Saturday, 12 March 2016

Statfold Barn Training Day...

"Out with the Corpet" (Pic - Mark of SBR)
Evening all. Today was the previously mentioned Statfold Barn training day. The training was held in order for members of the loco crew and train staff to come along and see the new track layout at both Statfold Jnc station and the balloon loop. The signalling has also been changed and so familiarisation was necessary for all involved with the working of trains. I arrived at just before 8am to find yesterdays three engines still in the same place on the shed frontage but with fresh fires lit. I immediately set to work oiling up the elderly Corpet 0-6-0 before a briefing took place about an hour later. The team was then walked through the signalling system with an explanation taking place surrounding possible movements. With the walk through complete, we returned to the station area where a short train was marshalled to move everyone to the balloon loop. I joined Will aboard the Corpet which would be tail engine on the way down. We first had to shunt one of the coaches out of the sidings and drag it upgrade into Platform 2 road. "Max" and No19 then coupled on to the new head of the train, providing a consist with three more loco's than coaches!

All set to go, No19 and "Max" took us gently through the new track work and out into the fields. The Corpet sizzled away to herself on the rear of the train, maintaining her needle around the red line with an almost full boiler. Another walk through took place at the balloon loop before the French pannier tank got us underway on the return run. The two red engines just sat there as dead weight as the green 0-6-0 pounded away up the bank. Despite its age, the Corpet is a frightfully strong machine and will do anything asked of it. During our stop at Oak Tree, lunch was taken and many members of the group took the opportunity to look around the roundhouse and to view any progress on Winter restoration tasks. Lunch over and train reloaded, we steamed out of Oak Tree bound for Statfold. The Corpet was in good voice as she romped up the line and into the station limits. The three engines were later used to move the coach back to the roundhouse in another over-powered effort. I was on the Corpet's regulator for this move and enjoyed my little drive. Back at Statfold again, the three engines were disposed of and screwed down in the running shed...
It had been a short but interesting day at Statfold Barn and it will be cool once the new system is put into operation during this season. If you want to visit the SBR to see the new system and of course the new HC "Alpha" that will be released in April, click here to get tickets from the website. For an adults-only enthusiasts day the next one is April 9th but for the first ever family day out in SBR history, you want the exhibit-packed Miniature Steam Rally over April 23rd/24th. Many thanks for reading folks, Sam...

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