Saturday, 3 March 2012

Achilles Report No10: Sunny & Steamy at RPMR...

Hello everyone. Today we were off to CMES again, my 5" gauge club. It was another Members Running Day and, though the morning had seen persistant heavy rain, the afternoon's weather was very favourable indeed. The sun shone all afternoon and I even felt quite warm if I tried to keep out of the wind! As it was a members day I did of course take my 5" loco "Achilles" along with me. Last time I ran her 4 weeks ago (see post) it was very, very cold and, though she was running well, I just couldn't stand it so came off after only a few laps. Today however the weather was much more pleasant and by 1:30pm we were unloaded and on a steaming bay preparing the engine in the sun. I checked and cleaned her yesterday so all that needed to be done was the filling of the boiler, the oiling and of course lighting the fire. By 2pm, the loco was in steam and ready. She hissed off our bay and onto the traverser before we pushed the loco across to the 'run up rail'. The engine then sidled down to the Carriage sheds where we picked up a riding truck & a passenger car. After loading, we prepared to move backwards up the track to the main-line. This section is quite steep indeed on the way back up and, as the loco still had alot of water in the system, I took her up gradually. We stopped at the top to regain a bit of steam before continuing track. The loco is later seen at Ryton Halt after taking water at the column...
The loco went very well today but things were a little unusual. Some laps she would steam brilliantly but seemed a little sluggish on the pulling side, but then other laps she would steam not so well but would take off like a greyhound! Mind you, thats steam engines; always different. A few members of my family came up today too, and had rides behind the loco. She seems to go much better with a load on. Four of us behind her made her blow-off climbing the bank but with just me I had to fight to make her steam. Very odd! However, overall, it had been another good performance from the locomotive. For her age she is still going quite well. Naturally, she has alot of knocks and bangs but this should definately be expected after all the mileage she has put in. As I've said before, after this season she is being taken out of service for rebushing which, I hope, will improve the running quality quite a bit. Before that however, we've got many more runs planned this year for the loco, all of which will no doubt be documented on this blog. We next plan to run her on the next CMES Members day (April 7th). Below, my brother brings the loco, with brass dome shining, up the bank under blue skies...
Passing the camera, "Achilles" is very nearly at the top of the climb...
After around 2 & 1/2 hours of running, we disposed of the locomotive and headed home. It been another very enjoyable afternoon at CMES and another good day for "Achilles". I've got a few jobs to do on her before her next run but nothing too complicated. One of the drain cocks has stuck open so that needs cleaning out, and the lubricator is over-oiling so that needs addressing too. Thanks for reading folks. Sam...

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