Sunday, 3 April 2016

Spring is sprung! So we head off to U&DMES club track again.

Two great things today - lovely weather, and Jason was back to take some excellent pictures. Here is a selection (please click on any picture for a larger image):

Start of a running day; blue sky as Peter Flitcroft and I push our locos to the prep bays from the car unloading point (visible in the mid right hand side of the picture)

Peter has just bought this, his first loco, a Great Western 14XX tank engine

 To prevent 'Alfred' rolling back down the track, which is on a slight incline here, I place the shovel behind a wheel of his tender. This is while I position the traverser to transfer our locos onto their respective prep bays.

No, I'm not doing the Python 'silly walk'. With our locos on the traverser my right foot is on the actuator which raises the traverser from track level to the level of the prep bays, using compressed air.

The prep bays are at a comfortable height for working on one's loco, considerably higher than track level, so the traverser not only moves the loco sideways to align with a prep bay, it also raises or lowers the loco to prep bay or track level. Me and 'Alfred' at our usual prep bay, on the right. 

After I'd had a few circuits around the inner track behind 'Alfred', Malc has a go. Soon after this we discovered a slight problem with the right hand cylinder oiler on 'Alfred'. I set to work with the spanners but it seems there's a blockage in the sight glass so I'll have to dismantle that at home and investigate and fix the problem.

 Looking back to the station from the first tunnel. The lovely weather has brought lots of passengers for our trains'

 This is nice; a 5" gauge Standard Class 9F 2-10-0 freight locomotive

 'The Three Musketeers', Keith, Malc, me

 Peppercorn A2 Pacific 'Pearl Diver' blowing off vigorously on the back straight of the main track

 Malc has a drive of 'The Beast' under Keith's watchful eye while I come along for the ride on the rear carriage

The Southern Railway Atlantic takes water

 Me driving 'The Beast'

 'The Beast' blowing off gently, ready for the 'off''. Malc and I each drove two circuits of the main track with this loco today. There were several other trains out, such was the demand from passengers, so we frequently had to stop at 'red' signals during our circuits (the big track is divided into 'blocks' and signalling is on the 'absolute block' principle; that is only one train at a time is allowed in a block, and entry to each block is signal-controlled by 4-aspect colour light signals).


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