If you've been following RRRG for some time, you might know that we have in our spares stock a genuine Class 50 reverser and a Class 37 example, which is similar but not identical to the Class 50 part. We had removed the genuine 50 reverser in order to use it as a template to modify the 37 item to Class 50 spec, and in the meantime the ex-37 reverser was installed in 50030's electrical cubicle so that I could judge how long to make the wiring whilst rebuilding the cubicle.
On Sunday May 25th I disconnected the main cables from the back of the ex-37 reverser, and with Dave Rolfe's help, got it out of 30 and into the container. I cleaned the main power contacts on the the proper 50 reverser and labelled each contact bar while Dave was finishing drilling out sheared bolts around the removable grille that gives access into the No.1 end clean air compartment. Whilst cleaning I happened to notice the auxiliary contact blocks appeared to be facing the wrong way, so I went to Washwood Heath during the week to check 50008 Thunderer, and found they had indeed been refitted the wrong way round after we had taken them apart to make a replica second set to modify the 37 reverser for use in 29.
Whilst working around the cubicle area in 50030, I was impressed by work that Mark Burrows has been doing to restore the cable conduits for the traction cabling to the main generator. This has been a laborious task using the best parts of conduits salvaged from 50023 and 50040 before those locomotives were scrapped a few years ago.
On 1st June Ian, Pete and Dave refitted the decompressor plugs into the power unit, then spent the rest of the day cleaning parts of the power unit ready for painting.
On the same day, I removed the auxiliary contact blocks from the Class 50-spec reverser and fitted them the right way round, in the process realising that the internal cams had been rotated out of their correct positions, so they wouldn't open and close in the correct sequence. The afternoon was spent getting them back into the correct alignment. Now that the reverser has been properly adjusted, my next task will to fit it back into the electrical cubicle in 50030.
A good attendance this last weekend, others will contribute their own reports in due course. New volunteer James Andrews arrived on Saturday for his first working party and we were also blessed with the presence of Paul Sturm on an impromptu trip from the Netherlands. Dave Rolfe was the usual permanent fixture on site as Tim and I arrived at about midday on Saturday. Later on Sunday we were joined by Mark Burrows, Ian Kemp and Peter Carter.
Tim, Paul and I concentrated on the continued cleaning of brake rigging equipment where a large stash was extracted from storage:
Although not in the "Chris Thorn" level of restoration skill the wire brushing of these took much elbow grease and many cups of tea and ready meals during the day. The gradual accumulation of brushed parts into a pile for Tim to hone with the smaller drill was quite satisfying:
Meanwhile Dave and James had removed one of the adjustable radiator louvres from 50030 with a view to getting the shutters to work again. The linkage was seized utterly solid and heavily rusted. However Paul brushed it up and when Ian arrived on Sunday their combined efforts made for an amazing transformation:
We will be having a work party on site at Rowsley South, Peak Rail, over the weekend of 25-26 February. There will be plenty to do for anyone wanting to come along even as just a "pair of hands". RRRG members will be on site from around 09:30 on Saturday morning and everyone is welcome to attend - member James Andrews has already confirmed he will attend his first work party on that weekend and we would love to welcome other members, whether this will be your first or fiftieth working party! Use the comments on this post if you would like to let us know you're coming along. Tim and I will both be there too.
A few photos of work taking place on brake rigging equipment. We have decided to move the bogie overhauls up our schedule as they are mostly cheap to do (we can do much of the work ourselves) and it frees up financial resources to spend on overhauling electrical equipment and preparing for the lifts we will need to do to swap power units between our locomotives.