Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway 21st & 22nd March 2015

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway advertised a diesel weekend over this weekend and in early January I’d been told by the staff at the EVR that 31414 wouldn’t be working over the weekend at all and they’d been hoping to get a visiting loco in instead. As it turned out nothing came to fruition and 31414 was rostered for the first three round trips to Duffield and the DMU would do the last trip of the day on both days; with steam working on the Ravenstor incline.

31414 was smoking the sidings out at Wirksworth when I arrived on the Saturday morning, which is always a good sign, however that was all it managed to do all morning as it wouldn’t take power at all. When I noticed the DMU’s being started up in the sidings I had a feeling something was wrong and when I asked one of the EVR staff what was wrong all he’d tell me was “you’ll see shortly”! Ultimately 31414 plus its DMU car set was pushed into the platform by the EVR’s industrial diesel, which was supposed to be doing driver experience runs in the station limits. The first train of the day, the 1020 Wirksworth – Duffield, only departed a few minutes late and the crew were left trying to find out what the issue was with 31414; which they’d narrowed down to an AVR fault.

Having tried their best over the next hour to resolve the AVR issues 31414 was declared a failure and shunted back to the shed for the day and at that point it was looking very doubtful whether it would be in traffic for the following day as the loco’s owner was considering ordering a part for the AVR, which wouldn’t get delivered until Monday morning during office hours! With my morning in Derbyshire coming to nothing other than a trip for breakfast I considered driving across to Northamptonshire to the Rushden Transport Museum, where 31206 & 31289 were working at the Museum’s diesel gala; or should have been. 31289 hadn’t managed to make it to the party that morning and ultimately didn’t until after 1600 that afternoon and with 31206 not being very well at all I just gave up on the day and went home…….

Some good news was posted on the EVR’s website late on Saturday night to confirm that 31414 had been repaired so I returned on Sunday morning to find it running again in the sidings and when it moved under its own power it was a relief. The irony of the day turned out to be that as 31414 hadn’t managed to get itself out of bed the previous day, it was allocated all four round trips that day and I couldn’t do them as I needed to be at the Nene Valley Railway later that afternoon to see 31271 away to the Mid Norfolk.

31414 managed two round trips without issue before I departed and it turned out that it had been nothing more than a bit of rust that had clogged up a contact wire and prevented current getting into the AVR that had stopped play the previous day. Something that was rectified with a simple paintbrush……

On Sunday 22nd March 2015 31414 worked the following:

1015 Wirksworth – Duffield, 1115 Duffield – Wirksworth, 1215 Wirksworth – Duffield, 1315 Duffield – Wirksworth, 1415 Wirksworth – Duffield, 1515 Duffield – Wirksworth, 1615 Wirksworth – Duffield, 1715 Duffield – Wirksworth

Photos from the Weekend are below:

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