Sunday, 1 December 2013

Panniers In The Night...

Evening guys. Despite my determination to 'do nothing' today and try to rest up for another week at work, I could not resist nipping out to see Tyseley's Pannier Tank duo on the main line once again. The engines had hauled the 'Melton Mowbray Christmas Fayre' from Tyseley to Melton, and were returning via Leicester and Nuneaton this evening. As I stood cold on Platform 5, I was surprised when; 12 minutes early; the bright headlamp of No9600 appeared around the sharp Leicester curve. The pair steamed easily into Platform 6 where they were watered during an unplanned stop. Both blowing off violently in the platform, it was rumoured that they were watered as a precaution. Pannier Tanks only usually carry 1200 gallons of water and, with the tanks wrapped around the boiler barrel as they are, the feedwater for the injectors will get very warm if the level in the tanks gets low. Due to these Pannier's being main line registered and their continued operation on Network Rail metals, water stops are key to their success. Indeed, we travelled behind the beautiful 0-6-0s last year and were surprised at just how thirsty these two ladies get!...
BR Black liveried 9600: a favourite of Tyseley enginemen: was built at Swindon in 1945 and was retired in 1965 by BR. She worked on under NCB ownership until 1973 and was saved for preservation, returning to steam in 1997. A return to the mainline in 1999 was so popular that she was recertified in 2009 after her fast-track 10-year. Her hard working shed-mate 7752 (running as LT's L94) is a North British product of 1930. She was withdrawn by BR in 1959, though lived on in the London suburbs owned by London Transport, until 1971. This engine has been a real Tyseley stalwart and has visited many preserved railways, including the Battlefield Line. The engine returned to steam after another overhaul in 2011 and was registered for main line use, to pair up with No9600. Happily, the pair are very popular on the main line, being the only 57xx types that are allowed to run on it. Pannier No9466 also has a main line ticket, though she is the much larger Hawksworth variant of the design. Below, the pair stand at Nuneaton, awaiting a green light...
The video below shows a few shots of the Pannier's during their evening visit to Nuneaton. Its more about the sound than the vision: just listen to their departure...

Well...wasn't that pleasant! Thank you very much for reading guys and I must say it was a pleasure to see the Pannier's in action again: long may it continue. Cheers, Sam...

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