Sunday, 8 January 2012

A Quick Snoop around Loughborough Loco...

Hey everyone. I thought I would include this as a seperate post so as not to sort of change the subject too much if you like. Following our 'Elizabethan' Dining experience at the GCR, we had a quick snoop around the loco shed yard before leaving. I must admit, I never leave this area without finding a surprise: theres always something new! I did my 2-week Work Experience in this shed back in 2007 when I was 15, doing odd jobs for the Engineering Department. Since then, some things have changed, some haven't. For example, when I was here in 2007, the GNR N2 Tank was just wheels and frames; now its in steam and running regularly, and has been for a while! Walking past the open shed doors, an unfamiliar face presented itself: Ivatt Class 2 No46521. She was here when I was I believe but, again, just frames really. Today, she was in a black gloss livery, as part of her repaint before her debut at the upcoming Winter Gala 2012 at the end of the month. Basically, she's almost there(!) and she looked lovely. Out in the yard, 4953 "Pitchford Hall" was standing cold in one of the sidings, though she did look pretty clean. I believe that the GWR 4-6-0 has now been sold by her old owner John Kennedy but don't quote me...
An unusual line-up in the yard as we see Class 49xx, 26(?), 20, N2 and 08...
Outside the loco shed, near Empress Road Bridge, stood a fine example of Midland engineering; Class 3F 'Jinty' No47406. This beautiful loco is gaining quite a reputation for performance and reliability I believe and, I hope, that our paths are going to cross again quite soon. We'll see...
Next to 47406 stood an engine that is looked after beautifully, like all three of the steamers under the care of the 5305 Locomotive Association; the other two being Black 5 No45305 and Brit 70013 "Oliver Cromwell". N15 "Sir Lamiel" (part of the National Collection) was being cleaned by one of the GCR's countless, dedicated volunteers. I must admit, she is a lovely looking machine; quite unusual some would say...
Another loco that was under restoration whilst I was here in 07' was "Witherslack Hall"; one of the Modified Hall's built under Hawksworth. Today, her overhaul has progressed a bit, with the boiler/firebox now taking priority I believe. The following pic was taken through the firehole door, showing the fitment of stays progressing well...
As well as the locomotives that I have featured there are also many others inside the loco works including 8F 48305, West Country "Boscastle", an Austerity, GCR 8K/LNER 04 No63601, a Black 5 of which I don't know the number and god only knows what else. I'm guessing that the Standard 2 No78019 is in there somewhere too! Anyway, after a brief snoop about, we wandered back up to the station platform where we met mum again before heading for home. A very nice little visit and, more than likely, I'll be back soon. I am particularly interested to see 46521 in steam at the Winter Gala in a few weeks. Look out for a post on that as it happens. Cheers guys...Sam...

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