29th November 2010

Well MCR”s gala is now over.

As some of you will know the weather changed dramatically for the final weekend, with temperatures well into minus figures for the diesel gala. I was there on the Sunday doing a second-mans’ turn on 37 109, trust me it was cold with -10 being mentioned!

Unfortunately, non of the diesels booked to work during the diesel gala had steam heat boilers and so were unable to heat the coaches. Therefore both Black 5 44767 and our own 5199 were pressed into service to keep the carriages warm whilst attached to the trains. Not great from a photographic point of view, but it was appreciated by those travelling. The steam crews were given strict instructions though to only keep the 2 locos in light steam enough to heat the stock, so they did very little work in reality. However this still made 5199 become the first GWR locomotive to reach Cauldon Lowe that we know of!

Now that MCR’s gala is over, the CVR’s thoughts are turning towards their Santa Specials. It has been decided that with the temperatures expected to stay as low as they are, during the Santa season 5199 will continue to keep the trains warm through the night and then 44767 will operate the services during the day. 5199 can then be cleaned out ready for another night of carriage warming duties.

Just one of the many duties you have to perform to keep customers satisfied. 44767 is due a washout shortly though, so 5199 will run some of the service trains herself towards the end of the season


37109 is seen arriving at Kingsley & Froghall
37109 is seen arriving at Kingsley & Froghall, passing the former Ironworks, with 5199 tucked inside providing the steam heat. Photo - Frank Jnr Richards


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