Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Peak Rail 'Santa Specials' 2010

This view shows the rear of a down train, hauled by 'Penyghent', standing in the down platform at Darley Dale. The single lamp on the right of the buffer beam (looking from the cab - that's left looking at the photograph) is the essential tail lamp.

I had a couple of driving turns at Peak Rail on the 2010 'Santa Specials', both on the 'Austerity' tank, which is currently posing as 68013. As usual, we ran four 7-coach round trips in the day. Every train was fully pre-booked.

A year ago, we were able to top-and-tail using the 'Austerity' and the 'Class 8' but, sadly, the tender engine has moved away from Peak Rail so this year the 'Austerity' worked the service with the main-line diesel 'Penyghent'.

Derbyshire had had quite heavy snowfalls but I was fortunate in that the two days I was there the weather wasn't bad at all, although the wind rather whistled through the locomotive cab!

It was already getting dark by the last round trip so we needed the two lamps lit - one white lamp over each front buffer (Express) on the way to Matlock where we brought one white lamp into the cab and arranged the red 'shade' on the other lamp to give a red tail lamp as we were dragged back to Rowsley.

Because of the very cold weather, we shunted the tank wagon which had provided our water supply into the shed at the end of the day. Although we'd only used power in the up direction, we supplied the very essential steam heating to the train throughout the day so we'd boiled a fair drop of water!

Running the 'Santa Specials' requires a great deal of volunteer assistance in all departments, to ensure that all visitors have a good experience.

After the arrival of a down train at Darley Dale, the signalman and trainee open the gates to road traffic.

A few more photographs are here.