Sunday, 17 March 2013

Steam Gala Day 2: Station Pilot with "Sir Gomer"...

Hi guys. Today was another brilliant day on the railway, this time crewing something a little closer to home: our own Peckett 0-6-0ST "Sir Gomer". The ex-Mountain Ash locomotive (1859 of 1932) just had to be steamed for the gala weekend, alongside fellow resident Aveling & Porter "Blue Circle". 1859 is the railways own locomotive and is a jack of all trades, being extremely powerful for her size and able to move whatever you want her to. Regular readers will know that she is of course vacuum and steam heat fitted and can do a full day travelling between Shackerstone & Shenton with five and even six coach trains quite happily. Peckett's were of course ignorant lumps, built to last. I arrived at 5:45am today after an extra 15 minutes in bed (spoilt lad that I am!), with Steve there cleaning the grate and checking the firebox. I then lit the loco up and she sat singing away happily over the pit. Once the locomotive was in steam and ready, we steamed out of the shed and were immediately given the road to take us up onto the pit road to couple up to the local set for steam heating. "Sir Gomer" was rostered as the station pilot and would be heating stock, shunting wagons, marshalling coaches and performing the odd shuttle run with 30585 throughout the day (as she did yesterday). Below, the green Peckett stands heating stock in the up yard...
Throughout the day myself & Carl shared the driving on the locomotive, with James doing most of the firing whilst we were out & about. Having steam heated the local, we brought it down into the station when required and the Beattie then took it to Shenton. When the Beattie returned we had to remove the box-van from the back of her train. Below, I'm driving the Peckett down to collect the box-van, with the Shunter (Danny) riding on board...
"Sir Gomer" In Snow (Photo - Debbies Photos)
As the snow continued to fall, we continued to shunt in order to keep things moving. The green engine took the box-van smartly down to the north end, taking water on route. Though the regulator is still pretty stiff, I got used to it as the day wore on.
Shunting The Box Van (Photo - Debbies Photos)
At 1pm we left Shackerstone tailing the Beattie on the Market Bosworth local. I was showing James how to fire whilst Carl drove and Dave rode with us for the joy of it. The engine performed well on the shuttle, with the shiney Britannia whistle screaming its head off on the way back through Hedley's. That whistle is a joy to use and you can create alot of different tones with it. "Sir Gomer" normally carries an original Peckett whistle but the Brit whistle is a good substitute and is very LOUD! After the shuttle the Beattie was taken off the train and "Sir Gomer" pushed the stock back up onto the pit road for temporary stabling. We took water again before collecting the local set for heating in preparation for the second MB shuttle. 1859 was ready to go when we got the call that the Beattie had failed with the reverser stuck solid in mid gear due to overwhelming steam pressure in the chests, against the valves. We quickly took the stock back up to the pit road before bringing "SG" back light engine. Through the dock road points we went and up towards the back of the Beattie in order to give her a light hearted bump. I carefully nudged the Beattie with "SG" before backing swiftly off and then, away she went. "Sir Gomer" had saved the day.
Me Driving "Sir Gomer" With T9 Behind (Photo - S.Adkins)
The Peckett steamed and ran well all day long and seemed very popular, seeing as she is only a simple locomotive and is a Shackerstone regular. I was very pleased to be driving & firing her again today: a beautiful industrial machine.
Me Taking "Sir Gomer" for Water (Photo - D.Hanks)
Our final job was to shunt the stock for the Beattie's last local, and then to collect it afterwards for stabling. The Beattie was then positioned on the double-headed 5:15pm departure for Shenton, with T9 30120...
With the two Southern's down the line, "Sir Gomer" was raked through and put to bed by myself, Steve and Caroline. "There we go old gal', another day done". All in all a fantastic gala weekend, with strong passenger numbers and fabulous morale levels all around. I for one really enjoyed it. Brilliant. Sam.

1 comment:

Anonymous said... god.