The chassis and tender of the Train From Spain (Krauss locomotive No.8457) have been brought to and trialled at Ravenglass for the very first time. On 25th February a low-loader moved these components from Old Hall Farm to the La'al Ratty, where the engineering workshop crane then unloaded them on to the tracks. The boiler remained at Old Hall.
On 1st March, exactly one month after the Train From Spain arrived at Old Hall (the restoration centre for the project), trials begin to determine the viability of tyre profiles on the wheels (which are not in keeping with the Ratty standard). The components were towed around the station and yard complex by Society diesel Douglas Ferreira and found to move safely through points and around tight curves, but work will be required to re-profile the locomotive's wheels before it can enter service. For the tender it is likely that completely new bogies will be needed, though the General Manager has agreed that all the wheels are safe enough to continue in testing mode as required. With trials around the station completed, the chassis and tender were then towed to Miteside, nearly two miles up the R&ER main line, to test the Train From Spain further.
One of the biggest concerns about the Train From Spain is that it might not fit on the turntables. It was tested on the Ravenglass turntable and found to fit, though clearances will be quite tight, as on resident locomotive Northern Rock.
With some works identified in the light of these most useful trials, the importance of fundraising begins to tell. Please support the Train From Spain, and stay tuned for future updates!