The recent GCR Spring Diesel Gala featured the rather rare 37714, as well as both our class 20 and class 31, as we would expect both gave very creditable performances in line with our long established reputation.
As the saying goes "a week is a long time in preservation", so after basking in glory one week, the following week we had the unfortunate news of both of our locos in difficulty.
On the Saturday, the class 31 failed to start. For those not familiar with the batteries on our locos, there are dozens of individual cells which are packed into cases of four, for ease of movement. As the overall battery set gets older, occasionally an individual cell can fail - this is usually with a "pop" and a white puff of smoke and that's why loco battery compartments have robust doors.
The individual cell has been by-passed, and the loco was put on charge. It was operational the next day, but did miss one day's work as the crew took the class 20 instead to ensure a prompt departure. In the short term, the loco will need a charge prior to each operating day, whereas recently it has been busy enough to hold enough charge. In the longer term, we'll need to start pricing up a new set of batteries.
The class 31 has a mileage accumulation day again this summer - the date is Friday 15 July, which also happens to be the 31st birthday of one of our Directors, Mike Cort.