Saturday, 28 April 2012

"Day Out With Thomas", With Dave & Jan...

On Shed And Ready To Go
Hello everyone. Today at 6am I was back at Shackerstone, meeting Dave and lighting up Jinty Tank No47298 for another day as "Thomas". Up in the shed we checked the engine over and then lit the fire. She was just about to come onto steam as she started 'singing' straight away. Our Driver for the day: Jan: soon arrived and we all prepped the engine in good time. 3803 was being readied by Mic & John, with cleaning hands being provided by Joe, Danny and Kelly. The Jinty was ready well before time and we all got washed up & changed before the Grand Opening at around 9:50am. After much whistling and waving the Opening was done and the first Daisy Run took place. The Jinty was then moved to the front of the train to start steam-heating the 10:30am departure for Shenton. The DMU soon returned and the passengers crossed the barrow crossing and boarded the 6-coach train that was coupled to 47298. I put a horse-shoe shaped back end in the Jinty's firebox again and she steamed relatively well. We made Shenton in good time and Dave hooked us off before we ran round
47298 At Shenton (by Mark Heseltine)
Back to Shackerstone we went and the loco ran round into Platform 1 for various games, playlets, races and photo opportunities, as per the week before
Shackerstone North End (by Mark Heseltine)
We indulged in various races against the Class 08, playing 'Diesel'. Of course, many people cheered for Thomas but he has to lose a few races to build suspense! Naturally, the last run we often win. Below, I'm driving Thomas as he thrashes the Class 08 in the final scene; to the joy of many ;) We also see a few other Fast & Slow races...

We had to do the 3rd run as it was the "Lunch on Thomas" train. This trip was top & tailed with the Jinty on the front and the 73 on the back. We hauled the train to Shenton with Dave firing, before getting dragged back to Shack by the 73; providing assistance here and there of course. Back at Shackerstone the games continued, with Dave & Jan jubilently taking part in the sing-a-long song. I must admit, they were very good at it...I really don't like doing it. With the 38' pulling the main train, we were limited to station duties. However, during the run-round times, "Daisy the DMU" makes a short run to Hedleys crossing and back. At one point during the day, there is the chance to take "Thomas" on that run as well. So, we coupled up and off we went. Stuart hauled us to Hedleys with the two DMU power cars before changing cabs and exchanging the single-line token. We would then create Vac and then pull the DMU back to Shackerstone's Platform 1. Dave fired this run too, with Jan on the handle.
"Thomas" & "Daisy" At Breezy Hedleys
The locomotive was performing well, though you had to keep the firebed clean to prevent clinker. The final trip was hauled by the 73 and tailed by the Jinty. We hauled them neatly back from Shenton, with the 0-6-0 putting in another good performance on the "Tea on Thomas" service. After uncoupling at Shackerstone it was 5:30pm and time to put the engine to bed again. We steamed up into the shed, put both injectors on and raked the fire to a 'safe' level. Once the boiler was full and the fire pretty much dead, we turned everything off and then left the loco to simmer, with 50psi still on the clock. It had been a fantastic day and I must thank Jan & Dave for a great time. By the way, Jan has her own fantastic blog which can be found here - well worth a read. Well, thats it, another day done. When am I next firing? "Oh yes...tomorrow!". Yes I'll be back at 6am again for a final day on 47298, but with Eddie this time. Thanks for reading folks. Good evening...

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