The Diesel Gala ran on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 18th to 20th of March. Seven Strathspey-based diesels were in action. Class 27 (D5394), Class 31 (D5862) and Class 37 37674 were in action on the main line and shunters Class 08 (D3605), North British D2774, Ruston 48DS “Queen Anne” and Thomas Hill Vanguard gave top-and-tailed brake van rides at Boat of Garten and Aviemore. An SRPS railtour headed by two Class 37s made and appearance on the Saturday.
At Aviemore, Queen Anne was at the south end of the brakevan and the Vanguard at the north. The rides were in Aviemore yard, from the coal dock up to the headshunt. There was no timetable - trips were made on demand. Quite a number of people were carried and three dogs.
Both locomotives ran without problems. It was a good workout for Queen Anne pushing hard from the back on the uphill northbound runs and doing most of the work on southbound runs. The Vanguard was used to get the train rolling in both directions to avoid overloading the Slow gear clutch and to provide most of the braking effort. Middle and Fast gears were mainly used and Queen Anne in Fast gear could just keep up with the Vanguard as it accelerated towards the end of the headshunt. Over the three days about 9 gallons of diesel was used.
|Ready for off
|On the move
|Gone to lunch. Back soon.
After her shakedown (literally) run, the next step will be to give Queen Anne a thorough examination to check for anything that may have worked loose or needs adjustment. It was noted that the fan bearing was rather noisy and it will be replaced in due course. It was not possible to fit the chain oiler system in time but this will be completed in the next few weeks.
|Class 31 passing
|Class 37 in background