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Restoration diary

Reports of restoration work on 50029 and 50030.

Work party report 14th November 2021

​Mark, Dave, Jay and I were on site today.Mark ground off the remains of the anti-slip treads in the gen compartment where they had rotted away or been broken off, in preparation for Ian the welder to fit new ones. He will also fit new ones in places alongside the engine walkways.Jay and I carried belling out wiring in the electrical cubicle, ...
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Work party report 8th August 2021

Dave Rolfe, Jay Hirst and I were on site. We continued the repetitive and rather dull-but-necessary task of cleaning out the engine room in 50030 ready for the return of the power unit nad overhauled generator in due course.Dave had found some heavy duty degreaser spray, and we used it on the sides of the engine compartment at the generator end whi...
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Work party report 20th June 2021

Work party report 20th June 2021
Carl and Sofy Looker, Dave Rolfe and I were on site on Sunday 20 June and between us we carried on scraping, cleaning and painting the engine room inside 50030, getting to about three quarters prepared and undercoated.
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RRRG Newsletter issue 46 released

We are pleased to announce that issue 46 of the RRRG newsletter is now available to view, but until issue 47 is released it will be exclusively available to members of RRRG logged into the website with a valid username and password. At the same time, non-members can now view the picture gallery of the power unit lift from September 2020. Issue...
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Work party report 16th May 2021

Work party report 16th May 2021
​Mark Burrows and his son Robert, Jay Hirst and I were on site on May 16th. Following on from the work done by Ian Williams that we talked about previously, we carried on repairing the bodyshell of 50030 taking the opportunity of better internal access whilst the power unit is out. Mark and Robert continued on the outside of the no 1 cab around the...
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Roof and body repairs spring 2021

Roof and body repairs spring 2021
As we've mentioned in previous posts here, one of our key tasks recently has been to fully repair the bodyshell of 50030 to make it fully watertight and ready to have its overhauled electrical machines installed. We have been hiring well-known locootive welder Ian Williams for this. Recent work has been to the roof and body sides of 50030. Many yea...
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Work party report 18th April 2021

Work party report 18th April 2021
A key priority for us now that the power unit is out of 50030 is to get the bodyshell watertight. There's no point us putting overhauled mechanicals and electrical machines back in there if they are only going to get wet! The same applies to the cabs as we move on to refitting and restoring the controls and air pipes behind the driver's desk. We've...
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A post-lockdown update

50030 following additional welding work in April 2021
Like many UK preservation groups, RRRG has been affected by the coronavirus crisis and government-mandated lockdowns. Along with all of the other groups at Rowsley, for a second prolonged period from late 2020 until early April 2021, we have not been allowed to attend Peak Rail to work on our locos, other than essential maintenance. This has basic...
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RRRG newsletter issue 45 released

Once again our newsletter editor Andy Rowlands has turned out a new issue of our news magazine "Raconteur", issue 45 - this one packed with pictures of the big engine lifts on 29th September 2020 (plural, yes, as two engines had to be lifted!). This issue is currently only available to paid up, logged in RRRG members.Chairman Mark give...
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Power unit lift 29 September 2020

With grateful thanks to technical officers from the Class Fifty Alliance, a highly professional operation by contractors Steve Foster Cranes, the generous patience of our hosts Peak Rail and technical members of RRRG, on 29th September 2020 we successfully lifted the power unit from inside 50030, removed turbochargers from the ex-50008...
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Working party report 4th-5th July 2020 and welding update

Working party report 4th-5th July 2020 and welding update
50030 no 2 end secondman's side, which Mark and Robert Burrows flatted down and painted in primer.
​Following our first working party after the enforced COVID shutdown on the 27th and 28th June, we held our second pair of working parties on the 4th and 5th July.Dave Rolfe, my son Robert and I attended site on the Saturday, and Dave was also there part of Sunday. Dave pumped oil round the ex-50008 engine on both days and barred it ov...
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Working Party Report 28th June 2020 - Return To Site!

50030 as seen in late June 2020. The external appearance has not been our priority and we have put most effort into internal restoration prior to a power unit swap planned for this summer.
Dave Rolfe, my son Robert and I went to Rowsley on Sunday 28th June (Dave was also there the day before), this being the first working party for about 3 months since the national lockdown was put into place.I took to site a number of items of anti-virus PPE and at the request of Peak Rail, our new working procedure required to take account of ...
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Sunday Sentimentalities no 2 - remembering Class 50s on Cross Country

It is April 1984 and 50030 is approaching Bristol Temple Meads from the south west, passing beneath the Bath Road overbridge in this shot by an unknown photographer taken from the end of the platform. Unfortunately we can't identify much more such as the exact service that Repulse was hauling, as the sub-par lighting conditions make it difficu...
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Sunday Sentimentalities no 1

To help pass the time during the current lockdown, we've been going through the RRRG image archive to pick out some workings from the BR careers of our two locomotives. We'll be posting these occasionally to hopefully stimulate a bit of discussion but also just to show some photos that have probably never been seen before. The date is 25th Jan...
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We haven't gone away!

​We haven't posted anything for a while by way of updates. Winter is always a quiet period for RRRG; Peak Rail is often closed in January and we concentrate on off-site work before resuming work parties in March. Except of course this year the global coronavirus pandemic struck and non-essential travel was curbed. So we couldn't resume on site work...
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Work party report 27th October 2019

Carl and Sofy Looker joined me today on site. They started scraping loose paint off the inside of the engine compartment, then washing areas with White Spirit and very soapy water, to see which shifted the accumulated oil film and carbon soot better. The best combination seemed to be White Sprit first, followed by the soapy water. They washed off t...
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Work party report 20th October 2019

Wes Needle, Mark Burrows, Robert Burrows (Mark's son) and I were on site today. Wes carried on sorting 50030 No.1 cab desk panels to make them fit properly, including fitting new hinges, Mark and Robert painted yellow gloss over the new steel on the cabsides and No.1 cab front, to protect them over the winter. I painted the fire extinguisher tubes ...
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Work party report 20th July 2019

I went up again today as welder Ian needed access inside Repulse. Ian Kemp and Peter Carter were also there barring the ex-50008 power unit round and pumping oil through it. We do this as a mattter of course at each work party just to ensure this power unit remains in good internal condition ready for insertion into 50030 later this ye...
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Work party report 14th July 2019

This weekend we had Ian Williams the welder on site, starting the bodywork repairs on Repulse. Joining me today was Mark Burrows, Carl and Sofy Looker.Ian cut out rotten steel around No.1 cab end and along the 'non-visible' side, where we had identified the worst corrosion. He did most of the cutting out yesterday, today was clearing the rusty debr...
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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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Work party report 21st April 2019

Work party report 21st April 2019
I went up to site yesterday as Ian Kemp was bringing some helicoils as a possible solution to the radiator resistor backplate problem (see previous work party reports). After we'd looked at them and decided they may well solve the problem, Ian and Peter Carter took measurements off the power unit for the upcoming lift, barred the engine round as th...
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Compressors update

Compressors update
The main block of a class 50 air compressor, stripped down and partially overhauled.
The motor end of the compressor, as the overhaul progresses.
The compressor crankshaft. Note the surface rust from water ingress.
The electrical machine end of the compressor.
The compressor body. This particular example has suffered water ingress over the years and we will probably use it only for parts to repair another of our compressors as it will be expensive to repair.
The compressor motor field windings overhauled.
Another view of the field windings of the compressor; the electrical end of the machine has been refurbished.
Another view of the refurbished electrical motor field windings of the compressor.
The compressor fan housing.
The compressor motor armature in the process of receiving overhaul.
Air compressor cylinder heads. Note the one on the left shows signs of water damage.
Our medium term goal is to restore 50030 to a state where the Diesel engine can be started up and the locomotive's systems checked. To this end we are concentrating on both the power unit and generators plus the air and vacuum systems. We already have an overhauled vacuum exhauster in secure, heated storage off site and we have a number of compress...
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Work party report 10 March 2019

No 1 end cab 50030 with panelling refitted.
Bogie brake adjusters refurbished and ready for refitting to the bogies to replace worn adjusters removed previously.
A good day on Sunday, despite the Arctic wind in the morning. Wes Needle had a very productive day. He started the day by cleaning the debris from under No.1 cab floor on the second man's side. Then, with Dave's help, they checked the operation of the handbrake mechanism under the floor. They found that the pivot nut required tightening and a new s...
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Work party report 17th February 2019

Dave Rolfe, Wes Needle and I were on site on Sunday 17th February. Peak Rail have been reorganising their site during the first weeks of 2019 and opportunities for work parties were also limited by the weather. Dave was removing the brake adjustment parts off the bogies, as he'd identified some that were either worn or where there appeared to be ...
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Work party reports update December 2018

Ian Kemp, Peter Carter and Dave Rolfe have been finishing off fitting pipework onto the ex-50008 power unit, and have started removing the injectors for inspection, before they go off for overhaul. Dave has been overhauling, cleaning and temporarily fitting items onto the brake frame so we know where everything goes. They will need removing to get ...
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