Model Railway Weekend
This is normally our second busiest weekend of the year (Spring Lambing is normally busier). This was the first time that we were running a complete circuit with two steam trains. A potential for disaster.
As it turned out the weather was very kind to us with sunny days on the Sunday and Monday. On day one there were no problems, both Lady Mari Jacqueline (Lady MJ for short) and Shirley ploughed around the track in a tireless fashion, there were no derailments at all (I was very pleased). (Obviously the re-fettling of both points had been a success).
The modifications I had made to the water system of Lady MJ (and driving truck) had worked and the injectors functioned as and when required.
The only motive power problem we had was Stumpy refusing to start at the end of the day. After looking at everything it was the obvious (isn't it always) it was a flat battery!
There was a new fares structure (£1 for the first ride and 70p for a second ride on that ticket that day). I had also bought five plastic or pottery animals that I had placed around the track for the passengers to "discover" on their way round. This seemed to increase the ridership for three reasons:
1. The children wanted to ride behind each engine;
2. They hadn't found all the animals and wanted a second go to look for the ones that they had missed; and
3. The second ride was a bargain!
Day 2 dawned clear and bright as well. Stumpy (with a fully charged battery) started easily and kicked the day off. Lady MJ was steamed and was extremely asthmatic! Shirley was quickly steamed up and Lady MJ's fire dropped. A close inspection showed that the lower flue tubes were blocked solid (obviously a hard day on the Sunday). When they were cleared, the fire was relit and of she went with no problems for the next 6 hours!
Again everything worked well. A couple of derailments, but the reasons were identified. We now keep markers in the cab so that if there is a derailment it can quickly be marked for the P Way gang to come back and have a quick look later.
We gave in excess of 600 rides and sold our 2000th ticket of the season. A roaring success I reckon!
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