Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Last Elegant Excursion...

Hi guys. Today was to involve another fine dining experience and would feature our third trip aboard the fabulous "Elegant Excursions" Dining Train at the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway. As you may notice in the title, this would be our last visit on behalf of "Elegant Excursions" as the company are running their last trips now and operations will cease in early August. The dining cars have been sold and are just waiting to leave the GWSR now, with plans afoot to return them to the national network in the future. Without the stock, the dining car trains would be in trouble anyway, and so they are unfortunately ending their services. This is such a shame as the service offered aboard their trains is second to none and it has to be our favourite dining train experience. When the news broke about the ending of services, our usual October slot became obsolete and so I managed to move the booking to this evening so that we could have one last outing on the train. This one was a "Midsummer Murder Mystery" Special, departing Winchcombe at 7pm, with boarding at 6:30pm. We had never done a Murder Mystery before and so were looking forward to it with intrigue. We arrived at Winchcombe early, at about 6pm, and the train was yet to enter the platform. In the distance, a mournful hooter was heard and the unmistakable clicking of snifting valves approached with haste. Even before she turned up, I knew she was a Black Five. The locomotive for the evening, by some divine miracle, was visiting Black Five No45379 of the Mid Hants Railway; an old friend after her Shackerstone visit in 2012. The engine was signalled into the carriage sidings and, following all of the necessary checks, began to lift the train into the platform...
With four distinctly gruff beats leaving the chimney at equal intervals, the Five got the train easily underway and dragged the ECS through Platform 2. Just after the shot below was taken, the Driver cracked Main Valve and the voice of 45379 echoed all around...
The beautiful Five roared through the platform and the noise she made was music to the ears. The locomotive then took the stock away towards Greet Tunnel ready to propel it back into Platform 1...
With the stock shunted and secured, the Diners were boarded in the traditional manner. The six actors who played the 1930s-themed Murder Mystery troop were positioned in amongst the crowd as we boarded and began to play out their main storyline, with little bits of dirty gossip about each character thrown in for your own consideration. We were given our complimentary drinks and then shown to our well-laid table for two in the luxurious centre Dining Car known as "Margaret"...
 
The Black Five then took us, in good voice, on two leisurely round trips between Winchcombe and Cheltenham Racecourse. The train was cosy, the weather was pleasant and the meal was just brilliant. We enjoyed the scenary and the food whilst the Murder Mystery troop continued to act their way through the coaches, providing quite a humorous and interesting display...
Now and again the train would stop for a short while for the actors to perform larger parts of the play, whilst the locomotive also had to run round. Maisie looks quite bemused at the actors in the shot below!...
After 10pm the train was now running in darkness and the meal had been well and truly polished off. We all made our guesses on the killer who 'bumped off' two of the troop during the journey and I'm pleased to say that mine was correct. We arrived back at Winchcombe behind the beautiful Black Five at around 10:40pm and slowly began to detrain. It had been a most pleasant evening once again, and a credit to "Elegant Excursions". I will be so sad to see this company go and its such a shame that we cannot travel with them again. Everything they did was just perfect, and many of the other passengers clearly agreed, with many wonderful comments floating around the coaches. So, now folks, off back to the hotel! Best Regards, Sam...

Friday, 30 May 2014

Achilles Report No55: In Steam...

Hi everyone. When we left the last "Achilles" report the loco was getting towards finished and an in steam test was very much now on the horizon. Since then, yes, the locomotive has been in steam. So, again, in this post we will document the work over about three or four days rather than just creating four separate tiny posts about fairly menial jobs. So, Wednesday May 21st saw the engine stripped again, well slightly anyway. The fouling coupling rods were removed on both sides, as was the rear wheelset which was still getting tight without reason on the new boxes. Thus the loco sat fairly quietly on the workbench feeling sorry for herself, and looking quite unusual as an 0-4-0 with massive overhang!...
Pictured below is the rear wheelset; freshly painted, tyre polished and with new axleboxes fitted as previously reported. For some reason the boxes were completely free when outside the engine, but when tightened up inside they were getting tight, as if they were being pulled out of centre. After checking the fit inside the horn guides and the square on the horns themselves, all seemed OK so it had to be the boxes, or something similar...
It was later discovered that the R/H keep plate on the R/H new axlebox had a slight drilling/tapping error on one of the spring holders. This meant that, when tightened into the frames, the keep plate stopped the misaligned spring holder from being able to pivot ever so slightly with the box during movement. This pulled the box ever so slightly over to one side, thus misaligning the axle a wee bit and causing a slight tight spot. So, I opted to remove the springs and keep plate and just slightly open up the holes to relieve the tension. Perhaps a bodge in the eyes of some, but in my eyes a bodge that will not cause the engine any problems other than to ensure that her new axleboxes do not get damaged or run hot...
Moving on to May 22nd and the coupling rods were receiving their attention. After a few different means of making them clear the wheels and the crossheads failed, we decided to flute them at the back, as per standard gauge practise. Therefore, 10-thou (0.25mm) spacers were made for each bearing to sit in front of, and a further 10-thou was fluted into the back of each coupling rod in order to ensure a good clearance. This work was completed the following week on May 29th, though in the meantime an incident did occur. The final of the four connecting rods to be fluted had an unfortunate falling out with a large endmill in the milling machine that was fluting it, and thus ended up with one of the oil pots snapped completely off and half of the decorative frontage chewed away. Though the actual integrity of the rod was by no means compromised, the rod did need some cosmetic surgery as it were. The rod was delicately made up with soft weld and then ground down to a perfectly uniform oil pot again. Even I struggle to imagine it is a repair, and I must thank some good friends of mine for patching up the rod for me: its now good as new and refitted to the engine. So, a good evenings work yesterday (29th) saw the engine back together and ready for a test steaming, with both of the rods and the newly opened up axlebox keep ready for action. Today after work all I had to do was refit the eccentrics for the double-acting axlepump and then refit the grate ready for a steam up. After all of the necessary checks were carried out and water was pumped into the boiler, the locomotive had her first fire lit in over 4 months...
"First Fire since January"
The locomotive is pictured here blocked up and in steam. I operated her for about an hour ticking over, both at higher and lower pressures. In the end she steamed right down to about 2psi on the clock before stopping so not bad considering she's on a few new bearings again. Regular checks were of course made whilst she was in steam in order to ensure that everything was taking oil correctly and that nothing was running warm. I am pleased to say that, apart from the tanks leaking (not enough sealant around one or two nuts!), the engine ran very well and I am very pleased with her...
video
It was very pleasing to see the locomotive in steam again and now all I have to do is seal the tanks again and do one or two other little cosmetic jobs before throwing back on all of the nice bits and, yes, cleaning the brass! The loco is now well on course and I am hoping that we will be attending the CMES Third Wednesday of the Month members running evening on June 18th all being well, with the completed engine ready for testing. Even though she hasn't been on the track yet, the fact that she runs well on tick-over is a very good start. Thank goodness that this job is coming to an end as I am beginning to very much miss my engine! Best Regards, Sam...

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Putting The Fire On...

Hi all. A quiet and very, very wet day today at Shackerstone. I arrived at 10:30am and proceeded straight to the engine shed through the pouring rain. Inside the dark engine shed stood the bulk of 3803 over the pit, with "Sir Gomer", "Dunlop", "Richard" and "Blue Circle" all hiding down the far end, cosy and dry. The weather outside was just awful and the Class 73 looked saturated as it occasionally battled past the shed with the sparsely filled 4-coach train. On my own, I thought I'd clean the frames on 3803 and so, starting at the rear of the tender, I set to with the paraffin & oil mixture. Scrubbing away to remove the thick grime, and then using soft, clean cloth to buff up the paintwork, the job was certainly worth doing. I worked my way down the entire fireman's side of the huge 2-8-0 before I decided that it was time for a cuppa'. After around 12:15 I decided that I would begin preparations for the engine's warming fire as she would be out tomorrow. The locomotive is far too large to light on the morning of a steaming from cold, besides this practise being totally frowned upon and proven to be damaging.

The beginning of a warming fire starts like most others, with the full checking over of the locomotive. With 1/2 a glass of water confirmed to be in the boiler, it was time to check the firebox. The grate was very clean, as was the ashpan and the entire perimeter of the firebox dry. The fusible plugs, stays, tubes, flues, brick arch, seems etc should all be checked. The mudlids around the foundation ring, firebox sides, throatplate, corners etc should all be checked for leaks, just in case, as should the internal fittings of the huge smokebox. If all is dry, the locomotive is confirmed watertight and safe to light up. Our warming fires are lit at the back of the firebox, working forward towards the slope on the grate. I started by adding a bed of coal 1-lump thick and then started a bright, wood fire. The wood is then covered with coal and, over the course of a few hours, a large mound of coal built up at the back of the firebox only. By no means is a fire started on the remaining 3/4 of the grate. Slowly but surely, the smouldering fire at the back of the box will slowly heat the boiler, allowing the various different materials used in its construction to expand slowly at their own paces. Different materials that expand at different rates should not be rushed. The locomotive will be made safe but will often burn through most of the night. A huge engine such as 3803 with such a large boiler may take up to 12 hours on a slow burning fire before she thinks about making steam, though some mornings 10 or 20 psi may be found on the clock by the arriving fireman.

Though a fire burning all night may seem odd to some, it is by far the best way of warming the locomotive slowly and safely. Rushing the expansion and steam creation in the boiler from cold may induce extra stresses, eventually leading to tube or stay failure. With a good warming fire, 3803 will come around in her own time with no rushing and thus the life of her large (and very expensive) boiler will be lengthened. At around 5:30pm, I thought it was time for home so headed off leaving David to keep a final eye on 3803. The fire was now burning away nicely with a good wedge at the back end and all dampers closed. The loco was by now very warm around the foundation ring, but cold still on the manifold, after around 4 hours of burning. The front of the smokebox was also only luke warm, showing just how long it takes to correctly warm up such a large boiler! Best Regards, Sam...

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Return to "Alice"...

Hi all. After a brilliant day out with "Alice" yesterday, a good forecast on the horizon again for today meant that we could take her out again. The already warm locomotive was checked, cleaned out and lit up by 8:45am again this morning and easily came around into steam without fuss. A cloudy start was later rewarded with yet another sunny day and "Alice" was sparkling. The basic but proven cab layout of "Alice" is seen here after a good clean...
Today's format on the trains was just the same as usual: four trains in each direction along the side of the beautiful Bala Lake. Myself and Eddie again shared duties with him driving the 11:15 and 2:25 trips, and myself driving the other too whilst Ed fired. It was another most enjoyable day with good company in the form of Bobby as our Guard. "Alice" is seen here with the waiting last train of the day from Bala, after another faultless run...
Following an easy run back with the returning 4pm train, "Alice" was put to bed at her home station, in the company of sisters "Holy War", "George B", "Maid Marian" and of course the interloper "Winifred". The Bala Lake Railway is now certainly the 'Home of the Quarry Hunslet', with the five sisters enjoying much popularity on their home railway. After putting "Alice" safely away and saying our goodbyes, it was time to wash up and pack up ready for home. The BMW was duly loaded for the return assault over the Knockin Pass. At a service station near Knockin we pulled in to get a drink and were treated to the sight of 1907-built Burrell Showman's Engine "Lord Nelson" on her low-loader, obviously on the way back from a rally somewhere. The massive Burrell is seen below...
"Lord Nelson" duly disappeared into the distance and the BMW wasn't far behind. Luckily the slow-moving Burrell took a different route to us as getting stuck behind a load that long on roads like this would have been a nightmare! All in all, a brilliant first weekend of 2014 on the Bala Lake Railway. I must thank Ed for his company and for encouraging us all to have 3-courses both nights at the Eagles Inn, whilst also thanking Roger, Bobby and Rob for making us welcome once again. We'll be back in Wales next month. Best Regards, Sam...

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bala Lake 2014...

Hi everyone. Last night, in probably the first lengthy outing that the BMW has had since I've had it, myself & Eddie made the 120-mile or so journey to the Bala Lake Railway. This weekend would be the first of three in 2014, and it had been eagerly anticipated since we booked it months ago! The weather as we drove down yesterday afternoon was fine, and was equally so this morning. With a sunny day on the cards, we thought that there would be nothing better than taking out the railways open top sports car alternative: "Alice". The well known "Alice Weather" can be a rarity on the BLR and so, faced with the opportunity, we snapped it up. At 8:30am this morning we arrived at the running shed and Eddie immediately started the diesel locomotive "Trigger". As "Holy War" had been on service during the week, she had to be shunted out of the way before "Alice" could take the ash pit. Eddie duly dragged both locomotives out into the morning sunshine and we soon had "Holy War" shunted into the headshunt for the day. The lovely red 0-4-0 "Alice", built by Hunslets of Leeds in 1902 as No780, was duly checked over by myself before lighting. The tubes had to be swept, the smokebox cleaned and every possible inspection point looked at. The firegrate then had to be cleaned and the tubes, fusible and side sheets checked at that end too. With these tasks completed, "Alice" was duly lit up on a healthy helping of both paraffin soaked & dry wood, followed by a sprinkling of Welsh coal. The day had now begun...
With Welsh coal, I find that you need to make sure you get it burning as soon as possible. So, as soon as most of the wood had taken hold, I blacked out the flames with the Welsh coal and, with the damper open a notch, left "Alice" to get on with it. As long as you have plenty of heat there to bite on, the Welsh coal is no problem, though it can sometimes be a little sombre to start. Once lit and stoked up, "Alice" had to be oiled, cleaned and polished. Myself & Eddie went about our normal duties briskly and, by Tea-Time at 10am, the locomotive looked splendid. We left shed with around 70psi on and a good fire in the box at about 10:45am, heading for the coal stage. With "Alice" coaled, watered and ashed out for the second time today, we ran her round onto the waiting stock. The weather was just lovely and a promising day beckoned...
We left on time with a whistle from the Guard (Brian) at 11:15 with the first train. "Alice" hauled the 4-coach train easily out of the platform and was soon well underway. With the fire roaring away in the box and the pressure gradually climbing, the Fireman can take his seat (a luxury kept only for "Alice"!) at this point and relax for a few moments. Once at the top of the bank, the driver shuts-off and takes the full-reverse gear position (a common tradition to reduce valve rattle on slide-valve engines) and the fireman will then more than likely inject water into the boiler. Its about 1/2 a mile of being shut-off at this point and so, with a good fire, the locomotive will at least attempt to blow-off and so injecting is arguably the best policy! Once opened up again the fireman can simply 'keep the holes filled' and keep the water up on the injector. "Alice" blows off at just shy of 120psi, though anything over 80psi will keep her romping along nicely. The 100psi point (six o'clock on "Alice"s unusual upside-down pressure gauge) is a good place to be though. We made Bala with the first train on time and with ease. "Alice" really is a breeze and is a faultless little performer. The time & effort put in by the engineering team at the BLR ensures that the engines are in great condition both cosmetically and mechanically, and "Alice" is no exception...
The return trip went just as well as the outward and soon we were ready with the 12:50pm train. I drove this trip and found it most enjoyable. The 'tapping motion' is used on the regulator here to either ease speed or increase it, providing a juggling act along the very much rising & falling route of the BLR. It really was a beautiful day and, I guess due to this, it went very quickly! Before long we were heading back along the lake on the returning 2:25 train, in beautiful sunshine...
"Alice" is captured here at the base station of Llanuwchllyn with the returning 2:25 departure. She has been uncoupled and will soon head up to the coal stage for coaling, ashing out and watering before the final train of the day: the 4pm for Bala...
Here she is captured at the coaling stage, still in glorious sunshine...
Here I can be seen driving "Alice" up into the platform ready to buffer up to the waiting 4-coach stock of the 4pm Bala train, which I also drove. Note the 'dumb buffers' on the front of "Alice", a common sight on Quarry locomotives and quite fitting with her restored appearance I feel...
The final train at 4pm was also a most enjoyable run and "Alice" tore up the lengthy bank on the way back, hardly breaking a sweat. After a safe and on time arrival in the platform we propelled the stock back into the carriage shed before returning "Alice" to the shed road. Owing to the good forecast already put out for tomorrow, we'll be taking the cabless beauty out again and so tonight she took her place at the front of the shed following disposal. What a brilliant day. I must thank Eddie for his company and of course the BLR staff and volunteers for making us welcome again. I cannot wait until tomorrow! But, for now, off to the Eagles for a bite to eat, where Eddie always insists on having 3-courses...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Achilles Report No54: Last Minute Work...

Hi guys. I thought it was perhaps about time to give another "Achilles" update. The loco is now, as I write, very nearly finished. I've done most mechanical and cosmetic jobs, some of which required some extra fettling as you will read. Since the last report the engine has had the valve gear refitted. This took a little bit of extra time in order to reset the trunnion bearings correctly, as they now have new brasses. However, following two evenings of drinking tea and playing around, both sides of the valve gear were successfully refitted. Regular readers will know that during the first initial refitting of the coupling rods, it was found that they were rubbing on the wheel centre faces and balances. This should not happen. Upon inspection we decided that the best possible route with this problem was to fit spacers as, by drawing, the brasses should push the rod away from the wheel slightly. As the new brasses (made last winter) were made to the tolerances of the old brasses rather than to drawing, they don't push the rods away anymore than the old ones did. So, with spacers fitted, the valve gear sat nicely. It all turned over OK on the bench, meaning that the rear wheel quartering was fine, as very much hoped!...
This was the stage a few weeks ago: smokebox finished, cladding on, valve gear on and manifold replaced...
Regular readers will also know that the whistle valve on "Achilles" leaked steam like there was no tomorrow. When you pressed it in order to blow the whistle it gave the cab more of a steam clean than it did steam to the whistle! Therefore, I decided that it was best to remove it and, if it could not be easily repaired, replace it. In the end it was much easier just to get a new valve from Reeves which arrived looking smart and with a nice wooden handle to boot. The old valve used to be really sharp and would easily cut you when using the handpump. The new one is much nicer and hopefully it will work OK when the loco steams. With the new whistle valve on the manifold I also refitted the pressure gauge which has, as you can see, had an encounter with the Brasso. When Mum saw it I think she thought it was a new one!...
Last week I was working on refitting, or at least trialling, the refitting of the tanks. With the R/H valve gear completed and most pipework refitted, the tank went on easily. The R/H cylinder cover was also refitted as was the front running board. Apart from the missing black tank top, this is pretty much how she will look. I think she looks pretty smart if I do say so myself! The grey smokebox certainly would not have been my first choice but, needs must, as you all know how much trouble I had with it! The new paint has settled nicely and I can only hope that it remains on when I steam the bloody thing!...
"Looking Nice in Blue"
This was the scene this week. The other tank has been replaced, along with the serviced handpump and all of the relevant pipework. Eddie kindly helped with servicing the pump as a half-stripped thread on the delivery side cost me a couple of days work. Regular readers will know that I was hoping to have the loco on her first running in turn at Ryton on Friday May 9th but, when the horror of the stripped thread struck on the Wednesday, it just stopped the job. Ahh well, no sense in rushing after all this time! Anyway, today, as I write, both tanks are on and I've refitted the L/H nameplate. Yes, she has the same nameplates. I'm not sure if they 'go' in red at the minute, but both of them are showing signs of losing the red to bare metal colour which may suit her better so we'll see how that progresses. For now I feel she should keep the old plates as they've been with her since the start. Here she is this afternoon, almost done and with a new steam chest gasket on the L/H side too...
"So Close!"
Now, with all of the piping up done and almost everything ready to go we are set to steam her BUT, and this is one of those kick yourself in the mouth situations where you could easily get annoyed. So, I could steam her, BUT, she has a valve gear problem. When I rolled her along the floor the other night to check for tight spots she had two occasional collision points. One was the bottom of the expansion link which was a pin not sitting correctly, so easily sorted. The second is quite serious. The loco has always suffered with very small clearance behind her crossheads to allow the leading crank pin and coupling rod face on each side to pass. On tight bends, you could barely see daylight behind the crossheads. Before I had the engine the problem was overcome by milling an extra spot off the back of each crosshead slip. However, with brand new crossheads fitted last year, I don't want to lose any strength by doing this. The problem has been worsened by the very necessary spacers and unfortunately we can't therefore do much about it without making a big change. So, in traditional fashion, smaller spacers (around 0.4mm as opposed to the 0.7mm's that are on now) will be made and fitted and the back of the rods polished to set them back another 0.3mm so that she will have spaced rods but the actual front faces of the rods will be no nearer the crossheads than they were last year. And, as we all know, last year the engine ran very well so wasn't hindered at all. This should take me another week or two to get round to doing and completing but then, probably a fortnight Friday, I'll steam her! Best Regards, Sam...

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Last Chance Saloon on "Bluebell"...

Hi guys. Well, what a pleasant if challenging day! Regular readers will remember that our star guest for the 2014 Battlefield Line Steam Gala was one of the Bluebell Railway's three SECR 0-6-0 'P' Class locomotives. The aptly named "Bluebell" came to us in March and first worked over the gala weekend of April 11th - 13th. Since then she has conducted five further steaming's, including Easter, and today would see her out on one final jaunt with us. I had been booked to do this date for a couple of weeks and was looking forward to it. My driver was John again, so the double-act from the Gala Friday were reunited. Being a small engine and having had a warming fire the day before, it was not necessary to 'get in' overly early to light No323. Myself and John arrived at 7am and met up in the North End yard before ambling down to the shed. Inside, an already very warm "Bluebell" awaited us. Having carried out my usual checks including the water level, steam level, fusible plug(s), firebox condition, tube condition and so on, I cleaned the remains of the little warming fire off the fire-grate. I then laid a light bed of fresh coal before closing the firehole doors and heading off to find some wood. By 7:30am, the 'P' had a good wood fire lit in the box and had already begun to sing...
Once the wood was burning brightly, I piled a mound of coal on top of it and closed the doors with the rear damper on the 2nd notch. The hopeful plumes of smoke from the chimney suggested that the coal was already starting to catch and so, with the engine crackling away, we sat down in the 'mess area' for a cuppa'. With our thirsts quenched, John attended to the hydrostatic cylinder lubricator whilst I headed around the engine with the oil can. The 12" 0-6-0 is fairly basic, with just a couple of oiling points on the outside coupling rods. Most oiling points are inside and include the usual bits & bobs of the expansion links, eccentrics (x4), die-blocks, big ends, little ends, slidebar slippers, glands and so on. As you spend more time with steam engines you get to know what to look for first hand. Unlike at the gala, No323 was beautifully positioned above the inspection pit. Though its still tight around the big ends, the pit made it easier for me to access them. On the gala Friday I'd had to wedge myself in across the top of the motion like a Circus performer! With the oiling done and more tea drank, "Bluebell" was brewing up nicely. When we had 100psi on the clock we moved the vacuum braked engine forward so that the chimney poked out of the door. It was then time to set to with the Brasso for the brightwork, the polish for the top side and the paraffin/oil mix for the frames and the wheels...
Driver John has, rather undeniably, taken a bit of a shine to No323. Indeed he has been the booked driver on the loco for four of her nine steaming's at the line! As the little blue engine sat simmering away quietly at the front of the shed, he remarked on how much he was looking forward to the day ahead (no pressure then!)...
At 11am, with 15 minutes until departure, we steamed across onto Platform 2 road and dropped down onto the waiting 3-coach train. I coupled the locomotive up to the stock before returning to the footplate to tend to the fire. The thin fire in the box was replenished with a light scattering across the entire surface area, supplemented by four extra shovels along the back and then two along each side. This small horse-shoe shaped fire seemed to work at the gala so I thought I'd try it again. Right on time at 11:15, 323 drew the stock out of Shackerstone Station, bound for Shenton. Up through the cutting and out into the countryside, the SECR 0-6-0 steamed beautifully and was a dream. For the first three trips of the day she was much the same, steaming well and pulling easily. The main trick seemed to be cleaning the fire regularly with the irons to avoid letting the clinker take hold. With a clean, bright fire No323 was no trouble...
"323 Prepares for the 1:45pm Train"
On the fourth trip, John kindly let me drive the engine. Apart from around the yard, I hadn't taken No323's regulator yet so I was quite looking forward to the different steed. To be honest, it was a very pleasant experience. The nimble steam-reverser makes notching up easy and efficient, whilst allowing the regulator to be kept open which, on some slide valve engines, can cause you to be thrown across the cab by the pole reverse! A Pannier Tank for example will make you shut-off before you can change cut-off position (you'll learn!). The braking was also very nice on "Bluebell", due to the Gresham & Craven ejector system which is always a welcome appliance. Having enjoyed 10 easy miles on the regulator of 323, it was time to return to the shovel for the last trip...
We decided to take a quick snap of "Bluebell" just before departure from Shenton with her last Battlefield Line service...
A final picture below shows the view ahead from the Fireman's side of 323 as we leave Market Bosworth in the early evening sunshine at around 5pm...
When we returned the locomotive to the engine shed all we had to do was lightly clean the fire grate and fill the boiler. The locomotive had performed perfectly throughout the day and I think I speak for John as well when I say I'll miss this little engine: its great fun. Cheers guys, Sam...

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Busy Day at RPMR...

Hi guys. Today was a busy day at the Ryton Pools Miniature Railway. It was my first crew turn of 2014 on the railway and well over 300 rides were taken during the afternoon, with services in the hands of the Compass House Class 37 and the stalwart Bo-Bo Petrol Hydraulic "Alacrity". During the afternoon we all shared the duties of driving, guarding, clipping tickets and taking the money. It was a very sunny afternoon and most pleasant. Best Regards, Sam...