Snow and Steam
The widespread snowfall last night didn’t stop Black Five No. 45305 Alderman A. E. Draper from putting on a show this morning. As the sun rose over the West Midlands, a few hardy photographers were out to see her pass on the way from Tyseley to Chester with Vintage Trains’ Deva Explorer. Of course the down side of a cold snowy morning is that the steam hangs around long after the engine has passed, making photography tricky (to say the least) or so we judge from the comments on various people’s web postings.
The NRM’s ‘King Arthur’ No. 30777 Sir Lamiel has had one of her Christmas presents delivered early this year: a new blast pipe casting.
(Or perhaps it’s last year’s arriving late - this piece of maintenance has been on the cards for a long time, but the logistics of ordering and delivering the casting mean that the new pipe has only just arrived at Loughborough). The blast pipe will be fitted in due course as part of scheduled maintenance, so we’ll fit it in around the engine’s booked work. On Tuesday while the engine was out of traffic we began deep cleaning the motion, frames and underside of the engine. It’s a big job, too big for two people to complete in one day, so if anyone else is not busy at Loughborough please feel free to join in: white spirit, rag, scrapers etc are all available, bring your own thermals, overalls and boots!
30777 in need of a wash & brush up on Tuesday 23rd Nov, just before we started. (You couldn't see much difference when we'd finished because most of the work was under the engine or behind the wheels - Loco cleaning is a rather "Zen" thing - insides are as important as outsides, the underneath is as important as the top.
Finally No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell is still at Crewe where the LNWR boilersmiths are working their magic on the firebox. More news when I have it.