Sunday, 31 October 2010

A Trip on 5786 And Nursing Old "Gomer"...

Hi everyone. Today I was over at Shackerstone for around 10am for a day in the shed. On my arrival I discovered the day's locomotive; Pannier No5786; being prepared alongside the Engine Shed. There, I also found the day's crew; Driver Andy, Fireman Carl and Trainee Dave. Andy then asked me a favour; could I climb through the small gap between the Tank's and The Running Board's and down into the Inside Valve Gear to oil the Eccentrics and Crank Axle. I, sort of willingly(!), said "Yes". Pannier's were favoured for their 'easy access' valve gear and boilers. However, the gap isn't as big as you would think. It took me a good while to slip myself under the Balance Pipe and in between the main Connecting Rods. Of course, the engine was handbraked and chocked to prevent any movement. I then oiled the specified parts before climbing out. The 57xx then had to be ashed out before she was ready to go off shed. Soon, the loco was off shed and down on the coal road where the Digger refilled her bunker...
Recoaled and ready to go, 5786 backed out of the North End and through Platform 2 to the Signalbox. She then moved down into Platform 1 onto the waiting 6-coach train. Below, 5786 poses before buffering up to the stock...I wonder how much longer that telegraph post on the left will last?...
Once buffered up, I coupled 5786 to the train. I was then invited onto the footplate for the first trip, whilst Trainee Dave popped home. Below, the Pannier drags the rake across the Crossover with the first departure; the 11:30am. Down on the left, on the pit road, you can see the Trap-Point which protects the Crossover from runaway vehicles...
Andy took 5786 slowly up the bank out of Shackerstone, watching out for a recently repaired section of track. The video below was taken by me and shows 5786 climbing towards Congerstone, slowly but surely...
Carl fired down to Shenton and I fired back. It was a very good return trip and I enjoyed it very much. The Pannier steams beautifully and has fantastic injectors which are remarkably reliable. The Pannier steams well on minimal fire, as long as you keep a 'good back end' in the box. It's a lovely machine. Once back at Shackerstone I left the engine for some work in the shed, whilst Trainee Dave returned for his day on the Pannier. My job today was to scrape, sand and repolish "Sir Gomer"s burnished connecting/coupling rods, which recently have been attracting rust. Another video for you now, taken by Shackerstone Volunteer Chris (Youtuber 'Fidodog08'). The video shows the lovely Pannier out and about on this blustery autumn day...
Third and final video now, taken by a passenger (Youtuber 'Barryat11'). This really is a great video, good quality indeed; I just had to include it! Well done, Sir! 5786 is seen steaming around the railway. You can even see me in there as the Pannier pulls in; looking out for the Foot Crossing from the footplate...
Down in the shed we see a bit of "Sir Gomer", our poor old tired Peckett... Outside, the Pannier takes water ready for another trip...
Later in the day, the Pannier returned to the shed and was disposed. Following that, I left the shed, signed off and headed for home in the darkness. (It gets dark so early when the clocks go back!). It was a good day at Shackerstone; varied to say the least. I love firing that Pannier! Thanks for reading folks. It's November tomorrow; Christmas soon!...

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