9th December 2021

This week has been a break from the usual RHTT workings of late. I’ve had the pleasure of working 4Y19. I take the train from Tonbridge to Southampton where she is loaded with gypsum. After a short break the train runs loaded back to Tonbridge West Yard as 6Y83 where my day ends. The train berths in the yard overnight and the Shunters refuel and replenish the locomotive consumables. The train then goes on to Mountfield to be unloaded, the product used to make plasterboard.

One of the things we have to do once the train is marshalled and ready to go is perform a brake continuity test. Following that we must overcharge the brake pipe to allow the brake distributors to even out. Once an overcharge is put it the train should not be moved until it has bled off because every time you apply the brakes the overcharge resets. After the brake test today the shunter requested I move the train to the exit signal before doing my overcharge. As this is a break in my routine, I set up a little reminder to myself by placing my glove on the button. This is what we call a non technical skill. It’s little things like this that can help avoid incidents and make you a better driver. Alas today it paid off, I was just heating up my soup on the hot plate when I noticed the glove in place, reminding me that i had not overcharged the train.

Overcharge now done and soup Heating nicely I’m ready for the 120 mile trip back to Tonbridge.

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