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RRRG report for The Peak Express Summer 2010, Issue 26


In preparation for the Peak Rail diesel gala the two locos were given a thorough cleaning over one weekend, and were pulled out for display at the gala, during which the RRRG sales stand was present both days. The stand was also present for both days of the Peak Rail 8F gala, and attended one day at the Midland Railway Butterley diesel gala. I am also pleased to be able to advise that the RRRG 2011 Calendar, which features the last years of Class 50's on service trains, has now been printed and we are about to start sending samples to the railway press and potential distributors. We are also in the final stages of getting 3 designs of new RRRG Mug, fridge magnet and key rings produced for the stall.

The purchase of the spare ETH/Auxiliary Generator set was concluded in this period, as previously reported the Auxiliary generators armature was beyond economic repair, although we already have two spares the opportunity was taken to purchase a replacement armature for this machine, thereby preserving our two spares as complete machines. At the same time a replacement set of brush gear was obtained for one of the spare auxiliary generators and various cab fittings.

We have also successfully tendered for a cab off 50037 Illustrious. This is actually the second cab off 50037 that the group has owned, the first acquired with 50029 and 50030 was little more than a shell and was sold on to a local enthusiast to become the control room for his garden railway. This one has basically been bought as a source of spares, but the intention is to restore it cosmetically, with a view to eventually fitting it up with a simulator. With this in mind a small group of RRRG volunteers made the long trip to Boness to undertake some initial tidying up and protective restoration work. Some of the smaller items have been removed and brought back to Rowsley, and all of the loose items that came with the cab have been sorted, and the class 50 compatible items stored. All of the rot has been investigated to see how severe it is, and a plan for dealing with it put together. A start has been made on the cab roof, half of which has had the rot ground back and subsequently painted in red oxide. The cab has also been relocated to a more accessible area of the SRPS site. Also on the move is our second BG which has made the move form Darley Dale to Rowsley and is now in the process of being cleared out, and loaded with various large items that have previously had to be stored in the open.

Work on the motor blowers and exhausters has been slower than expected, but the overhaul of one of the blowers is now almost complete. The work undertaken has been to a very high standard and has included a full clean and bake, new carbons, new bearing, new centre keyway for the fan, and the fan assembly has all been cleaned and painted as has the outer casing. At Rowsley the mechanical team has turned their attention to the turbochargers. Having removed the remaining turbo from the free end they set about striping it down and freeing it off with the aid of the workshop manual, after a good clean up and inspection of bearings and impeller it has been rebuilt and painted. A second Turbo is now well on its way through overhaul. An examination of our stock of spare turbos has been undertaken to see if we have enough to make a full set from the spares, as each one is different. This confirmed that we do now have a full set of free turbos. A start has also been made on torqueing down the cylinder heads that have previously been fitted and re-fitting the cooling system elbow joints between the cylinder heads and engine block. Inside 50030 the clean air compartment floor has been cleaned and repainted, and the radiator end clean air room is in the process of being cleaned.

Work has been progressing on the lengthy task of sorting and test-fitting the large cables between the field divert resistors, their contactors and the reverser, a task made all the more difficult by the size & lengths of the cables, their stiffness and the need to work in the Thin Man's passage. The remaining cables to the main neutral terminal bar have been cleaned and connected, and the control wires to the reverser have been laid in for when the proper reverser is fitted. The one fitted in the cubicle currently is an ex-37 reverser, which is identical in the main cam power sections, but has incompatible auxiliary contacts, and has been used to allow the large cables mentioned above to be positioned properly. As previously mentioned, new components have been acquired to make a new field divert electronic unit, and Andy has marked up some pieces of paxolin board ready to make the casing for it.
Unfortunately in early March Repulse suffered the attention of copper thieves when we discovered that four of the traction motor cables had been cut, one of which had been removed, but subsequently discarded next to the loco. Whilst the thieves didn't actually get away with any material from Repulse this disappointing incident will cost a significant sum to rectify further adding to the task in hand.