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Restoration diary

Reports of restoration work on 50029 and 50030.

Work party report 21st September 2014

Work party report 21st September 2014
Dave, Pete and Ian disconnected and removed the four sections of airshaft round the power unit flywheel and bolted up the second intercooler, which Dave then painted. I continued cutting and fitting cubicle air pipes, removed the Z23 resistor and a now-redundant cable from it to the CU6, in preparation for fitting an electronic device in its place as part of the CU6 upgrade.
 
As we were packing up we were greeted by the sound of eight Rolls Royce Merlins as both the preserved airworthy Lancasters flew over Rowsley.
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Work party report 7th September 2014

Work party report 7th September 2014

Mark brought two of the refurbished KV10s, paperwork, test sheets and circuit diagrams up to site. After a test fitting they were removed once again! Dave, Pete, Ian and I hoisted one of the intercoolers up onto the ex-50008 power unit and bolted it in place. The other is ready to be refitted but needs painting first. Dave started making a hoist arm to be fitted on a corner of the container over the workbench. I started fitting the cubicle air circuit pipes, which was somewhat difficult with all the cabling in place, so if I ever do that again, the lesson is fit the airpipes before the cabling, then the cables wouldn't be in the way!

The new airpipes are just visible in the photo below, between M4, M5 and M6.

I discovered the air connections on the reverser air cylinder are a different thread to all the others, so I brought it home with me to take to the supplier I got the other fittings from to see if they can provide the correct-thread fittings for it.

 

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Work party report 24th August

Work party report 24th August

A good day on site today. Former regular working member Wes Needle joined us for today's workparty.  Since getting married and starting a family, Wes hasn't had much time to indulge his chosen hobby, but because they had taken a break in a holiday cottage not far from Rowsley, he was able to take a day to join us while his wife Keren and the nippers went on the train.

Dave Rolfe continued cleaning and painting power unit pipework, then he, Wes, Peter Carter and Ian Kemp finished overhauling one of the intercoolers and reassembled it. They also started unfastening one of the compressors on 50030 ready for it to be removed as there is an overhauled one ready to take its place.

 

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I located the fittings and tubing I had purchased some time ago to replace the air circuit in Repulse. There are different threads that have been used on these fittings at various times, so it was a bit of a gamble whether we had chosen the right thread, but fortunately when I tried the fittings in the motor and divert contactors, they screwed in fine. I had made a diagram some time ago of the routing and connections of the air circuit in 50021, so I am now able to copy it in Repulse. I also finished off connecting up the newly-fitted reverser in the electrical cubicle of 50030 with all its wiring and connections.  Even the weather was kind to us!

 

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Work party reports 29th June and 14th July

Work party reports 29th June and 14th July

On 29th June a long-running sub-project within the electrical restoration of 50030 took a substantial step forward. I got the proper reverser (Class 50 specification) fitted into Repulse, with help from Dave Rolfe, Peter Carter and Ian Kemp as it's so damned heavy. We had to jiggle it about to get it to fit properly, but did it in the end. I attached the divert cables at the rear, but didn't have time to do the auxilaries at the front as I showed two visitors round Repulse. We are always happy to show enthusiasts around our project so if you want to take a look inside our locomotives then get in touch with us either via the website or our Facebook pages and we will do our best to accommodate you.

 

 

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Also on this date Dave, Ian and Pete also continued sorting fuel and water pipework recovered from 50030's power unit to replace damaged sections on the ex-50008 unit.  This unit is destined for use in 50030 when complete - the existing power unit in Repulse was in acceptable condition when we acquired the loco, but has high engine hours and as part of our policy of overhauling our 50s to a very high standard in order to give them a long and trouble-free career in preservation we decided to overhaul one power unit totally.  The existing unit in Repulse will be re-used inside 50029 because the engine in Renown has serious problems following the seizure which ended the loco's BR career.  We don't know for sure but are aware of the possibility that the unit in 50029 may only be usable as a source of spares.  Power unit work can be one of the most gruelling of the practical restoration projects as the same task often has to be done at least sixteen times, sometimes even 32 or 64 times!

 

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On 14th July I attached the reverser auxiliary contact wiring after showing another visitor round Repulse. Meanwhile, Ian, Pete and Dave fitted the fuel feed and return pipes to the ex-50008 power unit that they had previously salvaged from the power unit inside Repulse.

 

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Work party report 15th Jun

Work party report 15th Jun

As it rained almost all day yesterday, even though the forecast was for dry weather, I decided not to cart the reverser outside as I've cleaned it, so I test fitted the newly-made CU2 field divert and CU7 ETH detector units into 50030's elec cubicle. While the CU7 can go in its original position, the original position for the CU2 had the cable connections very close to the cubicle frame, so I drilled a couple more holes to put it in a better position.
 
Inbetween the heavier bursts of rain, Ian and Pete removed the fuel feed pipes from 008's power unit as they'd been bent during the lift at Crewe when we bought and moved the PU about 8 years ago. Dave was painting pipes taken from the PU inside Repulse to replace them.
 
I also took the opportunity to get some more pictures of Mark's work last weekend on the generator conduits.
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Work party report 7th June

Work party report 7th June

Dave Rolfe and I had a very wet Saturday at Rowsley last weekend (I'd gone on the Saturday as Sunday was my Wedding Anniversary), the weather finally cleared around 5 o'clock!

Given the weather we both found things indoors to occupy ourselves, Dave spent part of the day unbolting and freeing off sections of the radiator louvre operating mechanism. His remaining time was spent sorting out the various fittings, clamps, etc, that are needed to refit the fuel rails to the power unit, and checking their condition, cleaning and painting the metal sections of the clamps. I spent most of the day in 50030's generator room sorting out the best sections of conduit, from our collection of bits ex-50023, 50030 and 50040, to make up the remaining set of conduits. By the end of the day, I had cut sufficient sections to lay out the last of the conduit runs, all that remains to do now with this job is to strip the years of paint and dirt off them, thread the ends of the cut sections and fit the relevant couplers and locking nuts. Hopefully another day's work should see the conduit conundrum resolved. In the process I also identified ¾ of a set for one side of 50029.

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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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Radiator mounting nuts

Radiator mounting nuts

No, we haven't packed up and ceased to exist.  Yes, we have been a bit quiet.  Sorry about that - normal service to be resumed but a number of us have had things other than RRRG to deal with and our day lives have got in the way.

 

Ian Kemp and Dave Rolfe decided today to tackle a job we started some time ago but ended up leaving to another day.  This was to remove the remaining radiator securing nuts, so that we can lift the radiators out of 50030 and have them sent away for overhaul.  Given that the radiators were most likely last removed at refurbishment in the mid-1980s it goes without saying that the fastening nuts were stuck on very firmly indeed.  We had previously managed to remove three of them, leaving five left to do.  A potent combination of elbow grease, tools (and broken tools), purple language and in the case of one particularly stubborn nut, chiseling has now freed all eight nuts and the radiators can now be lifted out.  It's the seemingly little tasks like this that end up taking so much time.  Photos courtesy Ian Kemp.

 

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New merchandise available!

New merchandise available!

Just in time for Christmas shopping season, RRRG is pleased to offer a number of new lines of merchandise.  We now have fleeces, polo shirts, new designs of t-shirts and mugs plus keyrings and phone cases!

Don't forget our other merchandise such as mugs and t-shirts or Hornby models!

 

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Also, please don't forget our 2014 calendar.  All these items are important fundraisers for RRRG!  They would make great presents for someone or even yourself - maybe that distant relative needs some suggstions about what to get you for Christmas?!  Point them towards the online shop at renownrepulse.com or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need shopping assistance.

 

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Nene Valley Railway Winter Tornado gala - sales stand!

Nene Valley Railway Winter Tornado gala - sales stand!

With many thanks to the Nene Valley Railway for inviting us, RRRG will be operating our sales stand at Wansford station during the the Winter Tornado gala this coming weekend (2nd and 3rd November).  Any railway enthusiast must acknowledge the sheer achievement that the successful completion of 60163 Tornado represents and we are proud to help support the A1 Steam Trust as their locomotive stars in what should be a very good event.

We have recently taken delivery of a chip and PIN credit card terminal, allowing us to take credit card payments easily on the sales stand.  This aplies not just to this event but to all future sales stand operations.  We believe this flexibility in accepting payment, coupled with our keen prices, will make our stand even more appealing to our loyal customer base.  We look forward to seeing many of you over the coming weekend.

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CU5 replacement under construction

CU5 replacement under construction

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.

 

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Have you got your 2014 Class 50 calendar yet?

Have you got your 2014 Class 50 calendar yet?

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.

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Rebuilt CU2s are delivered!

Rebuilt CU2s are delivered!

Following on from news and developments earlier this year on the work we have commissioned to build two CU2 field divert units for use in 50029 and 50030, we can report with great pleasure that this project reached a successful conclusion today.  Our contractors invited 50030 Electrical Officer Andy Rowlands to view the rebuilt units, and demonstrated as the relay in each unit was energised and gave output to the correct terminals.  Each unit was tested multiple times with no problems arising.  We were pleased to note that our contractors have managed to replicate the original solder tracks from the sample unit supplied as the template.  Now that we have taken delivery, the units can be taken on site for trial fitting and cabling up, before being stored securely off site until such time as they are needed.  Photos courtesy of Mark Brown at IES.  This work has not been cheap and we would greatly appreciate the support of Class 50 enthusiasts either by joining RRRG and buying shares or supporting us via our online shop.

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2014 calendar "Class 50 Now and Then" still available!

2014 calendar "Class 50 Now and Then" still available!

Don't forget that our 2014 calendar "Class 50s Now and Then" is still available priced at £6.95 plus P+P.  The image for September 2014 is one of 50035 Ark Royal in LoadHaul livery at Kidderminster station on the Severn Valley Railway together with a shot of the same locomotive in almost as-delivered condition and un-named, at Newton Heath Shed in 1975, photographed by Anthony Middleton and David Gray respectively.

September 2014 calendar image: 50035 at Kidderminster in 2013 and Newton Heath in 1975

Buy your copy now from our online shop: this project is an important fundraiser for us and we look forward to your continued support.

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Radiator louvres re-assembled

Fully overhauled and reassembled radiator louvre

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Radiator louvre slats and mechanism finished, donor electrical cubicle wiring loom progress

Radiator louvre slats and mechanism finished, donor electrical cubicle wiring loom progress

Work on site over the weekend of 13-14 June comprised efforts by Dave Rolfe to finish off the last set of radiator grille louvre frames and slats.  These have now been sanded and painted ready to reinstall into 50030 and will mean the locomotive has a fully overhauled set of radiator slats, together with the mechanisms for actuating and moving the temperature-dependent sets fully overhauled and operational for the first time in many a year!

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Also on site were electrical officers Andy Rowlands and Steve Tripp, together with Sarah McCall the membership secretary.  They carried on with the donor electrical cubicle. Following recent progress with removing the control units, attention turned to the wiring loom which we also intend to salvage in order to replace the damaged wiring in 50029.  Initially the complexity of the loom and its many tentacles proved frustrating but Steve and Andy have devised methods for transferring it into Renown. All the cabling in all the side sections of the cubicle, namely that for KV10s, relays and control units, has been pulled out of the frame or into the middle section where it is more accessible.  One more visit should have the whole wiring loom out and hopefully soon into its new home in 50029.  We can then consider our options for the bulky frame of the donor cubicle which is taking up valuable space on site.

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Work party report 29-30 June

Work over the weekend of 29-30 June involved stripping and painting the last of the louvre mechanisms for the radiators in 50030, hopefully to be refitted in 2-3 weeks.  Photos to follow.

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2014 calendar is here!

2014 calendar is here!

We are delighted to announce that our 2014 calendar Class 50s Then and Now is available to order from our online shop.  The calendar has A4 sized pages bound in the middle to allow the month layout to drop down and reveal the accompanying photograph.  Each month features full page shots by noted railway photographers of a preserved Class 50 locomotive together with an inset of the same locomotive in its BR service days.  The calendar is available to order from our online shop, priced at £6.95 + P&P.  This production is a joint venture between RRRG and the Fifty Fund with proceeds going towards 50029 and 50030 as well as 50031, 50035, 50044 and 50049.  See below for page images of each month. The calendar is printed on high quality paper equivalent to the well-known Rail Photoprints/Platform 5 calendars and is of equal quality to these well-known publications. 

 

Month-by-month: Class 50s Now and Then 2014 Calendar
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Spare electrical cubicle progress

Spare electrical cubicle progress

If you have been following RRRG for some time, you will remember that about a year ago we purchased and collected a number of spare electrical parts from the owners of 50021 Rodney.  Amongst these was the electrical cubicle originally in 50011 Centurion before that locomotive was scrapped.  Our reason for purchasing the cubicle was to use as a donor for rebuilding 50029's cubicle; as a rule of thumb the items that were removed from 50030 before we bought the locomotive were carefully unscrewed and the wiring in the electrical cubicle was in good condition.  The same cannot be said for 50029 unfortunately, with many of the cubicle wires having been cut.  To save the headache of pairing loose ends we aim to transplant the relatively intact wiring loom from the ex-Centurion cubicle into 50029.  That there were a good number of other components in the donor cubicle that would be useful for 50029 was a bonus.  The actual frame of the ex-50011 cubicle is however not in such good condition as the cubicle frame already in 50029: many of the catches for the doors are either bent or broken and it is obvious the cubicle has led a hard life since the locomotive it resided in was scrapped.  For this reason we cannot just swap the cubicles around between Renown and Centurion and a process of making one good one from two halves is necessary.

These pictures were taken on 9th June 2013 and show progress on the careful stripping of this cubicle and some of the parts we have recovered from it.  Electrical volunteers Steve Tripp and Andy Rowlands are shown at work but credit must also go to Julie Rollason and Sarah McCall for their invaluable assistance with this sub-project.

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The complexity of the wiring loom is obvious from these pictures which show volunteers Steve Tripp and Andy Rowlands removing some of the last major components before we make a decision on how to tackle the wiring loom.  A good number of useful items have been recovered from this cubicle for re-use in 50029, as shown below.

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Shown below is one of the cubicle doors from the ex-50011 cubicle.  We have already refurbished the equivalent door and installed into 50030 and we have a better example in stock for 50029.  This is actually one of the better condition parts of the cubicle frame and speaks to the state that the ex-50011 electrical cubicle is in.

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The next task is to assess the wiring loom in the 50011 cubicle and how best to remove it.  As the pictures show it is a many-tentacled monster and will require considerable thought as to the best way forward before we dispose of the frame of the 50011 cubicle.  With the size of the "thin man's passage" inside a 50 round the side of the electrical cubicle now not befitting our volunteers' physical profiles, we may also look to lifting the cubicle out of 50029 as a way of proceeding.

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Power unit restoration progress

Power unit restoration progress

Here are some photos from the ongoing restoration of the power unit we acquired from 50008 back in 2006.  This power unit is being restored with new internal components to restore it to effectively "zero hours" status and will be deployed into 50030 Repulse once completed.  The power unit currently inside 50030 will probably be reused in 50029 Renown in due course; the engine inside Renown suffered serious damage when the B4 cylinder seized.  This was the cause of 50029's withdrawal from BR service in early 1992.  The main generator on the ex-50008 power unit is in good condition as is that on the damaged block inside 50029; 50030 suffered a main generator flashover and we plan to perform a generator swap with 50029 at some stage to create a good power unit/generator combination.

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This set of pictures shows again the level of commitment RRRG is investing in the rebuild of 50029 and 50030.  We intend 50030 to re-enter traffic by 2017 as effectively a brand new locomotive with fully overhauled internal parts and to ensure it a very long and secure future in preservation.  The same policy will be applied to 50029 when the time comes.

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