Don't forget, this coming Sunday (June 21st) is your chance to come along and inspect the RRRG project at close quarters! See how we are getting on, chat to the team, find out how the money is being spent, discuss what we still need to do and how we plan to go about doing it! Have a guided tour of the locomotives and the RRRG infrastructure. Maybe find out how you could get involved? Get your RRRG branded merchandise from our sales stand! All this from 2 PM onwards at our Rowsley South, Peak Rail base, just off the A6 north of Darley Dale. As it happens there is a vintage bus rally at Peak Rail that same day so you can just follow the crowds to find us!
Dave Rolfe and I had a very wet Saturday at Rowsley last weekend (I'd gone on the Saturday as Sunday was my Wedding Anniversary), the weather finally cleared around 5 o'clock!
Given the weather we both found things indoors to occupy ourselves, Dave spent part of the day unbolting and freeing off sections of the radiator louvre operating mechanism. His remaining time was spent sorting out the various fittings, clamps, etc, that are needed to refit the fuel rails to the power unit, and checking their condition, cleaning and painting the metal sections of the clamps. I spent most of the day in 50030's generator room sorting out the best sections of conduit, from our collection of bits ex-50023, 50030 and 50040, to make up the remaining set of conduits. By the end of the day, I had cut sufficient sections to lay out the last of the conduit runs, all that remains to do now with this job is to strip the years of paint and dirt off them, thread the ends of the cut sections and fit the relevant couplers and locking nuts. Hopefully another day's work should see the conduit conundrum resolved. In the process I also identified ¾ of a set for one side of 50029.
Work over the weekend of 29-30 June involved stripping and painting the last of the louvre mechanisms for the radiators in 50030, hopefully to be refitted in 2-3 weeks. Photos to follow.
We are delighted to announce that our 2014 calendar Class 50s Then and Now is available to order from our online shop. The calendar has A4 sized pages bound in the middle to allow the month layout to drop down and reveal the accompanying photograph. Each month features full page shots by noted railway photographers of a preserved Class 50 locomotive together with an inset of the same locomotive in its BR service days. The calendar is available to order from our online shop, priced at £6.95 + P&P. This production is a joint venture between RRRG and the Fifty Fund with proceeds going towards 50029 and 50030 as well as 50031, 50035, 50044 and 50049. See below for page images of each month. The calendar is printed on high quality paper equivalent to the well-known Rail Photoprints/Platform 5 calendars and is of equal quality to these well-known publications.
If you have been following RRRG for some time, you will remember that about a year ago we purchased and collected a number of spare electrical parts from the owners of 50021 Rodney. Amongst these was the electrical cubicle originally in 50011 Centurion before that locomotive was scrapped. Our reason for purchasing the cubicle was to use as a donor for rebuilding 50029's cubicle; as a rule of thumb the items that were removed from 50030 before we bought the locomotive were carefully unscrewed and the wiring in the electrical cubicle was in good condition. The same cannot be said for 50029 unfortunately, with many of the cubicle wires having been cut. To save the headache of pairing loose ends we aim to transplant the relatively intact wiring loom from the ex-Centurion cubicle into 50029. That there were a good number of other components in the donor cubicle that would be useful for 50029 was a bonus. The actual frame of the ex-50011 cubicle is however not in such good condition as the cubicle frame already in 50029: many of the catches for the doors are either bent or broken and it is obvious the cubicle has led a hard life since the locomotive it resided in was scrapped. For this reason we cannot just swap the cubicles around between Renown and Centurion and a process of making one good one from two halves is necessary.
These pictures were taken on 9th June 2013 and show progress on the careful stripping of this cubicle and some of the parts we have recovered from it. Electrical volunteers Steve Tripp and Andy Rowlands are shown at work but credit must also go to Julie Rollason and Sarah McCall for their invaluable assistance with this sub-project.
The next task is to assess the wiring loom in the 50011 cubicle and how best to remove it. As the pictures show it is a many-tentacled monster and will require considerable thought as to the best way forward before we dispose of the frame of the 50011 cubicle. With the size of the "thin man's passage" inside a 50 round the side of the electrical cubicle now not befitting our volunteers' physical profiles, we may also look to lifting the cubicle out of 50029 as a way of proceeding.
Here are some photos from the ongoing restoration of the power unit we acquired from 50008 back in 2006. This power unit is being restored with new internal components to restore it to effectively "zero hours" status and will be deployed into 50030 Repulse once completed. The power unit currently inside 50030 will probably be reused in 50029 Renown in due course; the engine inside Renown suffered serious damage when the B4 cylinder seized. This was the cause of 50029's withdrawal from BR service in early 1992. The main generator on the ex-50008 power unit is in good condition as is that on the damaged block inside 50029; 50030 suffered a main generator flashover and we plan to perform a generator swap with 50029 at some stage to create a good power unit/generator combination.
This set of pictures shows again the level of commitment RRRG is investing in the rebuild of 50029 and 50030. We intend 50030 to re-enter traffic by 2017 as effectively a brand new locomotive with fully overhauled internal parts and to ensure it a very long and secure future in preservation. The same policy will be applied to 50029 when the time comes.
A large amount of heavy boulders blocking the path to the container where our purchased spares were.
On Friday 29th June 2012, Sarah and myself set off together with our trusty hound Toby to meet up with the contacted transport company at a site near Worcester to collect electrical items we had purchased from 50021 Rodney Group, this also included a Radiator Fan Motor and Traction Motor Blower for the D400 Fund.
When we arrived at site, we introduced ourselves to the Lorry Driver Nigel Chapman. The first problem we encountered was that due to the heavy deluge the day before, a delivery of large boulders had been delivered and dumped in front of the grounded curtain-sided truck body that our items were being stored in.
After a little head scratching it was decided we could get into the other side of the body if we removed the site security fencing. When we obtained access to the other side of body, the next obstacle was to release the tensioning mechanism, which through the passage of time had sunk into the ground, and after some digging with spades and persuasion with the site dumper truck which lifted the sunk body out of the ground we gained access.
We moved some fencing to gain access to the other side of the container.
With the transport lorry manoeuvred into position and stabiliser legs down the next problem encountered was a temperamental hydraulic hi-ab which with the technical know-how of Nigel, eventually played ball. The first two items strapped up and lifted out were the Cubicle and Rad Fan Motor. The two compressors and traction motor followed soon after. The items were secured down and we then drove to where the traction motor blowers and spare power unit (ex-50045) were stored. One blower motor was lifted and secured down.
RRRG's main purchase, the electrical cubicle, safely loaded onto the lorry.
Once everything was checked to be secure we set off on our journey North, up the M5, M42 etc heading for Derbyshire with Bowers Electrical being our first port of call. We had anticipated the journey to be difficult with the usual Friday afternoon traffic, however also had the added problem of road closures along the A6 between Derby and Rowsley due to the Olympic Torch relay, fortunately the journey went without delay or incident. At Bowers we had the assistance of a forklift and very quickly off-loaded D400 Fund's Rad Fan Motor and Blower Motor together with our two compressors.
RRRG's haul included two genuine Class 50 compressors, ex-50011, seen being guided onto the lorry.
We then set off for Rowsley, arriving at site about 4:45pm, where we were met by local “BG” resident Dave Rolfe. Once on site we discovered one of our ETH generators (in worse condition than the others, which is why it was never sent for overhaul) was obstructing the route of the lorry to our storage shed, incidentally we also needed this moving, so with the Hi-ab on site we took advantage and relocated it dropping it near Renown together with the Traction Motor.
A further spare traction motor was also included in the deal.
A short break was had whilst we retired to the BG for a brew. Once refreshed we returned to our storage shed to off-load the electrical cubicle although this was not without problems as the hi-ab could not manoeuvre the cubicle all the way into the shed so with a solid steel bar and some brute force we pushed the cubicle in. Space in the shed being what it was, we had to man-handle the cubicle in at an angle until the doors could be closed and locked. Everything was then sheeted up, secured and we eventually left for site calling at Frankie & Bennies for a very well earned bite to eat and pint, eventually getting back home some 15 hours after starting out earlier that morning.
After some manhandling to make it fit the available space inside RRRG's designated facility, the newly-purchased cubicle was safely stored awaiting future work. With this final act, a long and satisfying day finally came to an end!
A big thank you to Nigel Chapman the jovial lorry driver, who was a tremendous help on the day, enjoy your retirement!! Photos by Sarah McCall.
RRRG are holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming Sunday 24th June 2012 commencing at 13:30 hrs at the 260th Birmingham Scout Group, rear of Scanlons Club, 254 Spring Road, Tyseley, Birmingham B11 3DW.
Current members and shareholders are very welcome to come along and attend to find out how the work on 50029 and 50030 is progressing.
Any non-members are also welcome to attend but would need to become a member or shareholder: this can be arranged on the day.
Ian & Pete stretched another two pistons' worth of stretch bolts, before having to abandon this until a spanner can be bent, as the power unit internal structural webbing is now getting in the way of using the spanner properly. They then helped Dave loosen the bolts on the spare bogies to allow the traction motors to be removed sometime this year for overhaul. I test fitted the other two small boards that go behind the divert contactors, and found they fit easily. These two boards house the ETH overvolt relay HOVR & it's associated resistor Z24, the ETH voltage sensing resistor Z23, the ETH earth parallel resistor Z69, the ETH earth fault relay HEFR, & it's associated resistor Z62, and the ETH detector relay HDR. I bolted the left-hand board in place and wired in HOVR, Z23, Z24 & Z69.
Chris & Tom spent four days on site doing various jobs including repairing, straightening & painting the mounting pedestal for the load limiting pot, cabside corrosion repairs to No.2 cab of Repulse, collecting the spare auxiliary gen from Carnforth & taking it to a secure location, continuing to see if a new aux contact mechanism can be made for the reverser for Renown, creating shelving for me in the air filter area of Repulse and various other jobs.
Dave as seems to be the case most weekends at the moment, spent both days doing various jobs, then helped Ian & Pete stretch the stretch bolts on another three power unit big ends on a miserable Sunday when it rained continuously. I wired the auxiliary contacts on BMR1, GFR & OIR relays and the Z59 resistor on the board behind the fuse cabinet in Repulse.
Dave was on site all weekend whilst Steve & Sarah spent Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday there. Dave carried out various work on brake rigging and some bodywork both on Repulse. He also looked into preparing the traction motors for lifting from the two spare bogie sets, I think the fixing bolts are proving very tough!!!
Steve & Sarah continued identifying the cut cables in Renown. The going was very slow this weekend as the cover to the water header tank level switch would not budge so in the end with help from Dave the whole level switch assembly was removed from the tank. Once the whole assembly was removed the cover was prised away to reveal the cable connections. The two level switch cables were identified and labelled. The level switch operation was tested and found to be good and therefore the whole assembly was reinstalled.
A further 2 cables was identified at the Fire Alarm Relay No1. All the cables were retested at the AWS Relay Box to prove we had identified these.
Steve and Sarah took an hour out on Sunday to meet up with John Patrick - Peak Rail Safety Officer to complete their Personal Track Safety certification.
Due to various reasons, we decided to cancel the last work party. This weekend Ian and Pete made a list of parts needed to complete the top end engine overhaul so they can hopefully be ordered this week from the supplier. They then continued refitting the new big end shells we had in stock, temporarily using old nuts on the stretch bolts, as we wait for more new ones. Finally, with the help of Dave and forklift truck, they brought the remaining overhauled heads round from the shed, ready for refitting to the power unit. Tim, Dom, Chris B, Chris T & Dave moved a significant amount of the items in the shed into our newly-acquired second BG for storage. Mark B brought two car loads of spares he has been keeping in his garage to also go into the new coach. I finished laying in the control wiring for the reverser, and started tidying up the loose wiring with lots of cable ties