Saturday, 4 April 2015

Achilles Report No67: Steaming Fine...

Hi everyone. Today, after much polishing in the week, "Achilles" was in steam at CMES' Ryton Pools track. It was the monthly 'First Saturday' members running and the blue tank was fit for action. Regular readers will remember that the engine had the pump serviced and repacked last time she was worked on and so today it was on trial. Ken joined me today, taking a chance to come out and see the engine in action again. The engine was in steam for about 1:30pm, though Derek and others around the steaming bays did mock comically at the amount of smoke the engine produced whilst raising steam. I will admit, I always use the wood all at once in a kind of stacking effect but it always works so why not! The engine is now running on a mixture of steam coal & house coal, simply because I'm not all together impressed with the steam coal beans we get at the moment. On this combination the engine steams very well, even with the spark arrestor hat. The loco is spotted here engulfing Ken in steam from the valves at Ryton Halt...
The loco performed very well, with both pumps in the double acting unit working well. We must have completed 10 or 15 laps before I got bored and decided to retire! Hauling either just me or both of us, the loco will do 2 or 3 laps on the tanks and will run around blowing off if you want. The fire is made up every lap or so with the coal mixture, or twice a lap with just the beans, showing the difference. The house coal does last longer as the ash is larger and seems to retain more heat. The loco will happily trundle around between 50psi and 90psi, as killing her to 50 with the water pump fills the glass and then she'll remake against the regulator just fine, often blowing off at the top of the bank if you've filled the glass by the bottom. All in all a very pleasant run and a very pleasing performance by the loco. All the best guys, Sam...

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