We took Clan Line and Mercator, our support coach, to the Southeastern Trains Depot at Ashford for tyre turning this week.
There are three braking systems on 35028. The loco is steam-braked, the tender is vacuum-braked, and the train, including our support coach, is air-braked. All three systems react at different rates. This can occasionally cause wheels to lock, which causes wheel flats. This can damage the track, if it gets too bad. Every now and then, we have to make use of a wheel lathe to remove the flats.
To save having a full footplate crew, we were towed by two Class 67 diesels that were going that way anyway. The engine was in steam for lubrication purposes, and to enable the steam and vacuum brakes to work. Thank you to DB Cargo for arranging this.
When we got to the Southeastern Trains Depot, we were made to feel very welcome.
Once we had drained the tender, the fire had died down, and we were pulled into the shed. By the end of the day, all three tender wheelsets had been done by the very accurate wheel lathe.
The following day, the same was done on the support coach. Their equipment could also have turned the loco tyres, if necessary.
While the coach was being done, after re-lighting the fire, Clan Line was posed alongside a Class 395 Javelin which runs on High Speed 1, amongst other lines. It can travel at up to 140 miles per hour. And it wasn’t just any Javelin – it was 395018, The Victory Javelin.
Clan Line’s headboard refers to our previous Chief Engineer, Andy Davies, who died earlier this year, just before his eightieth birthday. He lived in Ashford, and first got involved with the engine when it was based there. It seemed appropriate. For more about Andy, see here.
We would like to thank everybody at the Southeastern Trains Depot at Ashford for their hospitality and expertise. We really enjoyed our stay.