As the Moseley Railway Trust edges towards opening a passenger railway, an area receiving increasing attention is that of training. We obviously need to ensure that we have people with the appropriate knowledge and skills (or “competencies” as they’re known in the trade) to carry out the multiplicity of jobs on the railway. And it’s not only the railway. The MRT has a number of items of heavy plant, which are invaluable to the railway building effort, but could cause serious harm in the hands of an ill-trained operator. And so a batch of four intrepid members spent last Saturday being trained to drive and control the Trust’s crane. The unwilling participant in all of this was loco No.34 – Ruston 164350. Delivered in May1933, this Ruston is one of the oldest in existence, and is one of the rare “front tank” types – which use a mass of water for cooling rather than the more conventional water/air heat exchanger. Why did it have the starring role – well it happened to weigh just the right amount to allow testing of the crane overload system – a procedure which had the MRT’s safety officer going for a nice cup of tea and sit down afterwards. Nonetheless, a vital test and perfectly safe when administered by competent people. Before you all ask, yes, all four members passed the course. The crane, by the way, is a Coles Speedcrane. We can only assume that the name was invented before the advent of the Trades Description Act and after a long liquid lunch.
The point of all of this is to illustrate one of the paybacks of volunteering for the Moseley Railway Trust – we will provide training in all sorts of areas, and much of that training is transferable to outside activities. Why not get in touch here or come and see us at Apedale?