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RRRG report for The Peak Express April 2009, Issue 22

Following a huge amount of work by the Committee, the group's new Website went live slightly later than previously advised in Mid March. The site is completely new with very little material used from the original site. One of its most significant features is that it already has a large number of pictures illustrating the restoration work that is being undertaken, the site is being continually added to both to update it and also take the story back in time. Further enhancements planned are to reinstate a member's only discussion group, and to add a calendar function. I hope that you can find time to have a look at the new site, and hope that you enjoy it, if you have any comments, please let us know.

Restoration work at Rowsley continues apace, work fitting out the coach with racking, work benches, and properly conduited electrical supplies has now been completed, and a significant amount of effort put into sorting out the spares. On the electrical front the 1900 ohm earth fault de-sensitising resistor that goes above the main field divert relay is one of the items we are still missing. Andy has been unable to obtain a serviceable example, so in February he decided to make a 'ladder network' from four resistors on a redundant ex-37 Paxolin board, which has now been fitted and wired in the redundant space next to the main start contactors. The total of the four resistors comes to 1898 ohms, and the tap-off, nominally 170 ohms, comes out at 167 ohms, well within the nominal 10% tolerance allowed for with these resistors. Andy has also now fitted and wired the left-hand cab warning light resistor board on top of the electrical cubicle, having previously completed the right-hand board.

Work continues to progress on the ex-50008 power unit, since the last report the remaining 12 con rods have been refitted to the pistons and 3 cylinder heads have been refitted complete with new head gaskets, etc. Also an order has been placed with European Diesels for the 3rd batch of new engine components to enable the team to keep up the good progress being made with the overhaul.

The rapid progress by Bowers Electrical reported last issue has continued and I am pleased to be able to advise that the overhaul of the ETH Generator and Auxiliary Generator is now complete. The work has included a complete strip down of both machines, a thorough clean and bake, undercutting of the commutators, some repairs have been undertaken to the banding on both the generators, replacement carbon brush boxes have been fitted to the Auxiliary Generator, new PTFE insulators have been fitted to both machines, along with new carbon brushes and two new bearings. The bodies have been cleaned up and repainted and all the missing covers replaced. As mentioned previously the new carbon brushes and insulators will form part of our sponsor a component campaign.

Probably the most significant development for the group over the last 3 months resulted from C.F. Booths winning the latest EWS tender for some of the last few remaining class 37s, there being only a very small number of 37s left in EWS/DBS ownership and quite literally only a couple of 37/0s. The locos were all in very good condition, resulting in what is probably the best, and may well be the last ever opportunity to obtain certain good quality components at a sensible price. As such RRRG has made a number of visits to Rotherham, to obtain a large number of significant components, including Exhausters, Traction motor blowers, and an Auxiliary Generator. The importance of some of these spares cannot be stressed enough. In some cases, we are simply missing items, which whilst only costing £20 from the scrapyard would cost hundreds and significant time and effort if new ones had to be made, and in other cases, such as the exhausters and traction motor blowers, by buying recently serviceable items, significant savings can be made over the overhaul of our existing ones, whilst also providing a pool of spares for the future. Many of these items are also being included in the sponsor a component scheme.

With the completion of the generator overhauls, ongoing purchase of new engine components, and acquisition of essential spare parts, we are caught in a time of huge expenditure. I realise that this is not the best time to be asking for financial contributions, but, if we are to secure the spares we need and continue to purchase the new components needed to make progress with the restoration work, we urgently need your help. If you have ever considered buying shares, or if you are an existing shareholder and are able to add to your holding, or are simply able to make a donation to RRRG, your help is needed now.