…which in this case was the proverbial ticking clock on the Joffre’s boiler ticket. Due to a slight design oversight at Kerr Stuart, the only way to access the firebox is from an inspection pit. And the inspection is almost due. Hence there have been some very late nights and achy arms finishing the inspection pit. But it looks like we’ve made it. The final big task was to block up the approach tracks to their required levels and then drown the whole area in ballast. Finally, the ballast is tamped into place. Meanwhile, the pit steelwork is fettled and the rails levelled. Finally, it’s time to test run the first loco onto the new structure. Wise heads comment that the calculations have huge factors-of-safety built in. Fine say others, but have the safety pins been removed from the Ruston ejector seats? Sorry, but it’s like this…..