The railway team at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester) are working hard this week to steam up the Museum’s replica 1830 Planet steam train every day as a celebration for the first week of the summer holidays. Planet appears throughout the week as families rush into MOSI to enjoy the summer programme of costume character performances, machinery demonstrations, science activities, and a festival celebrating all things transport on 7-8 August.
During the summer thousands of people are expected to ride on Planet, which will come out every weekend and throughout the weeks of the 17-25 July and 21-29 August. Planet needs a team of four staff (largely volunteers) to prepare and run it. Each time the locomotive is brought out it requires at least three hours to get it ‘steamed up’ and a further hour of safety tests, oiling, cleaning and polishing.
MOSI Railway officer Matthew Jackson says: “Summer is our busiest time for rides on Planet. The smell of the steam and coal and the sound of the engine is very evocative of another era, and visitors love being in the open air carriages. There’s a lot of work involved just to keep Planet in steam and maintained, which is thanks to the dedication of our team of trained volunteers.”