RRRG report for The Peak Express October 2013, Issue 34
This reporting period has seen significant progress on a number of fronts, making it difficult to know where to start. When RRRG was formed many people said our project was doomed from the start as a result of the missing unique to class 50 control units, which we were advised were “simply unobtainable, and rendered the project impossible”. Fortunately as time moves on, as happened in the world of steam preservation, the art of the possible moves forward. The work that I mentioned in the previous report to manufacture brand new CU2 Field Divert Units has now been completed, and following testing the two units have now been delivered. The replacement new build CU5 Radiator Fan control unit is also almost finished, and should be delivered for Christmas. In the previous report I mentioned the work being undertaken by a well known class 50 electrical engineer and another group to develop re-engineered CU3 Main Generator control and CU6 ETH control units, as a result of this work we commissioned Noel to rebuild two of our CU3 and two CU6 control units which are now complete and ready to be collected. Two of our CU1 control units are also with Noel being repaired, overhauled and tested, one of which is complete and ready to be tested. We’ve previously had a CU7 manufactured, and with other original control units in stock, this only leaves us with the CU4 and CU10 to get remanufactured. It’s not just electrical equipment that we are having to buy new replacements for, this year we have also purchased replacement compressor bellows for both loco’s which arrived during the summer.
The work on overhauling the electrical machines has also moved forward significantly this year, with Bowers Electrical completing the overhaul of two traction motor blowers, and two of our exhausters for 50030. All four of these machines have been overhauled to a very high standard and thoroughly tested, the machines are now ready for collection. In one case the centre boss of the traction motor fan had to be rebuilt, and both fans and blower housings have been stripped, cleaned and painted. One of our traction motors, and a compressor are also at Bowers being overhauled.
Back at Rowsley work has been progressing preparing for the removal of the existing motor blowers and exhausters and fitting of the overhauled machines, this has included un-seizing the roof securing bolts, sourcing and fitting lifting bolts to the various roof sections, and generally preparing inside for the exchange so that no nasty surprises are encountered on the day of the swap. Also on the body the four large radiator louvers have all now been removed, stripped, overhauled, painted and refitted. All four actually now work, the area around these louvers has also been cleared of debris, cleaned, and painted.
The main electrical cubicle in Repulse is now 90% complete, and just awaits an airpipe circuit and the reverser to be fitted and the various electronic units mentioned above. Work is also progressing to trace and test the wiring circuits through the rest of the 50030, including the cabs, where further work has been undertaken on their refurbishment. The work to replace the badly damaged conduit runs in the generator room is now over halfway to being completed with one side being finished and a couple of the runs on the other side also completed. A set of taps and dies has been obtained to facilitate this work, which is involving putting a set of conduits together from sections recovered from 50023, 50030 and 50040!
The other significant area of progress is the work on the power unit which is well on its way to being completed. Following on from the previous report, Ian and Pete have finished overhauling a set of injectors along with some spares, and purchased a set of new injector nozzles which have been fitted. These have now been tested and calibrated and fitted into the cylinder heads. Work then moved onto removing the remaining oil, fuel and cooling pipes from the power unit for cleaning and repainting. When the cooling system pipes on lower side of the power unit were removed we found the pipes and water gallery's to be blocked up, so both have been thoroughly cleaned out. Both of the water pumps have been fitted, and the crankcase breather was removed and examined, this was found to be seized so was stripped down and overhauled. The lubrication oil pump has also been checked and tested. The latest job undertaken has been setting the valve clearances, which has also been completed.
Other work undertaken on the power unit has included the removal of the intercooler, and the cleaning (inside and out) and painting of the previously removed oil, fuel and water pipes, which are all now ready to be refitted, with work progressing on refitting the water pipes.
The new RRRG website, launched in late 2012, really came into its own this year with online shop sales contributing valuable revenue towards the Group's project and aims. The group has also developed a number of branded items this year, including four designs of mug, fridge magnets, key rings, fleeces, polo shirts and tea shirts, all of which are available via the website, or the sales stand. We have also produced a 2014 calendar in conjunction with the Fifty Fund, the website address is www.renownrepulse.com as before.