Environment

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association, (EVRA) is a charitable trust that was formed in 1997, to support the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in its aim of re-opening the Duffield- Wirksworth Branch Line. EVRA also conserves and displays items relating to the branch, the old railway companies and the local area, including key industries such as quarrying.
The original Wirksworth Station building was demolished during British Railways days when the line and yard had closed to anything other than limestone traffic from the many nearby quarries.
Our current facilities are housed in containers, portacabins and old railway coaches that are now deteriorating rapidly after nearly 20 years of use. . These are currently spread over the station site which can get slippery and muddy in wet weather and are often inadequate for the visitor numbers.
Our project is to replace them with a single Midland Railway style structure similar to the artist’s impression in the picture. This building will provide the usual station facilities as well as catering services, an information centre and a museum area. It will also concentrate our facilities into one easily accessible area for the public. Phasing has been a key to this project as there is only a limited building window in autumn. The footings and service ducts were completed in 2017 and phase 1, the Museum and Information area will be completed this autumn.
We are now looking for £150,000 for the final phase, incorporating the Booking Office, Toilets and catering.
The railway provides a community service for local and tourist passengers between Wirksworth and Duffield, Derbyshire, The railway provides a regular rail link for locals and tourists from Wirksworth, Idridgehay and Shottle stations to Duffield where there is a mainline station. The line is operated with a mixture of steam and diesel traction throughout the year, attracting over 20,000 visitors in 2017 plus 80 coach parties. Therefore, the trust helps to bring much needed tourist income to the area, which aids the local community to survive in a small Derbyshire town.
We have links to local walking trails such as the newly opened Ecclesbourne Way and the Stone Centre walk. We set up the Train Ride to History, a leaflet guided walk incorporating the High Peak Trail, quarries and other historical features.
Over the last 20 years the trust’s volunteers have reclaimed in excess of 9 miles of track, built a station at Duffield, restored platforms at both ends of the line and several intervening locations. Four historic BR Mk1 coaches have been fully restored and a one more is currently having similar treatment. The members have restored two steam locomotives and are well on the way to a third engine being fully operational, much of the work being done out of doors. Some examples of our labours are shown in the pictures. All of EVRA’s work is funded by members’ subscriptions, public donations, EVRA shop sales, legacies or grants.
EVRA believe that this is a project worthy of support through the AVIVA Community Fund.
The pictures show what we have achieved at the Duffield end of the line, now we need to improve the Wirksworth end. Please give us your support.

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association

I volunteer with this railway, and am also a trustee with the charity. We regularly get favourable comments on what we do for the town and its occupants, and on providing a local service. In addition we provide entertainment for visitors who are an important source of income to the local population.

Location: Wirksworth