The official launch of 70013 into traffic will take place next weekend – on Saturday 10th May 2008. Various VIPs have been invited – including representatives from all of the partners in the restoration project (the NRM, GCR, LSLG, Steam Railway and of course 5305LA).
But with steam locomotives, you always want to have tested the engine Before you have the official launch; the embarrassment of finding that a vital piece has been missed off and the engine won’t move would be bad enough on a private test run, finding out during a VIP launch would be a million times worse. So the team have been making a series of trips up and down the GCR over the past few days to get Cromwell tested and the running in process well underway ready for her to pull the Launch train. This meant that some lucky people were able to see Cromwell steaming over the Bank Holiday weekend. She was very popular indeed, with a constant stream of visitors pointing cameras towards her, gazing in awe at the shining paintwork and generally admiring a fine piece of machinery.
I took my camera along as well, I got a quick photo on shed before she left and although I later saw her in the station, I completely forgot to get another photo.
But just because a certain large green engine has come into traffic doesn’t mean that 5305LA volunteers can rest on our laurels – there is still a lot of work to do: 45305s frames need to be fettled, (the boiler is still at Tyseley), the support coach roof still needs scraping and painting, the bogies still need work, the Arthur still needs looking after and the diesels don’t maintain themselves. So while 70013 and her entourage were out of the way, various people took the chance to progress the jobs still to do: The Arthur was in traffic, earning her keep – nice to see her in action again after a wait for new firebars. D123 put in two trips on Saturday. Because it didn’t rain (strangely, because it was a bank holiday) the team managed to get a lot of scraping done on the coach roof as well as working on the bogies, meanwhile other members of the team were busy progressing the cleaning and painting of the Five’s frames. And that’s just the jobs I found out about – the thing with 5305LA is that people just quietly get on with jobs in the background. Various other 5305LA members and GCR volunteers were busy on shed, mostly helping to get the O4 back into traffic, ready for her appearance at Railfest in York.
By Info | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Tags : 70013