We have been very busy working on Clan Line since our last trip just before Christmas. As well as the usual recertification that we carry out every year at this time, we also did a lot of work refurbishing the motion bushes on the driver's side of the engine, and had the insides of the tender tank lined, amongst other things. We had taken the loco out on a running-in turn to bed-in the bushes, but we couldn't be certain how successful this was until we went on a proper trip.
We turned the locomotive out to our usual standards, with the help of as many as twenty working members on the preparation day. The Fitness To Run examination was carried out, with no serious problems being discovered.
On the trip, we were within a couple of minutes of the scheduled times all the way to Shalford. There is a pathing stop between Addlestone Junction and Byfleet Junction, so we took advantage of this to check the bearings. A quick feel with the hand showed that everything was running nice and cool, which was a great relief.
At Shalford, we took water and pulled coal forward as usual. Unfortunately, it was just starting to rain, which made the climb of Gomshall tricky. It was taken nice and steadily to lower the risk of slipping, and we were only doing twenty two miles per hour at the summit, and were eight minutes behind schedule. However, we were running at seventy miles per hour at Dorking Deepdene, and had made up three minutes by Redhill. Despite having to follow a Southern unit which should have been behind us, we still arrived at London Victoria a minute or so early.
Our next scheduled trip is another Surrey Hills for Belmond on Thursday 18th April.