Friday, 22 August 2014

Saturday Steam

On Saturday, 16th August 2014, I was at Peak Rail driving 'Lord Phil' with Dave as fireman and Jacob as Cleaner.

Before the Service Train started running, we went Light Engine to Darley Dale to pick up a 'Driving Experience' candidate who was able to drive the line between Darley Dale and Matlock (Riverside) a few times and try his hand at firing. I was not surprised to learn that he was a 'Park and Ride' bus driver because his control of the locomotive, particularly when braking, was above average. I've noticed many times with our trainees that, whilst car drivers used to high-performance brakes and responsive engines can often be a little heavy-handed, drivers with experience of lorries or buses grasp the problems of controlling a steam engine more quickly.

At 10:45, we re-united our trainee with his family at Darley Dale and then scuttled up to Rowsley to pick up our train. We were back to the 'standard arrangement' with the steam locomotive on the south end of the train, 'top-and-tailing' with a diesel locomotive on the north end. The load was six coaches.

'Lord Phil at Matlock (Town) in an earlier meeting with a Class 153 on 18-May-2014.

This time, Peter Bridden's Class 14 was on the north end. We made five round trips during the day without experiencing problems.

The Class 14 brings a Down train into Darley Dale on 10-Jul-2010.

Being a Saturday, at Matlock (Town) we frequently met an East Midland Trains Class 153 on the Matlock - Nottingham service. As we pulled into Matlock (Town) on the fourth trip, there was a Class 153 already arrived at the other platform. In surprise, Jacob called out "It's got a nameplate!". Intrigued, we walked back along our platform until we were level with the DMU and clambered into our train to check out the nameplate.

Sure enough - the nameplate read "X24 EXPEDiTiOUS". I correctly guessed it was a Naval reference, but I'd forgotten that the 'X-boats' were mini-submarines. Wikipedia has information here. The actual submarine survives and is on display in the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport.

The East Midland Trains website has a report on the naming ceremony here and 'Navy News' has more.