Fundraising on track for new Duffield station building

Railway director Eric Boultbee with Derby Lightweight, 'Iris'.
Railway director Eric Boultbee with Derby Lightweight, 'Iris'.
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Fundraising is on track for a new station building at Duffield Station, as operators reach the halfway stage of their bid to build a new heritage ticket hall.

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway hopes to run the new building to provide a shelter, ticket sales and refreshments in a historically-inspired setting.

The railway has passed half of its target to raise £25,000 to build the new building, thanks to local supporters who are excited to see the station come to life.

Eric Boultbee, director of Wyvern Rail PLC which operates the community-owned railway, said: “We’re trying to re-create an authentic-looking Midland railway building, initially a wooden construction but it will look like an authentic 1950s station, inspired by the original station which is unfortunately long-gone.”

And as the team also celebrates 15 years since the project to restore the railway began, he remembers the journey the E-V-R has taken up to being fully re-opened in 2011.

“A lot has happened on this railway. This all kicked off 15 years ago this month, when we started cutting down trees and bushes because it was overgrown. When it really got going we relaid ten miles of track in ten years.”

The community railway has been fundraising for its latest project throughout the year and has surpassed £7,500.

Eric added: “We do lots of things in the area, running stalls and competitions, and we’ve had some very generous grants and support from well-wishers. A lot of people like what we are doing here.”

As well as heritage train services between Duffield and Wirksworth, it will also serve mainline services through the station, and now an extra push is needed to get over the line.

Eric added: “The new booking office will provide much-needed shelter and facilities for passengers travelling to Wirksworth, and where practical will be available to passengers on the main line.

The railway was given a special dedication by Prince Charles two weeks ago as part of his Derbyshire visit, discussing restoration work over a cream tea on the train and chatting to dedicated volunteers, many of whom start as enthusiasts and go on to careers in the industry.

Managing director Mike Evans said: “The accolade of a royal visit is a great reward for two decades of effort.”

Donations to support the project can be made to Wirksworth Station, Colwell Street ‘EVRA Booking Hall’, make cheques out to ‘EVRA ticket hall’. For more details, email ericb@wyvernrail.co.uk.