Saturday, 27 October 2012

GEC Night Run 2012...

Hi guys. In light of very recent family goings on I was in two minds as to whether to go along to the GEC Night Run today but, having moped around all day yesterday, I thought it would do me good to get some fresh air. The run was planned from 3pm until 8pm as usual, providing free rides on both the 5" and 7.25" tracks as well as the sale of hot food from 4:30pm, coupled with a bonfire and illuminations after dark. Reading back through previous posts about this run (every October) you will find that it is normally one of my calendar highlights and I always enjoy it. I arrived at 1:30pm today and immediately helped unload the Romulus "James" and Eddie's Maxitrak "Archie". The Bland family's "Luna" and "Toby" were already unloaded, as was "Tom" the 'Tich'. The 5" guys were busying themselves getting their engines ready too. The plan was to have both "James" and "Luna" sharing services, each with a 2-car set behind the drawbar. With the addition of little "Archie" (coupled to "Toby" who provided the vac brakes) we could create a 3rd line-going engine and thus lighten the load on the other two. For the first two hours of the day the plan worked, before "Archie" retired as Eddie had to get home.
"Archie" leads "Toby" Out of the Station
For the rest of the evening the busy trains were hauled by "James" and "Luna". The turn around times were very short, with the locos running straight round and back onto the set again before departing. "Tom" would have been in action on a 1-car set but he failed with a cracked water gauge glass. Myself and owner James shared the driving on his lovely red locomotive, which steamed and pulled brilliantly as usual.
"James" Ready To Go
As night fell the trains seemed to get busier and busier, on this cold but dry evening. We just couldn't seem to get the queue down, even with "James" and "Luna" getting a bit of a rush on. Accelerating well out of the slacks would get us some time back but in the black of night you can't see anything on the line ahead and so it makes sense to keep the engine from going too fast. Nevertheless the passengers seemed to enjoy themselves and the hot dogs and jacket potatoes were absolutely brilliant. After dark I lit the bonfire and it soon got going into a roaring, warm display for everyone to enjoy. Its amazing what one parrafin rag and a pile of wood can do!
Queue at 7pm
The Tea Room Ladies were again brilliant and tea on the footplate was a regular feature of the evening. The food, as I said, was also fantastic...well worth coming for. Despite everything I had a very enjoyable evening and the GEC can certainly chalk this one up as another success. Cheers guys. Sam.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a good day and I enjoyed it. Just to be accurate Archie retired when he did due to Toby's batteries running flat otherwise we would have done a few more trips. We would have been in the way on our own so it seemed a good time to finish as I did need to get away early. Could have run for another 45 mins though!

Eddie & Archie