3822 was officially returned to traffic on Saturday 16th March 2002 after its full overhaul. The Friday evening saw final preparations to the engine, including a full check and oil, making a few trimmings, cleaning as well as preparing for the celebrations.
Work continued well in to the evening, in fact so late that we cooked and ate our evening meal in the works next to 7202, even Dennis the dog liked his steak and potato. The only worry that we had was would it stop raining?
The Saturday started early with several jobs still to do, these
included raising steam, shunting some of the works, moving furniture
for the buffet and preparing food. When 3822 left the works we
had a nice bright day, in fact just the weather we wanted.
The engine had been cleaned to perfection, one wonders how long the cab will stay this clean. During the morning 3822 ran on the main demonstration line with a short freight train and the passenger train, both somewhat shorter that 3822 would have hauled all those years ago, in fact also shorter than it has in preservation having pulled a 23 coach train on the East Lancs Railway.
After a buffet lunch for our guests, with 7202 as a suitable
backdrop it was time for 3822 to proceed to the turntable where
it was for photos and to be rededicated by Keith Burns, the father
of a late worker.
Having dedicated the engine it was time for some more food and a cake cutting ceremony, performed by Driver Staple, note the cake is surrounded by the essentials in engine restoration, a gas torch, adjustables, hammer and beer pump!
The rest of the day was spent running on the main demonstration line with either the freight or passenger train . The evening was spent celebrating in the normal 38 Mob way, a quiet drink!
On the Sunday 3822 was posed for photographs in suitable locations, watch out for these in in various publications.
3822 is now available for traffic, and will be in use over the Easter weekend at Didcot, so come along and see it, while there visit the 38 Mob shop, all proceeds of which go to 3822 and 7202.
Don't think that the work of the Mob has stopped, there will still be maintenance jobs on 3822 and there is still 7202 to complete.
All photographs ©Mark Baldry, unless stated.