One On, One Off and One in the Wash
That’s what my grandma used to recommend for clothes (particularly for warm vests), and co-incidentally that’s what 5305 Locomotive Association has in the way of locomotives at the moment:
45305 is currently out on the main line doing what she’s designed to do – hauling trains and making people happy (see recent postings "Out in the Wild", "5305 at Willesden", "The Capital Five Photos" and "The Capital Five").
No. 70013 “Oliver Cromwell”, the NRM’s Britannia is currently off duty and is still at LNWR Crewe Locomotive Works receiving attention to the firebox. We had hoped that the work would be completed by now and we would be busy putting the engine back together ready to take up her December work. The boiler work will probably be completed by the end of this month, but obviously there will be a lot of work afterwards to get the cladding and back head fittings replaced, the cab back on, and the boiler steam tested before she can return to traffic. Sadly we aren’t quite at a stage where we can be confident of getting the engine back together in time to take up her rostered duties in December. Therefore in fairness to the railtour operators and the travelling public we have decided to withdraw the engine from the trips in order that the operators have time to source an alternative locomotive, instead of keeping going and then having to withdraw at the last minute which might leave everyone in the lurch. We are very disappointed to have to make this decision, but it would be unprofessional of us to take any other action.
Finally, the NRM’s other steam engine in our care No. 30777 “Sir Lamiel” arrived back at Loughborough on Thursday and went straight into the wash: Not only was she ‘weathered’ (i.e. a bit grubby), but after a busy summer which included the Weymouth trips and visits to the North Norfolk and the Bluebell Railways, she was due for a washout. Tone the Clean saw the state of the buffers on Sunday and offered these words of wisdom “Don’t worry, we’ll soon have her looking smart again”, and sure enough a gang of cleaners descended on the bright work and rods as soon as the sun was up and the other engines off shed yesterday morning. Meanwhile Tom had rounded up a gang of 5305 LA volunteers for a washout team, and they set-to on the messy but essential job of washing out the boiler. So as the cleaners were busy at one end making her all shiny on the outside, Hugh and Kevin were busy dragging all the sludge out of the boiler at the other end and dripping it all down the wheels and rods, (but that’s inescapable, and they wiped the worst off afterwards!) So by the end of Sunday Lamiel was looking much more presentable, and more importantly, was clean inside as well. Thanks team!
This was how Lamiel looked in the morning before the team set to work, sadly, by the time I got back on shed it was full dark and I couldn't get a useable picture - I did try!