Tag Archives: Bluebell Railway

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway – Wirksworth to provide first railcar for the Bluebell Railway




Wirksworth, 30 December 2013: The Bluebell Railway has hired a two-car Diesel Railcar from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Wirksworth, Derbyshire. The set will operate some winter weekend services on the Bluebell Railway between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes whilst maintenance works take place on the line between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park.

The arrival of these railcars will represent a first for the Bluebell railway as they will be the first ever to visit the line: Passenger services were withdrawn in 1958 and diesel railcars seldom ventured into Sussex.

The two carriages have been refurbished maintained and repainted by volunteers from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway DMU Group.Over the past decade, this group of youthful volunteers has created a facility at Wirksworth dedicated to the restoration and operation of Diesel Railcars (also known as Multiple Units) ranging from the 1956-vintage railcar ‘Iris’ to a Cross-Country railcar restored in 2013 to concours standard from a bare body.

Mike Evans, head of motive power for the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway said “It is great that the hard work of our youthful DMU Group can be appreciated not only at home, but also on other important preserved railways such as the Bluebell.”

Passengers will be able to enjoy the Sussex scenery through the driver’s cab for the first time during January and February.1505_lo

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 63

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 63

RPS Newsletters No. 5 & 6, Nov 1973 – Feb 1974.

Again two for the price of one!Mercian Dec 1970

From No.5


Work has been progressing steadily in this direction; our recently purchased lathe and shaping machine have now been installed in our small workshop at the top end of the compound.  This project is in the capable hands of our Chairman and General Manager Derek Luker, plus the small band of usual hardworking engineering department staff.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

All worn and damaged panels have now been replaced, the panels primed and top coated in apple green paint to keep the vehicle watertight and dry.  This project has been carried out by Andrew Louch.  We must all agree, a job well done!  I understand that Andrew hopes to refit the compartments as and when weather and time permits.

MS & LR Carriage, Neilson, Asbestos

All progressing slowly, the work being done mainly by: John Elsley, Albert Haywood and Nigel Hadlow – not to mention Keith Sergeant on the Neilson.

Another Model & Railway Exhibition is planned for 1974, probably in the autumn.

From Mercian Dec 1970

From No.6

Attendance at Chasewater

I am pleased to report that the member participation at Chasewater during the first month of the year has been good, let us hope the numbers continue to grow.

We are planning a ‘Big Tidy up Operation’ within the compound, in preparation for the coming season; we are making a special appeal to all members for help in this drive!  We certainly must make the effort to get away from the ‘Scrap Yard’ image which prevails at present.  This of course is due to attempting to get the proverbial ‘Quart into a Pint Pot’, plus general lack of thought by members in not creating a tidy atmosphere.

New Workshop

Excellent progress has been made; we now have a lathe, shaper and pillar drill installed and in working order!!  This has been the result of the excellent team-work of Derek Luker (Chairman and General Manager), Laurence Hodgkinson (Treasurer) and Brian Hames (Committee Member).  This is positive proof of what can be achieved in a few hours each weekend by a team who know what they are doing.

Diesel loco No.20

This locomotive is now fully operational, thanks again to team-work, led by Albert Haywood and including Nigel Canning, A Pearson and S. Foster.  A really first-class effort!!

Rolling Stock

Work is still continuing on the MS&LR and the M & CR carriages.  Barry Bull (Secretary) informs me that overtures have been made from the Stockton & Darlington Centenary committee for a loan of these vehicles, together with the Neilson 0-4-0ST locomotive for the Special Stockton & Darlington National Exhibition in 1975.
From Mercian Jan 1971
Compiled by Dave Ives and printed and published by Laurence Hodgkinson.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 44 Aug. 1968

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 44 Aug. 1968

Latest Arrivals at Chasewater

People living in the houses adjacent to the line have by now become used to seeing various types of low-loaders arriving with miscellaneous items of rolling stock, in fact on one memorable day two vehicles arrived at the same time.  One often wonders what the thoughts of these people are as more and more large relics appear at Chasewater.

Several items have arrived over the last two months.  The first and in many ways the most important was the Midland Railway crane from Hednesford.  Without this, our track laying project could not have been fulfilled and over the last eight weeks it has more than made up for its three years of inactivity at Hednesford.  Apart from being a valuable historic item, it is a most useful piece of equipment.

The Whitsuntide holiday saw the arrival of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway 6-wheel full brake from the Derwent Valley Light Railway at York.

Pic: http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk

SECR Brake No.1601

This six-wheeled van, built in 1905, is unusual in that it has both a “birdcage” lookout on the roof and side duckets for the guard. In addition to accommodation for the guard, the rest of the space was used for luggage. On withdrawal it was transferred for service use as an ARP Cleansing Van, based at Bricklayers Arms Locomotive Depot in London.

With no further use for it after the war, in 1947 it was sold to the independent Derwent Valley Light Railway in Yorkshire. On its second withdrawal from service it was bought by the Southern Locomotive Preservation Co., who moved it, with the rest of their stock, to the Bluebell in late 1971 and early 1972.

The van’s eventual restoration will require, as its first stage, the complete reconstruction of its wooden/flitch-plated underframe.

It was at Chasewater for five years before being transferred to the Bluebell Railway.  It had to be left outside for the haulage company to make an early start, and in those few hours every window was smashed. ( I know there aren’t many but…..)

This was most eventful since it arrived a day early.  The usual entrance was locked and the haulage contractors came through the main entrance.  This involved a considerable amount of shunting on their part and eventually necessitated the complete removal of the main gates.  After becoming entangled with overhead power cables the vehicle was finally unloaded without a hitch!  The carriage is in the nature of a joint venture between the Society and our good friends the Southern Locomotive Preservation Company, the latter having purchased the coach while the RPS provided the bulk of the money needed for transportation.

The next arrival, on June 15th, was the Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST ‘Asbestos’ from Turners Asbestos Cement, Trafford Park, Manchester.  In contrast to the previous item, this arrived about five hours late and completely disrupted work for the day.  However, the sight of this immaculately maintained locomotive more than made up for any inconvenience.Pic: DM Bathurst

This was followed one week later by our most distant acquisition, the Neilson 0-4-0ST from Glasgow, vandalised the day before collection, as posted elsewhere.

Before the next influx of new items, more track will have to be laid into the compound. As soon as this is done, the peace of the neighbourhood will once again be shattered by the noise of heavy haulage vehicles.

Frank Harvey