Sunday, 6 October 2013

A Pleasant Day with 3803...

Evening all. This year, certainly for myself, the turns at Shackerstone seemed to have come in thick & fast. Therefore, following a nice easy day out on 3803 last Sunday, I was back on the engine today! Today myself & Eddie were the booked crew, with Jamie as trainee fireman and passed fireman David was also on board doing a bit of driver training. Myself & Dave met up at Shackerstone gates at the grand morning time of 5:45am before continuing along the horribly dark driveway towards the station. You can really tell winter is beginning to set in now when you arrive at the railway in these conditions! Once at the shed myself & David got to work. The engine's warming fire was still alight...just. Having checked around the inside of the firebox I added coal to the still glowing embers at the back of the grate. Almost immediately the coal started to burn and so I added a little more before shutting the doors and opening the dampers. With 1/2 a glass of water in the boiler the engine was soon simmering away again and already had 20psi on the clock. Meanwhile, David was busying himself with the oil cans before Eddie & Jamie arrived. As the hours passed 3803 was prepared and our eager 'Foot Ex' participant arrived at 7:30am. By 9am we were on Platform 2 road, watered and with 200psi on the clock. 3803 was ready to roll...
Having completed yet another successful 'Footplate Experience' course we quickly got 3803 around and onto the 11:15 public train. The train was already due to leave and so we were away as quickly as possible. I had fired the 'Foot Ex' and so continued in this role on the first trip, with Eddie on the handle. After a very good trip and a brisk run round we finally got our belated breakfast. Eddie did the honours on Pockets' shovel...
The second train of the day departed on time with Dave & Jamie in charge. Before we left on our journey I managed to grab this shot of the 38' at the head of the 4-coach train. In the autumn sunlight I think it looks quite nice...
My Favourite Pic
The second trip of the day operated just as successfully as the first. With more than the average amount of crew on the engine it was an easy day and the never-ending joy of coupling up and uncoupling is greatly reduced. The trains also seemed fairly busy today, with a coach party enjoying a round trip on the Battlefield Line, which certainly seemed to fill the platforms!...

The third trip saw me driving with Eddie having a fire. Driving 3803 is still very enjoyable and the engine goes very well indeed. Pulling carefully into Shenton was given an 'under pressure' feeling as the platform was packed ready for the now slightly late 2:20pm departure: the coach party had returned! After a very enjoyable trip back; catching up some time on the way; 3803 was watered when we arrived back at Shackerstone. The 4th train went out the same way as the 2nd and on the last trip Eddie was back on the handle with Dave firing...
David Gets 3803 Ready For The Off
Driver Eddie on 3803...
After we had arrived at Shenton on the last train I uncoupled before grabbing a final shot of 3803 in the last of the days sunshine...
Following a very successful run back with expert Fireman David on the shovel, 3803 was brought to the shed with a very small fire and went to bed a very happy engine after a successful day. Here she is just before she went into the shed...
The Day is Done
I must thank Eddie, Jamie and David for a cracking day on 3803 and for their company. Though we had ended up slightly late we had carried many happy passengers and 3803 had done us proud yet again. Thank you for reading folks. Best Regards, Sam...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very much enjoy reading your blog - very intresting