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Carriage Shed Martin Cutting

Motive Power Department/ Carriage and Wagon

Motive Power Department

Brief Job Role: The Motive Power Department (MPD) is based in Cheddleton, and its purpose is to maintain and operate the Churnet Valley Railway’s fleet of steam and diesel locomotives.We are able to perform both simple routine maintenance on our locomotives as well as assist in heavy repairs and full overhauls. No matter your experience or level of skill within engineering, all are welcome to participate with this friendly department, which has developed a real family feel to it amongst our regulars. Everyone works together to lovingly bring a silent beast back to life, be it one of our heritage diesel or steam locomotives. With five resident steam locomotives, five resident diesels plus our shunting and departmental vehicles there is always something to do at Cheddleton every day of the week. 

The MPD also provides the crews for operating the locomotives on the Railway’s various services. Many boys (and an ever-growing number of girls!) dream of becoming a train driver, and the CVR offers the opportunity to do so. However, drivers don’t become drivers overnight, and it takes a good level of commitment to eventually make the grade. To do this means starting as a cleaner where you are tasked with ensuring the locomotives are looking their best at the start of the day’s service, which on the steam locos also entails cleaning away ash and char from the ash pan and smoke box.

Projects Past and Present: Despite our size, many people are surprised to learn of what our volunteers consistently achieve time and again. In recent times both resident American S160s nos. 6046 and 5197 have undergone full overhauls, with them becoming the first pair of S160s to operate together at the Winter Steam Gala in 2017. Following their completion efforts have moved on to British counterpart, former LMS 8F no. (4)8173. And this is before we get to our true success story – our famous Polish Tank no. 2944 “Hotspur” that featured in Michael Portillo’s “Great British Railway Journeys”. Purchased by a group of the MPD’s volunteers, the loco had been laid up in a siding for nearly 2x decades at another railway yet inside 14 months the whole department came together and was able to return the locomotive to steam in time for the Anything Goes event in June 2014. Why not come and join in the next success story of the 8F, class 20 or even a class 25 ,whilst helping to maintain the operational fleet.


Motive Power Department (Diesel Division)

Brief Job Role: This section of the MPD, based at Cheddleton, is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the diesel locomotive fleet at the railway, together with overhauling the non-operational locos to return them all to service. Tasks range from simply rubbing down paintwork and repainting, to helping run out wiring for electrical re-wires, to stripping down power units, removing pistons etc. prior to rebuilding them again with refurbished components.

Project Past and Present: The biggest success story to date is full overhaul of Class 33 33102 Sophie, which following a return to service in 2011 has proven to be a reliable locomotive for the line covering 1000s of miles despite being the mainstay of the diesel fleet.
The current big project for the group is the overhaul of Class 20 D8057, which has never operated in preservation. It has had the power unit removed for a full overhaul, with all parts being removed for refurbishment. The locomotive is in varying stages of progress with regards to auxiliary equipment being removed and overhauled, plus repairs to the driving cab, desk and controls.
Most people in this department have learnt their skills “on-the-job” at Cheddleton, and come from much less technical backgrounds in their working lives.


Carriage and Wagon

Brief Job Role: Here at carriage and wagon we work tirelessly to provide the superb set of coaches we own and are always looking to improve, repair and maintain. Maintenance jobs can be repairing/replacing windows in the carriages or greasing door locks, hinges and mechanisms. In a bid to keep the 1950's ambience we maintain a mixture of Mark 1 & 2 coaches which where designed and built by British Railways. With there ages comes an ever growing challenge to keep these ageing coaches in a fit and safe manner.
We do not solely work on coaches we also work to bring heritage wagons back into use. Although these do not provide a great amount of money for the railways their historical value is great. This is due to the railways main source of income coming from freight and not passengers. With so many designs and variations being created over the years it is very important that these don’t disappear forever. Tasks involved with these are, checking bears, maintaining the brakes. But these roles can be very different depending on the variety of the wagon. 

Project Past and Present: Converting coaches for the benefit of all such as making a Brake Second Compartment (BSK) more wheel chair accessible. We also converting a First Compartment (FK) which was known as "the wreck" into a First Open (FO) which has since been turned into "Nicholas" our first class Dining Coach.
As mentioned above the MPD can help with many aspects of the railway. Carriage and Wagon is no different providing help to rebuild and redesign Froghall Tearoom and installing new doors and locks onto Cheddleton Station