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RRRG report for The Peak Express January 2008, Issue 17

Although the locos were not out on display at the Autumn diesel gala members were on hand to escort visitors down the yard and show people around inside Repulse, hopefully the Spring gala will provide the opportunity to have the locomotives out on display again. Tim's Gazebo (RRRG sales stand) was out again at the Autumn gala and had quite a good weekend, whilst not brilliant, the weather was considerably kinder than at the May gala. The gala provided the opportunity to debut the new range of RRRG clothing, which includes Polo Shirts, Sweat Shirts, Fleeces, Hats and Caps, we are also down to the last few of the original edition of the RRRG Mug, if you would like one, I would recommend placing an order soon as only a few remain. The stand also attended a DCC model exhibition at Rawtenstall near the East Lancs Railway, unfortunately this was a less successful trip as attendance at the exhibition itself was quite low, possibly due to the weather being glorious and providing people with a last opportunity for a nice day in the countryside before winter set in.

The other significant fund raising event during the last few months was the 3rd RRRG sponsored walk which was held after the AGM on the13th October. The walk raised in the region of £800. Whilst it was an enjoyable event, taking in the delights of the Monsal trail from Bakewell - Cressbrook tunnel, and managing to pull in two quick pub stops, it did turn into a bit of a trot back, and was completely dark by the time we got back to Bakewell. I can confirm that the Monsal trail at night is quite a spooky place.

At the AGM the committee was re-elected with a few changes. I've decided to step down as vice chairman as I have been finding it difficult to balance that role and publicity officer with family life, etc. I'm continuing with the role of publicity officer, which I should now be able to give more attention to, and will continue to assist with the sales department, and being an active working volunteer. A new face on the committee is Steve Tripp who is taking over the role of vice chairman. Steve has been helping Andy Rowlands on the electrical side of things for most of this year, has a great deal of enthusiasm for the Group and should make a good manager/pursuer who can coordinate the Group's links with external organisations such as parts suppliers, haulage firms, etc. Dominic Jackson's multiple roles (newsletter editor/membership secretary/general secretary) are combined into one role of "secretary". Chris Bodell and Alex Fairlie were appointed to non-committee "assistant" roles, with a view to getting them more involved in the organisation of the group, particularly in support of the fundraising activities.

Ian Wright has now completed a significant piece of work to update all shareholding records, and revised certificates should be issued shortly. Ian was unable to attend the AGM, but did provide a financial report for the meeting.

The meeting also voted in an alteration to the group constitution and shareholder voting rights, which will provide significant protection to the group's future as we move closer to getting 50030 running, and the meeting gave a mandate to the committee to investigate the options for the legal structure of the group into the future. As the start up of 50030 draws nearer, it was felt that we need a more definite legal structure, a potential one being that of a limited company.

On the restoration front, work has continued on the stripping of the ex-50008 power unit, which has now turned the corner, having had all of its rockers, cylinder heads, pistons, liners, bearing shells, etc, removed and examined. One of the pistons pulled the liner out with it, but after some advice from John Ball, a lot of effort, copious quantities of various penetrating oils, and elbow grease, this was removed! The pistons have all been removed from the connecting rods, and the little end bearings examined; as with the main bearing shells these bushes were found to be worn and in need of replacing, a sign of the 8537 engine hours 008 had when withdrawn from traffic.

The connecting rods have now been dispatched to European diesels for new bushes to be pressed in and an order placed for a complete set of replacement little end bearings, big end bearing shells, and piston rings, etc. The plan is to phase delivery of these items to reduce the quantity of new engine components that we have lying around at Rowsley waiting for refitting.

Although the 50008 power unit is sheeted up to protect it from the weather, the crank has been thoroughly greased and wrapped to prevent rust forming, similarly, although stored under cover all of the little end pins have been greased and wrapped to prevent any deterioration. All 16 of the pistons have been cleaned up and are now ready for reuse, and a start has been made on overhauling the cylinder heads, removing accumulated debris & carbon soot and where necessary grinding in the valves . An examination of the cylinder heads revealed that apart from some of the valve seats needing re-cutting the heads look to be in good condition.

The engine governors have been inspected, and the one that is planned to be used on the ex 50008 power unit found to be complete and appears to be in good order.

Although the power unit within 50030 had previously been freed, it was found during late summer to have seized again, after a moderate amount of effort, the problem was found to be a piston stuck in a liner. The offending liner was subsequently removed, and the other liners and pistons all cleaned and lubricated. The power unit was subsequently barred over, and is now being barred over on a regular basis to ensure that it does not seize again.

Work has also been continuing to progress well on the electrical cubicle. The remaining control relays in the small compartment at the front of the cubicle have all been checked and all have been found to have the correct coils. All 27 wires from the very-difficult-to-get-at engine run relay have been fitted, the general fault relay was checked, refitted and rewired, the rad fan & fan speed-up relays have been cleaned up and the latter partially wired. Andy has also continued wiring the No.2 blower motor relay which had been partially completed some time ago.

The repaired broken motor cutout switch has been fitted and wired into the cubicle.

A piece of copper bar has been made and fitted to replace the missing one from between the No's 2 & 3 rad fan contactors, and all the wires from the auxiliary contact block on the No.1 field divert contactor laid in. The auxiliary contact block on the generator field contactor was found to be faulty and has therefore been replaced for a good example and the generator field contactor then refitted, and wired into the cubicle. This sounds like a simple job, but as with many tasks on 50030, it involved a considerable amount of fiddling.

The paxolin board previously made for the Battery Charge contactor has been drilled, and the board & contactor fitted in front of the Power Control relay & Control Earth contactor, and the overhauled No.2 main start contactor has finally been fitted and all of its wires connected. This had been overhauled some time ago and stored pending completion of the wiring to three other items which would have been difficult to get at had it been fitted.

Three of the six traction motor contactors have auxiliary contacts fitted to them (M4, 5 & 6) for control wiring, as the three motor contactors we obtained for these positions were all missing their auxiliary contacts and paxolin actuating arms, an arm was removed from a spare motor contactor, fitted to an overhauled auxiliary contact block, which was fitted to M6 and tested. It was found to operate correctly and as such all 14 wires from it have now been installed. An auxiliary contact block has also now been fitted to No.5 traction motor contactor, and its 14 wires connected. The coil wires on M1, 2, 3 & 4, have also been fitted. Several parts of the remaining motor arc chutes have now been cleaned up and two complete arc chutes have been made from the spare & broken sections. These have now been fitted into Repulse, completing the six we need for the motor contactors.

The hinges from where the door with the rotary switches goes on the cubicle were removed, and the old pins from the original door knocked out, the replacement door was then test-fitted (complete with all of the new rotary switches) to check that the new door would re-mount correctly, which it does. The surplus mounting bolts from the compartment where the CU2 & CU7 go have also been removed (not the easiest task due to lack of space & the threads were covered in layers of paint), and the new mounting brackets on the CU7 case have been drilled and test-fitted it.

Finally a couple of the cab-warning light resistors we have borrowed have been photographed and their resistance measured so that we can get a quote for new ones, as we have found the original manufacturer still produces them.

On the body work front all four sets of cab footsteps on Repulse have now been removed, shotblasted, repainted and refitted. The 6 new roof hatches, purchased as part of a bulk order organised by fellow Class 50 owner Paul Spracklen, have been collected and have now been fitted to Repulse. The existing hatch hinges were refurbished, in some cases they had to be moved slightly, and new fixings obtained. The latches from the old hatches have been repaired and fitted to the new ones. The only outstanding job on the roof hatches is to fit new sealing rubbers, and to fit lifting handles to the hatches, or alternatively fit grommets to the mounting holes.

The work to plate over the holes under the headcode boxes on Repulse has now been completed, and the area is now dry, this job has also been undertaken on No2 end of Renown, which was in a considerably worse condition than Repulse. Some tidying up of the area, and finishing is still required, but this will now have to wait until the weather improves again. The driver's door at No 2 end of Repulse has also had some metal ground off it, so that it now opens and closes properly, without the aid of a boot!

Finally on the bodywork front, a number of our members Dom Jackson, Peter Carter, Chris Bodell, Tim Snowball and Andy Coward assisted with the repainting of 31270 into Regional Railways, which now looks excellent, and is a credit to their efforts, in fact it looked so good, that it became the impromptu star of an EMRPS night shoot at Darley Dale, when it was supposed to only be the shunt engine!