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RRRG report for The Peak Express October 2008, Issue 20

I'll start with parish announcements, a date has been set for this year's AGM, which thanks to a kind offer from RRRG member Andy Coward is to be held at/near the East Lancs Railway, on the 15th November which also happens to be a 50015 running day. We are hoping to secure, a group discount booking behind 50015 Valiant for one return trip, cab visits for all, a return on the day cab ride raffle, a diesel driver experience raffle, etc. and a selection of the sales stand merchandise will also be available. The sales stand was out over the weekend of the 27th and 28th of September which was Deltic 16's last runs on Peak Rail. At the time it faced an uncertain future, with scrap being a potential outcome, but I understand now it has been sold to DRS and is to return to the mainline following a thorough overhaul which is to be undertaken by HNRC. The stall had a very successful weekend, taking just over £300. Unfortunately the close proximity of the diesel gala to this date (the weekend before) had prevented the stall also attending that event.

A further batch of new components has been ordered and delivered to site at Rowsley, this being sufficient liner seals, etc, to allow for the assembly and fitting of all sixteen cylinder liners. We have also purchased a set of heavy duty cables for use in the electrical cubicle from another class 50 owner.

A further 9 cylinder heads have been fully overhauled, being stripped, cleaned, de-sooted, valves ground in, valve gear reassembled, that makes a complete set of 16 ready for fitting and one of the spares overhauled. Four of the heads have also been externally cleaned and painted. The remaining 12 cylinder liners have been cleaned and prepared for refitting, and all sixteen have now been refitted into the power unit. These two lines might sound like a simple statement, but they actually represent a huge amount of work, which has not always been easy, as the engine components are large, heavy and awkward, and do not always do exactly what you want, e.g. occasionally they don't seat correctly resulting in the need to lift them back out and refit them, which can be difficult and frustrating.

The power unit water jacket is now ready to be refilled to test for the integrity of the liner seals, and if all goes well, a start will then be made on refitting the pistons. Ian & Pete have fabricated a tool to hold the piston rings in place when the pistons are fitted back into the power unit. This was tried on one piston and worked, but with some difficulty, so the tool is to be modified.

The team have also cleaned & re-greased the eight big end journals on the main crank and the insides of the cylinder liners to give them further corrosion protection through the winter.

In the cubicle the three wires from Terminal Bar 1 to the three wheelslip relays (which have yet to be fitted) have been laid in as have the three smaller control wires from the reverser to the three wheelslip relays, and the wire from the ETH terminal bar to the ETH Overvolt resistor. The 185mm cable from No.1 start contactor to no.3 motor contactor has been fitted, as have two pieces of large dia cable from our stock for the reverser to no's 1 & 3 motor contactors (the connection to M2 will be a copper bar). The last eight wires from the CU2 field divert unit to no's 2 & 3 field divert contactors have been laid in.

The four damaged field divert resistor support pillars have been removed, the resulting debris cleaned away and four replacement pillars fitted. Now the repairs to the field divert resistor supports have been completed, the right-hand cab warning light resistor panel has been fitted and eleven of the resistors fitted and wired up. This again might not sound like a lot, but some of the cables have to negotiate a tortuous five-metre route from the top of the walkway side of the cubicle to the terminal bars at floor level on the thin man's passage side.

Andy Rowlands has borrowed a CU2 from another class 50 owner which we are intending using as a template to have a couple of new ones manufactured. To date we've produced a track diagram for the unit, photographed the boards and all of the components, identified all of the markings on the components and are now in the process of identifying exactly what the various components are and sourcing them. Finally on the electrical front, one of the brake indicator light boxes has been cleaned, repainted, refitted into 50030's No 2 cab, and wired up.

Bodywork wise, I've made a start on repairing the area under the headcode boxes on Renown's No 1 cab with a view to weather proofing it. The first job was to remove the large amount of corrosion that existed, which resulted in a fairly large hole, this being by far the worst of the four cabs. To assist with gaining access the old roller blind mechanism was removed (which is likely to be sold off at some stage). The mounting brackets for this were cut off as they were restricting access and were very heavily corroded, resembling something you would expect to be brought up off Titanic rather than being part of a loco! Three steel plates have been fabricated (another is needed) to fill the gap, and then the cab will be repaired using the same principle as applied to 29 and 30's No 2 cabs.

Finally, readers of this column will be aware that for some time now, we have been struggling for storage space. I am now very pleased to be able to advise that by the time you read this RRRG should have taken delivery at Rowsley of a Mk1 BG for use as a storage vehicle, the move was scheduled to take place on the 14th October.