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Christmas dinner cooked on board steam locomotive
Rail operations co-ordinator Matt Ellis prepares to cook the sausages on his shovel in the firebox of Teddy, the loco that hauls Santa’s Steam Adventure
STAFF at the National Railway Museum cooked a Christmas dinner with a difference.
A full Christmas feast, including a turkey, stuffing, roast vegetables and gravy, was cooked in the firebox of Teddy – the green locomotive used to haul Santa’s Steam Adventure – yesterday.
Preparation for the feast started at 9am when the loco was warming up to take museum visitors on a ride to take letters to Santa, with gravy warmed up in a tin can, and festive pigs in blankets cooked on the fireman’s shovel, which has been used to cook bacon sandwiches for the crew for decades.
Matthew Ellis, rail operations co-ordinator at the NRM, said: “There is a long history of cooking on the footplate, as although it was often frowned upon by those further up the railway hierarchy it was often the only way loco crews could get hot food on the move.
“Some locomotive footplates were even designed for sizzling sessions on the sidings. Even today crews try to outdo each other with the complexity of food cooked in this steamy fashion, and I think our attempt to cook a full Christmas feast by firebox is about as difficult as it gets.”
Zoe Clark, public programmes developer at the museum, said the attraction was open every day over the holidays, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and visitors can walk off their festive indulgence while learning about rail history.
She said: “Youngsters can marvel at the interactive science shows and settle down for a story telling session. Grandparents can step on to the cab of the world record breaking Mallard and talk about when they used to travel by steam train or worked on the footplate, maybe even how they cooked bacon sandwiches on board.”
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