There are no prizes for spotting what’s different about this picture of 17064. (Hint, for those of you watching in black & white, the coach is now in maroon undercoat). This isn’t a mistake, it’s just a change of plan, having seen how nice 14099 looked in maroon we were considering a change of colour scheme for ’64, then we discovered that we already had a set of number decals to go with maroon paint, so the decision was made – it saved us having to buy extras to go with a green coach. We had both colours of paint in stock, and we needed to put a couple more layers of undercoat on to build up the paint thickness. Inside the coach things are moving on rapidly. The mirrors are now up in all the compartments, the wall above the workbench has sprouted a rack and a set of parts bins, and the kitchen now has a functioning and tested gas cooker, thanks to Alpha Gas. The job of shipping equipment over from the stores has begun, meaning that we can start to work out what we already have, and what we need to source – e.g. we have more mugs than we need at present (although given the casualty rate on a footplate travelling at 75mph, no doubt we will soon lower the number!)
70013 Oliver Cromwell has been busy already this year, with a good performance on the Sussex Belle last week and plenty more trips to come. One trip in particular springs to mind: the 27th March “Help For Heroes” a fund raising trip for the charity of the same name. Even if you aren’t one of the lucky ones with a ticket, please remember the charity – particularly if you go out lineside to take photos, please send them a donation. www.helpforheroes.org.uk The trip, organised by West Coast Railways (www.westcoastrailways.co.uk) is a steam special from Lancaster to York. Return picking up at Lancaster, Preston, Wigan North Western & Manchester Victoria in aid of the charity Help For Heroes. Many of the organisations involved, including 5305LA, the NRM, West Coast Railways, and Network Rail have donated their time to the trip, meaning that even more of the proceeds go to the charity. (Full details of the generosity of the organsiations was published in Steam Railway Magazine Number 372). The National Railway Museum, who are the owners of the Locomotive have agreed that she can once again wear the identity of long lost classmate No. 70048 “The Territorial Army 1908-1958 (2008)”.
The NRM’s other steam engine in our care (No. 30777 Sir Lamiel) is currently receiving attention at Tyseley ready for a busy spring and summer of railtours. The engine has been on the Wheeldrop to allow the Tyseley Locomotive Works to examine the axleboxes and hornblocks. The rods and some of the axle boxes have come back to Loughborough for machining by the Creat Central Railways Engineering Department, in this picture Mick Carr is checking that the holes are OK and not oval.
Other parts of the motion await the micrometer.
The Class 33, also owned by the NRM has come closer to the shed this week, we are planning a lift to enable the diesel fitters to rectify the drooping buffer (casualty of a long ago shunting accident) and make some repairs to the body work. We had originally hoped that the drooping buffer could be repaired without a complete lift of the locomotive but then found out that this is not possible. We have sourced the loan of some appropriate lifting beams and have all the gear we need, and are just waiting for space in the shed and the use of the jacks. Having said that the locomotive came closer to the shed, she has spent most of the week being shunted back and forth to allow the shed staff to clear number one road of equipment as part of a big shed work area reshuffle.
The peak, D123 is in regular service on the GCR, being one of the few diesels which doesn’t get drained down for the winter.
Finally, one of the support crew who was on last week’s trip on 14099 gave us a report of the coach “Excellent – much better than the one we used to use” high praise – the team who sorted out 99 put a lot of effort into planning the layout and it’s nice to know that it worked.