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David Thompson has just sent us this report of "The Hadrian" which 70013 worked as a last-minute replacement of 60009 for the Railway Touring Company.

A beautiful sunny Friday morning at York to start the preparation of 70013 for the Railway Touring Company’s sold out Hadrian tour. Alan Cooke was hard at work on the wheels and motion, and they were looking very bright and clean, as for the boiler and tender it was a different story, after the Scarborough's 70013 was in a filthy condition. With David Wright doing some last minute maintenance, I started by washing down the engine and tender with wash and wax. Then, after it dried, doing it again with white spirit before final polishing. Geoff Morris joined us after lunch and later on Malcolm Clarkson to finish at least the fireman's side.

Evening meal was taken at the local Witherspoons where Tom Tighe, Craig Stinchcome and Alan Pakes joined us, then back to the NRM for an early sleep before a 5 am start on the Saturday.

A lovely Saturday morning greeted us as we finished polishing 70013 and set off engine and support coach to Hellifield via Leeds to await our train.

Craig Stinchcome was our fireman from York to Carlisle.

Filling up the tender with water at Hellifield, then into the support coach for a well earned breakfast, courtesy of Blue haze catering. What a breakfast not for the faint hearted or vegetarian. Possibly the largest breakfast I have ever tackled, or anyone else for that matter.

The driver said afterwards that he felt more like going to sleep than driving to Carlisle with that huge meal inside him. Craig said that he would soon work it off over the S and C.

A wonderful sunny trip followed all the way to Carlisle with a stop at Appleby for water and faultless performance by engine, crew and support crew.

After shunting the stock, turning, coaling and watering the engine we were ready to leave Carlisle via the Tyne valley to Newcastle and return to York.

This time we had Driver David Blair and Fireman Charlie Barber who joined us at Carlisle. This was Charlie's first official firing turn, so the first time 70013 had been fired both ways by 5305 LA firemen.

It was to be a baptism of fire as Driver Blair set about the climb from Carlisle, such was the pace that the Newcastle water stop was reached 30 minutes early.

Control allowed us to run on an early path providing we kept to max. speed, and thus ensured there would be no respite for Charlie back to York.

A wonderful noisy fast run brought to a halt at Darlington and Northallerton by catching up with a Grand Central HST, In spite of which we still arrived early at York. Here we came off and ran engine and support coach to Neville Hill Leeds for the next days open day.

A very early start and normal late finish ended at Neville Hill Leeds with a superb hot clean shower, before the lure of a welcoming sleeping bag.

Sunday and all the normal jobs after a run, plus cleaning on the side on view for the five remaining crew, the rest having left at York the previous evening, before having a look around the open day, then a late move back to the NRM and putting 70013 to bed.

All ready to start again for the following weekend.

A late drive home from York for the now four support crew ended another weekend’s superb performance of 70013.


By Info | Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | Tags : 70013

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