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The Golden Valley Light railway

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

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