Well, not entirely true – you wouldn’t want to see hours in front of the computer screen, or people sitting in meetings, or the hours travelling to or from York!
However, despite the busyness of the last seven days, I’ve managed to find a few things to share with readers from both York and Shildon.
Perhaps the highest profile happening of the last week is the departure of the replica sectioned Rocket and the replica Sans Pareil to Nuremberg for the 175th anniversary of German Railways. The two locos left York and Shildon on Tuesday night and were safely unloaded and shunted into display on Thursday afternoon. They will stay on display in Nuremberg until late Autumn.
In the meantime, in the workshop at Shildon, Phil Anderson continues the transformation of the LMS Crab into Crimson Lake as No. 13000. Phil and I visited paint manufacturer T & R Williamson of Ripon last Friday, and were able to establish the correct shade of Lake from their records. This week, during the rubbing down, Phil has discovered traces of the original Crimson Lake, lined out with black and straw on the front steps.
On Thursday, I had a little “out of office” therapy, being rostered as crew for yard operations at York with Chief Engineer Rod Lytton. We have City Of Truro and the working replica Rocket taking turns on steam train rides in the South Yard at York daily throughout the summer, and I have a few days booked to help out. Mercifully, with Truro having a small cab roof, it stayed dry – and Rod and I had a grand day, taking it in turns to fire and drive the lovely old engine. With it being the 175th anniversary of the Great Western Railway, it’s very appropriate that the GWR icon should be in use this summer.
During the lunch break I noticed a guest in the workshop at York: David Smith’s Royal Scot No. 46115 Scots Guardsman – which I’d seen the previous week from the meeting room window. It had run a hot axlebox on the main line a couple of days before, and was in the works for use of the wheeldrop to remove the affected axle and effect a repair. A very handsome engine and I hope to sample a main line trip with it before too long.
A final touch of the day was another summer activity in the South Yard of the NRM. Keeping with the summer holiday theme and Great Western 175, a sand sculpture had been created based on the GWR ‘Speed To The West’ poster. A fantastic draw for visitors.