An audience with Dominion of New Zealand

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An audience with Dominion of New Zealand

Postby 350wedge » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:12 pm

As Mondays go, last Monday was one of the (much) better ones!

I spent the day up at Mid Hants Railway but instead of watching and taking photo's it was time to take the controls and drive and fire a steam train. But not just any locomotive, time to fulfill a lifetime ambition and drive a Gresley A4 Pacific!! It was meant to have been originally Sir Nigel Gresley but due to firebox problems Dominion of New Zealand was substituted (Bittern in disguise!).

The day started off with the usual briefings and then it was pretty much into the rota of driving/firing. Being half term the day was more interesting in that there were two other normal service engine running, namely Lord Nelson and the Maunsell U Class. All in all that meant we couldnt end up running late!

For the first ten mile journey I didnt have anything to do so just enjoyed the trip riding in one of the coaches. At the other end though it was my turn to drive the 10 miles back. With a relatively light train of 6 coaches and all the power of an A4 at full working pressure, getting it moving and up to speed was very easy indeed. The limiting factor was the preserved lines max speed of 25mph, especially on the downhill sections where you had to balance the engine on the brakes to keep it at a constant speed. The best feeling in the world though was going 'over the alps' as its called with the regulator wide open.

At the other end after my driving turn was over there was no rest! It was my turn then to be fireman for the next 10 mile trip! Needless to say it wasnt as fun as driving but still good fun none the less. At Ropley it was time to take on water so it was up on top of the tender for me to fill the tank. Its not every day you end up on top of a mainline engine filling it with water!

After the full ten miles firing and the subsequent return journey it was time for lunch at Alresford. But not before another footplate ride on the downhill section between Medsted and Alresford. This gave a great opportunity for a few photo's in and around the cab!

There was just one full round trip in the afternoon but because there was one person short on numbers for the day there were spare places for the last trip of the day. I ended up back on the footplate again as fireman for half the return journey to Alresford, a fitting way to end the day really!!

Anyways enough waffle, time to put up a few photo's. A friend of mine came along for the dasy as well, so there are a few extra's.

Going back to Sir Nigel Gresley, becasue she couldnt make it the engine has been promised for a visit next year! Needless to say I will be booking to drive her next year. That'll be two A4 pacifics ticked off my list, just Union of South Africa and Mallard to go ;)

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350wedge
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Re: An audience with Dominion of New Zealand

Postby Minty4371 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:25 pm

Very good photographs and report :ymapplause:.
Glad you enjoyed the experience :).
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Re: An audience with Dominion of New Zealand

Postby Mayfly » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:32 pm

BOYS!!!!! :))

Well done pleased you enjoyed it :ymapplause: :ymapplause: :ymapplause:
In memory of a very dear friend - Mike Pearson

Very fond memories of Robbie Gilvary - DTs 1st Vulcan Captain who taught DT all he knew.
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Re: An audience with Dominion of New Zealand

Postby Dan4th » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:36 pm

Ha! Ha! Ha!

TOO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!

(...lucky b*****d!)

Just Beautiful, 350W!

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Re: An audience with Dominion of New Zealand

Postby 34053 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:02 pm

Absolutely Fantastic!!! What could be better, 10 miles of Driving and Firing an A4. Am I envious? - you bet. I haven't even been on the footplate of an A4, let alone 'D & F' one (yet?). Thanks for your Report and pics 350w; next best thing to actually being there. Have you stopped smiling yet?

PW
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Re: An audience with Dominion of New Zealand

Postby Minty4371 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:14 pm

I am envious :(.
1 I couldn't afford to do it :(.
2 I wouldn't trust myself to do it :(.
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Re: An audience with Dominion of New Zealand

Postby 350wedge » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:20 pm

34053 wrote: Have you stopped smiling yet?


Nope :D

Was still finding coal dust days after too!! :))
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