Sunday, 7 February 2010

Is It Steam Or Diesel At Shackerstone?!...

Hi all! Today, it was back to the standard gauge loco's at Shackerstone for another day working away at various projects in the sheds. Arriving first at 10:20am, I unlocked the shed and found the Shed Cat ("Morris") wandering about the area...obviously prowling for his food as usual! Unfortunately, though now complete, "Sir Gomer"s boiler has yet to return from Llangollen and so no work was carried out on the engine today. Meanwhile, B1 "Mayflower" rested throughout the day and also remained untouched. One of the Steam Department's current projects is, would you believe(?!), a BR Class 02 Diesel Shunter named "Diane" (D2867). So, with seemingly no other work available, we set to carrying on with the diesel! "Diane" is regularly used by the Steam Department for shunting duties within the shed and the respective yard but has, since arrival, worn a rather delapidated BR Green livery. Finally, at the end of last year, the decision was taken to make a real effort with D2867 and make her look presentable and, on behalf of the Steam Department, she will take part in the May Diesel Gala in new colours! (We will show that we can do-up diesels as well as steamers!). The image below shows the rather tired looking D2867 back in Summer 2008...
The BR Class 02 shunters were simply, robust 0-4-0's built by the Yorkshire Engine Company in 1960-61. Only 20 of these little diesels were built and they were unusual in that they had a general British outline yet carried a railed veranda behind the cab, much like North American shunters. Equipped with Vacuum Brakes and 170HP Rolls Royce engines, the 02's were very powerful and produced a useful 15, 000lbs of Tractive Effort. However, their career's were short-lived and the last one was withdrawn in 1973. D2867 has now had many of her electrics repaired, her engine serviced, her front bufferbeam needle-gunned, her cab needle-gunned & primed and her side strips primed. Her wheels have also been covered with Diesel fuel which will be left to soak before Pressure-Washing begins. The whole engine will be turned out in BR Brunswick Green with Yellow & Black Cab Stripes ready for the May Diesel Gala at the very latest. The locomotive, under the custody of the Steam Department, will then be well looked after and will no longer provide a bit of an eyesore to the passing public! And, before you ask(!), NO!, we haven't converted from Steam to Diesel! (Never!). Today, after much work, we finished at around 5:15pm.

Today I was also given my first firing date of 2010: May 1st. I will be trainee fireman on the railway's one-off "Thomas 65th Anniversary Party". The Battlefield Line Railway will be the only railway to host this event in the Midland's Region and it will be a complete one-off. Children will be able to meet Thomas, Henry, Fergus, Daisy, Boco and of course the Fat Controller and many different attractions will be in action during the day. Interested? See the railway's website at www.battlefield-line-railway.co.uk for more details! The main locomotive in question, Thomas, will be lit at a very very early 3:30am(!!) ready for his big day ahead! Thanks For Reading Folks! Evening All!...

No comments: