Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Bye Bye Bala, Bala Goodbye...

Hello everyone. And so, as time passes so quickly, here we were on our final morning this year on the Bala Lake Railway. Down at the sheds at the usual start time of 8:30am we found "Holy War" at the head of the line. The bumpy ride given by the "Maid" when we had her on Sunday had caused yesterdays crew to play it safe with the blue beast once again, putting her red sister to one side for repairs. Having performed our usual preparation duties, we were soon steaming happily along the picturesque BLR metals...
A gloomy start was later rewarded by bursts of sunshine with Eddie almost uttering the word..."Alice". However, the bursts of rain in between certainly would have put pay to any thoughts of "Alice" for me! The sun came out during our arrival at Llangower with the returning 11:15 departure...
"Holy War" is pictured here standing alongside the calm waters of Bala Lake with her blue livery shining. I do like this engine...
Having returned to the base on time, we were soon out on the 12:50 departure. Its amazing how the day passes sometimes. I drove this trip and therefore adopted the drivers duties during the base station run round. This involves generally checking the engine over, oiling up and filling the water tank...
Checking the level in the tank prior to the 2:25pm departure for Bala...
Running the engine around onto the 2:25pm train...
Buffering up to the coaches...
We then departed with the 2:25 train, with "Holy War" steaming well and running easily. We always have such a pleasant and easy day out here with the engines that its almost a shame to go home. "Holy War" is pictured here running into the loop at Bala with Eddie the Egg at the helm...
The shining blue livery of the engine is apparent here, as is the condition in which the much loved BLR engines are kept. Eddie is oiling up ready for the return departure at 3pm...
"Holy War" at Bala ready for the 3pm, pictured from the opposite side 'just for a change'...
Having enjoyed the 3pm journey with "Holy War" performing perfectly well, the 4pm departure from the base saw me on the handle again. We had a very pleasant final run and it was almost sad as we pulled into Llanuwchllyn for the last time. We'll have to see what next year brings. Whatever happens, I would just like to thank the friendly team at the Bala Lake Railway for making me so welcome over the last five seasons. My first visit in 2010 was so enjoyable that I've been attending with Eddie ever since and have had some great times both firing and driving. Even though this years 'Three Course Challenge's have given me some grief over the last few evenings, Eddie assures me that they are the right thing to do when heading out for a meal. Beware all, a warning for you, an evening out with Eddie is not a cheap night out, its 'Three Courses or BUST' anytime, every time. What great times we've had here over the last few years: brilliant. Thank you for reading folks, kind regards Sam...

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