Given that all of the recent postings have featured engines which are away on main line duties, you have probably started to wonder what (if anything) is happening to the rest of the fleet back at Loughborough. So I thought that the time had come for an update.
The Five’s boiler is still away at Tyseley and our correspondents in the West Midlands visit regularly to see what’s going on and report back to us. Work is still underway and progress is being made, although the boiler isn’t finished yet. As you already know, this means that our big black friend won’t be going out to play on the 15 Guinea Special – always a bridesmaid, never the bride. She missed out 40 years ago to a collapsed brick arch and this time to a load of stays.
The Peak is in traffic on the GCR and regularly hauls trains. I keep saying that, and it keeps being true, but it gets a bit monotonous so this time I’ve asked the treasurer for a few figures: during July she worked five days on the railway, with an average of 47 miles per day. During the Mail by Rail Gala she suffered a minor fault which caused her to miss one trip, but the fault was quickly rectified and she returned to traffic.
The Class 33 is still half painted, the other half is waiting for the painters’ arms to rest after the marathon of painting Cromwell (but they’ve made a cracking job of the Big Green One so we don’t grudge them a rest). Allistair was working on the floor inside the engine today, sorting out damage from historical water ingress, he also fettled a couple of valves for Mark, which I believe were for the Peak, although I forgot to check. I am certain that they weren’t parts of the shed shower that Mark was mending because modern electric showers don’t have dirty big chunky valves, so putting them next to the shower in the wash room didn’t fool me much.
The support coach is still progressing, it’s easy to forget this vehicle because it lurks outside the back of the shed and most visitors and volunteers simply walk past on their way somewhere else – it’s a coach, so it blends into the background, but we will be glad of it when it’s sleeping accommodation, workshop, messing facilities and office all rolled into one out on the main line. The gas box has had the final top coat applied and now just needs the lettering picking out in pretty colours.
After the rush to get the Brit and the Arthur sorted, today was a bit gentler. Several of the team spent time today doing various “housekeeping” jobs on shed. Remember, there’s a railway to run as well as engines to look after. So we went round picking up bits of various engines which were lying around the shed and re-uniting them with the engine to which they belong. So various bits of the N2’s brake rigging which were next to the Five were moved next to the N2, ditto bits of the Fairburn tank which is being dismantled by LSLG and the Saturday crazy gang. This tidying work has made a clear space next to the five so that we can progress that job. We also moved a couple of lockers, dug pits and sorted tools. Then Hugh got his needle gun out and cleaned and primed the area under the Five’s smokebox – well it was a Saturday and the compressor was already running for another job so it would have been a pity not to do it. He also dusted the tender – after all there was a clear space to put the ladder, so again, it would have been a pity to waste the opportunity, especially as someone is bound to spot some clear space and fill it with something very soon.
By Info | Saturday, August 2, 2008 | Tags : 45305