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RRRG report for The Peak Express issue 15, July 2007

Summer's arrived, I think? As planned the RRRG Sales stand was out for the Peak Rail Diesel gala on the 12th and 13th May, Tim Snowball, Neil Favell and Dominic Jackson were lucky with the weather on the Saturday, but from late Sunday morning the rain started and got heavier and heavier. Fortunately Tim had the foresight to invest in a Gazebo, so we were able to keep the sales stand going, and keep the stock dry. The worry was putting the stock away at the end of the day, by which time the weather was torrential, fortunately the lads were offered the opportunity of temporarily storing the stock in the little shed on the platform at Rowsley.

I wasn't there on the Sunday, but the following week, I spent most of the workparty transferring the stock back to its usual store, checking for damage, and sorting it out. Going by the way in which it had been left in the shed, I can imagine how bad the weather must have been and can only sympathise. Fortunately the use of the Gazebo, combined with good weather on the Saturday, and an excellent stud of locos, ensured that the stall had another good weekend.

Since the last report mechanical work has continued to be focused on the overhaul of the ex-50008 power unit; all of the rocker gear and all of the cylinder heads have now been removed. Removal of the heads revealed that a couple of the pistons and liners had suffered from water ingress during the unit's prolonged storage at Crewe. B5 liner was very rusty from about 1/2 way up, thus explaining why the engine would not fully bar round, removal of the B5 liner confirmed the finding and the engine now bars round freely. During the quest to resolve the barring over problem, the governor drive gear was removed, inspected, found to be in good order and refitted.

A method of removing the big end caps was determined, which is not as simple as it sounds, as the nuts are awkward to get to and the caps are heavy. The first to be removed was B8 cap which unfortunately revealed a worn out bearing shell, though not really a surprise, all of the bearing shells have subsequently been found to be serviceable, but heavily worn.

The majority of the liners and pistons have now been removed and work is progressing with the others, there are 4 liners in poor condition that are planned to be replaced, and Ian also plans to replace the full set of 32 main bearing shells, a full set of piston rings and a full set of stretch bolts for the main bearing caps. Prices have been obtained for these items and an order should be placed shortly, whilst not individually expensive, it soon adds up when multiplying by 32, 48 and 64! The work will however result in a power unit in excellent condition which will be worth all of the hard work.

One side effect of having two stripped down 16CSVT power units is that we have found ourselves incredibly short of storage space for all the components, and have therefore with Peak Rail been looking at various options to solve our shortage of covered storage. I am pleased to be able to advise that we have been given permission to bring a coach to Rowsley for use as a store and workshop by the group, and have now identified a suitable vehicle, which a small number of RRRG members have volunteered to fund, subject to a final inspection and closing of the deal the coach should be at Rowsley shortly, which will be a great help.

On the electrical front the last traction motor contactor was reassembled by Andy Rowlands and fitted in the cubicle in the No.1 position, all six are now in place. The radiator temperature control unit (CU4) in the filter compartment next to the power unit was examined and found to be of the original un-modified type with the two suppression resistors fitted. This will need cleaning up inside, as it is very dirty, but appears to be complete and in good order. As it is the original un-modified type, the radiator fan supply resistor was cleaned, fitted below No.4 rad fan contactor (KFC4), wired to KFC3 & its wire laid in to the rad fan control unit (CU5). We will also now need to fit two more small control relays; the rad fan & fan speed-up relays, which are not fitted when a modified CU4 is used. The auxiliary wiring was completed on the No.1 field divert contactor.

The broken motor control switch was also re-examined, after Steve Tripp noticed while he and Andy were at Paul Spracklen's collecting the new engine room roof hatches, that the contact blocks appear the same as those on the traction motor contactors. A close examination revealed them to be exactly the same, so the Motor Control Switch has been dismantled; the two broken segments removed and replaced with two from a spare motor contactor. It was cleaned & reassembled, and now works correctly. Andy and Steve also re-examined the motor contactor arc chutes, and it seems we may have enough parts by salvaging from the damaged ones, to make up the two we are missing.

Electrical team member Mark Tinker has offered to manufacture some of the smaller electronic units that we are missing. He produced a circuit diagram of the CU7 ETH unit from one we have borrowed, and has found all the components are still readily available, by the time you read this he is hoping to have the first one made, with another one as a spare to follow.

From some of the spare cable recovered from the locos at the start of the restoration work, Steve & Andy have made up the cables we were missing from inside the electrical cubicle crimped new lugs on them, and hopefully by the time this is published, they will have been fitted into the cubicle.

During June, the Engine Run relay & main Wheelslip relay wiring was finished, a not inconsiderable task, as between the two, there are some 36 wires to install. Now these two have been completed, the Generator Field contactor, which was removed to allow easier access to the two relays, has been refitted, but we discovered the auxiliary contact block had badly corroded during the time it had been removed, so the block was replaced with a spare. Once the wiring behind the board with these items on has been tidied up, we can then fit No.2 main Start contactor at the front of the cubicle. It was overhauled last year, but was deliberately left out, to again ease wiring access to the two relays mentioned above.

Very little body work has been undertaken since the last report, work concentrating on the power unit and electrical cubicle, however, some work is being undertaken to complete the waterproofing of the cabs, which still have a few small holes under the headcode boxes, these have proved tricky to rectify, but a route forward has now been identified and four small steel plates fabricated. Once this work and the remaining window frame woodwork have been completed, a start in earnest will be made on the No 2 cab interior and fitting out. The group has recently benefited from the kind donation by a new member of an almost complete set of cab instruments which will be used in this cab. The group is also in discussions with the owner of 50040 (which is soon to be scrapped) to acquire some components, and has contacted European Metal Recycling with a view to purchasing some compatible Class 37 components.

With the anticipated purchase and transport of the coach, power unit components, brake gear from EMR and items from 50040, RRRG are looking at an expensive month or so, and as such any share purchases, new memberships, or donations would be most welcome, as would donations of stock for the sales stand and of course assistance at the work parties, which continue to be weekly (Sundays) throughout the summer months.