Sunday, 14 October 2012

Another Turn with a 38'...

Hi everyone. I had another turn as Fireman on 3803 today at the Battlefield Line. However, as I'm on it quite alot and the loco features regularly on this blog, I won't labour the post again by including a lengthy account of the entire day as one may find that the details would almost match other posts from past experiences. In short, I arrived at Shackerstone this morning at 6am, in pitch darkness. Having unlocked the gates and driven in I continued up to the station before unloading my car and ambling down to the loco shed. Inside the shed, right next to the door, was the simmering charge for the day: 3803. Having checked the water level and the firebox I had to physically go into the firebox in order to clear some debry from the front end. With the blockage cleared I clambered back out the box and laid a bed of coal 1-lump thick. Andy then lit a wood fire on top using pallet wood and rags. The inferno quickly took hold and 3803 began 'singing' (boiling) straight away.
A Good Fire In The Box, With The Wood Taking Hold
The booked crew for today was myself, Driver Andy and Trainee Jason. It was a good day all told with a warm sun, a tasty breakfast cooked on the shovel and shared duties of both driving and firing. Apart from a few knocks and bangs the 38' went very well and proved herself to be reliable and free steaming, as she always does. Mind you, the coal we had on board the tender was a little poor. Though it burnt almost white hot it had a tendancy to dissapear quickly and (worse still) clinker the grate. Mind you, we did use the last of that batch of coal today so we'll have a new batch next time we're on which will hopefully be better.
We hauled five trains today, with me firing three of them and driving one of them. It was a very good day indeed, well worth doing. The big green 38' did us proud again.
Cheers Guys - Sam

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