Saturday, 8 June 2013

Achilles Report No34: Fish, Chips & A Steam Loco...


Hi guys. Tonight we attended yet another "Fish n Chip Steam Up" at Ryton Pools Miniature Railway. The club (CMES) runs this successful event annually and tonight saw yet another cracking do taking place. Though there were not as many locomotives running on the 2000-ft long track as I would normally have expected, there were still a fair few. The battery electric engines certainly seemed to be flourishing and a good few of them were out & about on the RPMR metals. We of course took "Achilles" along following its successful outing to do some public hauling at the GEC track last Saturday. The loco was polished & shining and wore two newly painted LMS-style engine lamps as well as its recently purchased bucket. The bucket is a bit narrow gauge for this engine really but then again it is a freelance design so you can have what you want on it I guess! The loco was steamed at just after 4pm and performed very well until about 6pm. It ticked along happily, blowing-off most of the time with no problems to report...
Worst Engine Driver Face Ever! (Photo - P.Strapps)
One of the other engines running was "Princess Marina": a 3.5" gauge Stanier Mogul. It seemed to be having a few problems and so, when we discovered it struggling for steam at the bottom of the lengthy bank, we buffered and shoved her up the hill! "Achilles" seemed to find it no trouble and accelerated up the bank happily with 4 adults and the 2-6-0 to push & pull. The video of us topping the bank with "Marina" is seen below...

The same thing happened on the next trip, with "Marina" being pushed up the hill by "Achilles" once again. However, the little red loco then shortly began to run fine which I couldn't understand! Ahh well, all's well that ends well. "Achilles" continued running well until its water pump got blocked up in one of the delivery pipes. I think it had been filled from a watering can which was full of muck. Its not really a difficult fix, just inconvenient. The loco will be running again, subject to repair, next Sunday at RPMR for the public running. All in all, another cracking evening with some great Fish 'n' Chips!! Cheers guys, Sam...

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