Friday, 11 March 2016

Statfold Barn Steams Again...

Hi there guys. Having left work on the 11am Friday finish, I was on route to Statfold Barn on a fairly stress-free run up the M42. The purpose of the visit was to give Phil a hand with getting the loco's ready to take part in tomorrows training day. The SBR has made pretty serious changes to both the track layout and signalling diagram at the main station and thus a couple of staff training days are in order. With work still ongoing up the top, my destination was the half-way station of Oak Tree Halt. I arrived at just before Midday and found Phil, Mick and Paul in the roundhouse. The elderly Corpet 0-6-0 had just been pulled out and I was immediately set to work lighting the engine up. With a horrifically small pile of wood and some pretty dry rags, I had to think on my feet and create a smouldering pile of coal on the grate. It was basically a warming fire style heap which I had everything crossed for in the hope that it would actually produce some heat! Thankfully it did the job and the 1884-built pannier tank was soon singing away to herself, having been in steam yesterday for her annual exam...
Lautoka No19 (our steed last September) soon joined the Corpet, with 0-6-0 O & K "Max" - formerly Sragi No14 - completing the trio. All three loco's will be taking part in tomorrows training day. For the rest of the afternoon our small group busied itself with steaming the locomotives up and oiling them thoroughly. There wasn't a great deal of activity but it was very nice to see steam again!...
Not long before 5pm, the three engines steamed triumphantly out of Oak Tree bound for Statfold Junction, forming up a kind of miniature cavalcade! Paul led the trio on "Max" whilst I followed at the regulator of No19. Phil completed the line-up with the Corpet and the three steamed cautiously through the new track work. Having successfully meandered our way through the yard and up onto the shed, the three engines were disposed for the night. We'll be back again tomorrow for some training on the new signalling! Best Regards, Sam...

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