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When we get back to the loco after getting changed the Injectors need testing (if not already done) and only then are we ready to move the loco. The driver hands me the token. I take it and walk over to the frame and insert it into the lock. This allows me to move the facing point lock and then the point lever. We are now on the mainline and can run round from one yard to another with a small token exchange in the middle as we roll through the platform. The same process is followed to allow us in to the north yard. The engine then moves off towards the fuel road then back in to 3-road siding. Several tractor buckets of coal are then transferred to the bunker where I wait with my shovel pushed up against the coal door to prevent it all falling into the cab. We move off again towards the set of coaches that are waiting us. I call the driver on towards the coaches stopping him so that I can walk between the loco and the coaches. The two hooks are flicked over so that the couplings join then the vaccuum bags on both engine and coach set need connecting. A right of way is given by the guard and the engine jumps in to life. I jump off and watch as the train moves off on to the main line. Once clear of the points I return to the frame and reset the points then remove the token. This then has to be shown to the guard while I walk all the way along the train to the loco. We set off towards Caernarfon on the 3-mile Empty Coaching Stock (ECS) move. Once we arrive in the platform we run round the train pausing momentarily at the water tower. I go and operate the frame then walk back towards the train where I call the driver backwards. Now re-coupled, I start throwing coal in to the box, turning up the blower to excite the fire. It’s time to go and the guard has given the right of way. The Garrett starts to move off towards Porthmadog making loud chuffing noises. As it picks up speed the chuffs become more frequent and the distinct clank, clank-clanking noise can be heard from the rods as they move back and forth. As we pass each station we exchange the token only taking water on at Rhyd Ddu at the bottom of Snowdon. Now the engine doesn’t have to work, as it’s mainly downhill to Porthmadog from here. As we trundle past the Welsh Highland Heritage metals a good lookout is required for the Cambrian rail crossing. If the signal is green we can go straight through otherwise we have to stop. The first trip of the day is almost complete. As we come up to Porthmadog station we stop just short of the road so the crossing can be activated. As the train rolls down the road I keep a look out for anything that may obstruct us. We have now arrived in the station where I uncouple us from the coaching stock. Once this has been done we may run round to the water tower. The next stage in the day is to go have a small clean then have lunch. This is about the time the Ffestiniog railway service comes in and I wave to them, sometimes offering to help them coal (it’s all shovelled from a wagon by hand). 67

Model Railway Express Issue Two January 2017  
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