Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (EVR) June 2012
This weekend saw the second “Diesel Weekend” of the year for the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (EVR). The normal timetable applies of the Wirksworth – Duffield line with departures at 1020, 1220, 1420 & 1620 from Wirksworth, while the Wirksworth – Ravenstor departures are enhanced with departures at 25 & 55 minutes past the hour from 0955 to 1725 (except 1325).
31414 & 33035 were the locos being used both days. On the Saturday 31414 was rostered the 1020 & 1220 Wirksworth – Duffield & return then the 1355 – 1725 Wirksworth – Ravenstor departures, with 33035 doing the 0955 – 1255 Wirksworth – Ravenstor departures then the 1420 & 1620 Wirksworth – Duffield & return trains. The reverse was rostered for the Sunday.
All the above had gone to pot by the time the first round trip to Duffield had been completed on the Saturday, with 33035 being taken out of service with a load regulator fault and replaced on the Ravenstor incline by DMU “Iris”, which worked the Ravenstor incline for the rest of the weekend.
As a result 31414 ended up working both its trips and then T&T’ing with 33035 on the afternoon trips (31414 on the Duffield end), to ensure the 33 had some back-up just in case. There was quite a bit of powering on the rear from ‘414 on both trips. Neither the 33 nor ‘414 were really up to the job on their own, the 31 suffering from some sort of injector/guvnor fault which limited the power it would put out. It also didn’t have any field diverts either, not that it would matter on a 25mph line of course, but it just didn’t sound right.
Not wanting to risk the 33 on its own again on the Sunday the Wirksworth – Duffield trains were Top & Tail again on the Sunday, 31414 on the Wirksworth end and 33035 on the Duffield end. The previous day seemed to have put all the mini Sulzer bashers off and there none about at all, which prompted the question to be asked of the railway as to would they drop the 33 off for the afternoon and run the advertised timetable with 31414 on the afternoon two trips. It wasn’t a wasted question, though the 1420 did run T&T but the 1620 was 31414 on its own and our thanks have to go to the railway for accommodating this request.
All in all a decent weekend, which is more than can be said for the Sulzer men wanting to have made the trip of course. 31414 hasn’t been used much in preservation at all, hopefully these diesel weekends will keep it run in and over time improve the locos performance.