You’d never guess but yes… its that time again. Welcome to the latest update from the ID&RPG. And this time, it’s a double update as there was operating days on Sunday and Monday.
Sunday was a simple ‘Steam up’ With Ashley down bright and early to get the fire lit in STR. With the steamer on brake van rides for the day Toby , who also arrived bright and early took the opportunity to progress work in the field by clearing more land and laying down the sleepers to mark out the storage areas.
Soon the Ruston gang arrived to progress ‘IMP’ the days plan was to fit the new roof to the new cab sides that had been installed previously. This is a big step forward in the restoration of the Loco. Considerable time was taken to ensure the correct alignment of the new roof with the sides of the new cab but after checking and double checking it was soon bolted in place. Once this was completed then the remaining cob bolts were fitted and tightened up. Filling the rest of the day the team removed some more of the old paintwork from the anglework, that attaches the bonnets together, before priming it ready for fitment. The speed at which the guys have progressed this restoration is amazing and shows the level of skill and dedication the small team of people has for their loco.
Monday was a quarry operating day down at RBR with STR also providing brake van rides down the main line.
Toby, our Chairman was rostered as Fireman. Now I know what your thinking, ‘Industrial Diesel & Railway…..’ Yes don’t forget the and Railway bit. For operating days down at RBR our members will fill any of the roles needed to make the day run safely and smoothly. We act as one team up there, RBR and the ID&RPG side by side.
But anyway, back to the action. Toby arrived bright and early to get the fire lit. Thomas was there as cleaner and together they got the loco ready for the days work. By around 7:45, I arrived as I was rostered as quarry shunter. On arrival we were informed that we were down a couple of people and so could not run the ‘Standard’ operating day so we all put our heads together and come up with a new plan.
By 9 o’clock the important bacon had arrived and the workers were ready. Sentinal Betty was parked in the entrance to the quarry ready to head up.
The Public soon started arriving and we go to work. Up in the quarry we had a small selection of hoppers and other waggons which we shunted around in front of the face shovel, operated by Martyn. This kept the onlookers interested especially the children who were following the train up and down the quarry path.
We continued this until 3pm when things started to quieten down. We moved back down onto road 3 ready to take the brake vans off STR.
By 5pm everything was packed away Toby, Sean and Thomas stayed behind a little longer to do a bit more work in the field but overall the day went very well.