Ellie worked a majority of the trains over the winter period, including all the Santa Trains. Other than a deep pre-season clean and boiler washout, Ellie has had very little done to her and was 'holding the fort' until Zebedee came back into traffic and then Ruby also returned. Ellie is performing faultlessly and has now slipped into the weekly locomotive roster helping to even out all the engines usage.
Ruby is back! Having been away since last October receiving some work on her 'bottom end' (wheels, valves, pistons etc), we were delighted to see her return just over a month ago and following some running in, is now in regular traffic sharing the workload between Ellie and Zebedee. Ruby has recently passed her annual boiler examination which took place at the end of May.
Zebedee has returned to steam following her 'winter slumber'. As part of the planned winter maintenance we stopped Zebedee in November to have some new water tank liners made and a new sander. Sand is a very important aid for drivers to use to help an engines traction on the rails, particularly useful in poor rail conditions like rain, mist or even sap from the trees! Zebedee had never had a sander fitted before and it took some fabrication to modify the new tank liners, to incorporate the sander into the engine without there being any obvious additions other than the sander filler which is next to the water lid, on the top of the tank. Zebedee passed its annual steam test earlier in May and following some teething issues with the sander, is now a much more versatile engine, able to operate in all weathers.
Muffin is nearing the end of its boiler overhaul and is in the reassembly and painting stage, Unfortunately a couple of delays in the time line and slow progress has resulted in the engine being away from the railway much longer than anticipated, however we do expect to see the loco back in August for testing and running in. We will keep you posted on Facebook as to when the locomotive arrives back from the engineers.
The lovable little Lister diesel is performing very well. We have not had to undertake any maintenance other than routine since my last report. Arthur operated a majority of works trains over the winter and since daily running has re-commenced. It has been a reliable station pilot and shunting loco.
CITY OF DERBY
City of Derby is currently in service, having had some work on the throttle and hydraulic linkage over the winter period. We currently use City of Derby to operate a second train on busy days, where only one engine is timetabled to be in steam.
DUKE OF CORNWALL
The 'western' look alike rarely makes appearances in public service, however is out daily at present covering for Eric. Last year a new radiator was installed, and new coolant pipes. Earlier this year the fuel lines were replaced and re-aligned ready for its daily workings.
Eric is the normal loco seen operating on this line, however the loco has left this week to go to Exmoor Steam Railway for work to its wheels and connecting rods.
That's all for now, sign up to our newsletter below or check back in the next few months for my next loco and rolling stock update!