Sunday, 18 May 2014

Return to "Alice"...

Hi all. After a brilliant day out with "Alice" yesterday, a good forecast on the horizon again for today meant that we could take her out again. The already warm locomotive was checked, cleaned out and lit up by 8:45am again this morning and easily came around into steam without fuss. A cloudy start was later rewarded with yet another sunny day and "Alice" was sparkling. The basic but proven cab layout of "Alice" is seen here after a good clean...
Today's format on the trains was just the same as usual: four trains in each direction along the side of the beautiful Bala Lake. Myself and Eddie again shared duties with him driving the 11:15 and 2:25 trips, and myself driving the other too whilst Ed fired. It was another most enjoyable day with good company in the form of Bobby as our Guard. "Alice" is seen here with the waiting last train of the day from Bala, after another faultless run...
Following an easy run back with the returning 4pm train, "Alice" was put to bed at her home station, in the company of sisters "Holy War", "George B", "Maid Marian" and of course the interloper "Winifred". The Bala Lake Railway is now certainly the 'Home of the Quarry Hunslet', with the five sisters enjoying much popularity on their home railway. After putting "Alice" safely away and saying our goodbyes, it was time to wash up and pack up ready for home. The BMW was duly loaded for the return assault over the Knockin Pass. At a service station near Knockin we pulled in to get a drink and were treated to the sight of 1907-built Burrell Showman's Engine "Lord Nelson" on her low-loader, obviously on the way back from a rally somewhere. The massive Burrell is seen below...
"Lord Nelson" duly disappeared into the distance and the BMW wasn't far behind. Luckily the slow-moving Burrell took a different route to us as getting stuck behind a load that long on roads like this would have been a nightmare! All in all, a brilliant first weekend of 2014 on the Bala Lake Railway. I must thank Ed for his company and for encouraging us all to have 3-courses both nights at the Eagles Inn, whilst also thanking Roger, Bobby and Rob for making us welcome once again. We'll be back in Wales next month. Best Regards, Sam...

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