2012-04-20 Firing at SHM

A few years ago I made some nice arrangements to the benefit of Steamtram Hoorn Medemblik. In return I was invited for a day out on the footplate. At long last this was the day to come along as an apprentice firemen.
P1010460b  Much to my surprise this was the loco. If I had been given the opportunity of choise I would have chosen this one. It is one of the particular beauties in the collection and I have a preference for the Limburg Tramway Company P1010461b P1010462 P1010464  Part of prepping the loco for its run is polishing all the brass parts, which took me up the loco.
P1010466  The brass that will turn hot needs an extra treatment with oiled cloth to limit discoloration P1010467  The air pump from above P1010468 P1010469  Typically a Dutch tramway locomotive has inside motion. It is better protected from dirt and dust and it also keeps the general public from entangling themselves unvoluntarily in the moving parts.
P1010471 P1010472  Tiny as it may be it a perfectly normal two cylinder engine allbeit with Verhoop valve gear, basically a simpler version of Walschaerts'. P1010473 P1010475  While prepping the loco the attributes for brushing up the loco are sprawling all over the place.
P1010476 P1010477 P1010478  Grease pump P1010480  A view through the grate where a modest fir slowly heats the engine
P1010481  Jaap, the driver, adds some wood. P1010484 P1010486b  Paul, the firemen, my coach and friend, tends to the fire shovel P1010487  Two other characterics of the typical tramway locomotive are visible here: the water tanks below the footplate, and the doors that give access from the loco to the coaches vice versa during the ride.
P1010488 P1010489 P1010491 P1010493
P1010495 P1010496  Snifter valve, allowing the engine to caost without drawing air back in from the smokebox P1010498 P1010502
P1010505  Inside motion has the setback that it is more laborious to maintain. Jaap in "the basement" to grease and oil the engine P1010506 P1010508 P1010509  Beforelong the engine moved forward
P1010510 P1010511 P1010512  to get more water P1010513
P1010514 P1010516b P1010517 P1010518
P1010519 P1010520 P1010521  Injector. Operating it seemed deceptively simple, then turned into some kind of black art, and gradually became a habit. P1010522  A party of asian tourists arrived bus.
P1010523  Waiting for the final signal to leave. P1010524  And away we were. The blower needs some adjusting.... P1010525  Road crossings slow the pace of the tram as they operated manually P1010526  An intermediate oiling during a stop
P1010528  How romantic, a steam train wedding P1010530  Keeping the boiler around 11,5, a play between water level, boiler pressure and temperature and firing. P1010532 P1010541  At Medemblik
P1010539 P1010534  Paul's bacon 'n eggs are renowned... P1010537 P1010542
P1010543 P1010544 P1010545  The (left) water glass, indicating the water level in the boiler. P1010546
P1010547 P1010548  The tiny loco towed a sizable tram, twelve steel coaches. P1010549b P1010550  Eastern interest for the star of the day.
P1010551  On the way back rain set in wichich made the rails slippery. The loco had considerable trouble to keep the train moving at some places. P1010552  though Jaap did not seem to mind very much. On the contrary, the worse conditions got, the more he seemed to enjoy it ;-) P1010554  Back in Hoorn P1010555  I always wondered about the use of the small porthole like windows in the the driver's cab. But since today I know: you can keep an eye on the chimney which is the most important indicator how well you're firing the loco.
P1010556 P1010558  Time for a refill. The loco takes some 500 kg of coal which is more or less depleted after one return trip. P1010559b P1010560b
P1010561  Shunting the engine back to the shed P1010562 P1010563 P1010564
P1010565 P1010566  As soon as the engine came to a stand, the rain stopped, making cleaning much more comfy P1010571b  The sun even came out. P1010567
P1010568  Rinsing the ash from the ashpan P1010570 P1010569  NS 7700 class, the "largest" operational NS steam loco P1010572
P1010574 P1010575  The "sheep", cleaning cotton. P1010577  Very square inch was cleaned, so the engine was stabled dry and shining. P1010578  And again the mechanism was tended to.
P1010579 P1010580  The engine was reversed into the shed. P1010581 P1010582
P1010584 P1010585b P1010589  At lastly the cinders and ash were carefully scooped out of the smokebox avoiding dust as much as possible. P1010590