Archives: July 2020

Permanent Way News: UPDATE 26/07/20

Last Wednesday the P-Way team were able to take the Works Train down the line. After a brief shunt at Rowsley the work completed included;

  • Dropping off concrete drain covers, cut from old paving slabs, in Red House Cutting.
  • Picking up the remaining branches, cut down early this year, from Red House Cutting.
  • Removing the damaged farm gates from Statham Crossing.
  • Removing a wooden gate from the now closed footpath, replaced by the Arc Crossing.
  • Dropping off crossing timbers near Point 3 at Matlock Riverside.

The makeshift drain covers will fill the 15m gap on the drainage channel in RHC. At the same time further vegetation control will be needed. One of the gates will hopefully be repaired in the workshop at Rowsley. At 16ft in length the local supplier is out of stock and likely to be for some time. The other will be replaced using one of the 12ft pair removed when the Arc Crossing was upgraded for the Multi User Trail. The wooden gate will replace a rotten one at the footpath crossing near Rowsley Distant Signal. All the gates will need to in place before the WTT is resumed. Work on replacing crossing timbers under Point 3 will begin next week.

Over the past few weeks a variety of tasks have been undertaken.

  • Further vegetation control from Darley Dale to Red House Cutting.
  • Burning of smaller branches in Red House Cutting.
  • Greasing of all Points at Rowsley.
  • Weeding the Turntable pit.
  • Changing a crossing timber under Point 4 at Matlock Riverside.
  • Gauging the line between Darley Dale and Rowsley South.
  • Gauging Points at Rowsley South
  • Dismantling the ex Darley Dale South Yard B8 Crossing Nose. As expected a number of nuts needed grinding off whilst a couple shifted under brute force. The 8B casting released by these efforts looks in good condition and will be a replacement for the one that has fractured in Point 8B, part of the Rowsley South Crossover. Even if some of the nuts and bolts hadn’t been ground off they proved to be badly worn or bent for further use. Knowing that the part dismantling of Point 8B, to put in the replacement casting, may pose a similar problem, time has been spent searching the stores in the GUV for replacements. The search was partially fruitful meaning enquiries elsewhere will be necessary.

Other work planned for the near future includes;

  • Gauging of the line from Darley Dale to Matlock Riverside.
  • Gauging all the Points between Darley Dale and Matlock Riverside.
  • Replacement of a gate post at Dick Smith’s Crossing.
  • A check of all lineside signage before restart of the WTT.


Roger Hallatt.

Buxton site re-opens for work

Following a health and safety assessment with regard to Covid-19 the Buxton Site reopened for volunteer work on 2nd June. With no enclosed spaces at Buxton our working procedures are mainly related to safe distancing. All volunteers who go on to the site are given a copy of the new procedures before the start of each day.

As you may be aware the access to the site is through the McCarthy & Stone development. At present they have not restarted their development. We have a set of keys for the main gates and this allows us to park safely when on site.

Before the close down McCarthy & Stone removed a stretch of galvanised security fencing about 60 metres long. Not wanting to see an opportunity go to waste I asked if Peak Rail could have the fencing and was pleased when they agreed. With the help of volunteers, the fencing has been removed to a member’s fabrication business where we can refurbish it before we install it on our southern boundary.

For the last 5 weeks Graham Wood, Phil Capp and myself have been on site repairing the wire chain link fence to our northern boundary. The section near to the bridge was damaged in several places over the years with people trying to gain access to our site. This has now been repaired and topped off with 3 strands of barbed wire.

The neighbours land to our northern boundary had been used for a temporary store for spoil. Some of this had damaged sections of our fencing but now most of it has been repaired and a few more weeks will see this work completed.

When we first went back on site in January there was evidence that some people had been living there in a tent. Our clearance of the site before lock down seemed to have stopped casual visitors however when we restarted, I noticed the space under the platform for the water tower valves had been used. The steel door to this had long gone. The workshop at Rowsley is currently making a new door which we hope to fit soon.

Inevitable at this time of year things start to grow and with the recent rain it is now becoming quite noticeable how the weeds are coming back. Hopefully we can start on this soon so that it doesn’t get out of hand.

Our next major activity on site will be the erection of the security fencing to the southern boundary. As I mentioned earlier this is galvanised steel fencing. This will involve levelling some ballast at the top of the embankment and digging the post holes. If you have some time available to help out please let me know.

Gordon Caro