Thursday, 10 April 2014

Preparing for the Gala...

Hi guys. Today was our final prep day for the gala, with the first gala trains in action tomorrow! It was a long day today, with a number of tasks going on. These included cleaning, moving tools, ashing engines out, lighting engines up, lots of shunting, marshalling trains and much more. There is always a lot to do on the last day before the gala: everything comes at once! I arrived at around 9am and began my day by shunting visiting SECR 0-6-0 "Bluebell" over our inspection pit ready for ashing out. I then ashed the locomotive out and carried out some thorough pre-light up checks. The little blue tank engine was then moved outside so that visiting Small Prairie No5542 could also be ashed out and checked. With this task carried out, it was time to light "Bluebell". After some final checks I laid a bed of coal at the back of the firebox and then began to make smoke using some well-soaked paraffin rags. A good pile of dry wood was then placed on top followed by a final oily rag. The engine's fire soon roared into life and thick smoke began to bellow from the chimney. Coal was then added on top of the raging wood fire to allow it to 'catch' easily. With a good warming fire in her box, the 'P' was left to warm up for a while. Meanwhile, David was at the helm of 5542's warming fire which was also soon lit. It was then time to do a lot more shunting and this is how we ended the day...well, evening! By the time I left it seemed that we were now almost ready for the first day of the gala tomorrow. 323, 5542 and "Blue Circle" will be in steam with 3803 being warmed up later in the day, ready to work on Saturday. I am so looking forward to tomorrow...I'm firing 323! Best Regards, Sam...

No comments: