The latest issue of the RRRG members' newsletter is now available to view on the website! However you have to be a current, paid up member of RRRG in order to view it. If you would like to join and catch up on all the latest news regarding the project, please read about our range of membership benefits and options. All users of our website are welcome to view the previous issue of the newsletter and all back issues.
We've also been doing a bit of website housekeeping. Once you are a registered user of the site and logged in, you will now find a special Subs Renewals menu under the User Area menu. With this you can easily join RRRG for the first time or renew your membership if it has expired. As 50030 approaches the completion of its restoration, we appreciate your membership and support of RRRG.
It has come to our attention that a popular railway enthusiast periodical has recently published a rumour that 50029 is to be sold for parts to a main line operator of the type. We wish to categorically state that this rumour is not true. Whilst most of our restoration efforts are concentrated on 50030, we are not neglecting 50029 and it is still our intention to restore both locomotives in the fullness of time. We have not been approached and we have not approached any other parties regarding the sale of either of our main assets.
Many times we are asked "When will 50030 be ready?" to which our answer is "We aim to have Repulse ready for 2017 and if enough people want the locomotive to run by that date, it will happen, but if not it will take a little bit longer." We are not short of money and we also have (or know how to obtain) practically all the parts that are required to complete both 50029 and 50030. However we would welcome additional volunteers to work on the locomotives at Peak Rail as this will undoubtedly aid us in achieving our 2017 target. We intend to hold an "open day" later in 2015 to allow interested parties to meet our team and inspect progress. We hope that this will encourage more people to volunteer with us, regardless of your skillset. Working parties are currently being held most weekends and the latest news and progress will be posted on our website. Further details of the open day will be announced nearer the time.
Recent work in the cabs of 50030 has been concentrating on freeing off the power controllers. Ian Kemp and Dave Rolfe have sprayed them liberally with WD40 and worked them backwards and forwards. As a result they move for the first time since 1992, albeit rather stiffly in the case of no 2 end controller at the moment. Andy Rowlands fitted, tightened up and reconnected the cables on the replacement set of contacts Dave had removed from one of our spare power controllers, to replace the set found to be broken during our freeing-off of the controllers. To achieve this you need to unbolt the plate that holds the sets of contacts so it swings away from the cams, and refitting the bolts that hold the plate is difficult as the contact springs keep pushing the plate away from the cams, which makes it not the easiest job when hunched up under the driver's desk and you need three hands!
The controller in no 2 cab is still quite stiff despite repeated applications of various lubricants, but the one in no 1 cab is much easier to move. If we cannot make them easier to rotate, we may have to look at removing the entire controller pedestals and dis-assembling them totally to see if the nylon bearings need replacing.
Ian and Peter Carter oiled the main big end bearings and barred the engine round. Andy Rowlands has also been working to refit the reverser air piston in the electrical cubicle of 50030.
Dave was on site all weekend working on cleaning and painting one of the bodyside radiator grilles.
Ian and Pete with some assistance from Dave continued working on the ex-50008 engine replacing some of the head covers.
Steve and Sarah assessed traction motor contactor arc-chutes so spares and paxolin to replace missing parts can be ordered.
The long process of verifying all the cables from the electrical cubicle to equipment in 50029 was started. Each cable was to be tested with a multi-meter to confirm continuity. The first cables checked were those from terminal bar TB6 with blower No1 cables testing out ok. Problems were then encountered as we checked Blower No2 but could get no reading and eventually realised this was because the cables and flexible conduit had been cut about an inch from the connection box.
As it is too difficult to pull any slack through we have decided to dismantle the conduits with a view to reinstalling via a shorter route up the front of the blower negating the need to replace the cables.
Tom prepared the cab vestibule at no 2 end for repainting and carried out repairs to ceiling trims. new cab light frames were cut and replacement lights fitted. Chris unseized the bolts securing the rad fan ducting to the fan motor and freed off the rad fan securing nuts. Doesn't sound much but all are captive and rusted solid so needed considerable work to avoid shearing and drilling out later.
Tim & Dom continued buzzing the surface rust and grime off the brake rigging that had been selected by Chris and Dave for use on the bogie overhauls. The pile of "to do" components is now virtually nothing and Dom got a very nice facial treatment out of it as well, after which he discovered the shower in the Peak Rail shed is stored unserviceable. Tim took to the bits of rigging Dom had done to clean the areas he couldn't reach, using a drill as opposed to the wire cup brush Dom had. Following this and an unexpected appearance by Chris Bodell the two of them dragged the cleaned-up rigging to join the rest of it in an undercover location. There they sprayed the pieces with light oil in order to preserve them until we start reassembling the bogies.
I only attended on Sunday, and with the length of the committee meeting, I only had time to fit the last missing shaped copper bar I had made, which goes from the reverser to no.2 traction motor contactor.
We will be on site the weekend of 17-18 March to continue restoration work. Anyone in the area is welcome to drop by and say hello although we are planning to have a Committee meeting on Sunday which may take up a good few hours with much to discuss.
Chris T continued sorting & tidying in both coaches, and applied the 'Smartwater' security stickers to the coaches & both locos, Tom continued work in the no.1 cab of Repulse, Ian & Pete continued fitting the water jacket flexible elbows from the engine block to the cylinder heads, but found two that seemed reluctant to fit, so left them for next time. I tested all the wheelslip resistors with my meter to make sure they were still intact, then removed two, without breaking the mounting bolts, to go with the one I had previously removed, and brought them home to fit to the board I took home last time once cleaned. Chris T thinks he has found a supplier of the Londex wheelslip relays, in case the original ones prove unusable & I will investigate this further. I persuaded the recalcitrant mounting bolts I mentioned last time to align with another relay board's mounting holes with elbow grease and a nylon hammer, test fitted the board, dismantled and cleaned the auxiliary contacts of the relays on said board and started cleaning the somewhat soiled 35mm cable lugs that connect to them.
On arrival at Peak Rail today, we discovered copper thieves had cut the four cables under No.2 end bogie to one of the traction motors. Two Peak Rail coaches had also been vandalised. This was reported to PR management. After examining Repulse, we discovered no other obvious damage & the other five motors seem to have escaped untouched. Ian, Pete & Dave stripped the seized turbocharger & removed both sets of bearings & although the shaft would move slightly along its axis, it stubbornly refuses to rotate, so this will be investigated further next workparty. I continued sorting & fitting the cables to the field divert contactors & resistors, discovering we are two lengths short, but have several duplicate surplus lengths which have been marked with their positions & could be used as spares or for Renown.
Dave, Ian and Pete checked all the turbos under the tarpaulin to find a suitable A1 example suitable for repair. The turbo of choice being finally identified as the one right at the back! Extraction took best part of all day before taking it over to the container. Chris T made a start on cleaning the clean air compartment at no.1 end, before Chris B took over this task. The Chris's commenced disconnection of No 1 end blower ready for lifting but progress is currently thwarted by a rather tight impeller nut.
Skipping the temptation of four round trips on Thunderer, Chris T treated corrosion in no2 end clean air compartment and gave the whole floor a coat of primer. Dave completed the repaint of B1 turbo which has been serviced and cleaned. The redundant staging alongside Repulse was also dismantled to improve access around the loco.
A long two-day session involving a visit to Booths scrapyard, where we were able to weigh in various scrap parts from the container and shed, while acquiring useful items such as low-hours liners, cylinder heads and the aux. gen removed at a previous work party. Various electrical items such as traction motor blowers were dispatched to Bowers of Heanor for overhaul. Thursday was particularly well attended, with Mark B, Pete C, Dave R, Andy R, Chris B, Dominic J and new volunteer Steve Grimes all present. All bar Pete & Andy went to Booths & Pete helped Andy feeding wires from the last three cab-warning resistors. This was finished in the afternoon and the cables were tidied up, and this is another area now completed. After helping unload various items when the guys returned from Booths, we left site around 9pm. I don't know who was the last home, but I didn't arrive until gone 1030pm! On the 19th, Dom, Chris and Alex also undertook cleaning of 50029 in preparation for display at the Peak Rail diesel gala next weekend on Friday.
Due to inclement weather, Ian & Pete spent the day removing cut pipes from the latest haul of air system spares, while Chris T continued his cataloguing of spares. I fitted & wired the resistor board, then fitted the left-hand cab warning light resistor board on top of the cubicle & Chris B helped me laying in cables for it.