A Train of events

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"Seven'o clock spares to the office" So said the loudspeaker in the messroom "Ah b*llocks" says my mate "you couldn't call down BEFORE I cooked me egg and bacon could you?". I tell him to eat his breakfast while I go up and find out what the job is. When I get upstairs, Len the Yardmaster gives me a grin and says " It's not a bad one this, there's a 6 car CP up in Whitechapel siding with flat batteries and a dud compressor. You and your mate go up and fetch it home" So I go down and inform my mate of the job. "Oh is that all" he crows in delight "Should be a doddle" Oh SUCH miss-chosen words.

After he has eaten and I've had a cup of tea we go over to the platform and get on a westbound train. The crew is a west-end one but are known to us. So I stay in the back car to natter to the Guard on the way up. My mate goes off with the driver for a bit of handle practice up to Whitechapel. (Unofficial as he is a Guard) We get to Whitechapel without event at about 8:45 and the Tower Hill D.I. is there to welcome us saying he will be coming with us to Upminster as he has to go to speak with the depot foreman anyway. We climb over to the siding and up on the train which looks as if it is about due for overhaul. The paint was faded and it seemed decrepit and run-down. The pump at the at east end is the only one working as the west-end one has been cut-out with a defect. This pump is running continously and there is a hot oil smell in the car. So we do the prep and have a brake test and give the Bobby the nod that we are ready to go.

The Guard goes off the the rear car as the 'Big hat' is on board. I ask that gentleman if he wants to do the winding-up and he readily agrees. (they don't get much chance to do driving and as some of them came up via the booking office grades as this one did they are grateful for the chance) The dolly clears and he sets off very gingerly over the double slips eastwards. Once in the tunnel he asks me if I want the cab light on and I say no. He duly reaches uo to switch the cab light off but reaches up too far and jabs the "couple" button instead. In theory because there is no unit in front of us nothing should happen but on this occasion there are loud hisses and swishes of air and the coupling engine turned. This brings us to a rapid stop. Attempts were made to get the thing to turn back to the uncoupled position without success. So the coupler was isolated and we wait for the air to build up again which takes some time with only one compressor and that sounds on it's last legs too. Wheezing and spluttering as it ran. Once the air is restored off we go again. There's a clear road as the delay has put a gap between us and the train in front. As per the rule the D.I. blows the whistle on entering Stepney Green (empty trains non-stopping stations are required to sound the whistle). WHOOOOO!! it goes, and WHHOOOOO !!! it goes some more. In fact it WHOOOO's!!! without stopping. The valve is stuck!!. So the hammer is obtained from it's hiding place in the offside cabinet to give it a tap to free it. Trouble is he misses the mark and knocks the button off!! There is a very brief and blessed silence then WHOOOOO!! once more. The button can't be put back so now we have a train with flat batteries, a duff compressor and a vocal whistle. The Guard appears from the back to enquire if there is anything wrong and is informed that we are having a "f*ckin party" and all are welcome by the D.I. With much cursing about "sh*t-heap CP's" from the great one we resume our perambulations having told the station staff at Stepney Green to ask the controller to have the car examiner at Barking meet us there WITHOUT FAIL. At the top of Bow bank and around the corner we stop try to close the whistle isolating c*ck The emphasis is on 'try' as thing seems to be welded open. The D.I asks if he should give it a bang with the hammer and is bawled at NO!! by a p*ssed off crew.
So merrily we travel along with compressor banging and wheezing, whistle a-whooing and occasional EP blows as the batteries are flat too. Then approaching East Ham the bloody bell starts to ring!! This is astonishing as the Guard is in the cab with us and he has his keys with him as well. We stop and go right through the train to make sure no other Guards postion switch keys are closed and there ain't. So progress resumes with this cacophony accompanying us while we go. Talk about "Music while you work"

The fitter is standing at the west end of the platform at Barking with his big leather bag over his shoulder. "Having a bit of bother then" were his first words and very nearly his last. He climbs aboard and dumps his bag on a seat in the car tells us not to move as he will deal with the whistle first. Me, my mate and Sir go into the car to have a smoke while he gets out onto the platform after having tried and failed to close the whistle isolating c*ck. BANG!!! followed by a lot of little noises of stuff falling on the floor. Upon looking we discover that Mr Fitter has attempted to silence the banshee by bashing it with a large hammer (a 6lb sledge) but has missed and put the cab window out!! He gets inboard again and is informed of doubts about his parentage and his resemblance to certain parts of the female anatomy as well as the lack of filling within his skull. "Well sod-all else can go wrong" he says" No sooner have these words left his mouth than there is a tremendous 'whumph' and the car fills with smoke. The bloody compressor has caught fire now!! So it is switched off temporarily and the Bobby in the cabin is told that we will have to remain where we are for 15 minutes while it cools down. Then we will go hell-for-leather for Upminster so PLEASE make sure that we have a clear road all the way. Luckily we have a six car train so he is able to reverse trains behind us by using the bay road. After a wait the pump is switched in again and there is no sign of burning so the front trip is cut-out and the control governor is reversed. This is because there are three of us in the cab (The D.I. has decamped to speak to the controller and told us to carry on without him) and we did not not want to get tripped on the trip tester at Upney. With me on the handle we carry on rewardless to our destination. The other two rotten gits went into the car and shut the cab door leaving me to face the gale alone. I kept in top notch all the way and must have gone through Dagenham East at 60mph if not more. Thank the lord it was a bright sunny day and there were no P'way about. We got this old wreck into the shed at Upminster Depot and were glad to see the back of it. There was a small bonus as when we got up to the depot office we were told that the D.I. had been on the phone with instructions to let us go home. So it was "Tattar Guv'nor" and off we went.
 
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TheSlash

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Bit of a disasterous day then? Mind you, at least you got the rightfull reward for it all, go home early 8-)
 
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Oh dear dear... a train with dead batteries, a broken down compressor and a stuck whistle.

I wondered what the face of the passenger's on the platforms were like when they saw a train with a continuous whistle passing them :D
 
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EmergencyBrake said:
Oh dear dear... a train with dead batteries, a broken down compressor and a stuck whistle.

I wondered what the face of the passenger's on the platforms were like when they saw a train with a continuous whistle passing them :D

A lot of them ran to the back of the platform mate!
 

Sprog

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hahaha :lol:

I was laughing all the way through that!

Nice one District! :D
 

yorkie

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A good read, as always! Out of interest, what year did this happen, roughly?
 
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