Friday, 31 October 2014

Back to Rudyard Lake; now Malc's a guard, too!

This morning Malc and I rode down to the railway on somewhat mis-matched bikes; I'd suggested we go on our 650 Suzuki Freewinds, but Malc turned up on his 80cc Townmate. However, we got there OK.

My Freewind and Malc's T80 at the railway this morning. In the background, Alan polishes 'Merlin'.

Malc was to have a go as guard, so I showed him the ropes (i.e. the ticket machine and the money bag) and he pretty soon picked it up from there.

The guard's compartment at the rear of the train (front of the train on the return trip)

Once again our loco today was 'King Arthur', ready here to leave Rudyard with the first train this morning

'King Arthur's' footplate is almost identical to the other Exmoor engines

I drove 'King Arthur' several times today, running around the train, and fired her up and down the line with Joe as driver. Here's a shot Malc took of me at Rudyard this morning.

This is the far end of the line; Hunt House Wood, looking towards Rudyard. Joe polishes 'The King' ready for our return journey down the lake.

Gluttons for punishment (only joking!) we're back there tomorrow. Let's see if Malc can come on the right bike this time!


Yes, he did. Both on our Freewinds today. The day started with some carriage cleaning and general train preparation, and I did a bit more guarding while Malc started to build a signal post in the workshop for use at Hunthouse Wood.

The train loco today was 'Pendragon', and I got to drive her back to Rudyard from Lakeside Loop on a passenger train with rostered driver Matt acting as firemen. That's the first time I've driven one of these engines on a train, so more mass to control than when driving light engine, and the train air brake to use as well. Even though I've done that hundreds of times at the MoSI railway (see elsewhere on the blog) on the much larger and heavier standard gauge replica 'Planet' loco and saddle tank 'Agecroft No.1', the techniques are quite different on these little trains.

The air brake on 'Planet', and vacuum brake on 'Agecroft'  have more delay and more power; one has to anticipate application and then release the brake and re-apply always anticipating the delayed response to come to a smooth stop in the right place. On this little railway the air brake is more an on/off switch, as the brakes are much less effective (due the much smaller diameter wheels). Often, a more effective way of slowing the train is to put the loco into reverse (with drain cocks open and regulator closed) in either first, second, or third notch on the reverser lever. 


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