RRRG new website top logo resized

RRRG report for The Peak Express Winter 2009, Issue 24

The sales stand has had a very busy few weeks starting with the Sunday of the Peak Rail shunter gala, followed by the Friday/Saturday of the Nene Valley gala, and the Friday/Saturday of the Severn Valley Railway gala (courtesy of the Fifty Fund). The Peak Rail and SVR events were particularly good days, across the 5 days the stand raised in excess of £700 profit. This doesn't include the money raised from the sale of the new 'Fifty 50's' and 'Peak Rail' Microsoft Train Simulator packages, both of which being launched by our related organisation Renown Repulse Universal at the Peak Rail shunter gala. These two packages generated a lot of interest when running on a laptop on the stall.

The money raised by the stall over the last few weeks will go a long way towards the overhaul of one of the two motor blowers delivered to Bowers of Heanor in June. At the time of writing Bowers have not started work on the two motor blowers, but they have ordered replacement bearings for both machines. As planned the overhauled ETH/Auxiliary Generator set was collected from Bowers by Scotts Heavy Haulage in August and moved to a secure, dry, heated storage facility where it will be kept until we are ready to install it in 50030. Also in August we secured an overhauled Class 50 exhauster, along with a number of other minor Class 50 spares from Unipart at Doncaster, these items should have been collected by the time you read this, the plan being to take the exhauster to Bowers for a check and test.

Although not on the scale of the spares collection from Booths in June, we have also collected further brake cylinders, and an air tank, and will shortly be collecting the remaining motor blower that is still at Rotherham. Unfortuantely we have not yet been able to arrange the movement of the fourth auxiliary generator referred to in the last report.

The lastest delivery of new engine components arrived in mid-September, unfortunately some of the items that Ian had ordered were not in stock and we are still awaiting delivery. This has held up progress on refitting the cylinder heads, pistons and connecting rods. Currently eight sets of overhauled pistons, connecting rods and cylinder heads have been refitted to the ex-50008 power unit. While waiting for the new parts we have turned our attention to the camshafts, and are in the middle of a detailed inspection of both camshafts. At present we have found damage to three fuel pump cam lobes, one of which has been replaced so far. Fortunately the lobes are identical (same part number) to those on a class 37, which we have a number of spares of. The other two should be replaced by the time you read this and work will continue inspecting the camshafts until the piston rings are back in stock at European Diesels.

Work has also been progressing well with sorting out and refurbishing the brake cylinders. Unfortunately these are very prone to damage from water ingress. It is a classic English Electric design fault that the drain holes on all cylinders are in the same place - irrespective of the "handedness" of bogie brake cylinders. This means that one side of the loco always has the brake cylinders mounted with the drain holes at the top! Our experience is proving to be the same as many other Class 50 and Class 37 groups that have undertaken this task, in that we seem to be scrapping more than we are repairing. Fortunately we not have a good set of honed cylinders for 50030, all that remainds to do with them is to order a replacement set of seal kits for them. Further work has been undertaken in No1 cab of Repulse, the AWS and fire equipment on the cab bulkhead has now been completed and is awaiting final painting. Replacement air pipework has been fabricated to complete the pipework on both cab bulkheads.

On the electrical front Andy Rowlands has wired in the control cables to the second field divert contactor, the third field divert contactor has been overhauled, fitted and the control wiring to it should be done by the time you read this. The DSD Speed Switch panel has been overhauled; as this goes in the cupboard under the hotplate in No2 cab, it will be kept in safe storage until the cab is more complete to save it becoming soiled or damaged by the cab refurbishment work. Andy has also un-stuck, cleaned, lubricated and painted the locking cubicle door that protects the fuse and MCB panel. These two hinged doors will however remain unfitted for now, as the fuse panel is a convenient tool shelf. Finally, a CU2 and CU5 borrowed from another Class 50 owner have been examined to determine if the components are still available to enable us to make new ones. The CU2 unit appears to use readily available components, so should be fairly easy to reproduce, but the CU5 has eight 'operational amplifiers' in it that as yet remain unidentified, and this is being investigated further.

We have also acquired another storage vehicle, which will be used to house some of our larger spares, e.g compressors, turbos, etc, this being the 3rd van in possession of RRRG members. One member recently joked that we are assembling our own van train for Repulse to work.