THE Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is in mourning following the death of the line’s chief mechanical and electrical engineer Graham Walker, on October 5, following a short illness.
Graham Walker was born in 1945 and began an apprenticeship at Derby Loco Works Training School in 1959. He had many jobs in his career, ranging from fitter, to chargehand, rolling stock inspector and shift maintenance foreman at Toton, Derby and Nottingham.
He finished his career at Derby Etches Park as shift production manager working for Intercity Midland Main Line.
Graham joined the EVR as the railway began to build up its fleet of DMUs, rolling stock and locomotives as he saw the railway as a worthwhile project to restore a service between Wirksworth and Duffield. Managing driver training on locomotives, Graham was the go-to person for traction-related issues, but his greatest strength was his personality.
EVR spokesman Neil Ferguson-Lee said: “Graham was a gentleman. Quietly spoken and always smiling, his patience and willingness to share knowledge was of benefit to the railway’s young volunteers, who joined as raw recruits but then benefited from Graham’s quiet advice and considerable reserves of knowledge. Several of the railway’s younger volunteers have now begun careers in the railway industry thanks to Graham’s quiet guidance.”
Graham had the privilege of driving the EVR’s own royal train in 2015 when Prince Charles travelled the whole of the line from Wirksworth to Duffield.
Just days before his passing, the EVR named Class 08 No. 08605 G.R. Walker in Graham’s honour and although he was unable to attend, his sons Roger and Andy represented him.
Read more News and Features in Issue 247 of HR – on sale now!Enjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.