Today was the second day of Guard Training at Kirklees Light Railway (The first day can be seen at http://www.attractionhunter.com/index.php/volunteering-blog/41-kirklees-light-railway-guard-training). I had been quite excited for a few days to return, and in fact, had returned yesterday for a ride up to Shelley and back, the first time I had visited as a normal visitor, and used the day to not only enjoy myself, but also to remind myself of some of the things that I needed to do.
I arrived early, a little too early, and my mentor had not yet arrived. Nevertheless, I signed in, and headed to a set of carriages out on the platform. It wasn’t going to be our carriages, however, I made a start doing some light cleaning out, removing the larger pieces of litter, generally helping out whoever was going to have to clean them out and prepare them.
It wasn’t too long before my mentor arrived, a different chap this time than before, and was a little bit like starting from the beginning again, however, I was glad as it gave me chance to get back into the swing of it all.
Our checks on the carriages included all the same stuff as before: doors; windows; connections and finally cleaning them out.
We had the first train of the day, the 10:20 run up to Shelley. People had started to arrive well before, and were watching the prep work go on. By the end I was so hot, the sun was beating down, and for once I had remembered my sunscreen so wasn’t going to go home looking like a cooked lobster!
Cleaning is with a dustpan and brush and is a back breaker – could really do with a little battery vacuum, or a slave, or just somebody else – I know the guys sometimes read this, so, if you are – hint hint J
It’s not all that bad, really, it’s just a bit demoralising when you think you are on the last carriage, climb out and see another you had forgot was there!
These things need to be done obviously, and just an hour spent at the start of the day means that the rest of the day can be spent doing the fun stuff.
We had the semi open carriage, with no windows at all, which is always an attraction especially to the kids, despite being open to the elements, it’s a chance to hear and smell the engine as it powers up the line.
10:20 soon came, and with a number of passengers, we left Clayton West bang on time. Just like climbing back on a bike, everything soon came flooding back, and I remembered everything I needed to. There were obviously a few things that could have gone better, I nearly left my mentor after he had climbed out to go and advise the other train crew of some information as we passed in the loop, however, I was ready to give my 3 whistle blasts and red flag the train – in fact, I was quite disappointed when he managed to jump on just in time and I didn’t get chance to do that, but I fear that my time to do this in a simulated emergency will follow very soon – I am again training this coming Sunday, and quite excited too as this time it is the engine, Katie, one of the best looking engines on the line, and so far, not with a trainee driver – I have been going through in my head what I need to do, and will be ready……I think!
Don’t forget that the Kirklees Light Railway welcomes Thomas the Tank Engine again in August, details can be found at http://www.kirkleeslightrailway.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=102
Also, on August 1st, the highly rated and reviewed Santa Special tickets go on sale at