Saturday, 4 February 2012

Achilles Report No9: Very, Very Cold!...

Hi everyone. Only a short post from today but a very worthwhile one. I arrived at the RPMR track site with "Achilles" in tow at about 12:45pm. The engine was duly unloaded onto the frosty steaming bays. The ground was very hard and this did not raise my expectations of finding a non-frozen water supply! Sure enough, everything was frozen. Eventually; using hot water; I managed to defrost the mains supply near the station, allowing me to fill my boiler and light the fire. As the engine began to warm up in the chilly breeze, I oiled the axleboxes and the motion. Soon enough, she was ready. 0-4-0 electric "Benella" had already done a few laps and her owner (Peter) had reported to me that it was not too bad going south, but terrible going north! The frosty wind really was biting as "Achilles" made her way onto the track. However, though it was very cold, she ran very well indeed. The pressure remained strong, the fire burnt brightly and the water pump didn't act up at all. Admittedly, as it was freezing cold, I only did 5 or 6 laps but it was very enjoyable. In the end I gave up because it started to snow! Below, "Achilles" is blown-down on the bay as quickly as possible...
I did take a short video of around 1/2 of the track during my short running session. "Achilles" is spotted performing well on the 1 in 70 bank and then heading through a quiet Ryton Halt after a stop for water at the stand-pipe (sorry for the poor quality; its off my phone!)...
video
Though the run was short-lived "Achilles" performed faultlessly. In fact, I wish it had been a summer's day as I could have ran for ages with her performing that well. You watch now, she'll fail the next hot day we have...but thats just the way of steam locomotives isn't it?! The next 'penned' running for the loco is the first Saturday of next month, if I'm free then; I expect we'll have to see. I do have many running days planned in 2012 at CMES though, and I also plan to take the engine to both GEC and Rugby MES if invites permit later in the year (Watch this space!). Following a hopefully successful season, the loco will be retired for winter again during mid-November: thats the plan. The loco will then be stripped from the running boards down for rebushing and some minor valve gear and lubricator attention. In 2013, I hope she will be a much more economical and perhaps an even more powerful engine to boot. Cheers guys...Sam...

2 comments:

Petensue said...

Hi Sam
Great blog and yes it was cold as is shown by the good shots of the steam coming from your loco.
Hope to see you at the March steam up.
PS did you see Rood Aston Hall passing Nuneaton today - Sunday?
We had a valentine lunch on it.
Regards
Pete W

Sam Brandist said...

Cheers Pete. Nah mate didn't see her; have seen her so many times! haha ^_^ . But hope you had a great time. We've done Premier Dining with VT a couple of times and loved it.