This weekend was the Goodbye Thomas weekend, and we were busy at the station.
Now perhaps I should explain that every ten years a steam locomotive has a major overhaul and is stripped down to almost component parts, the boiler is tested and then certified, the locomotive is then put back together and then goes back into service.
Now this assumes of course that the owner has the money and facilities to have that done. In many cases locomotives out of ticket sit rotting due to nothing other than lack of money. Whilst owning and driving a steam train is the dream of many it’s a very expensive dream to make come true.
So that’s what is happening to Thomas, and just so everybody remembers him between now and when he comes back into service hopefully at the end of 2014 here is a picture of him passing through my stationon one of his big adventures.
Anyway back to this weekend.
It was really nice to be busy at the station with people off to see and ride behind Thomas. We even had a touch of excitement on Saturday when the third service which was steam hauled failed at my station. We had a sudden rush for ice cream and drinks from the passengers. Cris who was helping me on Saturday coped very well though he looked a bit shell shocked afterwards. I also had Nathan with me and he volunteered to take the second man and the staff down to Wansford so a rescue locomotive could come up the line.
Apparently some visitors thought this was all part of the show on the Thomas weekend where the diesel had to rescue the naughty steam train!! Judging by the comments perhaps we should have failures more often!
Sunday was more sedate, if you can call a day with Paddy and Jason helping sedate. They are like two terriers on speed!!! Rosemary was in attendance also doing the garden and nagging me like a substitute mother from time to time, but she is always welcome at the station and her commitment and enthusiasm puts some others to shame.
But the most welcome thing all weekend was the sunshine, it certainly helped bring in the visitors, I had two excellent days overall for shop and ticket sales which has cheered me up no end.
All the visitors without exception were a pleasure to deal with and special mention must be made of some visitors today from America, the three children were charming and the adults were a pleasure to chat too, in fact they made the day of all the staff, and I am pleased to report that they enjoyed themselves immensely when we spoke to them again on their return. Oh that all customers/passengers were so nice to deal with.
So there you have it, for the next eighteen months or so Thomas will be in the workshop. He will be missed by visitors of all ages.