Sunday, 10 July 2011

'Fred Tingey' back in steam today

A big weekend up at Kirkby Stephen East this weekend! Yesterday was the Stainmore Railway Company AGM and then in the afternoon Mike Thompson lit the fire in his 'Peckett' Saddle tank. The plan was to test all the boiler and pipe seals under full steam pressure and doing this kind of work you can only take it very carefully. If any of the seals are unreliable you have to stop the process, drop the fire and get back to work.

Mike was at the station all night, sleeping with our cat 'Quaker' and getting up to tend the fire. By lunchtime today we were up to full boiler pressure and the engine 'blew off' its safety valves and after a few minutes checking that the injectors and steam brakes were working he was off up the yard - the first time that 'F.C. Tingey' has steamed in the last ten years.

During the afternoon a few of us got a footplate ride a little way up the yard too. The passenger line is passed for traffic now but we are still very canny, checking every last nut and bolt for safety.

Still - a fine sight eh? In a few weeks time you will be able to see the engine in action on passenger trains too. Make a note to get up to the station soon!

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