Renown Repulse Restoration Group is holding an Open Day on Sunday 21st June 2015 from 2 PM onwards at our Rowsley South, Peak Rail base. We hope to attract new volunteers and investment into our project. All are welcome, whether experienced preservationists or complete beginners! RRRG members will be on site to show you around 50029 and 50030, as well as discuss our facilities, restoration plans and how you can help as a future volunteer for RRRG. We look forward to seeing you then and there. Peak Rail are also hosting a classic bus event on the same day, providing an additional attraction for visitors to the railway.
During the work party of 19th April Andy Rowlands connected up the reverser air piston coils and tidied up the cables in the electrical cubicle in 50030, then started investigating the severed cables under the main cubicle walkway. They appear to be from the DSD relay box but further investigation will be required to trace them exactly.
Peter Carter and Ian Kemp together with Dave Rolfe continued fitting oil and water pipes to the ex-50008 power unit (see previous report, Power unit progress) in continued preparation for its use inside the overhauled 50030.
RRRG was at the Nene Valley Railway diesel gala at Wansford over the weekend of 11-12 April with our sales stand. We always enjoy trading at Wansford and it was evident the NVR had gone to great lengths to put on a good show with a large number of visiting locomotives. Pleasingly the gala was very well attended and we enjoyed a good sales performance. Many thanks to all the people who dropped by to say hello and to those who bought something from us; we hope you enjoy your purchases and thanks for supporting us! Thanks also to the NVR for the invitation to attend.
If you missed us at the gala, we are pleased to advise that our web shop has recently been restocked. We have a fresh selection of brand new Hornby models as well as branded t-shirts, polo shirts, fleeces and mugs. Restoring 50029 and 50030 is neither easy nor cheap. If the enthusiast community wants them to run again, we shall need to draw further on your support to achieve that goal!
Article image: 50008 Thunderer double heading with 50015 Valiant at Peterborough Nene Valley station, during the Nene Valley diesel gala on 11th April 2015, courtesy Andy Rowlands.
The restoration of the power unit ex-50008 Thunderer which was purchased by RRRG for use in 50030 is now almost complete. This has involved removing all sixteen cylinder heads and either overhauling them or replacing them with overhauled heads, then removing all sixteen pistons and con rods before replacing both big and small end bearings, piston rings and if necessary pistons to effectively return the power unit to "zero hours" status. Even with highly dedicated volunteer labour this has been a lengthy process but is now well into the "home straight".
Dave Rolfe has concentrated on an external overhaul of the unit, cleaning and painting especially auxiliary items such as water rails (blue) and oil feed pipes (pink). This will enable us to identify potential problems such as oil leaks when the unit is in service inside 50030. Ian Kemp, RRRG's mechanical team leader, and his fellow dedicated volunteer Peter Carter have been refitting the auxiliary pipework to the unit. This has now reached the stage of refitting the lower cooling water rails.
In common with other Class 50 owners we have decided to manufacture our own gaskets as this is much cheaper than buying ready-made items. Ian and Pete were busy today cutting out and fitting the water rail gaskets to one side of the power unit before refitting and attaching one of the water rails. This is not an easy task because the casting of the engine block makes accessing the fastening nuts very difficult! The corresponding water rail on the other side will be refitted in due course.
The tasks remaining to complete the overhaul of the diesel engine part of the power unit are to complete the refitting of oil and cooling water feed pipes and to test and overhaul the Woodward engine governor if necessary. We also need to source a set of braided hoses which feed cooling water to the turbos - these were either missing or rotten when we bought the power unit. The main generator attached to the engine is in good condition and will be detached and overhauled separately nearer the time the unit is ready to be installed inside 50030.
The power unit currently in 50030 is also practically complete and serviceable. We did start an overhaul of this power unit before the Thunderer power unit came on the market and it is turn intended for use in 50029, to replace the power unit in that locomotive which suffered a serious seizure that was the cause of 50029's BR withdrawal in 1992. An exchange of main generators is possible, to mate the good generator on 50029's damaged block with the good block attached to the main generator with flashover damage that is currently in 50030 - however this is a decision some time in the future.
No, we haven't packed up and ceased to exist. Yes, we have been a bit quiet. Sorry about that - normal service to be resumed but a number of us have had things other than RRRG to deal with and our day lives have got in the way.
Ian Kemp and Dave Rolfe decided today to tackle a job we started some time ago but ended up leaving to another day. This was to remove the remaining radiator securing nuts, so that we can lift the radiators out of 50030 and have them sent away for overhaul. Given that the radiators were most likely last removed at refurbishment in the mid-1980s it goes without saying that the fastening nuts were stuck on very firmly indeed. We had previously managed to remove three of them, leaving five left to do. A potent combination of elbow grease, tools (and broken tools), purple language and in the case of one particularly stubborn nut, chiseling has now freed all eight nuts and the radiators can now be lifted out. It's the seemingly little tasks like this that end up taking so much time. Photos courtesy Ian Kemp.
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.
|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.
|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.
Renown Repulse Restoration Group has placed an order with a noted locomotive electronics expert for testing of a CU1 main control units and the rebuild of KV10 load regulators using modern components. The CU1 acts as the "central brain" of a Class 50, receiving and sending signals from and to all the other electronic control units in the locomotive. There are two KV10 load regulators in a Class 50, one is denoted CU3 and controls the main generator output. The other is denoted CU6 and controls the ETH generator. A KV10 is transformed into a CU3 or a CU6 by means of pairing with a control card CU3A or CU6A.
As with many electronic components of the Class 50, the KV10 design is full of obsolete components and with an eye to the future we feel this work is essential to our goal of "future proofing" 50029 and 50030 and ensuring them a long and secure future in preservation. The original design suffers from a tendency to "lock on", whereby faulty circuitry causes the CU3 to lock in the full position even if the power controller is at its minimum position. The only real solution is to repair the faulty circuitry but that repair knowledge gets ever more scarce with the passing of time. As a result, we feel that the decision to purchase four rebuilt units (one main and one ETH generator control unit for each of 50029 and 50030) is money well spent.
There are actually two sub-types of KV10, denoted B1 and B2 with slight differences in component types. RRRG has over twice as many B1s as we do B2s but our stock of CU3A and CU6A cards are only confirmed to work with B2 type KV10s. The rebuild process uses only the case, heat sink and thyristor from the original KV10 and as a result the control cards become obsolete as the components they contain are now integrated into the main unit. We intend to supply type B1 KV10s for the rebuild project with a decision on disposal of the type B2 units and control cards to be taken at a later date.
The following two shots show a rebuilt CU6-type KV10 installed in 50008 Thunderer. The first shot is taken from the Thin Man's side and the second is opposite the exhauster. Click on either to enlarge (opens in new window).
Needless to say, this work will not be cheap and we really need the support of the preservation community. Perhaps you could donate to our project, or become a member of RRRG and buy shares, or browse our online shop for items of interest? Your support is what has got us this far already and it is much appreciated.
Apologies for the non-availability of the RRRG website earlier today. This was caused by a hardware failure at our web hosting provider which has now been resolved and the site has been restored from a backup.
RRRG has just purchased a traction motor, two compressors and an electrical cubicle (all ex-50011 Centurion) from the 50021 Rodney group/ owners . The items will be collected, together with items bought by the D400 fund, and transported to Bowers Electricals Ltd. at Heanor for assessment and any work that may be needed.
The electrical cubicle that has quite a few re-usable components will be dropped off at Rowsley where the parts will be stripped for future use or spares.
We will be at Wansford station on the Nene Valley Railway over the weekend of 19-20 April with our sales stand at their diesel gala. It promises to be a great event and our thanks to the Nene Valley for inviting us again. We always enjoy going to Wansford and the NVR has put a good lineup together for this event so come along and enjoy rides on their trains, sample our merchandise and have a chat about the RRRG project.
Sarah and I attended site and again met on site by Dave who I now think lives on site full-time as he is always there :-)
Dave continued with clearing and tidying the container a job that when he started thought would take a morning ended up taking three days. Once this was completed he continued with the refurbishment of the radiator grilles. The process takes such a long take as each element is being stripped back to bare metal, prior to priming and painting, and as BR's policy appears to have been apply new paint onto the old there are numerous layers of paint and a rainbow of colours.
Sarah & I continued with the assessments of the KV10's. Starting with the best we are checking and cleaning contacts and replacing unserviceable parts. We have finished one complete unit having to re-terminate a couple of broken cables connections and replace a couple of components. The next best KV10 selected had sound looking components but the cable terminations at the top of the unit looked a little rusted and three of them sheared off when attempts were made to loosen them even after liberal application of WD40 (other lubricants are available lol). Therefore we had to loosen of the paxolin board from the body of the KV10 and using recovered termination studs from other scraped units these were replaced but this is not easy as unless you disconnect cables going from one side of the unit to the other side the board only gives finger width space.
Our next visit to site to continue with work on the KV10's will be in a few weeks as we will be participating in a railtour with EE Type1's and a couple of galas where it's hoped to sample a certain Mr Spracklen's 50026.
Myself, Sarah and Toby the dog attended site and the usual weekender Dave was there when we arrived. Dave spent the Saturday erecting a shelving unit the group acquired courtesy of one of our volunteers employers (enough said) and having a general tidy up.
We spent the day working on assessing our KV10's. A couple were found to have damaged PCB connectors, I have found a source for acquiring replacements.
The worst KV10 was dismantled to use a template to check the remaining units and to provide spare parts.
A list of spares needed is being compiled and all parts sourced so repairs can be carried out prior to transporting the KV10's and associated PCB Control Cards for testing.
Following a recommendation from The Fifty Fund I made contact with a Mr Noel Craigen, a former Technical Engineer with experience at various British Rail Traction Maintenance Depots, to assess and test our KV10s and Control Cards.
For those who are not in the know a KV10 regulates the voltage of either the Main Generator or the ETH Generator and are otherwise known as CU3 & CU6 respectively (each Class 50 locomotive uses two KV10 units). Each KV 10 has a pair of Control Cards that need testing and pairing also.
I met Noel at Rowsley on Saturday and we carried out an initial inspection of the KV10's and associated Control Cards. Noel has confirmed prices to carry out electrical and function tests as necessary. Once I have ensured any visible damage or missing parts have been repaired/replaced the KV10s will be transported to Yorkshire to Noel's premises for the tests and necessary repairs to be completed.
This is another important stage of the electrical and control work underway.
After work on the evening of Monday 2nd April Mark and I drove miles and met up off J18 M1 to transfer more stock to me for the Nene Valley Railway Tornado and Thomas event. We have accumulated a lot of steam and generic railway stock over the years and beefed up our toy offering so I saw this as a great opportunity for RRRG and the Nene Valley Railway were happy for us to attend and publicise our attendance.
We also spent an hour discussing a number of RRRG challenges.
Another long drive partly through some new roads to me around Naseby on a pleasant evening saw me somewhat tired but managing some attention for Jack the dog and Frankie and Bella the rabbits before bed to be fresh for the commute and work tomorrow.
On Wednesday 5th after work I met up with the Fifty Fund to collect more stock.
We sell stock supplied by the Fund to increase the variety of our offering and we share the profits.
We also spent an hour trying to help each other with the constant challenges of Class 50 preservation groups.