Train driver David Bevington was inspired to volunteer on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway after fulfilling a boyhood dream of taking the controls of a steam locomotive.
David, from Duffield, a keen enthusiast of both steam and diesel locomotives, drove heritage railcar ‘Iris’ as part of a retirement gift organised by East Midlands Trains Driver Manager Phil Helme for completing 20 years service.
Spokesman for the Ecclesbourne railway, Tom Tait, said: “David started his railway career as a guard before realising a boyhood dream of becoming a train driver. He is a keen enthusiast of both steam and diesel locomotives and has always wanted to take the controls of a heritage train.
“The visit fuelled David’s passion for a bygone era and he has decided that much of his new found spare time will be spent as a volunteer on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.”
David is now set to become a regular face on the railway, which runs through Duffield and is preserved largely as it was, with its intermediate stations largely intact and the layout at Wirksworth virtually unchanged since the days of steam.There are nine miles of single-track railway, which meet the Midland Main Line at Duffield Junction near Derby. There are five station sites, two level crossings, a yard with extensive sidings and a mineral branch to the old Middlepeak quarry at Wirksworth.
Services run at weekends between March and October and midweek throughout the summer and are timed to connect with Derwent Valley Line services between Nottingham, Derby and Matlock operated by East Midlands Trains.