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Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by martinr1, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    Rail Map Online shows a connection and the OS 6" background map shows tracks marked Mineral Line. It seems likely that the connection did exist and was in use for a period.
     
  2. Luke McMahon

    Luke McMahon New Member

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    I'm doubtful they'd extend the ravenstor branch or even contemplate a mainline link for years yet to come. For now IMHO they'll concentrate on:

    (1)More shed space at wirksworth so they can get some stuff undercover as the current running shed is only quite small really.
    (2)Loco fleet - The ex severn tunnel bubble car that was used as a rescue vehicle is being converted into a mobile p-way workshop & there's another steam loco being worked on (tank of some description IIRC).
    (3)Improving track layout etc around wirksworth yard.
    (4)Rolling stock, not sure if there's plans to acquire any more coaches but they've got an observation saloon plus some older non BR stock. The obbo would prove popular & be able to be hired out for private parties etc like other railways do with theirs.

    The network rail connection would be pretty expensive to re-instate & not sure whether it'd really benefit the line that much. Incoming tours could use it but then again wirksworth yard ain't huge, 1 thing that's bit of a bugger is that the signalboxes on the branch were demolished when the line closed, shottle only seems to be used for passing services when there's a special event on otherwise isn't used much. The DMU group are always churning out something new & their fleet is immaculate, the green 3 car 101 is gorgeous!
     
  3. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    Best they keep the mainline connection as part of their long term aims though, if only to lay down a marker.
     
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  4. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    I believe they are planning to put a platform in at the loop at some point and then it will start to be used more. They have an 0-6-0 that they are overhauling that will be able to do the mainline.
     
  5. ChurnetMan

    ChurnetMan New Member

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    1 in 5! Digging around on t'internet it seems to have been a double track self-acting incline, possibly with a common centre rail as used at Caldon Low in Staffordshire. An old Yahoo discussion I found states that there is no evidence for a brake drum but other websites report a "large stone-built plinth surmounted by a concrete floor, on top of which stood a complex framework of heavy-duty timber. In this respect, it more resembled a horse gin than it did an engine house". The Railway Magazine reported "a derelict winding frame, and a pile of corroded cable" in 1934. All agree that it was never used, although, taking all these sources together, it may have been more complete than many believe. Quarry workings in the 1950s and 60s may have trashed some of the evidence.
     
  6. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    One for the WIBN thread then: carry out an archaeological dig at the top of Wirksworth incline. In the past EVR volunteers have reported finding old Midland Rails buried on the incline. I speculate that the incline may have been left intact and unused for some time either "Just in case" or to avoid reporting embarrassing write offs to the shareholders by gradually writing the asset down. Just don't look at me for the digging, I have enough unfinished business with a certain 0-6-0 to occupy me for some time to come. Lack of full signalling referred to above is a problem; fingers crossed that Oddingley Signal box will arrive at Shottle around 0900 tomorrow, but that will be the start of a long campaign.
     
  7. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    Oddingley Level Crossing box arrived safely after various adventures - it had to be craned over the station entrance gateposts - so that is the end of the easy bit. It is in very good condition so the first job will be to conserve it and make sure it stays that way. If anyone has a 10 lever or 15 lever LMS 4 1/2" tappet frame available - or something slightly bigger, then I would be very pleased to hear from them.
     
  8. Luke McMahon

    Luke McMahon New Member

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    Where about's will it be going on the railway?
     
  9. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    At Shottle loop.
     
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  10. 45045

    45045 New Member

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    Will you need any cast iron Midland Railway posts about 500mm high for carrying signalling cables/rods on? If so I know where some are available free to a good home.
     
  11. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    If you mean rodding benches then yes please, we are after all the S & T equipment we can get. Please can you PM me with the details.
     
  12. M59137

    M59137 Member

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    I would have thought the base for it must be a priority, as sadly we've all seen signal box tops in great condition arrive with the best intentions only to rot away in the car park because damp got to them from the ground up.

    I have enjoyed watching the EVR grow, good luck acquiring the funds and S&T equipment to get Shottle signalled.

    Sent from my HTC Desire 620 using Tapatalk
     
  13. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    Absolutely agree with the last post. The box is up on sleepers well clear of the ground and the first job tomorrow will be to get the windows shuttered over. The leg bottoms are absolutely sound and there isn't so much as a cracked window.
     
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  14. ChurnetMan

    ChurnetMan New Member

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    Took a walk up Old Lane on Wednesday, which passes under the Wirksworth Incline above Ravenstor Station. Not far above this point, the line is quarried out. Not far below, it has been partially trashed by the later 3ft-gauge quarry incline that ran on almost the same line.
    wirksworthincline.jpg
     
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  15. nferguso_wyvern

    nferguso_wyvern New Member

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    Thanks for all your comments and suggestions: sleepermonster has done a great deal to describe our plans at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway and I thought a few extra words might be of use.

    First of all, I am very keen to restore the physical connection at Duffield and it is true that the signal provision remains intact. However, at £250k per point end, combined with a facing connection onto a 110mph main line, I acknowledge that it isn't going to happen any time soon. As has been noted, if we had that kind of money I think it is fair to say that we would have several much higher priorities for it. So, never say never but don't hold your breath.

    There isn't any opportunity to extend the line beyond Ravenstor. Right beyond the buffer stop the line rises at 1 in 5 for about 500 metres before it drops off a cliff - literally. Much of the incline leading to the former Cromford & High Peak Railway (now the High Peak Trail) was quarried-away before the Second World War. As an aside, while the maps do show a connection with the C&HP back at the turn of the last century, there is no evidence that traffic was exchanged between the two systems: the absence of a winding house is one give-away. Some of the incline was used by narrow gauge tramways up to the 1950s, but that was all.

    This leaves us at the EVR with a slight conundrum. Our line is complete and we have no Extension to Narnia fantasy: unless you have a few billion to bore the tunnel under Cromford Hill as was envisaged originally. Therefore, our line needs to get wider, not longer and that is what we are doing: we are extending our maintenance facilities, Duffield station now has a new and extremely welcoming booking office and work is starting at Wirksworth to provide more facilities. As sleepermonster states, we have a huge loading dock that dominates the station area and needs to be removed. We'll probably need 617 Squadron to get rid but get rid we shall: once done the prospect of a new building at Wirksworth beckons.

    Finally, with the acquisition of Oddingley signalbox we are starting to address the signalling of the line.

    The EVR is expanding we shall be delighted to welcome you to see our progress!

    Kind regards,

    Neil Ferguson-Lee
    Vice Chairman
     
  16. Luke McMahon

    Luke McMahon New Member

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    Neil - Many thanks for such an in depth reply. Interesting to read what's going on at the EVR.

    In future when there's a loco hauled running day with steam or diesel will the front coach be available for normal passengers rather than diners? Those of us who come specifically for a certain loco (25279 for example) we come for the thrash back up the hill from duffield which isn't possible as the front coach behind the loco is locked oou being prepped for diner services.

    Coaching stock wise are there any future plans for the store stock in wirksworth yard? Appears to be a couple of what look like LMS style coaches plus an observation saloon that could be hired out for private parties etc. Other lines make a decent few quid using this method.

    Where abouts at wirksworth is the loading dock & what will go in it's place? Loco wise I know the steam department are working on a tank of some description.
     
  17. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

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    Future operating patterns are not something I can comment on personally. There are two LMS design coaches in an advanced state of structural repair but which need fitting out inside. The observation saloon will require a lot of work. Also down the list is a 12 wheel LMS sleeping car earmarked for a potential recreation of an LMS dining car.
    The loading dock is slap in the middle of the yard at the end of the platform, a definite blot on the site. Removing it will provide more parking space and more scope for planning a new station building. A big project. Exploratory excavations indicate that the fill behind the dock is uncontaminated material.
    There are two tank locomotives under active repair: Hudswell Clarke 16" 0-6-0t Cathryn, ex-NCB, Bagnall austerity 0-6-0st "The Duke", also ex-NCB. Both are now at the rolling chassis stage, but dependent upon boiler repairs. The boiler from Cathryn is at Israel Newtons at Cromford, the contract for repair of Duke's boiler has been placed with LMS at Loughborough and we are hoping the boiler will go away this month.
     
  18. mikechant

    mikechant New Member

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    Neil, thanks for the very informative post. I was always curious why the Ravenstor branch stopped exactly where it does (having looked at the maps, ridden up and down it, but not walked further up) - now I know.
    Also interested to hear that a mainline connection is not ruled out eventually.
    I'm very impressed with the new Duffield booking office, It'll be good to see some signalling add extra interest to the line and I look forward to visiting again soon.
     
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  19. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    I know Duffield well. Perhaps your connection would be a little easier if NR found it necessary to relay the former down slow as a loop.
     
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  20. nferguso_wyvern

    nferguso_wyvern New Member

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    Thanks Luke, Mike and John for your replies.

    Regarding coaching stock, I'll have a word with a colleague but I'm sure that if you were in desperate need to some intimate thrash experience (that sounds all wrong, I know), then I'm sure we could accommodate you. The nub of the problem is that we are still pretty tight for coaching stock although that will improve over the next couple of years. In the meantime, we have to double-up on stock with some being used both for dining and general services - never a great mix. At present, running two trains means using a DMU as hauled stock that is - in my opinion - an invention of the devil and should be hunted-down and killed.

    Thanks for your kind comments on the building at Duffield: we really are very pleased with it and it rather does set the template for the future. The former signalbox at Oddingley is our next project and I hope to have some firm news as to its next move before very long.

    Finally, the potential junction could come in many forms, this complicated slightly by there being a number options for the realignment of the main line through Duffield. Don't ask me what will happen because I don't think that even Network Rail really knows at the moment! Personally, a siding connection long enough to take a decent-sized rake of coaches would make me very happy but for the moment, any talk of a physical connection remains a dream. Never forget however that for foot passengers, it takes just one minute to change from EMT's service to an EVR train and you can even do it on the same ticket!

    More news when I have some!

    Kind regards,

    Neil
     

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