All aboard for 2009!

Thanks to an inspired birthday present from Jo, I kicked off 2009 in style yesterday:

73096

Luckily for all the passengers on the 11:00 train from Alresford, I wasn’t actually driving; I was on a Watercress Line footplate ride. After a night of -6 temperatures, it was a pretty chilly start, especially in the back of the train. Jo just had this to keep her warm:

flask

Whereas I had this:

footplate

I win!

One of the things about working with computers for a living is that moving 1s and 0s around all seems a bit ethereal. A keyboard, mouse and a bunch of icons can’t really compare with some really solid valves, dials and a giant kettle. (I’m not even allowed a kettle at work!)

I was fortunate to get two crews during my footplate ride. The first had a driver, trainee driver and trainee fireman which was a good way to find out what they should have been doing, although to be fair they both did a great job. Just a couple of wheel spins- maybe the train should have had an L plate on! They were relieved for a lunch break one stop from the end of the line by a two man crew who certainly knew what they were doing. Instead of things like changing gear, I found out a bit more about the signals outside the train on the final leg. Definitely over too soon, although everyone was keen to point out new volunteers are always welcome! Maybe one day… and the real ale trains sound pretty tempting.

Hope the rest of the year is this fun!

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6 thoughts on “All aboard for 2009!

  1. Oh, good birthday present – well done Jo!

    And – amazingly – there’s been a bit of a kettle dispute at my new employer. I’ll tell you about it sometime; for now, know that it ended surprisingly sensibly.

  2. It was tons of fun. Still finding bits of coal in my ears this morning!!! Jo’s much better at choosing presents than I am.

  3. That wasn’t my first time in your home town- I’ve even started to remember it’s your town and not your name (twitter has a lot to answer for)!

    I’m definitely up for the RAT but I’m guessing it’ll be booking up even further in advance after featuring in the paper on Sunday.

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