As I forgot to mention yesterday's progress to the Saloon I will amalgamate both days achievements. John has now sanded the west side, filled the body and tiger sealed the windows ready for the undercoat to be applied tomorrow if weather conditions permit. This vehicle will be in "ex works" condition within a couple of weeks and very well worth the premium fares we are charging together with the added attraction of steward Craft.
The PWT had another very productive with the sleeper squaring approaching milepost 134 3/4 leaving some mile and a half to be dealt with leading to another Sunday gang opportunity. The tamper arrives on 26th February and all must be well by then to get the maximum benefit from this very expensive operation. A further 48 tonnes of white gold were deposited taking the present ballasting activity south of "Old Lane" bridge. Some crossing timbers were changed at Shottle North Junction and the Komatsu was tripped to Shottle for next week's activities there.
Quite a long day for the LMSCA and the associated shunting to facilitate the testing of the vacuum system. It is really great to report that this process came to a successful conclusion after all the hard work. It is difficult to calculate when the brakes were last used on this vehicle but it must be 25 years or more. I am told the final success was due to the application of a "ballpein" hammer. I find I learn so much writing these reports some of which could be in a language that I will never understand.
We had a double dose of spring cleaning with Fred and Iris giving the Mess Hall a makeover and we welcomed Nathan from Belper School who was introduced to the joys of housekeeping on the Gatwick Express.
The Booking Hall process more bookings for the opening and shareholder trains yielding a most useful income for the future.