The Unloading – Concluded
The earlier part of this Progress Report covered the initial stages of the unloading of the two overhauled locomotives and one converted/rebuilt carriage on to the rails of Pete’s Hobby Railway. This Report covers the unloading of the steam locomotive on Friday, 1st July 2016 and more recent activities.
2016-3079: The Hunslet has been lifted off the low loader, turned in mid-air so that it now faces the same way as the Ruston diesel and is about to be gently lowered on to the rails. That’s Mario in the boiler-suit while on the extreme right hand side, Ben looks on, checking the wheel alignment with the track. In case you’re wondering why they are rugged up, it was cold, with a chilly wind and the occasional drops of rain!
2016-3081: Mario’s gloved hand inserts a wooden stop chock behind the rear driving wheel as the Hunslet is about to touch the rails. The next part of the story was not photographed, but I hopped on to the Ruston, restarted it and brought it up to the Hunslet. The two were coupled, the chock removed, and Ben slowly released the handbrake on the steamer as I applied power to the Ruston to move the two clear of the pig-stied track. I then posed for some “happy-snaps” beside the new arrivals (not shown!!!).
2016-3085: With the heavy weight now off the trailer, Mario was just able to drive his vehicle forward so that the traction wheels were now on the bitumen of Wardle Street. The supporting legs of the T-Line crane were retracted and the various ancillaries packed up. While the crane had been standing on a reasonably hard base, it was realised that the wet weather had made the access to the road extremely soft. Accordingly, a winch wire on Mario’s truck was attached to the crane and with both applying power, the affected area was negotiated. This image doesn’t really show the ground damage caused – those ruts went down to the best part of a foot (300mm)! That’s Ben and Mario (with his trusty dog!), thankful that the unloading had been successfully completed under the worst of weather conditions. Thanks guys – and to the T-Line crane crew who again evidenced that they are masters of their trade. The bulldozer was used to level off the worst of those ruts and several days later, the area was flattened using the road-roller. Meanwhile, Mario, Ben and I, together with Nick who is assisting me in the preparation of a PHR webpage (more about this shortly!) adjoined to the local Golf Club for a most enjoyable hot lunch!
2016-3087: That afternoon, a weak sun emerged from behind the clouds for a few minutes, allowing me to grab a couple of photos in sunlight! A bucket was subsequently placed over the top of the funnel so as to prevent water penetration down the funnel and into the smokebox with the forthcoming rains.
2016-3103: After the weekend on public display (the track is only nine metres from the front fence at this location) and with a further extended period of rain anticipated, I decided that the two locos should be covered by tarpaulins. As well as protecting them from the weather, there is less likelihood of anything untoward happening while the train is in this vulnerable position. That’s Nick supervising the completion of covering the Ruston.
Once the ground dries out and hardens a little, it is planned that track construction works will commence in earnest. The first will be the laying of a length across my driveway – this will permit the train to be moved back a little and allow a similar length of (pig-stied) track at the other end to be temporarily removed so that earthworks etc. for the permanent extension can be commenced.
That’s all for this Report.
Pete’s Hobby Railway