Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Diesel Way at Shackerstone...

Hi everyone. Shackerstone was todays destination and I spent the afternoon on three round trips, filling in as the Secondman on the day's rostered diesel. Due to the failure of 3803 the other week with a broken spring, she has been out of traffic. The team did attempt to fit another spring but, as soon as that was fitted, another one went and so they are now waiting for a replacement for that spring. The operation of this weekends services therefore fell to Class 47 diesel locomotive 47 640. Its a different life all together on these 'modern' contraptions. You sit in a seat of all things, in a work of the devil known as the overall cab, with heaters and windows and all of these modern gadgets that just make everything so hideously comfortable. The filthy hands are exchanged for cleanliness and you just generally don't get half as tired. You may think that this is quite a leap forward which, in a way, I suppose it is, but its a lazy mans locomotive! I must admit, on a sunny autumn afternoon, it is quite nice to sit back with your feet up in a comfy seat with a cuppa' in your hand watching the scenery go by. But, even on the driving side, its just two handles: the throttle and the brake really, if we're honest. Its too easy but it is how a modern engine should be I guess. 47 640 "University of Strathclyde" was built at Loughborough by Brush in 1966; one of the affectionately known 'Duff's. The BR Class 47 was a fleet which eventually numbered 512 locomotives, putting in some great performances with a 2,750hp Sulzer engine (later de-rated to 2,580hp). It is at this point that I would like to point out that Stanier's Duchess' were estimated at 3,300hp - just saying. Myself & Jason had a pleasant and easy afternoon on the Duff but, allas, it ain't no steam engine. Best Regards, Sam...

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