Sunday, 31 August 2014

Firing and Driving on 3803...

Hi everyone. Today, once again, I was booked to fire the Great Western 2-8-0 No3803 at Shackerstone. There were in fact two booked firemen: myself and Scott. Scott however was a driver a couple of years ago and has now taken up life on the footplate again, so today was about recertifying him as a driver: fair play. We both arrived somewhere around 6am, and immediately set to work prepping the big eight wheeler. The grate was cleaned, ashpan emptied and all of the usual checks were made. Following this, I lit a strong wood fire in the box before blacking it out with coal as normal. The engine was then left to her own devices with a strong Western-style wedge at the back end, which would later be pushed forward as time progressed. 40psi was already on the clock after yesterdays run so we would definitely have no problems. The morning weather was not looking good but as the first departure of the day drew near the clouds parted and the sun began to shine. The engine was soon waiting patiently at the head of the 11:15 departure for Shenton...
Throughout the day myself & Scott took turns firing and driving, with footplate inspector John along for the ride and for the all-seeing examination. The final trip was driven by John himself and I am happy to say that Scott is now a driver again. It was a brilliant day both on the regulator and on the shovel, in great company. The loco steamed and pulled well, as normal, and everything just went to plan...we even ran to time! Thanks for reading folks, all the best, Sam...

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