I have, with only minor personal injury (track pin stuck in thumb) involved, managed to lay the track at San Fernandez Terminus this morning. It’s not as easy as it looks because the “grass” is remarkably springy and the track definitely does not want to stay put while the pins are inserted. It took a pin every five or six sleepers to hold it down and, this being old Tri-ang track, the pin holes needed to be pre-drilled to prevent breaking the sleepers. Anyway it’s done and looks quite good, and it will primarily be used as a photo-set rather than an operational layout, so I had a bit of fun with it.
10am: The morning mail train is late… As usual. Diesel #10 is on station pilot duties today and ticks over at the end of track 2 while awaiting the incoming train.
10.25: #42 squeals to a halt with the 9am arrival. That’s poor timekeeping, even by FCPyF standards, the main reason for the delay was due to a freight train being derailed during shunting at Resurreccion… Nobody thought to question the logic of putting the northbound local in front of the morning mail train, but that’s just the way the FCPyF works!
10.40: With the passengers and mail detrained #10 shunts the stock to track 2, releasing #42 for turning, watering and refuelling.
The platform is now clear for railbus 22 to back in, forming the delayed 10.30 stopping train to San Pedro. This is an epic journey, calling at all stations.
The afternoon mail train overtakes the southbound railcar before it gets to Rio Paleta, so passengers can change at Resurreccion and still get to San Pedro at the same time as they would if they had set off from Fernandez on the 10.30 stopper.
12:20: Just fifty minutes late, remarkably, El Ganzo arrives with a semi-fast working from Cuarto de Pulgada.
As soon as #21 has reversed out of the station for turning on the wye #10 shunts the mail train stock back to the platform.
#21 then stables on track 3 while #42 backs onto the mail train ready for departure, on time, at 1pm.
2.30, El Ganzo returns to the platform road ready for the 3pm departure to Cuarto.
After El Ganzo departs there’s nothing due in at SFT until after 5pm. The station pilot has been shut down on track 2 and there’s nothing much to do other than watch the grass grow for a few hours, or maybe have a siesta in the afternoon sunshine.
Meanwhile, back at Cuarto Sheds…
Number 19’s cab glazing has been refitted, as has the whistle and the bell is seated on top of the tank. The loco is now ready for weathering, a job for one evening next week when there’s nothing worth watching on telly… So that’s just about any evening next week apart from Thursday, when Chris Tarrant’s new railway series on Channel 5 visits the Andes.