Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Last Day for 45379 at Shackerstone...

Hello everyone. A simple day today at Shackerstone. I arrived at around 8am, along with a sizeable team, and we all set to cleaning the rostered locomotive: Black Five No45379. The beautiful Five was on her last turn at the railway, unfortunately. Therefore she was rostered for the five normal service trains to Shenton and back. At 11am the 4-6-0 left shed as the rain began to fall. Once the rain started, it didn't stop. This put pay to alot of jobs, mainly the washout of "Sir Gomer". Everyones enthusiasm just seems to drain away when the rain comes: no surprise really. With the Five off down the line myself and Dave cleared out the pit whilst the others planned to start the 02 diesel and drag "SG" outside. The 02 was of course dead with a poorly battery and so was put on charge for a few hours. The only real enjoyment of the day was to see the LMS beast (45379) pop in and out on the 5-coach train at regular intervals.
The Black Five on Shed One Last Time
Though the rain fell, the owners of "Dunlop No7" were still hard at work on her chassis. They managed to get the cab on in the morning and the tank would be put on later in the afternoon. The loco will be moved into the shed this coming Wednesday for the restoration to continue out of the elements. As yet, the boiler still hasn't left the North End, or begun its return to steam.
I must admit, though I've only been on it once, and she's only been with us 2 weeks, everyone has really fallen in love with 45379. Shes just brilliant. It will be really sad coming down next week when shes gone home. Ahh well, we had a go...thats all that matters.
Eventually, by about 3pm, the 02 had started and dragged the Peckett out into the rain. The next job was to empty the boiler so that the mudlids could be removed prior to washout. The boiler was emptied by opening the blow-down valve (fitted to the foundation ring) wide and simply waiting. We thought we'd waited long enough for the water to fall below crown-sheet level, so we pulled out Backhead Plug A = Wrong decision...Oops!...
A SLIGHT Misjudgement!
By 4pm, cold and wet, and having took a few lids out of "Sir Gomer" I decided to call it a day. I'm off out to a Pub Quiz tonight so really I need to get back and get sorted. I'll next be at Shackerstone next Sunday for more shed work, hopefully in dryer conditions. For passenger information - 5521 will be on service next weekend as 45379 will be on the West Somerset by then. Cheers guys. Sam.

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