A Present for Lamiel from Her Friends
As you all know, King Arthur Class “Sir Lamiel” No. 30777 is part of the National Collection, 5305 Locomotive Association are custodians on behalf of the National Railway Museum.
This year Lamiel has not had very much work, this is partly down to gauging issues in the south of the country (which is ironic given that that’s her old home ground), partly because despite her undoubted power and record-breaking history, she seems to lack the sparkle that she had last time around, and partly because the GCR have plenty of engines to call on, so the work is spread more thinly between the engines.
5305LA’s engineering team have pondered Lamiel’s lack of sparkle over the last couple of years and identified a few areas which might be contributing to this; it could be that the injectors are not working efficiently. To combat this, this summer we have serviced both injectors and sourced new replaceable parts for them (luckily there is one firm which still has the drawings and machining capability to produce the necessary parts, but it’s not cheap). Or, it could be that the superheater elements are clogged with scale, rust and other debris, and as you know, we are sorting out a new set of elements. The final possibility is the draughting arrangements in the smokebox, and we are working on that as well.
So you see we have taken the opportunity while the engine is not required for main line duties or for the GCR’s services to carry out some major tinkering on the old lady to see if we can get her back on form. But there’s a cost. Not a problem you might think – 5305 LA have been very busy this year with 70013 and there must be money in the pot from that. Sadly not, any money that 70013 earns is ring-fenced for her needs (this is part of our agreement with the NRM) so we couldn’t spend that money on Lamiel, and besides, 70013 has had a few treats this year which didn’t come cheap, so there’s not a lot left over. Meanwhile, we have also been spending rather a lot of money on the boiler overhaul of 45305, and with two of the three steam locomotives costing more than they were earning, the treasurer was starting to look closely at the bottom line and wonder where & how he was going to find the money for the necessary work.
Earlier this year, the association was approached by the South of England Group of the Friends of the National Railway Museum (who have been selling merchandise and collecting donations on trains hauled by 30777 & 70013 in the London area) offering us help if we ever needed extra funds. Normally we like to run the association’s affairs so that the association is self-supporting, but in this instance we were very glad of the offer and made an application to them. We are very pleased to announce that they, in consultation with the main group of Friends of the National Railway Museum have offered us a donation of £4000 to help with the costs of the repairs to 30777. This donation is a great help to the association and means that we can devote the Association's general funds to the other work of the association, in particular the repairs to 45305 and the overhaul of the support coaches to use with 30777 & 70013 when they go back out on the main line.
We are very grateful to the NRM and the Friends of the NRM for this assistance, and of course to the many people whose individual donations made this grant possible. If you have spare time and money this Festive Season, please use the link on the homepage to visit the NRM’s website and navigate from there to the Friends of the NRM Website (http://www.nrmfriends.org.uk ), see what they do, and leave them a donation. It really does help the engines you love!
By Info | Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | Tags : 30777