Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (EVR) operates train services between Wirksworth and Duffield and is proving ever popular, with 20,000 visitors in 2015 and rising year on year. Feedback from shops, pubs and cafes along the route indicates the railway makes a significant impact on the local economy. The EVR is community owned and operated with 135 volunteers and has an excellent track record of heritage train restoration. “Before and after” pictures of one of the restored trains are included in this application. The EVR provides opportunities for people to take up a wide range of activities such as wood working, painting, decorating, maintenance, engineering, gardening, catering, commercial work and many more, in addition to operating trains. Young people learn new skills and the retired often keep their hand in practising their trade or keeping fit and healthy with some manual work. The volunteer workforce restored the ten miles of railway in just ten years - believed to be record achievement. The EVR community activities have been recognised with several awards in 2015 & 2016, including an acknowledgement and personal visit from Prince Charles to see the work for himself
Although the railway runs through beautiful countryside, much of it is not easily accessible by the volunteer team who maintain the tracks (the Permanent Way Team). In order to address this problem the railway has acquired a redundant diesel railcar from Network Rail and is restoring and converting it into a mobile maintenance vehicle. This work is being undertaken by another team of volunteers so that it can operate along the route, carry tools, heavy materials as well as shelter the track workers, sometimes several miles from base. The heavily modified features of this vehicle make it a perfect all round vehicle for the Permanent Way Team. This will alleviate the long – standing problem of the team struggling with the cold winter conditions and the vehicle will not only allow them to get to site effectively with their tools and materials it will aid safe working. It is hoped to re-install a generator so that power tools can be operated at remote locations and the interior bay for this remains in situ from the former life
Although there is an experienced and skilled volunteer team working on the restoration & conversion of the railcar, the work requires large quantities of materials such as new steel panels, windows and wiring along with consumable materials such as welding and grinding materials, fittings, paint and lubricants. Additionally there is a constant demand for new and replacement tools
This project is to enable the work of the restoration volunteers by providing the resources they need to complete their activities, which in turn will enable the Permanent Way Team to conduct their work and at the same time return another British heritage rail vehicle to active service.
With sufficient funds this project could be completed during 2017

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Moment of Pride

We are very proud of our volunteers who are of all ages, sexes and abilities, who have rebuilt a derelict railway in record time and turned it into a successful, award winning community enterprise. The railway is noted for the quality of the restoration work on heritage trains and historic stations.

Location: Wirksworth, Derbyshire Dales District, United Kingdom