The Elegant Excursions dining train should have been out to day as well as the service train however since the demise of the dining train, we have been putting out a freight train on its path instead offering both footplate and brake van rides. 4270 would be covering that turn.
|The sun wasn't yet up, but your scribe was.|
|Some time later with the fire going|
|Red flagged at Todington signal box.|
|Jamie, back in the office|
|Who left that there?|
|45149 arriving at Winchcombe|
|First time over Laverton viaduct in ages|
|Running around at Laverton|
|Not waving, but drowning.|
James was signalman at Cheltenham. He had the nerve to post on a social media site this morning that he had been good and resisted the urge to visit whatever event that was going on in the the car park of Cheltenham Race Course and partake of the doughnuts that he could smell from the signal box. He didn't confess that he had paid a visit to the buffet car on our train and bought a large slice of cake though.
|Caught red handed|
|The class 26, apparently running light engine if the disc indicators are to be believed|
|Freight train returns|
Steve had been chaperoning the brake van passengers and as he had cleaned the 8F in the morning, he joined us for the last round trip from Winchcombe onwards. I didn't think that much would go wrong if I let him fire the rest of the trip. Not only is he a trainee fireman here, but has previously held the rank of driver on another nearby heritage railway.
|Steve on the shovel|
|He even kept the office tidy.|
As I had expected, he didn't let me down, pressure and water were maintained at safe levels and the safety valves remained untested. His only faux pas was to call out that the crossing ahead was clear, when what we were approaching was in fact a bridge. Still, he was right, there was nobody crossing on it.
At the end of the day, I noticed that more work had taken place on 2874. Steve has got quite a few tubes out of the boiler now. It's always good to see progress being made.
The day started off with a bit of light cleaning
|Mike polishing Dinmore Manor's tender|
|The tender was polished so well, Steve could see his face in it|
|Yes, Jonathan and Ben were there too looking after their baby, Kinlet Hall|
|Dinmore Manor comes off shed at Bishops Lydeard|
|Steam from the drain cocks obscuring the view ahead|
We crossed Kinlet Hall (running as 4932, Hatherton Hall) at Williton.
|Kinlet Hall in disguise|
|Dinmore Manor in a spin|
|Hall and Manor|
|5542 arriving at Minehead|
|Approaching Blue Anchor|
|A bit of clag as we leave Blue Anchor|
|Blowing off in Washford station|
|Mike looking back from Dinmore Manor|
|It's hard work getting Welsh coal to clag like this.|
|Off to Norton Fitzwarren|
|Turning on the triangle whilst a HST zips by on the mainline|