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The Golden Valley Light railway

A 2ft (610mm) Narrow Gauge Railway in Derbyshire

2015 and 2016 News

Dec 2016
Carriage 118 arrives
Image:- carriage 118 being hauled across areana
Carriage 118, the second Ffestiniog carriage purchased by the GVLR, has now arrived at Butterley. After being safely unloaded, it was hauled across the site and is now undercover, in the Running shed. On the following Saturday, it was taken outside and washed.

Carriage 118, will remain in storage, whilst work continues on Carriage 119, to put it into service.

Oct 2016
Further Progress on Projects.

Earlier in the year the wheelsets in the East end bogie, of Ashover Coach No.4 were replaced. Since then Dave has machined the last two axles and four wheel castings. After the wheels had been shrunk on to the axles, final tread profiling took place. Ashover Coach No.4 was moved over the pit and the West end bogie removed so the wheelsets could be changed. White metaling of 4 bearings was also undertaken.

Both dragboxes on Ffestiniog carriage 119, have now been fully fitted, in their new lowered position. Thoughts have now turned to the swan neck link bar, that will fit between the dragbox and the Allen coupler, that will be used to couple the carriage to other vehicles.

Manrider No.5 was moved into the Running Shed and placed over the pit so it's worn brake blocks could be changed for new ones.

On a less glamourous subject, the Wednesday gang, have spent six Wednesday mornings digging out decades of silt, from inside the Victorian culvert, that runs under the railway embankment in the Country Park. The platform at Newlands Inn Station has been extended Westwards by 7 metres and the release point will likewise also be moved.

Changing brake block on manridder No.5
Brakeblock change
Manridder No.5
Manridder No.5
Wheelset waiting to go under ALR 4
Wheelset waiting to go under ALR 4
Jeff scraping a whitemetal bearing for ALR 4
Jeff scraping a whitemetal bearing for ALR 4

Sept 2017
Rare 1962 video of O&K 7529

Whilst looking at U-Tube, GVLR volunteer Andy Kemplen, came across a U-Tube video of O&K 7529 working in France in 1962

Image:- Chassis of O&K 7529 partly restored
Ongoing restoration of chassis

August 2016
Summer progress in the Running Shed

There has been the usual Summer slowdown in activity in the Running Shed, due to increased passenger train running, during the school holidays. Dave has machined the remaining two axles and two wheels have been fitted to one of the axels, with the other to mated with it's wheels shortly.

The dragboxes on Carriage 119, as fitted are to high for our use, so two plates have been fabricated, so the dragboxes, can be lowered 12ins. Steve has progressed more work on the braking system, with the handbrake assembly, the latest item to receive attention.

For the last 3 years the chassis of O&K 7529 has been sitting upside down so it could be worked on. In the last week it has been turned the correct way up and work has commenced on fitting it's wheels. It has received a large amount of scrapping and wire brushing before being painted in red primer, so is stating to look in better health.

image:- Driving Wheels fitted to O&K 7529
Driving Wheels fitted to O&K 7529
Image:- Handbrake mechanism of carriage 119
Handbrake mechanism of carriage 119
Image:- Lowered dragbox assembly of carriage 119
Lowered dragbox assembly

June 2016
Carriage 119 - Refurbishment Continues

Over the first half of 2016, work to bring the carriage into service has continued. After the arrival of the bogies from South Africa, they were checked over and one brake block that had been damaged in transit, was repaired. As the bogies will not have to carry the weight of a 40 tons waggon, two of the six springs, on either side of the bogies, were removed.

The plates that are fitted to the coach and sit on top of the bogies, where then designed, machined and fabricated, in house. In early June, the bogies the carriage was sitting on were swapped for the two South African ones, that it will run in service on.

A large proportion of the air brake equipment, has been designed and installed, the pull rods to the new bogies being the next job, now they are in place. The trainpipe and associated pipework, is also in situ.

The old dragboxes have been removed and refurbished. These can not be reinstalled on the carriage, until the height of the carriage above rail level has been assessed, so that the couplings, which will be attached, will end up at the correct height

Image:- Brake linkage under carriage 119
Image:- South African Bogies installed under ex FR Carraige 119
Installed SA Bogie

Image:- Plate sitting on top of bogie
Fabricated plate sitting on top of bogie

Image:- Photo of underneath of carriage, sitting on a bogie
Underneath Carriage 119

May 2016
GVLR 30th Narrow Gauge Weekend

The weekend planned for 9th/10th July will be just a little bit different from our past Weekend Events. There will not be a steam locomotive in service, nor will there be any freight trains.

Instead, at 30 minute intervals (commencing at 11:00 am), there will be a celebration of Simplex diesel engined locomotives produced by the Motor Rail and Tramcar Company and Simplex Mechanical Handling. Five loco's are in full working order and providing passenger services over the weekend. As it is intended to work these locomotives both singularly and in various combinations, a Day Rover ticket will be available (priced £5) so that passengers wishing to sample all modes may do so.

Three other Motor Rail Simplex locomotives (non-runners) in the GVLR collection will be displayed as static exhibits in the vicinity of the Running Shed. All locomotives are subject to availability on the day.

Image:- T Class at Leighton Buzzard Railway
Simplex "T" Class 101T020,
ready to depart Pages Park Station

April 2016
2nd Point, Moved and Relaid, for New carriage Shed

After the relaying of a point in the long siding in March, a second one was lifted in Brands North and moved 20yards west before being re-laid and joined to the left hand road of the first point. The two exit roads of the second point will provide access to roads 2 and 3 of the proposed new Carriage Shed, the construction of which is scheduled to start later this year.

Image:- Trackwork in Brands North
Image:- Pointwork in Brands North
Pointwork, providing access
to roads 2 and 3 of New Carriage Shed

April 2016
Rare passenger outing for "Tubby"

The GVLR ran midweek trains during the Easter school holidays and on Friday 1st April, the train crew decided to use 20/28 Simplex 4w DM MR8667/41 "Tubby" as the day's passenger loco. "Tubby" is an air-braked loco and therefore available to train crews. It is only suitable for use on quieter days as it can only comfortably haul 2 manriders.

The reason it is not used on a regular basis is probably to do with the fact that it doesn’t have a battery pack and an electric starter motor! So a strong person with a starting handle is required!

Image:- Passenger train stationary, in Country park
Image:-"Tubby" on passenger train
"Tubby" during running round
at Newlands Inn
Image:- "Tubby" at Newlands Inn Station
"Tubby" in Country Park
Running round passenger train

March 2016
New Point for Carriage Shed

As part of on going development work, in preparation for the building of the New Carriage Shed, a point recovered a few weeks ago, during site clearance, has been relaid in the long siding, next to the GVLR running line. The left-hand route of the new point, will lead to a second point, whose routes, will give access, to roads two and three of the New Running Shed.

Cutting rail, with disc cutter
Cutting rail, with disc cutter
Two South African bogies on the pit
New Point
New Point
New point

Jan 2016
South African Bogies arrive

With the recent purchase of two steel-bodied carriages from the Ffestiniog Railway, the GVLR had an urgent requirement for bogies to sit them on. A member of the GVLR had purchased two bogies from Poland in the early 1990's, which had sat out in the open, since then. These were moved into the Running Shed, stripped down and rebuilt.

South African Bogie
South African Bogie
Two South African bogies on the pit
Two South African bogies on the pit

This still left the GVLR, short of bogies, so the decision was made along with other railways to purchase a number of bogies from South Africa, four of which were for the GVLR. These were shipped from from Durban, by ship to the UK and arrived at Appedale in late December 2015. Early January saw, two cars with trailers dispatched to Apedale, to collect two of the bogies. The other two will go direct to the Ffestiniog Railway, to go under Carriage 118, when it is released from traffic.

Bogie being craned on to trailer
Bogie being craned on to trailer

Jan 2016
Carriage Shed Appeal

The GVLR has recently agreed to purchase two more carriages. Adding these to its existing fleet of rolling stock has meant that the railway has run out of suitable undercover storage space. It already has to store the historic Ashover coach, one of the new carriage acquisitions, and the manriders in the existing Running Shed as there is no other undercover storage accommodation available. Even this arrangement is far from ideal as repairs to rolling stock and refurbishment projects are carried out in the immediate vicinity of these valuable assets. Other smaller items of rolling stock are stored in rail connected former shipping containers which are nearing or past the end of their useful life.

The GVLR has decided to build a new 3 road Carriage Shed, 36 metres long and 8 metres wide, to house all the passenger carriages and some of the smaller diesel locomotives (whether restored or awaiting restoration). As well as removing the vehicles from possible harm and contamination, it will allow more projects to be undertaken in the Running Shed - a win, win situation for the railway. The Carriage Shed may also be used to store some other items of rolling stock that currently stand outside in all weathers!.

Carriage Shed Front Elevation

We are, therefore, opening an appeal to help fund the construction of a new Carriage Shed. It is estimated that the project will cost £70,000 and the GVLR is now looking to friends of the railway to help raise this sum. The much needed building will not only provide permanent, dry and secure storage, but also help reduce the maintenance burden imposed when rolling stock is constantly subjected to exposure to the UK weather! The stock to be housed in the proposed building is both vital for the future success of the GVLR and to the continuing preservation of our narrow gauge railway heritage..

Carriage Shed Leaflet
Carriage Shed Front Elevation

Carriage Shed Appeal

The proposed new Carriage Shed is the next logical step in the continuing life of the GVLR and we are, therefore, opening an appeal to help fund its construction.

You can simply send a donation to the appeal, or more usefully, if you are a UK standard rate taxpayer, you could fill in the Gift Aid Declaration to allow us to claim back some of the tax at no cost to you. We really do need your financial help now!!

Please send any donations and Gift Aid declarations to:
The GVLR Carriage Shed Appeal
c/o Mr H Pinney
31, Dale Crescent,
New Tupton,
S42 6DR

Standing Orders need to go to your Bank.
Many Banks will allow you to set up a Standing Order on line or by telephone.

PDF format Carriage Shed Appeal Leaflet incl. Standing Order and Gift Aid Form

New Carriage Shed
  • Precious rolling stock removed from workshop environment
  • Workshop space freed up for additional projects
  • Disposal of life expired storage containers

2015 News

Nov 2015
New Storage Siding Laid

Last year a trap point was laid in the access track to Brands South Sidings, to replace the former stopblock which protected the Token Section (mainline), from vehicles entering it, without authority. Earlier year point rodding was installed, to connect the trap point to the token operated ground frame.

The curved road stub, of the trap point, has now been extended by 40ft, so we now have a siding which can now store 5 wagons, which were previously stored in Brands North. This will allow the Brands North area to be reconfigured over the next year, as part of a bigger developement scheme.

Start of new siding
New Siding
New storage siding

Oct 2015
New Drainage Ditch

The GVLR has, since 23rd May 1998, provided a train service through the Midland Railway Trust's Country Park to a terminus at Newlands Inn Station in the hamlet of Golden Valley. Part of that journey skirts the northern boundary of Jubilee Wood, a former Derbyshire County Council owned tree nursery planted in 1977 (the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee - hence its name). The wood is on land which had been reclaimed and re-contoured using material from the site of the adjacent former Brand's Colliery.

Drainage between the wood and the GVLR track formation has only ever been by a hand dug ditch hurriedly done by volunteers during the construction of the railway. Whilst regular maintenance of the ditch was attempted, the cut has always been inadequate in periods of heavy rainfall and inundation of the cess and occasionally of the ballast formation was a recurring problem.

Pipe being liftyed off waggon

Over a recent four day period (26th to 29th October) contractors were employed to provide a machine dug correctly graded open ditch capable of dealing (hopefully) with whatever rainfall our allegedly warming climate may decide to dump on us. It will take a while for a change in the water table of the surrounding land to occur. Meanwhile, p/way volunteers look forward to having drier feet, longer periods between enforced sleeper changes and fewer ballast renewal / hand packing sessions.

New drainage pipe under railway
New drainage pipe under railway
New drainage pipe under railway
New drainage ditch,
protecting NG track formation

Sept 2015
Summer Work

Refurbishment has continued, on the second ex polish bogie, though when completed and installed under, carriage 119, both polish bogies, will eventually be replaced by, refurbished bogies, that have been purchased from South Africa.

Work is continuing on making good the area formally occupied by the toilet cubical. As can be seen in the pictures, the side wall has now been completed. Work is now continuing on the ceiling, floor and electrics.

A separate project is the fitting of airbrakes and linkage to the carriage. The 3 brake cylinders were installed earlier in the Summer, since then the first part of the linkage they connect to, has been fabricated

Work on refurbishment of ex toilet compartment
Refurbishment of sidewall
New brake gear linkage
Brake assembly for 119

The first of the cylinders, has been attached to the frame of O&K 7529. Work has continued on the locomotive, wheels and axles, which are now nearly complete apart from being pressed together. A local engineering firm has been found, to complete the job.

First cylinder fitted to O&K 7529
First cylinder fitted to O&K 7529
O&K 7529 wheel receiving attention
O&K 7529 wheel receiving attention

8 new wheel castings, have been delivered. These are for Ashover Coach No.4. 4 new axles will be machined, after which, the bored wheels will be pressed on to them, before being installed in the Ashover Coach bogies

To make room for the NEW Carriage Shed, a 40ft container has been moved sideways and back 10ft. The rail connection to the container, will be installed, in the next few weeks. 15 sleepers have been replaced in the mainline section of the Country Park

Sidewall refurbished after removal of toilet
Sidewall refurbished after
removal of toilet

New wheel castings<br />for Ashover Coach No.4
New wheel castings
for Ashover Coach No.4

Mainline sleeper replacement in Country Park
Mainline sleeper replacement in Country Park

June 2015
Rebuilding of First Bogie

After 3 months of stripping down, refurbishment of parts and fabrication of replacements for wasted items, assembly has now started of the first bogie, to go under Carriage 119. The first photo below shows, the centre bolster. The yellow tubes are Polyurethane Die Springs, which we are using as replacements, for the life expired leaf springs. The springs were manufactured, to our specification, including damping and roll rate.

Reassembled bogie bolster
Reassembled bogie bolster
Reassembled bogie
Reassembled bogie

After the main bogie assembly, the cup that carries the weight of the carriage, was fitted on top of the bolster, a hole was drilled in the side to allow grease to be inserted, between the cup and cone for lubrication purposes. The grease nipple for this purpose, is at the end of a right angle pipe, due to restricted access.

Carriage Plate and cone, that sits in bogie cup
Carriage Plate and cone,
that sits in bogie cup
Final check of bogie in pit
Final check of bogie in pit

The cone, which sits in the bogie cup, is fitted to a plate that bolts to the underside of the carriage. Screwed into the bottom of the cone is a threaded bar, which passes through the bogie bolster and then has a plate attached, under the bogie, which keeps the bogie attached to the coach. With the bogie substantially complete, a decision was taken to install it under Carriage 119, so that various tests and measurements could be taken. Photos show the process of lifting the coach at one end and swapping the accommodation bogie, for the newly refurbished, 100year old ex PKP bogie.

Refurbished bogie ready for pushing under carriage
Refurbished bogie
ready for pushing under carriage
Final check of bogie in pit
Final check of bogie in pit
Accomodation Bogie being lifted out, so refurbished bogie can be pushed under carriage
Accommodation Bogie being lifted out, so refurbished bogie can be pushed under carriage

Bogie under carriage<br />which is outside for testing
Bogie under carriage,
which is outside for testing

Carriage 119 sitting on refurbished bogie
Carriage 119
sitting on refurbished bogie

June 2015
Kerr Stuart "Joffre" class 0-6-0T no.3014 visits the GVLR

The GVLRA is pleased to announce the visit of Kerr Stuart Joffre Class 0-6-0 T+WT 3014 of 1916. It is owned by a consortium of Moseley Railway Trust members and is normally based at their Apedale site at Stoke-on-Trent. The loco is one of a batch of 70 Joffre Class locos built for the French Army for service in the First World War 1914-1918. Five are known to have survived.

The loco is heavier and more powerful than the resident locomotives (“Joan” & O & K 7529) and reputedly requires a totally different firing technique. It arrived at the GVLR on 10th June.It will stay with us until early September. The loco will be made available for the Narrow Gauge Weekend over 11th / 12th July; over the Midland Rail-ex Event on 15th / 16th August; and over the August Bank Holiday Weekend (29th / 31st). Extra running dates may be announced (please visit the website for to check for the latest details).

The GVLRA is extremely grateful to the owning consortium for this opportunity. It is only the second time that a guest steam locomotive has appeared on GVLRA metals since the formal opening ceremony of the Running Shed way back in 2007. The visit of the Joffre had originally been planned for 2013 but a cracked cylinder got in the way! It is just great to have it present for a chunk of the 2015 season.

Please Click here for video, of Joffre's first day at the GVLR
Joffre in the proccess of being unloaded, from low loader
Unloading the Joffre

Joffre being steamed, for gauging test run on GVLR
Joffre being steamed
for gauging test run on GVLR

April 2015
Steam Trains - 2015

Steam hauled trains are timetabled to run on the following dates in 2015

May - Sun 3rd; BH Mon 4th; Sun 24th; BH Mon 25th

June - Sat 27th; Sun 28th

July - Sat 11th; Sun 12th
Trains hauled by Kerr Stuart "Joffre" class 0-6-0T no.3014

Aug - Sat 15th; Sun 16th
Trains hauled by Kerr Stuart "Joffre" class 0-6-0T no.3014
Aug - Sun 30th; BH Mon 31st
Trains hauled by Kerr Stuart "Joffre" class 0-6-0T no.3014

Oct - Sat 24th; Sun 25th

T class or Darcy are timetabled to run on the following dates in 2015

July - Sat 18th; Sun 19th

Aug - Sat 22nd; Sun 23rd

Sept - Sat 19th; Sun 20th

Mar 2015
Carriage 119 arrives

Tuesday 3rd March 2015, will go down as a landmark day in the history of the GVLR. Seven GVLR members were on site, at 8am, to welcome Carriage 119 arrive on a low loader and help unload it.

After 30 minutes of ramp building, the carriage was lowered on to GVLR rails and moved slowly, sandwiched between two locos, down the mainline to the Running Shed. Soon afterwards, a start was made on releasing the bogies, so they can be returned to the Ffestiniog Railway. The carriage will sit on already prepared accommodation bogies, until we are ready to fit its permanent bogies

UPDATE - 12th March 2005 - in the first 5 days after 119's arrival, GVLR engineers have lifted each end of the carriage in turn and released the FR bogies it was sitting on. These were then rolled out and replaced by GVLR accommodation bogies (which were last used during the overhaul of former ALR coach No.4).

A short time before the arrival of 119, two bogies, which had been purchased from Poland over 20 years ago and stored in Brands North Sidings, were both pushed into the Running Shed. One of these has been totally dismantled into its constituent parts. The ensuing task is to clean every item of 100 years worth of dirt and grease, so that they can all be individually assessed for refurbishment or replacement with new parts.

The wheel sets of the first dismantled bogie, which are 60cm in gauge, have been machined on the lathe and a small amount of metal has been removed from the back of each wheel. The GVLR is 24 inch gauge (610mm) and removing the metal allows the wheels to clear the check rails on all our points.

Image:- Carriage 119 being moved to Running Shed
Carriage 119 being moved to Running Shed
Carriage 119 outside GVLR Running Shed
Newly arrived Carriage 119
outside GVLR Running Shed
Carriage 119 on lowloader before being unloaded
Carriage 119 on lowloader
before being unloaded
Image:- Shunting Carriage 119 on it's accommodation bogies
Shunting Carriage 119
on it's accommodation bogies
CImage:- machined wheelset
Wheelset showing metal removed, which allows wheels to clear our 2ft gauge check rails

16th Jan 2015
Two New Carriages

Two steel-bodied bogie carriages which have worked on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways since 1980 have been purchased by the Golden Valley Light Railway. Carriage 119 will be delivered to Butterley in the next few weeks and 117 will follow in 2016. They will provide much-improved accommodation for our passengers and give us a substantial increase in passenger capacity.

Carriage 119 was built at Boston Lodge Works in 1980. During the winter of 2006-7 the interior was refurbished, new flooring installed and the seating re-upholstered. In June 2009 the carriage was transferred for use on the Welsh Highland Railway in response to heavy loadings following the launch of services through the Aberglaslyn Pass. 119 continued in service on the WHR during 2010, eventually being transferred back to the FR at the end of the season.

Since then it has remained in regular service and received an interior clean up and exterior repaint just before high summer 2013 and was withdrawn and replaced with a new Super Saloon carrying the same number in late 2014. Carriage 117 is of similar design, having been built in 1977. In 2010, it joined 119 in providing additional passenger accommodation on Welsh Highland services.

Ffestiniog Railway carriage No.119
Ffestiniog Railway carriage No.119
Photo from Ffestiniog Railway

Ffestiniog Railway Press Release

9th Jan 2015
Good First Week

By the end of the first week of 2015, work has already moved forwards in a number of areas. On Saturday 3rd, seven sleepers were replaced in the mainline section of the Country Park. Fencing repairs and culvert clearance also took place. Last winter a trap point was installed in the access line to Brands South to provide protection and eliminate the use of a stopblock. For this project to be completed, the trap point needs point rodding installing and connecting to the ground frame. To this end various items have been fabricated, the next step is to lay them out in position and connect them together.

"Tubby" which has recently been airbraked, for use hauling passenger trains, has now had a new oil filtration system installed, to replace the previous bypass system. A small leak was detected in one of the engine valves, so the head has been taken off, so the problem can be rectified. Couplings have been fitted to the ex PKP Van, so it can be moved more easily.

Simon has undertaken gardening work next to the Tin Tabernacle. Trees overhanging the line in the country park have been cut back and a dead tree, near the canal has been removed.

Point rodding rocking arm, on floor in Running Shed
Newly fabricated rocking arm assembly, for trap point, point rodding

2013 and 2014 News