Sunday, 17 February 2013

Quiet One at Shackerstone...

Hi guys. Just a quiet one at Shackerstone today, doing a few little jobs in the engine shed on "Sir Gomer". The loco had been steam tested yesterday following some more remedial valve gear work, and so required cleaning out today. The smokebox and firebox both required cleaning and so myself & Eddie set to with these tasks. Outside, Ruston diesel shunter "Hercules" was coming back to life. The engine arrived at Shackerstone a few years back as a runner but, due to a failed axlebox brass, ended up in storage until repairs could be carried out. The loco recently moved to a new resting place at the side of the loco shed, adjacent to the stores, allowing work to be undertaken away from the main running line. The locomotive has an air-fed start, meaning that a resevoir pressure of compressed air (around 200-300psi) is required before the loco has enough strength to turn the engine over a couple of times at a fast enough speed to engage a successful start. Sure enough, once the air had built up, "Hercules" roared into life and threw clouds of smoke into the midday air. Below, "Hercules" proudly ticks over...noisily!...
What better image to advertise volunteer labour than myself inside a firebox?! Below, I'm checking the tubes and stays on "Sir Gomer", having just cleaned the grate. These checks are routine as its common-sense to check everything is fine whilst you are in there in the gloom anyway. Sure enough, all was well and "Sir G" looked good, even from the inside!...
"Dear Me, Its Hot In Here!"
Thanks very much for reading again guys. Lets hope "Sir Gomer" will be in steam and running well again ready for our services to recommence in March. We've had some beautiful engines over the years..."Mayflower", 3803, 9466 and of course my personal favourites...5542 & 5786. However, "Sir Gomer" is still part of the operational fleet and is currently penned to work the early seasons services. Why not come along and ride behind her, for something different with an industrial charm? Cheers guys. Sam.

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