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RRRG report for The Peak Express January 2009, Issue 21

As reported in the previous issue we were very pleased to take delivery during October of a Mk1 BG for use as a workshop/support coach, which should greatly improve conditions for the volunteers working on the locos. The racking on one side of the container has been dismantled and re-erected in the coach, the lighting has been improved and a properly conduited electrical supply and sockets fitted ready for the workbenches that are to be installed in the near future.

The ex-50008 power unit acquired by RRRG in 2006 is well on its way through an overhaul that will result in it being in zero houred condition. Following the fitting of all 16 liners (reported last issue) the water jacket has been subjected to and passed an initial leak test. Needless to say the power unit was drained again, which is just as well given the 3" of ice that we found on top of the tarpaulin at the first work party of 2009. Four pistons have been fitted to their con rods and all new piston rings fitted. Three of the completed pistons have been refitted into their liners and new big end bearing shells, big end caps, stretch bolts, nuts and washers have been fitted. Ian is now in the process of ordering the rest of the components needed to complete the overhaul of crank, liners, cylinder heads and gaskets. The sponsor a component scheme has been very successful, and I would like to say thanks to everyone who has participated, of the 208 new engine components in the scheme, there are just 58 remaining to be sponsored.

November saw another significant development on the electrical front with the movement of the groups ETH/Auxiliary Generator sets to Bowers Electrical of Heanor for overhaul. Bowers have wasted no time in getting started with the work on the sets, one of which has been mega tested and found to be fundamentally a sound unit. The work required is basically a clean and bake, although the ETH generator needs some banding replacing and two new bearings, also both the auxiliary and ETH generator will need a new set of brushes. The new components are to be ordered shortly, the carbon brushes may well form the subject of the next sponsor a component campaign.

The electrical cubicle which although a shell at the time of purchase is now 75% complete. The past 6 months have seen completion of the wiring to the new rotary switches on the cubicle door, these being the passenger/goods brake selector, emergency compressor switch, control cut-out switch, exhauster cut-out switch, fuel priming & local engine start buttons & ammeter. October saw the cables from the AVR and main earthing terminal bars to the Battery Charge Diode removed from Renown (one of the few intact sections of cable left in Renown's cubicle) to replace the same sections in Repulse's harness which had their crimps cut off at some time in the past.

The right-hand cab warning resistor board was fitted after cleaning, and wiring was completed. There are 26 resistors on the two boards, the majority of which illuminate the various cab fault warning lamps, but there are no less than 87 wires to them, many of which go to the terminal bars at the bottom of the cubicle in the 'thin man's passage', which involves the usual contortionist act and Andy's poor knees did suffer on the chequerplate flooring! A significant amount of electrical spares were also obtained during the month. Also fitted was the no.2 main Field Divert Contactor, after having been stripped & cleaned.

The group held a very successful AGM during November, which for a change was held at the East Lancs, on a 50015 running day. I would like to say thanks to Andy Coward and the lads that look after 50015 for making us feel very welcome, and for generously providing a 'driver experience' as a prize for the raffle that was held. Our Chairman's Dad won, needless to say we all screamed FIX! Valiant looked and sounded in good health, and I would definitely recommend a visit to see her. The notes from the AGM should be circulated in late January. Also due for release in late January/early February is the groups new website, for those of you that follow and use the website, you will have noticed that it has been offline for a few months and has been replaced by something resembling the BBC test card. This was due to an unfortunate mechanical mishap that managed to take out both the main server and backup server! Our webmaster Bryan looked into restoring the old website but it was going to be too difficult and too costly, so the opportunity has been taken to produce an all new site, which at the time of writing (January) is in the process of being fleshed out by various committee members.