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Restoration diary

Reports of restoration work on 50029 and 50030.

Work party report 6th May 2019

Ian Kemp decided to go to site today as it was a bank holiday and he wasn't working. Wes Needle was available too so I went as well.Quite a productive day, Wes was in No.1 cab again, fitted the windscreen washer control and washer button he'd overhauled, and made a repair to a conduit under the floor. He took away a section of cab panelling to rep...
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Working party report 28th May 2017

Whilst we have the radiators removed from 50030, attention has turned to the radiator compartment inside the bodyshell with the aim being to refurbish it as quickly as possible. The reason for this is that we have the refurbished radiators back in our care, but we quickly decided that the best place to store them was where they came out from - name...
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Working party and restoration report 7th May 2017

Most of our efforts since Christmas have concentrated on preparing the radiator compartment for the return of the radiators now they have been repaired. It's been all hands on deck to clean up years of accumulated debris, attend to lots of corrosion, especially around the blower duct on the floor and the electrical trunking that runs either side ju...
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Working party reports May-June 2016

The battery charge diode reinstalled in the electrical cuible inside 50030 after testing and repair.
New volunteer Andy Blofield getting his hands dirty for the first time.
​29th May 2016Dave Rolfe was helping remove usable parts from an old coach which is to be sent for cutting, and he asked for any electrical items he could salvage. He got two small steel cabinets and several lengths of conduit plus various elbows and tees. The smaller of the two cabinets could be useful as a connection box for the severed conduit o...
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Working party reports April-May 2016

Refurbished fire bottles area inside 50030.
​18th April 2016I brought the good battery charge diode back and carried on cleaning and undercoating cubicle covers, scraped loose paint off the roof over the cubicle and finished re-threading the holes for the slotted covers right at the top of the cubicle.Dave Rolfe has cleaned and painted the area behind where the fire bottles stand next to the...
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Working party report 31st May 2015

Working party report 31st May 2015

Ian Kemp, Peter Carter and Dave Rolfe carried on fitting oil, water and fuel pipework to the ex-50008 power unit, but on the side facing Renown, so no photo opportunities were possible today.

In preparation for the open day on June 21st, I washed down the outside of the electrical cubicle frame in 50030 and undercoated it, as it had become dirty from repeated handling since it was originally painted about five or six years ago. I also cleaned and undercoated the two cubicle doors from the fuse and MCB compartment. I brought three more cubicle doors home to clean.

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Just a reminder that we are having our Open Day on the afternoon of Sunday June 21st where RRRG members will be on hand to give guided tours of the project and discuss progress. We hope to see you there!

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Working party report 24th May 2015

Working party report 24th May 2015

Ian Kemp, Peter Carter and Wes Needle continued fitting coolant and oil pipework to the power unit, while Dave Rolfe carried on painting the other side of the power unit.

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I removed the battery charge contactor so I could clean and undercoat the compartment where the CU2 and CU7 go, then did the same for the compartment underneath where the CU1 sits, in readiness for having them temporarily fitted for the open day. Topcoat will be applied next workparty. I also cleaned the dirtiest two of the cubicle doors ready for painting.

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Electrical restoration: Class 50 control units

Electronic Control Units

One of the major talking points when RRRG first acquired 50029 and 50030 was the availability, or otherwise, of the various electrical control units. The Class 50 has a reputation for being electrically complex – some would say needlessly so.  Pre-refurbishment they were even worse as EE (with assistance from BR) had tried to produce a jack-of-all-trades locomotive.  Many of the features were either rarely used or prone to faults, and most were removed by BR during refurbishment.  The electronic control units are mostly unique to the 50 although some are common to other late-build English Electric locomotives.  Unsurprisingly, all the control units had been removed from 29 and 30 before we bought them and so we had to obtain replacements.  We also felt that it would be worth trying to update the electronics to modern specifications where possible, because the 1960s designs either use completely obsolete components for which no modern equivalents exist, or incorporate design faults, or both.

This is a list of the various control units in a Class 50 and how we have obtained them or can obtain them if we still need them.

CU1 – The main control unit CU1 is the central “brains” and obtains information from a number of different sources, namely from the cab controls, engine load condition (from the load limiting potentiometer) and from the traction currents.  This information is passed to the CU3 and in turn the engine governor.  We have one complete, tested unit, one complete and untested unit and the parts to make up another.

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CU2 – the field divert unit, the electrical equivalent of the gearbox of the locomotive.  It controls the three stages of field weakening which occur at approximately 25, 40 and 60 mph depending on trailing load and ruling gradient.  We were missing this item from both our locomotives and the former owners of 50021 kindly loaned us an example which we took to an electronics specialist company who “cloned” it and built us two copies to modern standards.  Ironically, shortly after this, we were able to purchase an original Class 50 unit, though this has yet to be tested, however the original EE unit is known to be very reliable in service.

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CU3 and CU6 – also known by its EE designation KV10. The CU3 sets the field current from the main generator as a summation of all the input signals and the CU6 similarly controls the ETH generator output. The main body of the unit is identical but is turned into a CU3 or CU6 by adding a CU3A or CU6A daughter card. Originally we had no KV10s but we adopted a policy of buying them whenever they came on the market in the intervening years and we built up quite a collection. However the KV10 is a classic case of obsolete and temperamental electronics and a respected locomotive electronics expert brought a rebuilt version to market some years ago with completely modernised components. We felt that ordering two each of the rebuilt CU3 and CU6 units for 50029 and 50030 was money well spent. The owner of 50008 Thunderer has also chosen to fit these modernised KV10s and is gaining operational experience with them which will prove invaluable to RRRG.  The new design incorporates the electronics of the CU3A or CU6A into the main unit and eliminates the need for a daughter card.

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CU4 – coolant control unit.  This unit is designed to monitor the temperature of the cooling water in the two coolant circuits and open/close valves to route the flow of water correctly.  It also sends signals to the CU5.  We have none but the Class 50 Alliance has developed a modernised unit which will be made available to us in due course.  It would have been possible to recreate the original CU4, which was built for EE by Hawker Siddeley, but the new design employs proven marine technology which would be acceptable to Network Rail (an important consideration for the C50A) and, together with a C50A-planned CU5 rebuild would eliminate "bugs" in the system which can cause the engine to be over-cooled in some circumstances.

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CU5 – radiator fan control unit, it receives the signals from the temperature probes via the CU4 and controls the speed of the radiator fan accordingly.  We had none but again we were able to borrow one from another Class 50 owner.  Adrian Spencer of Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group, another noted locomotive electronics expert, was again able to copy this circuit and build a copy using modern electronic components.  We have also taken the opportunity to have a batch of the temperature probes remanufactured, in partnership with other Class 50 owners.

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CU6 – Regulates the output of the ETH generator. This is basically the same as the CU3, but adjusts the ETH generator field strength to suit varying load demands according the number of coaches requiring electrical heating.

CU7 – ETH field detector unit.  Basically it sees if there is a feed from the coaches which allows the ETH generator to electrically heat them.  It also detects if an ETH fault occurs in a coach, and if one does, in conjunction with Heating Over Volts Relay, it switches off the ETH feed to the coaches and returns the power unit to idling.  It also detects voltage from two 50s in multiple and prevents “doubling” of the ETH supply if this is the case.  This is a fairly simple circuit which I was able to rebuild and install in 50030.  I also obtained the parts to build one for 50029 in due course.  It was a CU7/HOVR fault which caused 50050 Fearless to shut down during the "Fifty Terminator" railtour of March 1994 as for some reason the engine was shut down instead of being returned to idle.

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The CU8 designation was never used, for reasons lost in the mists of time, so isn't relevant to our restoration project.

The CU9 is the automatic voltage regulator, or AVR, and basically maintains the output from the auxiliary generator at 110v DC so the compressors, exhausters and motor blowers do not overspeed.  There are two types: electronic (CU9A) and carbon pile (CU9B), both types are compatible and there is one per locomotive.  The majority of Class 50s were fitted with the original ‘Carbon Pile’ unit, and ten 50s were fitted with an electronic version, but because the electronic types additionally controlled battery charging and also contained gas-sensing equipment, their complexity apparently made them unreliable and were replaced with carbon pile units, which are slower reacting but more reliable.  We have an overhauled CU9B for use in 50030 plus two untested CU9Bs.  We may decide to commission new build versions as this unit can also be improved upon with modern electronics, effectively producing an updated CU9A.  We are currently unaware of anyone who could test our CU9Bs and this is also something we need to consider.

The CU10 is the speed control unit.  It's also known as the ‘AEI’ unit after its manufacturer, the Birmingham company Associated Electrical Industries.  It is a complex device that receives signals from the axle driven transmitter unit, and sends signals to the cab speedometers.  It can be adjusted to take into account wheel-wear.  Six card slots but not all these are used on a 50.  One CU10 per locomotive.  We have two units plus some of the control cards, but as the Class 50 Alliance have designed a modern version, we will probably obtain one in due course.

CU11 was the slow speed control unit which was removed at refurbishment.

The CU12 is the lighting delay timer.  It turns off unnecessary lighting 15 minutes after engine shutdown, such as internal lighting and marker lights, should they be left on and the main battery isolation switch be left in the ‘ON’ position. One per locomotive.  It's questionable whether this unit is really necessary for preserved line use, as it was really designed for times when a 50 might finish its BR duties and then be disposed of on depot by a driver with other things on his mind, so that he might forget to turn the lights off and the batteries would be drained and the locomotive subsequently failed the next morning.  This unit is actually still present in 50029 so we could use this as a template to make one for 50030, if we feel we need to.

Things Still To Do

We still have to tackle the difficult, and probably expensive, issue of the severed traction and ETH cabling under the cubicle.  I have been advised not to through-crimp traction cabling, so it will need replacing with new cable at some point.  We may have to use the services of a specialist contractor for their replacement.

The brake frame needs rewiring once the exhauster underneath it has been changed for an overhauled one.  The Driver’s Safety Device (DSD) relay box needs new cabling laying in as the original cables have long gone, likewise for the DSD speed switch in the cupboard underneath the hotplate in No.2 cab.  The comprises several pieces of equipment, including relays plus hand and foot operated switches, which automatically shuts off power and initiates a full brake application after 5-7 seconds if the driver becomes incapacitated and removes his foot from the pedal in the cab.

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All the cab desks need the cable crimps cleaning, the lampholders behind where the instrument panels go will need either cleaning or replacing, we still have to source or make the switch panels that go in the ceiling above the driver, and the master controllers need freeing off much more than they are now.  The traction motors will need removing for overhaul, and the traction cable connection boxes under the locomotive will need refurbishing.  The overhauled exhausters and compressors will need reconnecting once fitted.

The engine governor and the load limiting potentiometer, or vane motor, need overhauling.  The electrical rebuild of 50030 has been challenging yet very satisfying.  Anyone fancy helping with 50029?

We still have to tackle the difficult, and probably expensive, issue of the severed traction and ETH cabling under the cubicle. I have been advised not to through-crimp traction cabling, so it will need replacing with new cable at some point. We may have to use the services of a specialist contractor for their replacement.

 

The brake frame needs rewiring once the exhauster underneath it has been changed for an overhauled one. The Driver’s Safety Device (DSD) relay box needs new cabling laying in as the original cables have long gone, likewise for the DSD speed switch in the cupboard underneath the hotplate in No.2 cab.

 

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All the cab desks need the cable crimps cleaning, the lampholders behind where the instrument panels go will need either cleaning or replacing, we still have to source or make the switch panels that go in the ceiling above the driver, and the master controllers need freeing off much more than they are now. The traction motors will need removing for overhaul, and the traction cable connection boxes under the loco will need refurbishing. The overhauled exhausters and compressors will need reconnecting once fitted.

 

The engine governor and the load limiting potentiometer, or vane motor, need overhauling.

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Electrical restoration of 50030: what we've done, how we've done it and what's still to do

Electrical restoration of 50030: what we've done, how we've done it and what's still to do

This article came about after a discussion between myself and Dom Jackson, and is intended to give an idea of the difficulties and problems faced during rebuilding of the electrical cubicle in 50030 Repulse.

When we acquired The Twins, I had already discussed with our original Chairman Paul Taylor where my skills and interests lay, and as such, at the first work party in November 2002, he asked me to go through both locos to see which had the most complete electrical system, which would give him an idea which locomotive would be the most viable to begin work on.  Having never been inside a 50 before, I didn't really have any idea what to expect, but I was shocked at how little remained of the electrical systems of both locomotives. After inspections by various people, the consensus was Repulse was in better overall condition, and so it was decided she was to be restored first.

The electrical cubicles of both locomotives were totally stripped, with the exception of nine of the 18 NR28 relays left in Renown, and I soon realised these had only survived because they were at the far end of the Thin Man's passage, in the most difficult compartment to get at. Both locomotives had various terminal bars missing, and there were cables hanging and lying everywhere.

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Paul asked me to be his electrical officer, but I remember telling him that unless he could obtain detailed wiring manuals, there would be little chance of me being able to rewire the cubicle as I knew little about 50s at the time. He assured me he was getting copies of the manuals, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and agreed to come to the next few work parties to start clearing the debris from in and around the cubicle.

One of the first tasks was to install fluorescent lighting in both locomotives so we could see what we were doing, and a few weeks later Paul made good on his promise and presented Mark Tinker and myself with copies of the wiring manuals, and I duly accepted the role of electrical officer. Mark Tinker was actually a qualified electrician, but decided the formal post of electrical officer wasn’t for him. One of the manuals showed the positions of the various electrical items in the cubicle, and the other gave details about what each piece of equipment was connected to, and with what cables.  There then followed several weeks of poring over these manuals, and I began to have an inkling of what went where, though at that time we had no electrical equipment, so I didn't know what most of the items looked like.  Mark and I began by trying to read and identify those cables that still had readable markers on them, adding our own labels written on masking tape. We were helped somewhat by many of the cables still being tied in bunches, so we were able to start placing them in approximately their correct positions.

We visited MoD Bicester to see the work Paul Spracklen was doing on 50026, and he agreed to sell us some of his spare electrical equipment. However, once I was able to examine it in more detail back at Rowsley, it quickly became apparent most of it was really only useful for spare parts. It was heavily corroded, with many missing or broken parts. We had also by then managed to obtain a quantity of NR28 control relays, so I decided to start cleaning and installing them. Shortly after this I found a supplier in Birmingham for the correct BR-spec cables. The actual manufacturer was still Brandrex, the distributor now is Anixter. Fortunately, all the cable sizes we needed are still used in the railway industry so, whilst expensive, they were readily available. To date I've installed just over 900 metres of control cabling into the electrical cubicle in 50030.  A short while after this, we managed to obtain much of the electrical equipment we needed when the owner of 50023 Howe decided to sell up. This time the equipment was in much better condition, and after stripping and cleaning, was ready to be installed. I attached all the control cables from each piece of equipment as it was fitted, and laid them in to their approximate destinations, carefully marking each cable with masking tape. In this way, by the time the last piece of equipment was fitted, all it's control cables were already there. On the occasions when Mark was not there, Neil Favell gave me much appreciated help.

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Cable lengths vary from less than a metre, to six or seven metres depending on how far apart the items to be connected are, and the route you have to take through the cubicle. This means that on the days I had help, we were often able to install up to 20 cables, whereas on days when I was on my own, I'd be lucky to do half that.

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A further visit to where 50026 was based after it left MoD Bicester revealed their spare electrical cubicle retained all the compressor, exhauster, earthing and neutral cabling, and many of the required insulators. A deal was struck and we purchased the cubicle frame, which I stripped of all the cables and insulators and fitted them into Repulse.

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Part of the haul from Howe gave us the missing cubicle terminal bars which, after cleaning, were fitted into Repulse. This allowed many of the original control cables that we had identified to be reconnected, and all of them have now been done. Refitting and reconnecting these terminal bars however in the Thin Man's passage, takes a terrible toll on the knees, with the combination of very restricted space and the chequerplate flooring.

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Wiring the NR28 relays with the new cabling also presented its difficulties at the far end of the Thin Man's, as the compartment is small, dark, at shoulder height, and the relays are quite close together. In contrast, the other nine NR28s behind the cubicle switch door are much easier to get at, as the floor level is higher and there is a much wider passage to work in.

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The cubicle switch door we obtained from Paul Spracklen was missing all four of the rotary switches, and only retained the ammeter, fuel priming and local start push buttons. I enquired with several 50 owning groups, but they either had no spares or were unwilling to part with any spares they had, which was quite understandable. Fortunately, one elec manual showed the manufacturers of each electrical item, and I saw the rotary switches had been made by a company called Santon, who I was already familiar with from when I worked for an industrial electrical manufacturer, as they were the Midlands distributor for Santon. And yes, it's the same company that makes electric showers!

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I contacted Santon and asked if there were modern equivalents for the four we needed, and to my surprise, when I gave them the part numbers, they told me all were still current stock items! Just goes to show that if you have a good robust design, why change it?

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These four switches were not cheap by any standards, the largest one costing almost £200 itself, but we needed them so their purchase was agreed and they duly arrived. After fitting them I laid in all the cables from them, no less than 57 separate cables.

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By the time it came to fit the compressor and radiator fan contactors, the larger cabling we had obtained from 50026 was already there and just needed connecting up. Obtaining the large curly ballast resistors on top of the cubicle took some time, and when we finally got them, it took both Mark and I with our heads up against the roof to fit them and connect the cables.

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In front of the large field divert resistors on top of the cubicle are the 18 smaller green resistors which are mostly to operate the various cab warning lights. These lights are always on dimly, and glow bright if a fault occurs. This also ensures that if a fault light is not lit at all, the lamp has blown and needs changing. After we obtained these green resistors I then had to attach all 76 cables to them which, as with the rotary switches, took several work parties

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When we went to fit the first of the three main field divert contactors, it wouldn't fit through the front of the cubicle frame however we tried to manoeuvre it. In the end I had to take off the small metal block where the air pipes are connected and re-attach it after fitting the contactor. I then had to repeat this for the other two.

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Attaching the auxiliary control wiring to the front of these contactors was relatively easy. However, when it came time to install the 12 large cables on the rear of these boards, it was a different matter. We had purchased these cables from Paul Spracklen and they had lain in storage for some time. As we were fitting them in the middle of winter, not only were they stiff from the cold, they had become accustomed to their prone positions and were very difficult to get into place. In the end it took both Ian Kemp and Chris Thorn to help me get them installed, and again took multiple work parties.

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Fitting the traction motor contactors was equally difficult as they are large and heavy. In one case, I had to drill out the mounting holes in the cubicle frame to a larger size, as they didn't line up with the mounting holes on the contactor itself! These six contactors have large 'Faraday-cage' type arc chutes, of which we initially had none. We did subsequently manage to obtain several, and a large box of parts from which Steve Tripp and I were able to make several more. Putting them together was somewhat difficult, as you need multiple hands, and one slip and it all falls apart and you have to start all over again. Wiring the auxiliaries on these contactors requires you to lie down in front of them as they are located very low down in the cubicle frame, almost at floor level, as trying to do it by kneeling and reaching down almost cripples you.

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On the board that houses the fuses and circuit breakers, the rotary Motor Control Switch was missing. This enables pairs of traction motors to be switched out in the event of a motor failure. We obtained one as part of the haul from Howe, but some of the contacts at the rear were found to be broken, so it was wrapped up and laid aside. A couple years later during a discussion with Steve Tripp, he decided to see if there was any way the broken contacts could be repaired. As we had just been fitting motor contactors, he realised what I hadn't; that the contact blocks were the same kind as the motor contactors used. We were therefore able to take parts from a spare contact block and repair the switch, which was subsequently fitted and wired. On the fuseboard itself, all the fuses were missing, but all the MCB's were present. We have since obtained all the fuses that we need for Repulse, and have a few spares. Re-connecting the cables on the back of the fuseboard was not particularly difficult, as that is one of the few areas where there is plenty of space.

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The two large main starting contactors were obtained as part of the Howe equipment, and they were relatively easy to fit and wire. However, we have no spares or any for future use in Renown. These differ from the other contactors in the cubicle in that they have much bigger coils than any of the others and have connections for the large power cables from the batteries.

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Of the boards that go in the Thin Man's passage, one is very heavy, having seven contactors on it, and it took both Mark and I to fit it. Once fitted, the contactors are very close to each other, and wiring them was very fiddly as access is very limited. The other four were relatively easy to fit and wire. The board that fits behind the fuseboard was somewhat difficult to connect up, as it's difficult to connect the cables when the board is actually bolted in place. Mark had to hold the board at an angle in front of its position, while I reached over to connect the cables, then it could be mounted on the bolts and fixed in place.  On the board that houses the field divert relay, there is a long green resistor mounted above it. We didn't have one, but the 50021 Loco Association kindly gave me one of their spares. However, this turned out to be open circuit, and I was not able to source one from anywhere else. We did have various other similar resistors we had got from 37s at Booths, so my father suggested I make what is known as a 'ladder network' of smaller ones that come to the same total value. I did this and mounted it on a board in the redundant space next to the start contactors.

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A couple of years ago we were fortunate in obtaining a spare electrical cubicle from the 50021 group, which had some equipment and much of the larger exhauster and compressor cabling still in it. It has all been removed and stored for possible future use in Renown.  We also obtained a genuine 50 reverser from the owner of Howe, but by that time we had temporarily fitted an ex-37 example, so I could get the six large cables from the divert contactors, three from motor contactors 1, 2 and 3, one from the field divert relay and one from one of the start contactors, into their proper positions. While the main cam mechanism is identical, the auxiliary contacts are completely different on a 37, and were incompatible. Chris Thorn offered to make a second set of auxiliary contacts, copied from the original, for future use in Renown, so we left the 37 reverser in Repulse until he had done this. As a result, the 'proper' one was only fitted into Repulse and connected up in 2014. However, these reversers are large and very heavy, and it took four of us to remove the 37 one and fit the proper one. We have two spare reversers in total, one of which now has the duplicate set of correct aux contacts Chris made.

I am at present re-installing the plastic control air pipes between various equipment in the cubicle. As soon as I started it became very clear I should have done it before much of the wiring was installed, as I'm now having to work in very restricted spaces around and in-between bunches of cables, and trying to get spanners in is extremely difficult.  I have also set about identifying the remaining severed cables under the floor around the electrical cubicle and generator room of 50030.  The second part of this article will describe our work in sourcing the electronic control units used in a Class 50, as well as the remaining work required to complete 50030 in electrical terms.

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Work party reports 25th May and 1st June

Work party reports 25th May and 1st June

If you've been following RRRG for some time, you might know that we have in our spares stock a genuine Class 50 reverser and a Class 37 example, which is similar but not identical to the Class 50 part.  We had removed the genuine 50 reverser in order to use it as a template to modify the 37 item to Class 50 spec, and in the meantime the ex-37 reverser was installed in 50030's electrical cubicle so that I could judge how long to make the wiring whilst rebuilding the cubicle.

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On Sunday May 25th I disconnected the main cables from the back of the ex-37 reverser, and with Dave Rolfe's help, got it out of 30 and into the container. I cleaned the main power contacts on the the proper 50 reverser and labelled each contact bar while Dave was finishing drilling out sheared bolts around the removable grille that gives access into the No.1 end clean air compartment. Whilst cleaning I happened to notice the auxiliary contact blocks appeared to be facing the wrong way, so I went to Washwood Heath during the week to check 50008 Thunderer, and found they had indeed been refitted the wrong way round after we had taken them apart to make a replica second set to modify the 37 reverser for use in 29.

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Whilst working around the cubicle area in 50030, I was impressed by work that Mark Burrows has been doing to restore the cable conduits for the traction cabling to the main generator.  This has been a laborious task using the best parts of conduits salvaged from 50023 and 50040 before those locomotives were scrapped a few years ago.

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On 1st June Ian, Pete and Dave refitted the decompressor plugs into the power unit, then spent the rest of the day cleaning parts of the power unit ready for painting.

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On the same day, I removed the auxiliary contact blocks from the Class 50-spec reverser and fitted them the right way round, in the process realising that the internal cams had been rotated out of their correct positions, so they wouldn't open and close in the correct sequence. The afternoon was spent getting them back into the correct alignment.  Now that the reverser has been properly adjusted, my next task will to fit it back into the electrical cubicle in 50030.

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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).

 

50029 mug 50030 mug Two locos mug
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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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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Another CU1

Back in 2002 when RRRG successfully bid and secured Renown and Repulse together with various spares David Phillips was a volunteer at Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway and safely stored a CU1 on our behalf. As Sarah & I were travelling down to Swanage diesel gala this weekend to enjoy recently restored 50026 it was decided to call in to David's home in Trowbridge to collect the CU1 en-route. Whilst there I received a bonus in the form of an Ammeter for one of the cabs. I would like to thank David for safely storing the parts and also for the hospitality he and his wife offered us.

 

CU1 collected from David Phillips CU1 Wiring Loom and Plugs Cab Ammeter

 

 

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Updated share certificates

RRRG investors who have earned shares through work parties or purchased additional shares, up to the end of June 2011 will shortly receive an updated share certificate.

The date of end June is chosen because, for historical reasons, this represents the end of the RRRG financial year and so any shares obtained after this date will NOT be counted in this update. Only shareholders whose shareholding level has increased by one or more whole shares will receive an updated certificate - put simply, if you haven't acquired any more complete shares since the last update then you won't get a certificate this time round!

Anyone who thinks they should have an updated certificate but hasn't received one by the middle of next week, please get in touch.

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May 21st-25th 2011

Dave, Chris & Tom spent a marathon five days on site. Dave sorted the spare brake rigging and began cleaning & un-sticking various parts, Tom continued working on the interior wood surrounds on the quarter-lights & drop-lights in 30's No.2 cab & Chris fitted the three remaining sections of 185mm cables to the field divert contactors, as he & I had decided a fresh pair of eyes might be able to devise a solution from pictures he had taken of the cables in 50050. He has also taken the auxiliary contacts off the 'proper' 50 reverser, to see if he can fabricate a new mechanism for the second reverser for Renown & begun cleaning debris from the No.1 end clean air compartment.

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