In the morning rain we drew 30585 out of the engine shed in front of a gang of hardy photographers. We were due off shed at 8:15 in order to drop down into the North End and pick up the freight train, which was due off Shackerstone at 8:45. Right on time we slithered down the yard with the two reps on board, before picking up the stock; made up of four wagons and two brakevans...
|30585 With The Freight In The North End|
|Beattie Drinks at Shenton (Still Raining!)|
Returning to Shackerstone on the freight, it was clear that Beattie was a fantastic steamer. With a flat fire and maybe the odd extra shovelfull in each back corner, she would keep 140psi-160psi (full pressure) all the way, with the train being slowed & halted on the steam brake. The injectors, though fiddly, seemed to inject a good stream of water and barely touched the pressure...just what you want! 10 miles later, we were already enjoying ourselves immensely. The NRM'S T9 was already waiting on the stock as we pulled in with the freight, and departed on time at 10am. We then performed some shunting demo's with Beattie and the freight wagons, whilst "Sir Gomer" steam heated our waiting 'local' set. Our local train departed at 11am with Adrian on the regulator, as he is a passed driver at Shackerstone as well as the keeper of 30585 at Quainton. I fired the trip whilst also eating my breakfast, alongside Eddie who was stuffing his down. You cannot beat a breakfast off "Jessie" the Buffet Car...Throughout the day the Beattie & the T9 shared the services. The two runs to Shenton with the local set (a 10T Box van and two Blood & Custard Mk1's) were probably my favourites: very pleasant. At 1pm & 2:30pm we operated shuttles to Market Bosworth only, top & tailed with the powerful "Sir Gomer". These two trips were very enjoyable, with Beattie putting on a good show on the way there, and "Sir Gomer" showing just what industrials can do on the way back...
|30585 Leaves Shackerstone On The Local, "SG" On Rear (Photo - J.Shadbolt)|
|Me With Beattie at Shackerstone (Photo - D.Hanks)|
|30585 At Shenton (Photo - J.Shadbolt)|
|Beattie Steams Back to Shack On The Local (Photo - S.Adkins)|
After a brilliant day crewing 30585, we disposed of her in the north end yard and joined the final departure of the day from Shack for a beer: the 6:30pm behind the beautiful T9. Below, Mike Snow's fabulous video of the gala, showing 30585 and 30120 at work in Leicestershire. The final shot of the Beattie is driven by myself, steaming through Far Coton...
All in all, an absolutely wonderful day. Honestly, I really, really enjoyed it. Fabulous engine and a fabulous day on the Battlefield Line. Wonderful. Regards, Sam.