Well, the news is out and I'm afraid its true. Our celebrity loco 73119 Borough of Eastleigh is leaving us for pastures new.
However, whilst I will be sad to see it go, its actually very good news for the loco which will be joining the GBRf fleet hauling services trains over the south of England.
Given that we purchased 73119 as a non runner some years ago, the fact that it can enter service with a freight operator at short notice is a sign of how much the condition of the loco has been improved under our care. The engineers from GBRf came to view the loco some days ago and commented that it was better than quite a few of the others in their operational fleet.
So why sell it?
Well the truth is that we don't have the length of line to do justice to a 90mph loco, despite the fact that its been a good performer with us. I've always believed that the best way to "preserve" a machine is to use it for what it was intended and by selling 119 we are ensuring its continued maintenance over the coming years.
So whilst we are all sad to see it leave us, you can be sure we will be seeing it again over the coming years as it does the job it was designed for. It's come a long way from the water logged loco that had spent years in the north of Scotland with its cab windows open to the elements.
We have several plans in the pipeline for a replacement loco, more suited to our activities. Watch this space
I'm also glad to announce that the first of the Charity Works visits was a success, both for the visitors and for us. All parties agreed it was a good day all round and we raised £100+ for charity. The remaining dates for the rest of the year are filling up nicely and our target of £1000 in 3 months is likely to be surpassed.
We also welcomed two new residents to the Works this week. Eastleigh built Merchant Navy class 35005 Canadian Pacific has come home to stay with us, whilst we can add a new class to the list of vehicles that have been to the Works since it re-opened in in 2006, with the arrival of the first of what will be a few class 150 DMUs on Friday. It promises to be a busy time in October with numerous mainline runs for trains based at the Works, as well over 50 more vehicles arriving.
Having spent the summer laying new lines and repairing the roof of the main shops, we can now get on with doing the work that pays our wages. I will try to do more regular posts as there will be a lot happening between now and Christmas (There, I said it)
Meanwhile thanks for the continued interest in our little corner of the railway world.