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RRRG report for The Peak Express April 2008, Issue 18

During the first four months of 2008 we have had a number of productive visits to CF Booths at Rotherham to buy spares off the ex-EWS class 37s that have gone there for scrapping. Whilst the focus has been on brake equipment, some electrical gear, engine parts and cab fittings have also been obtained. Amongst the items recovered were three reverser actuators, one of which will be used to replace the seized unit on the reverser we have, which after overhaul, will be permanently fitted into the cubicle to replace the one that is currently located in the cubicle to act as a template for running wires.

Work at Rowsley has been primarily focused on the electrical cubicle and power unit, both of which are progressing well. In January the motor cut-out switch was fitted and wired. The cubicle door with the rotary switches was test-fitted after cleaning and having the new switches fitted. Andy Rowlands' father, a retired electrical engineer, offered to look at the CU7 control unit, and during February, he and Andy made a new unit which was test fitted into Repulse in late March. The group obtained sufficient parts to make a second spare unit, which will be made up when time allows.

Several of the insulating support pillars for the main field divert resistors were noticed some time ago to be breaking up, and are being removed for replacement with spare ones we have, another task made more difficult by restricted working space. The two missing cubicle circuit breakers, CCB2 and 3, have been obtained from the 50021 Locomotive Association at Tyseley, along with three 100amp fuse carriers we were missing. These have now been cleaned and fitted, along with the four main auxiliary fuses obtained some time ago. Another item recovered from CF Booth was a DSD relay box. After checking that it was compatible with a class 50, Andy disassembled it, removed and cleaned the relays and terminal boards, cleaned and repainted the case, reassembled it and fitted it into the clean air compartment.

On the engine front, five of the cylinder heads have been stripped, checked springs and collets, valve guides, head surfaces for cracks and damage, valve seats, de-carbonised inlet and exhaust ports, re-ground valves and cleaned the heads ready for painting. The acquisition of a pillar drill has finally enabled us to make a valve compressor plate, the plate allows us to compress the valve springs so that we can refit the collets which fit on the top part of the valve stem and lock the valve to the spring. All 16 of the connecting rods have had their small end bushes replaced by European Diesels, and we have placed an order for enough parts to rebuild the first 4 cylinders, which should keep us busy for a while.

Other work has included stripping brake cylinders, cleaning them up and honing them. While one or two have been ok most have shown leaks when pressure tested, we are looking to obtain new replacement seals and hope this will cure the problem. We have also acquired a number of brake cylinders from the Class 37s at Booths which should be in better condition than those off Repulse. One disappointment during the period was that the winter proved that the work undertaken at the back end of last summer to waterproof the area under the headcode boxes had only been 99% satisfactory, this has now been attended to, and we are hopeful that this area should now be waterproof.