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RRRG report for The Peak Express July 2012, Issue 32

The last three months have been a very successful period for parts acquisition. We’ve had two significant deals come to fruition, one involved us acquiring a CU2, a pair of KV10 daughter cards, a CU1 frame including some of the components and a pressure gauge mounting plate, obtained courtesy of the Fifty Fund, and the other involved the purchase of an electrical cubicle (incomplete but containing a good number of reusable components), two Class 50 compressors, and a Class 50 traction motor, which were obtained from the 50021 Loco Association. Whilst the items from the Fifty Fund fitted in the boot of a car, the other items provided a typical RRRG heavy haulage experience for Steve and Sarah on the 29th June. Whilst the day went smoothly, the loading and off loading did cause some fun and games. Not only had access to the front of the van body that our items were stored in been blocked, but due to the heavy deluge the day before it had partially sunk into the grounded burying the unlocking mechanism. After a little head scratching and the use of the site dumper truck, access was however gained.  

The two compressors were delivered to Bowers for assessment and overhaul, the Traction motor (which is in very good condition) and the cubicle have been brought to Rowsley where the electrical cubicle will be stripped of re-usable components for future use or spares. The cubicle was the main item to cause issues at Rowsley, being far bigger than might be anticipated, and barely fitting in our storage.  Another useful acquisition came in the form of an Ammeter for one of the cabs which has been donated by RRRG member David Philips.

Most of the electrical work since the last report has concentrated on assessing prior to testing some electronic control units. Following initial discussions with former British Rail Traction Maintenance Engineer Noel Craigen who specialises in the repair of locomotive electrical equipment, a visit was made to undertake an initial inspection and test of our KV10s and Control Cards. Subsequent to this, a quote has been received to carry out electrical and functional testing as necessary. We also learned that Noel can test CU1 control units the “master brain” of a Class 50.

Following this visit a significant amount of work has been undertaken to sort out the best of our KV10s, checking for any visible damage, and by the process of cannibalisation making good units from a number of bad ones. A list of spares needed is being compiled and all parts sourced so repairs can be carried out prior to shipping. Once any visible damage or missing parts have been repaired/replaced the KV10s will be transported to Noel’s premises for the tests and necessary repairs to be completed.   Work has also been progressing off site on the design work for the replacement CU2 and CU5s this should be finalised in the near future and will be submitted for approval. The work on the various electrical control units is another important stage in the project which is now well underway.

On the mechanical front, work on the ex-50008 engine has been focused on rubbing down and painting the cooling system pipes and a start made on fitting them to the power unit. We have also been sorting out the inlet manifold and the exhaust system parts ready to refit, and have been cleaning many years of dirt and grime off the aluminium air intake manifolds and repainting them. Work is also continuing to progress on the overhaul of the rest of the radiator grilles. The process takes such a long time 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. A start has also been made on cleaning to bare metal the conduits and refitting them in the generator room.

Finally on the non technical front, RRRG held their AGM on the 24th June, and are pleased to welcome Sarah McCall to the committee in the roll of Membership Secretary, Mark Burrows is taking on an additional role of Deputy Chairman, Dave Rolfe takes on the role of Volunteer Co-ordinator and RRRG Site Manager, Tim Snowball and Dominic Jackson jointly takeover the role of Webmaster, as Bryan Jones has resigned from the role due to personal commitments. The committee would like to thank Bryan for his significant effort and support over the years. All other roles stay basically the same.

As some of you will be aware following a server crash the old RRRG website went down at the start of the year and we have been using an interim site at renownrepulse.wordpress.com to report progress.  This site has significant limitations, and a more sophisticated website is desired by the group, commercial web design services have been investigated but ultimately it was felt that, due to cost and ongoing usability and maintenance, the DIY option was the best way forward.  As a result Tim and Dom have been undertaking a significant amount of work in the background and are in the process of developing a far more sophisticated website. The intention is to launch a relatively simple site to begin with, that can be built on to provide all of the features of the old site, but with additions such as online shopping and a members' area. Hopefully the new site should be launched by the time you read this and will have the same name as our earlier website www.renownrepulse.com.

The online shop facility is something we are particularly keen to develop to supplement the sales stand activities, which continue to be successful, the latest being an extremely successful weekend at the Nene Valley Diesel Gala. The online shop will however provide a continuous outlet for our not insubstantial stock of model railway items (new and second hand), books, jigsaws, videos and DVD’s which has been further expanded. We are also intending launching a regular members mail shot to promote the sales items and to remind members that they are entitled to a 10% discount on most items.