Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Another Successful Event for PROJECT 27! (and Baxter)

The Baxter Test Train Sunday 3rd May 2015

The crew look happy before the first run to East Grinstead! Photo: C. Emsley
Another successful event which benefited the fund to restore SECR No.27 to working order.  The trains were comfortably loaded with a number of turn up and travel passengers. The weather was just about perfect for the runs to East Grinstead and the crew were really up to the job, and even had time for possing on the loco in a laid back manner before departure! Amongst the passengers on the first trip was a young lad who arrived with his family for a visit not knowing that his favorite loco was going to be working the special train.  We found the family a place on the train and the lad was really excited that he would be on a train pulled by his favorite!

The 6pm Departure from Sheffield Park Photo: C. Emsley
The train left Sheffield Park on time and made a good progress to Horsted Keynes, Kingscote and East Grinstead.  A stop was made at the intermediate stations to make sure the fire was ok and the boiler full of water before progressing and East Grinstead was reached in fine style.
While the train was having a good trip to East Grinstead and back, the passengers for the 8:15 train started to arrive and enjoy a splendid Chilli prepared by the Bluebell's own "celebrity" Chef, and jolly fine it was too!  We sold plenty of tickets for the raffle and raised over £75 by doing so, as they say every penny counts when restoration is taking place!

The train arrived back at Sheffield Park a full 10 minutes early due to less time for the run round at East Grinstead and less time spent at Kingscote and Horsted Keynes on the way back (plus it is down hill most of the way!)

The second trip to East Grinstead also went well, leaving Sheffield Park a few minutes late we travelled to Horsted Keynes where we arrived on Platform 3 where a short break was required to get the boiler back to full pressure for the slog up to Kingscote.

Baxter at Horsted Keynes on the second trip Photo: C.Emsley
We left Horsted Keynes after a few minutes and managed the trip to East Grinstead with just a 30 second stop at Kingscote, just to show we could start away again, in fine style, even arriving with just a little steam to spare.  After taking water from the column the loco run round it's train and got ready for the journey south again.

Baxter Taking Water at East Grinstead Photo: C. Emsley
We left East Grinstead slightly late, but as the run was down hill virtually all the way to Sheffield Park with no need to stop at Kingscote and just a short stop at Horsted Keynes, we made up some of the time lost on the up direction trip and the run round.

Waiting for the Right Away at East Grinstead Photo: C. Emsley
 The committee of the Fenchurch Fund-Project 27 would like to thank the generosity of the Bluebell Railway Directors responsible for the test train, Russel Pearce (traffic) and Neil Glaskin (retail) to allow PROJECT 27 to profit from the proceeds of the fares.  Thanks must also go the Loco crew, guard, signalmen and the East Grinstead Gateman for giving their time to make the evening go so well. Thanks also to the Chef and the ladies in the bar for giving up their Sunday Evening for us.  Finally we would like to thank those who spent their hard earned cash who supported the event by travelling, buying raffle tickets and purchasing the preserves and badges we had on offer.

Now for the Restoration News!

It appears that there are only three more fitted bolts to be removed before it is possible to remove the cylinders from the frames.  It is likely that the removal of the cylinders will take place this comming weekend, as long as there are not too many hold ups on Saturday.

Once the cylinders are out, it will be possible to split the block to see if there is any chance of saving it, or if we really do need to have a new set cast from scratch.

We will be having a small sales stand at Sheffield Park on Sunday 10th May (Southern at War Weekend) either outside the signal box (where I am Signalman) or adjacent to the ROD27 tank on Platform 1 (if we have enough volunteers to man it).

We will also be having the usual stand at the BRPS AGM on Saturday 16th May, where we will also be running the usual Champagne raffle with the kind permission of the BRPS Chairman and Committee.

Keep reading this page for up to date information on the restoration and fund raising activities.

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