Wednesday 10 July 2013

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Bus Rally

This annual event at the Ecclesbourne Railway combines a display of classic buses together with a free bus service route that runs parallel with railway service to Duffield. As always the railway staff make visitors very welcome and it's always a pleasure to take the journey between Wirksworth and Duffield where the trains connect with main line trains.
We took a trip in the glorious sunshine to Duffield on the Stagecoach Fleetline open topper - a perfect journey, made all the more interesting by the fact that the bus departed 3 minutes after the train and the two of them 'raced' along the route.
The return journey was by means of the train which seemed quite leisurely due the fact that a member of the train crew has to get off the train to open various crossing gates en-route.

 Wirksworth station. The three car DMU is in position for the journey to Duffield and the single car unit is about to set off on the steep climb to Ravenstor. Note the new platform extension which will allow longer trains to run on the line to Duffield.
 Stagecoach open top Fleetline arrives at Wirksworth Station with passengers from Transpire and the 123 Group. The vehicle is based at the Chesterfield depot and is now class 6 tested so can be used in service or for private hires.
 ex Barton AEC departs Wirksworth for Duffield
 The railway have converted an ex BR DMU to steam power - no only joking, the railcar is pushed up the steep incline by an 0-6-0 tank engine which needs to work hard in order to storm the steep slope. see above and below

 Bus races train. Our open topper races the three car DMU as they travel between Wirksworth and Duffield and by coincidence as I photographed the train David Kelly photographed the bus (see below)

 After our open top bus ride we returned by train to Wirksworth and here the DMU stands in the summer sunshine waiting to depart.

More pictures can be found on FocusFlickr here