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Restoration diary

Reports of restoration work on 50029 and 50030.

New merchandise available!

New merchandise available!

Just in time for Christmas shopping season, RRRG is pleased to offer a number of new lines of merchandise.  We now have fleeces, polo shirts, new designs of t-shirts and mugs plus keyrings and phone cases!

Don't forget our other merchandise such as mugs and t-shirts or Hornby models!

 

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Also, please don't forget our 2014 calendar.  All these items are important fundraisers for RRRG!  They would make great presents for someone or even yourself - maybe that distant relative needs some suggstions about what to get you for Christmas?!  Point them towards the online shop at renownrepulse.com or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need shopping assistance.

 

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Nene Valley Railway Winter Tornado gala - sales stand!

Nene Valley Railway Winter Tornado gala - sales stand!

With many thanks to the Nene Valley Railway for inviting us, RRRG will be operating our sales stand at Wansford station during the the Winter Tornado gala this coming weekend (2nd and 3rd November).  Any railway enthusiast must acknowledge the sheer achievement that the successful completion of 60163 Tornado represents and we are proud to help support the A1 Steam Trust as their locomotive stars in what should be a very good event.

We have recently taken delivery of a chip and PIN credit card terminal, allowing us to take credit card payments easily on the sales stand.  This aplies not just to this event but to all future sales stand operations.  We believe this flexibility in accepting payment, coupled with our keen prices, will make our stand even more appealing to our loyal customer base.  We look forward to seeing many of you over the coming weekend.

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CU5 replacement under construction

CU5 replacement under construction

One of the electronic control units in a Class 50 locomotive is the CU5 radiator fan control unit.  It works together with the CU4 coolant flow control unit under the control of the CU1 main control unit to maintain the correct cooling water temperature by adjusting the speed of the radiator fan.  Both RRRG's locomotives are missing this unit.  The original was designed by Hawker-Siddeley for English Electric and utilises components that, by the standards of the 21st century, are thoroughly obsolete.

A good friend of RRRG, based at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway, offered his services to construct a compatible replacement unit using modern electronics - needless to say, we were and are extremely grateful for this offer!  Shown here is the item which is now nearly complete.  The main circuit board has been deliberately left unattached to the case at this stage, as the next step is to test the unit by connecting to a suitable 110 volts DC source in order to ensure it performs correctly.

An original unit was borrowed from the 50021 Loco Association, and this new unit has been produced to resemble it physically, while using greatly-simplified circuits (as the original was over-complex for what it needed to do), modern components and utilising a small programmable microprocessor to replicate many of the functions of the original.  We will provide more updates on this sub-project when they become available.

 

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Have you got your 2014 Class 50 calendar yet?

Have you got your 2014 Class 50 calendar yet?

Our A4-sized appointments calendar Class 50s Now and Then is still available from our online shop!  Priced at £6.95 plus P&P, each month features important dates in Class 50 history such as dates of introduction or namings.  The calendar is produced to the same high quality finish as the Rail Photoprints/Platform 5 series.  October 2014 features shots of 50015 Valiant at Bury Bolton Street station in a night shoot at the East Lancashire Railway in January 2011 by Mark Burrows and in Dutch livery at Hereford in 1991 by Chris Holland.

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Rebuilt CU2s are delivered!

Rebuilt CU2s are delivered!

Following on from news and developments earlier this year on the work we have commissioned to build two CU2 field divert units for use in 50029 and 50030, we can report with great pleasure that this project reached a successful conclusion today.  Our contractors invited 50030 Electrical Officer Andy Rowlands to view the rebuilt units, and demonstrated as the relay in each unit was energised and gave output to the correct terminals.  Each unit was tested multiple times with no problems arising.  We were pleased to note that our contractors have managed to replicate the original solder tracks from the sample unit supplied as the template.  Now that we have taken delivery, the units can be taken on site for trial fitting and cabling up, before being stored securely off site until such time as they are needed.  Photos courtesy of Mark Brown at IES.  This work has not been cheap and we would greatly appreciate the support of Class 50 enthusiasts either by joining RRRG and buying shares or supporting us via our online shop.

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2014 calendar "Class 50 Now and Then" still available!

2014 calendar "Class 50 Now and Then" still available!

Don't forget that our 2014 calendar "Class 50s Now and Then" is still available priced at £6.95 plus P+P.  The image for September 2014 is one of 50035 Ark Royal in LoadHaul livery at Kidderminster station on the Severn Valley Railway together with a shot of the same locomotive in almost as-delivered condition and un-named, at Newton Heath Shed in 1975, photographed by Anthony Middleton and David Gray respectively.

September 2014 calendar image: 50035 at Kidderminster in 2013 and Newton Heath in 1975

Buy your copy now from our online shop: this project is an important fundraiser for us and we look forward to your continued support.

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Radiator louvres re-assembled

Fully overhauled and reassembled radiator louvre

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Radiator louvre slats and mechanism finished, donor electrical cubicle wiring loom progress

Radiator louvre slats and mechanism finished, donor electrical cubicle wiring loom progress

Work on site over the weekend of 13-14 June comprised efforts by Dave Rolfe to finish off the last set of radiator grille louvre frames and slats.  These have now been sanded and painted ready to reinstall into 50030 and will mean the locomotive has a fully overhauled set of radiator slats, together with the mechanisms for actuating and moving the temperature-dependent sets fully overhauled and operational for the first time in many a year!

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Also on site were electrical officers Andy Rowlands and Steve Tripp, together with Sarah McCall the membership secretary.  They carried on with the donor electrical cubicle. Following recent progress with removing the control units, attention turned to the wiring loom which we also intend to salvage in order to replace the damaged wiring in 50029.  Initially the complexity of the loom and its many tentacles proved frustrating but Steve and Andy have devised methods for transferring it into Renown. All the cabling in all the side sections of the cubicle, namely that for KV10s, relays and control units, has been pulled out of the frame or into the middle section where it is more accessible.  One more visit should have the whole wiring loom out and hopefully soon into its new home in 50029.  We can then consider our options for the bulky frame of the donor cubicle which is taking up valuable space on site.

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Work party report 29-30 June

Work over the weekend of 29-30 June involved stripping and painting the last of the louvre mechanisms for the radiators in 50030, hopefully to be refitted in 2-3 weeks.  Photos to follow.

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2014 calendar is here!

2014 calendar is here!

We are delighted to announce that our 2014 calendar Class 50s Then and Now is available to order from our online shop.  The calendar has A4 sized pages bound in the middle to allow the month layout to drop down and reveal the accompanying photograph.  Each month features full page shots by noted railway photographers of a preserved Class 50 locomotive together with an inset of the same locomotive in its BR service days.  The calendar is available to order from our online shop, priced at £6.95 + P&P.  This production is a joint venture between RRRG and the Fifty Fund with proceeds going towards 50029 and 50030 as well as 50031, 50035, 50044 and 50049.  See below for page images of each month. The calendar is printed on high quality paper equivalent to the well-known Rail Photoprints/Platform 5 calendars and is of equal quality to these well-known publications. 

 

Month-by-month: Class 50s Now and Then 2014 Calendar
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Spare electrical cubicle progress

Spare electrical cubicle progress

If you have been following RRRG for some time, you will remember that about a year ago we purchased and collected a number of spare electrical parts from the owners of 50021 Rodney.  Amongst these was the electrical cubicle originally in 50011 Centurion before that locomotive was scrapped.  Our reason for purchasing the cubicle was to use as a donor for rebuilding 50029's cubicle; as a rule of thumb the items that were removed from 50030 before we bought the locomotive were carefully unscrewed and the wiring in the electrical cubicle was in good condition.  The same cannot be said for 50029 unfortunately, with many of the cubicle wires having been cut.  To save the headache of pairing loose ends we aim to transplant the relatively intact wiring loom from the ex-Centurion cubicle into 50029.  That there were a good number of other components in the donor cubicle that would be useful for 50029 was a bonus.  The actual frame of the ex-50011 cubicle is however not in such good condition as the cubicle frame already in 50029: many of the catches for the doors are either bent or broken and it is obvious the cubicle has led a hard life since the locomotive it resided in was scrapped.  For this reason we cannot just swap the cubicles around between Renown and Centurion and a process of making one good one from two halves is necessary.

These pictures were taken on 9th June 2013 and show progress on the careful stripping of this cubicle and some of the parts we have recovered from it.  Electrical volunteers Steve Tripp and Andy Rowlands are shown at work but credit must also go to Julie Rollason and Sarah McCall for their invaluable assistance with this sub-project.

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The complexity of the wiring loom is obvious from these pictures which show volunteers Steve Tripp and Andy Rowlands removing some of the last major components before we make a decision on how to tackle the wiring loom.  A good number of useful items have been recovered from this cubicle for re-use in 50029, as shown below.

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Shown below is one of the cubicle doors from the ex-50011 cubicle.  We have already refurbished the equivalent door and installed into 50030 and we have a better example in stock for 50029.  This is actually one of the better condition parts of the cubicle frame and speaks to the state that the ex-50011 electrical cubicle is in.

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The next task is to assess the wiring loom in the 50011 cubicle and how best to remove it.  As the pictures show it is a many-tentacled monster and will require considerable thought as to the best way forward before we dispose of the frame of the 50011 cubicle.  With the size of the "thin man's passage" inside a 50 round the side of the electrical cubicle now not befitting our volunteers' physical profiles, we may also look to lifting the cubicle out of 50029 as a way of proceeding.

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Power unit restoration progress

Power unit restoration progress

Here are some photos from the ongoing restoration of the power unit we acquired from 50008 back in 2006.  This power unit is being restored with new internal components to restore it to effectively "zero hours" status and will be deployed into 50030 Repulse once completed.  The power unit currently inside 50030 will probably be reused in 50029 Renown in due course; the engine inside Renown suffered serious damage when the B4 cylinder seized.  This was the cause of 50029's withdrawal from BR service in early 1992.  The main generator on the ex-50008 power unit is in good condition as is that on the damaged block inside 50029; 50030 suffered a main generator flashover and we plan to perform a generator swap with 50029 at some stage to create a good power unit/generator combination.

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This set of pictures shows again the level of commitment RRRG is investing in the rebuild of 50029 and 50030.  We intend 50030 to re-enter traffic by 2017 as effectively a brand new locomotive with fully overhauled internal parts and to ensure it a very long and secure future in preservation.  The same policy will be applied to 50029 when the time comes.

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Rebuilt ETH KV10 completed

Rebuilt ETH KV10 completed

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We are pleased to announce that the first of our rebuilt KV10 electronic units has been completed.  As we reported in April, we placed an order for four rebuilt KV10 units, two per locomotive using modern electronic components as opposed to the obsolete 1960s versions of the original.  This picture shows a rebuilt CU6 ETH KV10; we have ordered two of these plus two rebuilt CU3 main generator units (the originals are identical to each other and are transformed into CU3 main generator or CU6 ETH generator KV10s by addition of a CU3A or CU6A daughter card but the rebuilt versions incorporate the electronics of the daughter cards into the main unit and so differ from each other).  The two photos above show both sides of the rebuilt unit's circuitry.  By way of a comparison, below is a view of the original 1960s vintage circuitry in the KV10.

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The completion of the first rebuilt KV10 marks a further important stage in the restoration of 50029 Renown and 50030 Repulse.  The cost is just over £1000 per unit and we need the help of the enthusiast community to help us fund future stages in the restoration project.  Can you buy something from our online shop or consider joining RRRG and buying shares to become part of this exciting locomotive rebuild project?  We are keenly aware of the anticipation in the enthusiast community for 50029 and 50030 to haul trains once again but we are going to need your help to achieve this.

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RRRG mugs are here!

RRRG mugs are here!

 

We are pleased to announce that a series of new RRRG-branded mugs are now available in order to raise money for our project.  Currently we have available mugs featuring side-on drawings of 50029 and 50030 individually (which we have taken care to make into what we hope are the most accurate Class 50 drawings on the market!) as well as a special design featuring both 50029 and 50030 as if posed around the turntable at Old Oak Common.  This latter mug design is to celebrate the unique nature of RRRG; the only Class 50 preservation group to own two locomotives!  Click on the images and captions below to be taken to the appropriate product page in our online shop.  RRRG members will get a 10% discount if logged into our site as a recognised member (you may need to go through site registration to attain this status).

 

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50029 mug 50030 mug Two Class 50s mug

 

 

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Class 50: The Large Logo Years now available!

Class 50: The Large Logo Years now available!

Renown Repulse Restoration Group is delighted to announce the availability of a keenly-awaited new publication: Class 50s - The Large Logo Years. This is a 192-page perfect-bound hard-backed book, priced at £25.00 with profits being put towards the upkeep and preservation of a number of Class 50s including 50029 Renown and 50030 Repulse. This limited edition has received rave reviews in enthusiast periodicals such as Railways Illustrated and is sure to be a welcome addition to any enthusiasts' library.  Full details can be found in our online shop, however with with specific chapters including a review of the Doncaster Works era, freight operations, the Sir Edward Elgar story, the 1988 railtours over Shap, the inside story of the Laira F-exams and a close look at the various liveries carried by the 50s and a Foreword written by Geoff Hudson, Area Fleet Manager at Laira depot during the locomotives’ final years working for Network SouthEast, this publication is a real treat for the reader.  

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Latest restoration pictures added

Latest restoration pictures added

RRRG Officer Mark Burrows recently visited our electrical contractors to view progress on a number of electrical machines we are having overhauled for use in 50029 and 50030.  Here are some pictures of the work we have in progress on electrical machinery.

We have amassed a number of "duplicate" electrical machines over the years, partly with the intention of locating better condition items than are already inside 50029 and 50030 (the major electrical machines are intact in both locomotives but in poor condition after years of disuse) and so reduce the cost of overhauling them as well as the cost of extracting the machines from inside the locomotives in the first place.  For example, in addition to the exhausters inside 50029 and 50030, we have two others currently with our electrical contractor.  One was obtained from a scrap Class 37 at Booths and the other was purchased in almost fully overhauled condition from Unipart Rail some time ago. The latter had been in store for some considerable time and had deteriorated slightly as a result.  Both of these are now finished with the ex-Booths machine having had an oil leak repaired and the ex-Unipart motor blower having received a light overhaul to bring it up to the "as new" standard we are aiming for with our restoration project.

 

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Two overhauled exhausters seen in April 2013. A traction motor blower which is at an almost complete stage of overhaul, waiting only for a new bearing before it is complete.

 

Each of the electrical machines we send for overhaul and refurbishment is fitted with new brush gear as illustrated in this close-up of the fan motor in the newly-overhauled traction motor blower, and the opportunity is also taken to refurbish the "snail" casing for this machine.

 

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Close up of the fully overhauled brush gear in our overhauled traction motor blower. The "snail" fan casing from the motor blower has received an overhaul and respray too.

 

A full set of pictures from the visit can be found in the RRRG image gallery.

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2014 calendar - appeal for images

The Fifty Fund and Renown Repulse Restoration Group are producing a 2014 calendar to help raise funds for our respective ongoing projects. This will be published in the next few months. To complete the set of images we are looking for a good shot of 50050 in preservation and a number of pictures of certain Class 50 locomotives in BR service.

BR service shots required of:

50017, 50030, 50031, 50049, 50050.

Can you help? If we use your photo you will receive a free copy of the calendar and your will be credited. You will retain copyright of course, so they must be your photos.

Ideally the images will be well lit and at least 2000x1500 pixels, preferably more.

Tim Snowball (RRRG Chairman) and Joe Burr (Fifty Fund Chairman) will be judging the images submitted and look forward to seeing what you can provide. Please send your images to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 14.00hrs UTC (15:00 BST) 21st May 2013.  Thank you in anticipation of your help.

The finished calendar will shortly be available to purchase from both organisations’ online stores. 

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Nene Valley railway diesel gala

The RRRG sales stand will be out at Wansford next weekend (18-19 May) for the Nene Valley Railway diesel gala.  Come along and have a chat about the latest Group news and progress, we will also have some new items of branded merchandise including mugs and t-shirts on the stand to tempt your wallet with!  Many thanks again to the NVR for extending us an invite.

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New delivery options for online shopping

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to offer a coulogorier delivery service for purchases from our online shop, in addition to the regular Royal Mail services.  Royal Mail raised their prices and changed their services as of April 2013 and regrettably we have had to pass these alterations on to our customers.  A side effect of the changes to Royal Mail's prices has been the effect on our ability to offer fully insured delivery for valuable items purchased from us, such as our range of Hornby models.  Delivery by courier can be more competitively priced and just as quick as Royal Mail, with a two day service available in most cases.  As a result, our range of Hornby models can now be purchased at very keen prices and with even more competitive delivery options!  Why not check out our range?  Remember you'll get discounts of up to 10% on the published prices if you are an RRRG member!

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Work on site 4-5 May

Mark Burrows and Dave Rolfe were on site over the weekend of 4-5 May.

Dave came to Mark's house on Sunday morning, and together they loaded five fire bottles in to Dave's car, and put three in Mark's.  This took somewhat longer than expected: over an hour to load up! However this was partly because one of the bottles was full and they decided to partially blow it down to make it a bit lighter. The fire bottles are now stored on site at Rowsley.  They originate from scrap 37s at Booths and are probably in better condition and easier to recertify than the ones already inside 50029 and 50030.

Wasps have attacked one of the wooden blocks under the ex-50008 power unit, which is now not too healthy. We had a choice of either getting a mother of a crane in to lift the power unit and replace the block, or do something else. After giving it some thought, Mark devised a brace that should stop the wooden block collapsing.  We have bought some 10mm thick metal plates from Booths, who cut them to size for us, but they now need drilling.  Mark picked them up and took the plates to Bowers last week. At Rowsley we have some inch threaded bar, with nuts and washers. Mark's idea is to use this, with some that Bowers are going to buy for us, to fasten the plates either side of the wooden block.  Mark intends to take it to Bowers to show them what we are after.

Chris Thorn also asked Mark to take some air horn back plates to Bowers to get them drilled out to accommodate class 37 style air horns, so he picked them up this morning, and will take to Bowers with the threaded bar.

Whilst on site at the weekend, Mark also removed five sections of conduit from 50029 (basically to allow access to a piece that were wanted for 50030.  He has removed the section that we actually want to use in 50030 and has cleaned it up and fitted it in 50030. The damaged section from
50030 that this section is to replace, has also been cleaned, as Mark intends doing a "cut and shut" on it, to use it in 50029.

Dave has been internally cleaning oil and water pipes off the ex-50008 power unit; the oil pipes are full of sludge and the water pipes have a
significant amount of loose rust in them. He has also been painting some of the large mounting brackets off the power unit.

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