This week we had the incredible highs, and one low, of running for four days over the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend.
However before that, there was plenty of other work being done!
Trevor and Bob were out again painting the fences and gates at Spring Village station. Paul and John were on Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel No. 382824 'Hector', working on the new re-railer fitted to the back of the loco. Shaun was working the Brake Standard Open (BSO) no 9406 cutting the remaining panels of wood to be fitted to the walls in the passenger areas. John and Nigel were working in Tourist Standard Open (TSO) no 5220, continuing to fit the wood effect laminate to the walls. There were a few tricky moments when going around the windows but it looks great now it's finished. Ben helped to remove the old supports for the seats as we will be replacing them with the type used in our other coaches. Ian adjusted the handbrake on Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel No. 525947 'Rusty'.
A team of volunteers went back up to Lawley on Wednesday to continue bolting down the chairs on the run round loop/siding at the station. The running coach TSO No 5148 was cleaned and there was just enough time left to put up flags and bunting at Spring Village and Horsehay & Dawley stations ready for the big event.
The sun shone on Thursday, and we had lots of passengers enjoying Peckett 0-4-0 steam engine 'Rocket' pulling the 'Royal Special' trains, complete with our new headboard. Things were all running very smoothly until 'Rocket' decided to fail with a broken injector valve. Trains were rescued with our 'Thunderbird' Class 108 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) which took over the last services. Ian and Martin worked hard to repair Rocket and she was back in steam the next day and worked without issue for the rest of the weekend.
The only low point of the whole event happened on Thursday evening when sadly we had some trespassers on site, who shot out three windows on the Class 108 DMU, rendering it obviously out of action until it can be repaired. For a small railway like ourselves, this type of mindless vandalism has such a massive impact on our time, volunteer manpower and finances and was just so unnecessary.
We were grateful to have 'Rocket' operational and back hauling the 'Royal Special' trains on Friday to enable our Jubilee services to continue. Pete and Alex were busy with their mini tractor display, which was very popular with the children who loved climbing onto them and working the lights and horns. On Saturday we head the pleasure of welcoming once again the Mayor of Telford and Wrekin, Raj Mehta, to our Railway. He had a ride on the Phoenix Model Engineering Society's 5 inch railway and also a round trip to Lawley, Horsehay and Dawley and back in our 'Toad' brake van, assisting the guard by waving the flag, and chatting to our passengers. Raj had a great time, and we are grateful for his continued support for the railway.
On Sunday the heavens opened and the constant rain drove (gave an excuse to!) the volunteers to go the café earlier than usual for our Sunday breakfast. The volunteers in the café, Irene, Lesley, Abbey and Perry cook fantastic food for our customers (and us!) every running day and are much appreciated. I then popped into see John, Ash and Ad working our model railway in Railway House over the four days. There were lots of trains running, many with sound, lights and smoke and it really looked impressive to see them going round the layouts.
Overall a very tiring but rewarding week at our lovely railway. A big thank you to all our volunteers who worked so hard to make it a success. You are by really appreciated.
Our next running day is Sunday 12 June hauled by 'Rusty' (subject to availability)
Our next event is the 'Fathers Day Flyer' on Sunday 19 June hauled by 'Rocket' (subject to availability).
Thanks to Martin, Ben and Ian for the additional information provided for this update.
THE OLD LOCO SHED,
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