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Restoration diary

Reports of restoration work on 50029 and 50030.

General news regarding the Group itself and its activities; actual hands-on restoration work news will appear in a separate category called "Work party news".

An Official Statement From Renown Repulse Restoration Group

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.

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Nene Valley Railway Winter Tornado gala - sales stand!

Nene Valley Railway Winter Tornado gala - sales stand!

With many thanks to the Nene Valley Railway for inviting us, RRRG will be operating our sales stand at Wansford station during the the Winter Tornado gala this coming weekend (2nd and 3rd November).  Any railway enthusiast must acknowledge the sheer achievement that the successful completion of 60163 Tornado represents and we are proud to help support the A1 Steam Trust as their locomotive stars in what should be a very good event.

We have recently taken delivery of a chip and PIN credit card terminal, allowing us to take credit card payments easily on the sales stand.  This aplies not just to this event but to all future sales stand operations.  We believe this flexibility in accepting payment, coupled with our keen prices, will make our stand even more appealing to our loyal customer base.  We look forward to seeing many of you over the coming weekend.

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Power unit restoration progress

Power unit restoration progress

Here are some photos from the ongoing restoration of the power unit we acquired from 50008 back in 2006.  This power unit is being restored with new internal components to restore it to effectively "zero hours" status and will be deployed into 50030 Repulse once completed.  The power unit currently inside 50030 will probably be reused in 50029 Renown in due course; the engine inside Renown suffered serious damage when the B4 cylinder seized.  This was the cause of 50029's withdrawal from BR service in early 1992.  The main generator on the ex-50008 power unit is in good condition as is that on the damaged block inside 50029; 50030 suffered a main generator flashover and we plan to perform a generator swap with 50029 at some stage to create a good power unit/generator combination.

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This set of pictures shows again the level of commitment RRRG is investing in the rebuild of 50029 and 50030.  We intend 50030 to re-enter traffic by 2017 as effectively a brand new locomotive with fully overhauled internal parts and to ensure it a very long and secure future in preservation.  The same policy will be applied to 50029 when the time comes.

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Work on site 4-5 May

Mark Burrows and Dave Rolfe were on site over the weekend of 4-5 May.

Dave came to Mark's house on Sunday morning, and together they loaded five fire bottles in to Dave's car, and put three in Mark's.  This took somewhat longer than expected: over an hour to load up! However this was partly because one of the bottles was full and they decided to partially blow it down to make it a bit lighter. The fire bottles are now stored on site at Rowsley.  They originate from scrap 37s at Booths and are probably in better condition and easier to recertify than the ones already inside 50029 and 50030.

Wasps have attacked one of the wooden blocks under the ex-50008 power unit, which is now not too healthy. We had a choice of either getting a mother of a crane in to lift the power unit and replace the block, or do something else. After giving it some thought, Mark devised a brace that should stop the wooden block collapsing.  We have bought some 10mm thick metal plates from Booths, who cut them to size for us, but they now need drilling.  Mark picked them up and took the plates to Bowers last week. At Rowsley we have some inch threaded bar, with nuts and washers. Mark's idea is to use this, with some that Bowers are going to buy for us, to fasten the plates either side of the wooden block.  Mark intends to take it to Bowers to show them what we are after.

Chris Thorn also asked Mark to take some air horn back plates to Bowers to get them drilled out to accommodate class 37 style air horns, so he picked them up this morning, and will take to Bowers with the threaded bar.

Whilst on site at the weekend, Mark also removed five sections of conduit from 50029 (basically to allow access to a piece that were wanted for 50030.  He has removed the section that we actually want to use in 50030 and has cleaned it up and fitted it in 50030. The damaged section from
50030 that this section is to replace, has also been cleaned, as Mark intends doing a "cut and shut" on it, to use it in 50029.

Dave has been internally cleaning oil and water pipes off the ex-50008 power unit; the oil pipes are full of sludge and the water pipes have a
significant amount of loose rust in them. He has also been painting some of the large mounting brackets off the power unit.

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Website and sales updates

A few bits of news to report.

  • The RRRG sales stand has been around the model fairs over the past month or so.  We have raised a reasonable amount but high pitch fees and the general climate prevailing at the moment don't help.
  • Our online shop now features our full range of Hornby and Hornby Railroad models.  Take a look - there will hopefully be something to tempt you and at keen prices as well!
  • A major addition to the website is a full archive of all the Group's newsletters (except the current issue; this will appear in due course but will be viewable by RRRG members only).  These form an excellent picture of the Group's progress and achievements over the years and we hope you will enjoy reading them.  If you're not already a member perhaps they will encourage you to join RRRG and help our cause?
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