Sunday, 18 November 2012

Post 100: Shackerstone Works...

Hi guys. Well, here we are again...one year on...Post No100. Naturally, as one will often find, Post No100 was a day out to Shackerstone. We were working in the loco shed today, performing various tasks from cleaning to changing gaskets on 3803's injectors. At present, there are five steam locomotives in Shackerstone shed, with two more stabled outside. The running area of the shed is taken up by the huge bulk of 3803; the GWR Heavy Freight. She is the only one of the operational fleet that has any work left to do this year: she'll be on Santa train duty from December 1st up until Christmas Eve. Behind 3803 in the storage area: closed off during winter to stop the draft: is 5521. 5521 came in September (see posts) as Gala Guest No2 and yet, having fulfilled all of its operating days at Shackerstone, never left! The owners of the loco (the Flour Mill) have yet to collect her and at present she has shown no signs of leaving.
Welding On Dunlop No7 and The Cold Bulk of 3803
Further down the shed the Peckett duo of "Sir Gomer" and "Dunlop No7" stand side by side. "Dunlop" is still minus her boiler which stands in unrestored condition down the North End. This little 0-4-0 worked at Shackerstone in the early 80s but only spent 3 months in operational traffic before being retired with a condemned firebox. Her loving owners, having restored a Class 04 and Class 08 diesel of late, have now turned their attention to her and there is always some progress to see. Today they were welding the cab floor as part of its repair. The frames have also received stripping and priming. Overall, the babby Peckett looks alot better than she did a few months back. Bigger sister "Sir Gomer" (the railways own locomotive) has had quite a fortunate season and has proved popular with both crews and the public. The loco took part in Halloween weekend and has since been winterised to protect her from the frost. She will see no use prior to the early season of 2013 as of now.

The Aveling "Blue Circle" is also winterised and sits happily in her stabling area at the back of the shed. It is unlikely that she will see any steaming over winter but never say never.
All in all a pleasant but very cold day. The rear end of the shed (the 2-road section) is particularly cold as the guys mostly keep the rear doors open to allow the Class 02 (currently being repainted) in and out when required. The other two steamers (pile of bits "Richard III" and out-of-ticket "Lamport No3") are currently outside but will probably find their way back into the works for dry storage once 5521 has left us. Despite only being a Small Prairie tank engine, 5521 still makes quite an imposing presence inside the shed.

Right, now to post 100. Last year it was the very end of October...this year it comes 3 weeks later meaning that, in theory, we've done less posts this year so far: thats a first! I can only put it down to less use on the Garden Railway due to work and the weather. Ahh well, we'll have to see how many more posts I can squeeze in before the end of the year! Cheers guys. Sam.

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