Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rail Ale: Return to 3803...

Hi guys. Today at 6:30am I made a welcome return to the Great Western 2-8-0 locomotive No3803. The 1939-built heavy freight engine is now back in full working order after remedial overhaul work on her valve & piston rings, as well as a general 'tightening up' of the front end. The ashpan and its dampers have also been repaired so that they work better, and the overall sound of the engine at the chimney is much better too. I spent a very pleasant day on the engine with Driver Adrian and Trainee Fireman Paul. We had 4 trips today, alternating with the Class 33 & Class 47 diesel locomotives at Shackerstone. I fired the first run, with Paul firing the 2nd whilst I drove. It was very nice to be back on the regulator of the powerful 2-8-0 as we cruised down to Shackerstone at 25mph with the typical Great Western vacuum pump ticking away happily on the drivers side. The braking on this engine is also very good when you've got the train on and I find it anchors up quite well. The third trip saw me firing again with Paul taking the fourth whilst I drove again. It was a very enjoyable day indeed and it was great to be back on 3803, and in good company! Cheers guys - Sam...

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