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Engine no. 7597 – The John Hilton Peak Rail Archives – Video 4/16

Footage background: We have kindly been donated some photos and video footage by Mr John Hilton. In total there was 46 minutes of footage. So we’ve edited the footage into 15 films, which we are going to release over the coming weeks.

When we have released all 15 excerpts we will publish the final unedited video as produced and supplied by John.

We’d love to receive more old footage and/or photos of days and events gone by at Peak Rail that we can then share by adding it to our YouTube Channel. This we hope will help to preserve history and help us all remember days gone by.

If you think you have any footage or photos you’d like to share then please get in contact via our website at https://www.peakrail.co.uk and we will get back to you.

Engine no. 92203 The Black Prince – The John Hilton Peak Rail Archives – Video – 3/16

Footage background: We have kindly been donated some photos and video footage by Mr John Hilton. In total there was 46 minutes of footage. So we’ve edited the footage into 15 films, which we are going to release over the coming weeks.

When we have released all 15 excerpts we will publish the final unedited video as produced and supplied by John.

We’d love to receive more old footage and/or photos of days and events gone by at Peak Rail that we can then share by adding it to our YouTube Channel. This we hope will help to preserve history and help us all remember days gone by.

Engine no. 68006 – The John Hilton Peak Rail Archives – Video 2/16

OK, so the footage here is fairly low resolution, but we didn’t want to miss anything out and preserve John’s footage in all it’s glory. If nothing else it reflects just how far digital video production has come in a relatively short time.

Background to this footage: We have kindly been donated some photos and video footage by Mr John Hilton. In total there was 46 minutes of footage. So we’ve edited the footage into 15 films, which we are going to release over the coming weeks.

When we have released all 15 excerpts we will publish the final unedited video as produced and supplied by John.

We’d love to receive more old footage and/or photos of days and events gone by at Peak Rail that we can then share by adding it to our YouTube Channel. This we hope will help to preserve history and help us all remember days gone by.

Early days at Peak Rail – The John Hilton Peak Rail Archives – 1/16

A short photographic montage of the early days at Peak Rail.

Background to photos: We have kindly been donated some photos and video footage by Mr John Hilton. In total there was 46 minutes of footage. So we’ve edited the footage into 15 films, which we are going to release over the coming weeks.

When we have released all 15 excerpts we will publish the final unedited video as produced and supplied by John.

We’d love to receive more old footage and/or photos of days and events gone by at Peak Rail that we can then share by adding it to our YouTube Channel. This we hope will help to preserve history and help us all remember days gone by.

Mixed Traffic Gala Peak Rail 2019

Footage from the Peak Rail Mixed Traffic Gala, 11th August 2019

We’re on the lookout for any old footage or photos we can add to our YouTube video channel and we’ll also publish here on our website.

Contact us if you’ve got anything hidden in the attic you can share with us and would like to preserve.

Peak Railway Association Update 24/08/20

In my message of 12/05/20 I mentioned that Pete Waller, the Membership Secretary, would be sending out renewal letters for members whose membership expired between March and May. The response was excellent and at the end of June a total of £3672 had been banked with £751 of this being donations. In early July the renewals for June to August were posted and so far £1653 has been banked with £269 being donations. There are more renewals currently being processed. The response to membership renewals has been tremendous. The Directors would like to thank all who have renewed and especially those members who have been so generous with their donations. The current thinking is to put these and future donations into a ring fenced fund. This will finance an as yet to be specified project on Peak Rail. In future membership renewals and reminders will be posted out every two or three months rather than waiting for inclusion with Peak Express mailing.

Friday 14th August saw the first PRA Board meeting since the end of February. It was decided to use Darley Dale Station Museum as this would allow sufficient space for Social Distancing. Gordon Caro, who has done so much to develop Buxton Branch and restart activity on Buxton site, was unanimously co-opted onto the Board. Pete Waller indicated that an edition of Peak Express would be published in the Autumn. Articles being developed, hopefully for inclusion, include one on the line to Stancliffe Quarry and another on the construction of the second Millers Dale viaduct. The content of the magazine will be quite changed as PRA Branch activities like those of the Railway have been suspended since the start of Lockdown. A key function of the magazine, to bring current news about the PRA and the Railway, is therefore difficult to achieve. Approval was given by the Board to fund the development of a PRA website. If any member reading this has the experience to build a website then please get in touch. A draft of what the content of a website might look like was distributed by me for the other Directors to comment on. It is now ready for the next stage. The PRA Directors were informed that the Plc Board would be launching an Appeal in a few weeks. As I’ve mentioned previously the PRA Board is of the opinion that members should support this crucial appeal for funds. All members will receive a copy of the Appeal letter. Sadly four volunteers have died since March and the Directors started to discuss the most appropriate way of remembering them on the railway. No decision was taken and further discussion will take place whilst also acknowledging the wishes of their family.

Over the past few days the PRA Directors have agreed to fund the purchase of 40 new softwood sleepers for the P-Way Dept.

Since late May volunteers have been involved in essential preparations required in advance of any reopening of Peak Rail. This has involved a team from the Commercial Dept at Rowsley cleaning the station environment, attending to Flower Beds and giving a face lift to Aunty Wainwright shop. Others have worked on making the Portacabins waterproof and secure as these are now being used as a storage facility. At Darley Dale station similar work has been undertaken by a team led by David Lathrope. At Darley Dale the PRA has agreed to fund repairs to the station fencing. Also there is the ongoing work of the P-Way Dept team.

Roger Hallatt

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

Permanent Way Update 19/06/20

Having completed a full inspection of the line over the last few weeks my notes indicate a significant amount of work required. Near Bridge 35 a damaged fence is evidence of trespass onto the track. At Statham’s Crossing both gates have been damaged. One replacement will come from the pair removed when the Arc Crossing was upgraded for the Multi User Trail. The other gate is 4ft wider and a replacement will be ordered from a farm supplier. The farmer concerned has been informed that once replaced these gates must be locked at all times except when access is required. At the footpath crossing just south of Rowsley site a wooden gate has been badly damaged and must be repaired or replaced. On Point 8B, part of Rowsley South Crossover, a casting under the Crossing Nose has a fracture in it. Luckily a replacement exists on the Crossing Nose taken out of Point 5, Darley Dale South Yard, when it was renewed in November 2017. This will be disassembled to release the required casting. In the meantime the fractured casting will be monitored. All these jobs need to take place before the WTT resumes.

Over the last week work has continued to address the growth of vegetation. Stuart has spent time clearing the flourishing vegetation from Darley Dale Level Crossing to well beyond the footpath crossing in Red House Cutting. This has included attention to the sight lines for the footpath crossing required by loco crews for safety reasons. Stuart has also spent time working around Church Lane.

At Rowsley South the points on the running line, loop, loading dock and engine shed roads have been cleaned and greased by Phil and Jonah. John has completed the cutting to size of reclaimed concrete slabs to fit as covers for the drain in Red House Cutting. These are now stored on the Works Train awaiting its next foray down the line. Once the slabs have been dropped off and fitted the remaining branches cut down before Lockdown in Red House Cutting will be collected for disposal at Rowsley. Over recent weeks John and Phil have been tidying up Red House Cutting in preparation for this removal.

Ian and I have started to gauge the main running line, at the same time monitoring cross levels. We have also taken the opportunity to clean and tidy up the Mess/Tool Coach.

Before Lockdown the Mess/Tool Coach had been completely re-wired with the help of Ian and funded by the Peak Railway Association. I mentioned in a Peak Express P-Way report that the two existing Works Train generators needed replacing for Health and Safety reasons. Thanks to a generous donation by Richard Newman, a new volunteer to the Steam Loco Dept, the Works Train now has an almost new 10 Kva generator. This was installed under the Tool/Mess Coach early this year. With new 110v extension leads the generator saw its first sustained use for power tools used in packing joints. This took place over two Sundays in late January/early February when lifting and packing of dip joints took place between the Arc Crossing and Bridge 38. With a good turnout of volunteers, sixteen joints were improved. More would have been achieved had Storm Ciara not intervened on the third Sunday. Also due to poor weather in February and early March plus the CV-19 Lockdown proposed midweek working on this task has had to be postponed. However the generator has proved its worth along with the new protective items like Ear protectors and anti-vibration gloves for volunteers using power tools such as the Kango. The use of power tools to vibrate ballast under the sleepers either side of joints is much more efficient than hand shovel packing.

Roger Hallatt.

Permanent Way News: Re-Opening the Department

On Thursday 28th May the P-Way Dept re-opened for the first time since Lockdown had been introduced and Peak Rail operations suspended. The return could only take place after careful consideration of the risks involved and how these could be managed. The starting point of the process was the ORR publication of their Inspection Guidance on Heritage Railway Recovery Plan in Response to Covid-19. I decided to formulate a Re-Opening Plan for the P-Way Dept based on the ORR document. It seemed that the two key factors to consider were guidelines regarding Covid-19 for volunteers and that there had been no P-Way activity for two months. The first part of the Plan looked at mitigating probable risks to Volunteers returning to P-Way duties from Covid-19. The draft plan was then emailed to the regular members of the P-Way team for their consideration. All were happy with the proposed procedures and the Plan was forwarded to the Office at Matlock. With approval of the Plan from the Office I phoned all the team to gather their opinion on when to re-open.

No sooner had we all met up the normal banter began. Yet not everything would be normal starting with us all meeting up outside the Mess Coach and observing Social Distancing. With the insults to each other out of the way it was down to business with a Health and Safety review. This involved not just Personal Track Safety but also issues around Covid-19. Everyone was reminded to keep to the piece of equipment they were using for the day and to keep using the hand sanitizer gel. Thanks to my daughter I had acquired two 300ml pump action bottles of hand sanitizer and several 50ml. All were 65% alcohol based. She had also provided face masks. The Office had provided disposable gloves and anti bacterial hand-wash. So the main point of the briefing was to remember personal hygiene and keep to the Social Distancing. It is worth pointing out that a key element of mitigation against Covid-19 for the team is working outdoors. After further insults, mostly hurled in my direction, it was down to work. Phil set about burning the branches brought back to Rowsley from vegetation removed in Red House Cutting in late February. Stuart set off to strim the Savannah Grassland that had developed on the track formation at Church Lane. (see photos) John started to cut concrete slabs to a size to fit as drain covers in Red House Cutting.

Ian and I set off for a Track Inspection from Bridge 37 to 35 and return. This also involved a visual inspection of bridges and the embankment. It has to be remembered that the embankment here had been under water due to flooding and more recently subjected to drought conditions so requires on-going monitoring as does the track formation on top.

That evening I contacted the team by email with several questions to obtain their view of the day. All thought the day went well, were happy with the procedures put in place and most importantly felt safe.

The following Thursday saw the team in action again. Phil continued his bonfire activities whilst Stuart went for a strim. John spent his time in Red House Cutting tidying up the vegetation cut down in late February/early March. This material will be collected when the Works Train eventually makes its way down the line. Ian and I walked from Rowsley to Church Lane on a Track Inspection and on the return began track gauging.

Last Sunday I walked from Darley Dale to Bridge 37 and return then to Church Lane and back. With this the whole line has now been inspected. Quite a few notes were made of the maintenance required over the coming weeks. At the same time the whole line will need to be gauged as per the requirement of the SMS. By the end of the month I hope to be fishplate greasing from Bridge 36 to 38.

 

Roger Hallatt

09/06/20

Palatine Restaurant Car Operating Dates

The Palatine Restaurant Car ONLY operates on the coloured dates (as shown)

Steam Experience Operating Calendar

VIEW TRAIN TIMETABLE

OPERATING TIMETABLE: FEB-MAR 2021 and OCT-NOV 2021    
Rowsley South (Depart)1100121413281442
Darley Dale (Arrive)1105121913331447
Darley Dale (Depart)1107122113351449
Matlock Platform 2 (Arrive)1122123613501504
Matlock Platform 2 (Depart)1132124614001514
Darley Dale (Arrive)1147130114151529
Darley Dale (Depart)1149130314171531
Rowsley South (Arrive)1154130814221536
OPERATING TIMETABLE: APR- SEP 2021 and APR 2022     
Rowsley South (Depart)11001214132814421556
Darley Dale (Arrive)11051219133314471601
Darley Dale (Depart)11071221133514491603
Matlock Platform 2 (Arrive)11221236135015041618
Matlock Platform 2 (Depart)11321246140015141628
Darley Dale (Arrive)11471301141515291643
Darley Dale (Depart)11491303141715311645
Rowsley South (Arrive)11541308142215361651

VIEW FULL CALENDAR

Peak Rail Operating Calendar

In attempt to help contain the Coronavirus outbreak Peak Rail have suspended all services until further notice.

Please note Peak Rail is only open on the event dates shown.  If a date is blank then Peak Rail is closed and there will be no trains on that day.