottle - Although the station was at Cowers Lane, it was named Shottle.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


Hazelwood - The map above shows the site of the former Hazelwood Station. It was situated at the road bridge.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


Duffield - The station is a terminus, but the Midland Main Line is within easy walking distance.

The links below provide access to photographs of the line, by other contributors. There are grid squares, which include the line, but no links have been provided to those without photographs of it. An update will be provided when this changes.

Wirksworth - Grid squares SK2854 and SK2853 - LinkExternal link - LinkExternal link

Near to Millers Green - Grid square SK2852 - LinkExternal link

Near to Ashleyhay - Grid square SK2851 - LinkExternal link

Near to Idridgehay - Grid squares SK2850 and SK2849 - LinkExternal link - LinkExternal link

Idridgehay - Grid square SK2848 - LinkExternal link

Near to Idridgehay - Grid square SK2947 - LinkExternal link

Near to Cowers Lane - Grid square SK3047 - LinkExternal link

Shottle - Grid square SK3046 - LinkExternal link

Near to Windley - Grid square SK3145 - LinkExternal link

Hazelwood - Grid square SK3144 - LinkExternal link

Near to Hazelwood - Grid square SK3244 - LinkExternal link

Duffield - Grid square SK3443 - LinkExternal link

Cab view of diesel-engined shunter 'L.J.Breeze'

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
A view into the cab of diesel-engined shunter 'L.J.Breeze' showing the driver position in forwards travel mode. This is not the driver, though he soon will be. He's quickly learning the controls, from Driver/Instructor Richard Buckby.
The driver sits or stands sideways-on to the direction of travel and at his feet is the 'dead-man' brake.
by Dave Hitchborne


'Driver' training - basic controls

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Richard Buckby explains the basic controls.
To the left and on the footplate, (out of sight) is the 'dead-man brake', which when driving the locomotive must be kept on by holding it down with your foot. At the moment the handbrake wheel is on, which is released or applied by the wheel, just visible to the right of the cab. The train brake valve has been released, to show how it is operated. That's the handle by Richard's left hand. The clutch is switched off - the switch above the drinking mug handle is in the off position. Indicated as off, as the amber lights beneath both green lights, are out.
The green lights indicate direction of travel, in this case forward. To change from forward to reverse and from reverse to forward, (gear change) is selected by operating the 'lollipop stick' handle. You just push the handle away from you and wait for the green lights to come on. The top green lights indicate forward and the lower ones, reverse. The same handle controls the power, by pulling the handle towards you.
To drive forward requires the train brake valve to be fully applied and the handbrake wheel to be released. Stand or sit at the controls and put your foot on the 'dead-man' brake. The clutch then needs to be engaged, by switching it on, and as 'Forward Engaged' is already selected, release the train brake valve and apply the power.
The controls are mirrored LinkExternal link
by Dave Hitchborne


'Drivers' eye-view

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
This photograph was taken just to show the view to be had from the diesel-engined shunter 'L.J.Breeze'. The 'rookie' drivers can sit or stand to operate the locomotive, but the driving position is sideways on. Driver/Instructor Richard Buckby can just be seen applying power to build up the air in the tanks in order release the brakes. Outside, top-left, is a spotlight.
by Dave Hitchborne


'Hands-on'

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The handbrake wheel is off and the train brake valve has been released. The amber light indicates that the clutch has been engaged and the green light indicates that 'Forward Engaged' has been selected. The 'rookie' driver has his foot on the 'dead-man' brake and is slowly applying power. The speedometer is registering 7.5 mph as we head up the yard to the Cemetery Road bridge. Braking will be done by returning the power handle to the idle position and applying the train brake valve. The valve is not operated by just turning it to the off-position as this would result in extreme braking. The handle is turned until the needles on the dial start to move and then the brakes are 'feathered' to avoid lurching to a stop.
by Dave Hitchborne


View of the station yard, from on-board

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The shunter L.J.Breeze is leaving the yard behind and heading for the crossover at Cemetery Lane bridge, with the intention of reversing up to the wagon and brakevan, over to the left.
by Dave Hitchborne


Changing tracks

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
This is about as far northwards as you can get away from the yard unless you take the line out to Ravenstor. We've come up here to use the crossover and reverse back into the yard and pick up a wagon and brakevan.
The point has been set to cross over to the line at left.
by Dave Hitchborne


Reversing into the yard

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Reversing back into the yard, past the carriage shed.
by Dave Hitchborne


Second Man

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Railway volunteer Passenger Guard, Tom Tait, is doing Second Man duties today and is watching us reverse up to the Grampus wagon.
After lunch, we 'rookies' will be introduced to a Class 20 mainline locomotive, which is to the rear of the wagon and brake van. We need to shunt the wagon out of the way, then position the brakevan so that the Class 20 can couple up to it, at the cab end and then take it 9 miles south to Duffield.
by Dave Hitchborne


Class Steelman 6wDH 'L.J.Breeze' - cab view

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Change of 'driver'. We're waiting to go down the yard and pick up a Grampus wagon. Grampus wagons were, and still are, used for the removal of spoil, off site.
This photograph shows that the controls are mirrored LinkExternal link
Note, the logbook. It has entries such as - Duffield-Shottle-Duffield-Milepost135-Duffield 11 Miles
The view through the window shows the restored Class 101 Diesel Railcar Trailer. It can be used as part of a 3-car unit or a hauled coach.
by Dave Hitchborne


Negotiating the points

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Shunting is a long drawn out job. Backwards and forwards, up and down the yard. Imagine it on a winter's night, snow on the ground, temperature below freezing. Someone has to walk the yard, change the points and signal the driver. Tom Tait is Second Man.
The shunter is reversing up to the Grampus wagon and we are being signalled to keep on reversing. We are going to put the wagon on the line beyond the one you see on the right, but short of the gravel path you see in the foreground.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting stock

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Back up to the end of the line again, with the Grampus wagon in tow. To the left are trucks loaded with concrete sleepers. The track at Duffield is laid on these.
Tom Tait has changed the points, near the loco. Richard Preedy has also changed the points, at Cemetery Lane bridge.
by Dave Hitchborne


Railway station yard

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Railway yards are dangerous places. My grandfather's brother was killed in the yard at Peterborough and he was an experienced railwayman. You shouldn't enter railway premises without permission.
Richard Preedy has changed the points, which will take us to the right of the yard. He's making sure that the line is still clear.
by Dave Hitchborne


Driver training

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The green light is showing below the clutch light, so the shunter is running in reverse. Richard Buckby watches progress.
by Dave Hitchborne


Our Driver/Instructor

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Our Driver/Instructor, Richard Buckby, makes sure that we don't make any mistakes. He's taking a rearward glance as we proceed into the yard from the Cemetery Lane end.
by Dave Hitchborne


The former narrow gauge railway of the Baileycroft Quarry

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Tipper wagons and tunnel portal - The tunnel is part of the former railway of the Baileycroft Quarry.
Quarrying in Wirksworth came long before the railways. The Romans started mining for lead here and the extraction of lead was carried on until the 19th century. This was followed by the quarrying of limestone. The standard gauge line wasn't built for that purpose, but in the end that saved the line.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting in progress

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
We're leaving the Grampus wagon here and next we're going over to the left for the brake van and the Class 20. They'll both be put on the next line to the right of us, which is out of sight.
by Dave Hitchborne


Brake van hose and coupling detail

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The shunter L.J.Breeze is coupled up to the brake van, which is in turn coupled up to Class 20 D8001. We're moving both alongside the Grampus wagon.
The hoses cannot be connected as they aren't a match. The brake van is vacuum-braked and the locomotive is air-braked.
by Dave Hitchborne


Refuelling point

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Drawing past the refuelling point. Diesel Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second 'IRIS' occupies the line to the carriage shed.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting in progress (2)

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
We're leaving the Class 20 and brake van here and then moving the LMS 3rd Open, which is under refurbishment. A stop will be made at the station so that we can have a look inside it. We will then have lunch inside one of the carriages, which used to run on the Gatwick Express. After lunch we will then put the LMS 3rd Open over on the west side of the yard. This will involve heading south to the crossover, which is just beyond the Coldwell Street bridge and then pushing the carriage back up the yard.
by Dave Hitchborne


9107 Mk2 Brake end of the former Gatwick Express

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
This is 9107 a Mk2 Brake end of the former Gatwick Express. They were converted from Mk 2 BSOs, between 1983 and 1986 and contained 27 seats and a micro-buffet.
Alongside is 55006 a Class 122 Driving Motor Brake Second.
by Dave Hitchborne


LMS 3rd Open - interior

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
A quick look around the LMS 3rd Open, which is under refurbishment and then off to lunch.
by Dave Hitchborne


Platforms 2 & 3

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The Rolls-Royce diesel-engined L.J.Breeze is parked up while we have a bite to eat. The shunter has an LMS 3rd Open in tow and we will shortly be moving it to the west side of the yard.
by Dave Hitchborne


Former Gatwick Express 1st Class carriage

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Your 'Drive a Diesel Train Experience' includes a bite to eat, aboard a former Gatwick Express 1st Class carriage.
by Dave Hitchborne


Driver's eye-view of the station

SK2854 : Railway Station, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - Today would be the first time passengers had travelled the line from Wirksworth to Duffield and it was a very enjoyable experience. I also got to drive the train. Behind the station building, to the left, is the line to Ravenstor. The buildings, far right, used to be a tannery.
by Dave Hitchborne


Station lamp

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Not sure if this is an original lamp converted from gas to electric, or a reproduction. The station lamps I remember were like these, Code - 440L-LA LinkExternal link and they were gas.
by Dave Hitchborne


Station lamp (2)

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Neatly painted railway station lamp.
by Dave Hitchborne


Platform 1

SK2854 : Railway Station, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - Duffield to Wirksworth. The branch-line was opened in 1867. Stations en-route from Duffield were Hazelwood, Shottle, Idridgehay and Wirksworth. According to the Wirksworth Parish Records 1600-1900
"Fares from Derby were: 1st single 2s/8d, 2nd single 2s/0d, 1st return 4s/6d, and 2nd return 3s/6d. In 1890 there were 2 goods trains each weekday and 4 passenger trains. In 1872 1,000 passengers travelled, and in 1884 21,000. In 1885 the trip from Derby to Wirksworth took 40 minutes. The station has a twin-gabled style, similar to other stations on the line. To the north of the single platform was a goods shed. Wagons transported quarry stone from Middlepeak Quarry. Station Masters were Luke Fox 1875-1890 and Thomas Cox 1890-1920. The 1891 census lists 35 railway workers at Wirksworth, with occupations such as: Station master, engine driver, fireman, stoker, guard, signalman, brakesman, porter, shunter, clerk, platelayer, goods forman, cleaner, labourer and drayman." (1s = 5p In those days, 1 shilling was a lot of money.)
Note: The line now terminates at both ends.
Photographs of the original railway station LinkExternal link
The houses are on Greenway Croft.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting in progress (3)

SK2853 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
We are still at Wirksworth with a little more shunting to do. We're on the move to the crossover beyond Coldwell Street road bridge, where Richard Preedy is waiting to re-set the points. We have an LMS 3rd Open on tow.
Ahead is what appears to be a catch-point, but it was a crossover to the line from Ravenstor. This line can be seen at far left. I don't know whether there are plans to reinstate that section of line.
by Dave Hitchborne


Coldwell Street bridge

SK2853 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The arches of Coldwell Street bridge. The bridge carries the B5035 road, to Crich.
by Dave Hitchborne


Points - crossover

SK2853 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Richard Preedy at the point levers. We're reversing southwards with an LMS 3rd Open carriage in tow and are about to negotiate onto the opposite line and shunt the carriage into the west side of the station yard.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting in progress (4)

SK2953 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Richard Preedy indicates that we have just cleared the crossover points. The shunter is about to push the carriage into the west side of the station yard.
by Dave Hitchborne


BR Standard 20 ton Brake van

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Movement of stock with the yard shunter is over. We just have to reposition the locomotive.
At centre is a B955209 a BR Standard 20 ton Brake van (Bauxite Brown), which was built in 1962.
by Dave Hitchborne


Limited clearance

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Structures very close to the track become what is known as Limited Clearance and usually carry a sign to state that fact LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
The railway track can pass very close to such things as bridge piers and signal posts and leaning out of the window of a train is inviting a serious accident.
Quarried limestone used to be tipped from the top of this structure, into wagons.
by Dave Hitchborne


Coaches of the former Gatwick Express

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The nearest coach is TSO 72617, a Trailer Second Open. FO 72501, the First Open Coach in the middle, was our buffet car. It's possible that I went in one or both of them when they were running on the Gatwick Express. To the left is GLV (48)9101 (68500) the Class 489 Gatwick Luggage Van, which was built as a Motor Brake Second Coach and is parked in the bay between platforms 2 and 3.
by Dave Hitchborne


Class 101

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Class 101 Diesel Railcar unit. This 2-car set is formed with Driving Motor Composite 51505 (at front) and Driving Motor Brake Second (class) 51188 (at rear).
by Dave Hitchborne


Class 31414

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The 31/4s were regular visitors to my home town, in Sheffield. I've made several trips to Manchester behind one. 31414 is in the Intercity livery.
by Dave Hitchborne


Class 31414 - Front end detail

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
One of the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway's mainline locomotives, the former British Rail 31414. Front end detail.
Strangely, looking at the photograph, I've noticed that the buffers of the 31 and the unit don't meet. I wonder if the unit has been stripped out and the lack of weight is making it ride higher.
by Dave Hitchborne


Introduction to a mainline locomotive

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
We, the 'rookie' drivers walking the narrow gauge line, are about to be introduced to a Class 20. The 'experience' now extends to a mainline locomotive.
Richard Buckby will first show us the, less than simple, art of preparing a locomotive for the road. Not just a matter of turning a key.
by Dave Hitchborne


Bogie detail

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Detail of Class 20 D8001. Attached to the bogie is a brake cylinder. Below it, attached to the axle, is the speedometer. The spring is the primary suspension.
by Dave Hitchborne


Class 20s onboard fire extinguisher

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Richard Buckby, Driver/Instructor, indicates the Class 20s fire extinguisher, which is in the engine compartment.
by Dave Hitchborne


Class 20 - Driving instruction

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
Richard Buckby, our Driver/Instructor for the day, sits at the controls of a Class 20 and explains the basics. In this case, the stop button. The locomotive has a single cab and so the controls are duplicated for driving forward, or in reverse. In this position the controls of the locomotive are for travelling bonnet first, which is in reverse.
by Dave Hitchborne


Class 20 - The cab layout

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
A Class 20 cab layout. Class 20s, unlike other diesel or electric mainline locomotives, have only one cab and so the controls are duplicated. For travelling in a forwards direction the controls are situated at the front left of the cab and for travelling in reverse, as here, the controls are at the rear right.
The nearest handle to the seat, at left, is the Locomotive brake valve. The handle forward of this is the Train brake valve. To the right of this is the Two-tone warning horn valve.
Mounted on the cab are two switches, which are - Slow speed control switch gear x2 and to the right of these is the - Fire alarm test button.
The bank of three lights next to the horn valve are, at (top) - Engine stopped warning light (middle) - Wheelslip warning light (bottom) - General fault warning light.
Below the lights, from left to right, are four buttons - Start button, Stop button, Anti-slip brake button and AWS reset button.
The dial which is positioned on its own at top right is the - AWS indicator.
The top three dials, from left to right are - Vacuum gauge, Bogie brake cylinder gauge and Main reservoir pressure gauge.
The dial which sits between the two rows is the - Air brake pipe gauge.
The bottom row of three dials, from left to right, are - Speedometer, Ampmeter and Slow speed speedometer.
The large handle, at bottom left, is the - Power controller (Off/On/¼/½/¾/Full).
The small handle beneath it is the - Master switch (Forward/Engine Only/Reverse/Off)
The locomotive - LinkExternal link
by Dave Hitchborne


Class 20 - Cab interior

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The plan is to take turns in driving this Class 20 to Duffield, shunt some stock and take it to Shotton and then return to Wirksworth.
Richard Buckby, Driver/Instructor, is just checking to see if and when we have the all-clear to proceed.
The 8½ mile journey will involve pushing a brake van all the way there and then towing it back. The purpose being to give others a chance to do the first ever round trip, for many years. The passengers will include my wife and granddaughter.
At the moment we are parked under the Cemetery Lane bridge.
by Dave Hitchborne


Site of the former Hazelwood Station

SK3244 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, near Windley by Dave Hitchborne
Our Driver Instructor, Richard Buckby, says, "This is the remains of Hazelwood station facing south. The Road/Rail Land Rover and yellow trolley are used by the 'Vegetation Clearance Team' or VCT. They are busy pruning trees and hedges on this stretch of line and also upgrading fencing and foot crossings.
They used to be based at Shottle, but because Peak Oil occupy the buildings there and only work Monday - Friday office hours, road access is rather restricted. There is 24 hour road access here.
EVR has a medium term plan to install a siding here."
At Shottle, I was able to change over from riding the Class 20, to riding the brake van and took this photograph on it, as I travelled south to Duffield.
by Dave Hitchborne


Class 20 - On the move

SK3244 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, near Windley by Dave Hitchborne
We are about to pass under Nether Lane road bridge. Unfortunately the brick arch is reflected across the 'drivers' face.
This is the view you get of a Class 20 if you are fortunate enough to get a brake van ride from the front of one. Although I'm on the 'Drive A Diesel Train Experience', I opted to ride on the brake van from Shottle to Duffield. The other three 'drivers' can be seen seated in the cab, along with our Instructor who is standing at the rear.
We have with us, Tom Tait and Richard Preedy - two railway volunteers and they are standing either side of my granddaughter at the front of the brake van and looking after her. Keeping warm inside the van is my wife and she is with the wife of one of the other 'drivers'. We are the first passengers to travel the line, for many years.
by Dave Hitchborne


Brake Van ride

SK3244 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, near Hazelwood by Dave Hitchborne
Brake van ride. At the left is Tom Tait and on the right is Richard Preedy - Railway volunteers. Between them stands my granddaughter who is unaware that I've changed places from the Class 20 to the Brake van - LinkExternal link
I wanted a guards eye-view of the track and the open countryside. We are travelling on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and running almost alongside the River Ecclesbourne, from which the railway gets its name. The railway has been closed to passengers since 1947 and we are the first to travel from Wirksworth to Duffield since then. My granddaughter, because she is at the front, will definitely be the first.
The volunteers called this stretch of track, 'Heartbreak Straight', because they never seemed to get any closer to their target. This was where they did the last of the re-sleepering.
by Dave Hitchborne


Brake Van ride (2)

SK3244 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, near Hazelwood by Dave Hitchborne
We are just about to pass a milepost, though I'm not sure which one. At the end of this straight is a foot crossing, which leads left to Hazelwood. Beyond that is a bend to the right and another milepost, which can just be seen on the high resolution photograph. After the curve, we are but a short ride from Duffield.
Many thanks to Tom Tait and Richard Preedy for looking after my granddaughter, on the brake van ride.
by Dave Hitchborne


Brake Van ride (3)

SK3244 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, near Hazelwood by Dave Hitchborne
The Brake van ride has brought us to a foot crossing, which leads left to Hazelwood.
by Dave Hitchborne


Duffield Tunnel

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
The south end of Duffield tunnel. The two wagons are on a short head-shunt, which runs into the tunnel.
by Dave Hitchborne


Apartments, Duffield

SK3443 : Station Approach, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
Apartments for sale here are £250,000 apiece. They are 1 minute's walk from the Midland Main Line railway station and the preserved line to Wirksworth.
by Dave Hitchborne


Duffield Railway Terminus

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
Here we are at the railway's southern terminus. There is some shunting to be done and some stock to be moved to Shottle and Wirksworth. The line used to be connected to the Midland Main Line, which is behind the garages.
Work is progressing on the building of the platform.
by Dave Hitchborne


Rolling stock

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
Close-up of the stock, some of which needs moving to Shottle and Wirksworth. The leading wagon is on the points of the crossover.
by Dave Hitchborne


Duffield Railway Terminus (2)

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
The Duffield to Wirksworth Railway. The line was opened in 1867. Stations en-route from Duffield were Hazelwood, Shottle, Idridgehay and Wirksworth. According to the Wirksworth Parish Records 1600-1900
"Fares from Derby were: 1st single 2s/8d, 2nd single 2s/0d, 1st return 4s/6d, and 2nd return 3s/6d. In 1890 there were 2 goods trains each weekday and 4 passenger trains. In 1872 1,000 passengers travelled, and in 1884 21,000."
(1s = 5p In those days, 1 shilling was a lot of money.)
Note: The line terminates at both ends.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting in progress (5)

SK3443 : Railway Station, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - The Class 20 has uncoupled from the Brake Van I'm on and has coupled to a train of engineering wagons. There is a bit of shunting to be done, which will take the train out of the station and back in again to re-couple to the Brake Van.
The train will split at Shottle, more wagons will be rearranged and then the locomotive will return to Wirksworth.
by Dave Hitchborne


Komatsu road/rail vehicle

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
A Komatsu road/rail vehicle, the EVR's workhorse.
Richard Preedy checks out the progress on the platform edging.
Note the point levers and point rods.
by Dave Hitchborne


Duffield

SK3443 : Railway Station, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
Looking from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway's preserved railway at Duffield to the Midland Main Line station and footbridge. The main line station has just one island platform and shelter.
by Dave Hitchborne


Midland Main Line

SK3443 : Railway Stations, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
Looking along the fencing, which separates the Midland Main Line from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. For years the two railways were connected, but the link has now been severed, leaving the EVR as a terminus, at both ends.
The tall new building is apartments.
by Dave Hitchborne


LMS pattern Brake Van

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
The Class 20 is shunting some stock. It will shortly return, drop off a wagon at the Brake Van, head back out again, return on the other line and dispatch a couple of vans and then head northwards to the crossover. It will return to the wagon and Brake Van, couple up and then head out for Shottle.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting at Duffield

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
The wagon next to the Brake Van is being dropped off. The train will then head out and return on the nearest track and drop off the two vans. The train will head out again and return to the wagon and Brake Van and then the Class 20 will haul the train to Shottle and do some more shunting there.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting at Duffield (2)

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
Returning the two vans to Duffield.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting at Duffield (3)

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
The vans have been uncoupled and the train has to draw out of the station, reverse and pick up the Brake Van, which is on the adjacent track.
This particular Class 20 still has the marker discs attached to the front and rear of the locomotive. Each disc has a light behind it.
by Dave Hitchborne


The Return Journey

SK3443 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Duffield by Dave Hitchborne
The train is now in the correct formation for the run to Shottle, where more shunting will take place. I took a turn at the controls on the Shottle to Wirksworth leg of the journey.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shottle Sidings

SK3046 : Shottle Station, Cowers Lane by Dave Hitchborne
The former station buildings are over by the bridge, which just be seen behind the Brake Van. We are alongside the EVR's 10 ton steam crane, which won't be involved in the following shunting activities. We just have to move a few wagons around and then make our way back to Wirksworth.
We are running a bit late, but we 'rookie' drivers have agreed that being late is not a problem, far from it.
by Dave Hitchborne


10-ton Steam Crane - Shottle Sidings

SK3046 : 10-ton Steam Crane, Cowers Lane by Dave Hitchborne
The crane is in a siding near the former Shottle Station.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting at Shottle

SK3046 : Shottle Station, Cowers Lane by Dave Hitchborne
We've got three 24-ton Ballast hoppers ('Dogfish') here that need to go into a siding on the far left (which can't be seen). There are two wagons in the siding which need to go to Wirksworth, so we have to detach from the Brake van, draw forward, reverse into the siding and pull out the wagons and then reverse them back to the Brake van. The hoppers will be uncoupled from the other wagons and left in the siding. All that remains then is to couple up to the wagons and Brake van and take them off back to Wirksworth.
The view is from the cab of a Class 20.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shottle Sidings (2)

SK3047 : Shottle Railway Sidings, Cowers Lane by Dave Hitchborne
We've just exchanged two wagons that were in the siding, at left, for three ballast wagons that we brought from Duffield. As soon as Richard Preedy has changed the points we're going to back up to the train and taking it to Wirksworth.
Tom Tait is also waiting down by the train, to guide us there.
by Dave Hitchborne


Shunting at Shottle (2)

SK3046 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Shotton by Dave Hitchborne
Tom Tait is reversing us up to the train of wagons and Brake van.
We are just passing DB993867, which is a ballast plough and goes by the British Railway name of 'Shark'. The plough can be raised or lowered, by the 'ships' wheel, to distribute ballast that has just been dropped on the tracks by a ballast wagon.
by Dave Hitchborne


Railway Volunteers

SK3046 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Shotton by Dave Hitchborne
Tom Tait, here, is second man, guiding us towards a small train of wagons and Brake van. He is one of the dedicated band of volunteers who help to keep this railway alive and often in cold, wet weather.
Many thanks to him, Richard Buckby, Richard Preedy and Martin Miller, for the 'Railway Experience'.
by Dave Hitchborne


Back at Wirksworth

SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Dave Hitchborne
The 'Drive A Diesel Train Experience' is over for the day. Four of us, from Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales, each had several 'hands on' turns at operating these two locomotives during several shunting manoeuvres up and down the Wirksworth to Duffield line. We were also the first passengers for many years to have travelled the full length of the line.
Many thanks, then, to all those who made it possible, especially Richard Buckby, Tom Tait, Richard Preedy and Martin Miller
by Dave Hitchborne


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SK2854 : Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth by Barbara Josephine Hitchborne

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