Sunday, 20 July 2014

CMES July Steam Day...

Hi guys. Despite "Achilles" still being cosmetically indisposed, I was still heading along to the CMES July Steam Day at Ryton Pools today. There were four smartly turned out locomotives in steam on the 5" gauge line and a good time was had by all. Passenger numbers were fair and the weather was fine. First to be mentioned is Mike's Midland 7F 2-8-0 No9673. Mike spent over 25 years building 9673 and it shows as she runs like a sewing machine...
After a couple of laps with his engine, Mike kindly allowed me to drive the 7F for a couple of trips. Here is a cab view traversing the track on an ECS run...
The 7F was just a breeze, especially with a bit of a load on. The footplate extension controls made her easy to drive for a large 5" tender engine and the free-steaming boiler and large firebox gave trouble-free running. She really was a pleasure to drive and a beautiful loco...
Second in steam was Brian's stalwart LBSC 'Pansy', showing off the model engineering world's favourite take on the Great Western's popular 5700 Class 0-6-0 Pannier Tank. I must admit in full size I have quite a high regard for these engines. They are sure-footed (when the tanks are full!), powerful (7 or 8 coaches no problem) and are fairly nice to work on for a Great Western engine. This 5" example is No5717 "Victoria". The engine worked well today and put in some great performances...
"A Portrait of Victoria"
Third in steam was another Western: Dave's 4-6-0 Manor Class. This is another sizeable engine in 5" gauge and was certainly pulling some heavy loads today...
Last but by no means least was engine number four: 0-4-0 Sweet Pea "Donald". This relatively new engine, finished in a shining blue livery, was driven by owner Stuart and was running well on her first ever public outing. I always feel that Sweet Pea perhaps gets a bad press in the model engineering world but I've never known one that didn't steam well or pull well if handled correctly. They make for an attractive and chunky engine in 5" gauge and "Donald" was certainly finding the work no problem throughout the afternoon...
"0-4-0 Sweet Pea with Tender, "Donald"
Stuart kindly let me take the engine for a lap around the track on a passenger train and, due to my affection for the Sweet Pea type having learnt on them, I snapped up the chance. The first live steam engine I ever drove was a Sweet Pea, all the way back in 2004. Perhaps if I hadn't have done that then I wouldn't be driving things like 3803 now ay, 10 years on. Who knows?. Anyway, "Donald" steamed well for me and was a pleasing engine to drive, being the first Pea I've driven that had the optional tender for extra and cooler water capacity for use with an injector. Another very pleasant experience and another very nice loco...
Later in the day Dave even let me take the Manor for three or four laps. Though fairly quick to pick her feet up if you let her, the Manor was responsive, free steaming and pleasant to drive. Even with some very heavy loads you had no doubt that she was going to steam beautifully and march along without a problem. The builder of this engine certainly knew what they were doing and she is a real pleasure. Its amazing the difference big wheels make with a 5" gauge engine as doing track-speed with the Manor seemed to be slow for her with her big legs just gradually edging around. Thanks Dave, another great experience...
"The Manor at Ryton Halt"
All in all it was a very pleasant afternoon and it was a great pleasure to drive three of the engines that were running, two of which I hadn't driven before. Sometimes, when you haven't got your own engine with you, it gives you the opportunity to get the chance to drive other peoples loco's now and again which is always a pleasure. Thank you to Mike, Stuart and Dave for the experiences: great stuff. Cheers guys, Sam...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a great day and a success for the second of the three Steam on Sunday events at Ryton. Glad you came along Sam, hope next time you'll be able to bring Achilles. An enjoyable time was had by all. Kind regards, Emma-claire.