Ian, Pete and Dave spent the day unfastening the bolts to allow the main generator fan to be removed. The fan is between the generator and power unit (but bolted to the main generator itself) and is normally hidden by the surrounding cowling. It sucks in cold air from under the body to help cool the gen and the cowling keeps the air circulating round the gen rather than blowing it all round the engine compartment. It has to come out to give access to the next layer of bolts that actually connect the engine to the generator. This proved to be a very fiddly task in the limited space between the fan and engine block. Ian is seen proudly displaying his dirty hands after the day's work!
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.
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.
Ian & Pete fitted three pistons and two heads during the day, Chris B continued working in the no.2 cab of Repulse refitting internal panelling, and I fitted several 16mm & 35mm cables I had crimped new lugs on, where the originals had been cut off & fortunately they were still long enough to re-fit them without incident.
Very busy weekend on site. 50037 saw another two days effort on body preparations for its repaint. Vast amounts of filler were also removed from under the driver's screen revealing the full extent of the dents from a major impact sometime between 1982 and 1984. 50029 saw the spare cubicle doors removed from no 2 cab for storage in BG2. 50008's engine received further attention with more water jacket elbows refitted and head tightening. BG1 had a major tidy up after racking had to be dismantled to enable a new workbench to be loaded within it. And finally both locomotives were winterised with heavy tarpaulins fitted to keep the weather out of the engine rooms over the winter. Bodies on site Chris Dom Tim Pete Steve Sarah Dave Tom Chris.
Chris T, his brother Tom & Dave R all spent the weekend on site again. Chris appears to have turned into our resident pipe fitter, with three more air pipes for the brake frame fabricated in the clean air room. He fabricated a new section of conduit for the fire bottle activation cable in the thin man's passage, making all four runs complete. Six internal doors had replacement locks and handles fitted making all these complete. In No.2 cab all exposed conduits were cleaned up & painted in primer. The window quarterlights were removed & the steelwork behind cleaned up. His brother Tom continued work in No.1 cab, which looks pretty good now, with most of the interior surfaces cleaned & painted, and all the rear bulkhead equipment & the roof lights refitted. Chris B examined the four brake cylinders Mark B brought with him, finding two good ones, one that may be usable & one scrap one. He then cut & drilled pieces of steel which Mark, after tidying up the sales stock, fitted on the inside of the opening doors we are not using in the BG to make it more secure. Ian & Pete freed off & lubricated the cam followers on 'B' bank. The four suspect inlet/exhaust cams cleaned up okay, so hopefully the camshafts will not now have to be removed. The tarp was removed from the power unit so Mark B could phot progress & more oil was smeared round the inside of the liners. I cleaned & fitted the contact tips to no.s 2 & 3 field divert contactors, likewise the copper braids to the no.3 contactor & started reassembling the no.3 auxiliary contact block.
As some of you will have heard, in the last game of the season, seven weeks ago, I blew my left knee out again, and today was my first time back on the railway. A new consignment of engine parts had arrived with Ian, but the supplier was apparently out of stock of oil rings, so he, Pete & Dave decided to look at the camshafts. Generally they are in good condition but some cams are rusty and will need replacing from our stock of spares. They replaced one of the four defective fuel pump cams, but have not yet decided on some suspect inlet/exhaust cams which are pressed onto the shaft, therefore necessitating removal/dismantling of camshafts. After re-acquainting myself with where I had left the cubicle wiring, Dave helped me re-fit the third main Field Divert contactor, which I had stripped & overhauled whilst recovering from my knee injury at home. These contactors are heavy and notoriously difficult to fit, due to the usual space constraints, so we were both surprised when it mounted first time with no trouble. I then fitted the copper braids that I had cleaned to the no.2 contactor & got a spare contact section for the auxiliary contact block for the no.3 contactor, as one was heavily corroded & broke when I stripped it for cleaning.