Don't forget, this coming Sunday (June 21st) is your chance to come along and inspect the RRRG project at close quarters! See how we are getting on, chat to the team, find out how the money is being spent, discuss what we still need to do and how we plan to go about doing it! Have a guided tour of the locomotives and the RRRG infrastructure. Maybe find out how you could get involved? Get your RRRG branded merchandise from our sales stand! All this from 2 PM onwards at our Rowsley South, Peak Rail base, just off the A6 north of Darley Dale. As it happens there is a vintage bus rally at Peak Rail that same day so you can just follow the crowds to find us!
Renown Repulse Restoration Group is holding an Open Day on Sunday 21st June 2015 from 2 PM onwards at our Rowsley South, Peak Rail base. We hope to attract new volunteers and investment into our project. All are welcome, whether experienced preservationists or complete beginners! RRRG members will be on site to show you around 50029 and 50030, as well as discuss our facilities, restoration plans and how you can help as a future volunteer for RRRG. We look forward to seeing you then and there. Peak Rail are also hosting a classic bus event on the same day, providing an additional attraction for visitors to the railway.
During the work party of 19th April Andy Rowlands connected up the reverser air piston coils and tidied up the cables in the electrical cubicle in 50030, then started investigating the severed cables under the main cubicle walkway. They appear to be from the DSD relay box but further investigation will be required to trace them exactly.
Peter Carter and Ian Kemp together with Dave Rolfe continued fitting oil and water pipes to the ex-50008 power unit (see previous report, Power unit progress) in continued preparation for its use inside the overhauled 50030.
RRRG was at the Nene Valley Railway diesel gala at Wansford over the weekend of 11-12 April with our sales stand. We always enjoy trading at Wansford and it was evident the NVR had gone to great lengths to put on a good show with a large number of visiting locomotives. Pleasingly the gala was very well attended and we enjoyed a good sales performance. Many thanks to all the people who dropped by to say hello and to those who bought something from us; we hope you enjoy your purchases and thanks for supporting us! Thanks also to the NVR for the invitation to attend.
If you missed us at the gala, we are pleased to advise that our web shop has recently been restocked. We have a fresh selection of brand new Hornby models as well as branded t-shirts, polo shirts, fleeces and mugs. Restoring 50029 and 50030 is neither easy nor cheap. If the enthusiast community wants them to run again, we shall need to draw further on your support to achieve that goal!
Article image: 50008 Thunderer double heading with 50015 Valiant at Peterborough Nene Valley station, during the Nene Valley diesel gala on 11th April 2015, courtesy Andy Rowlands.
The restoration of the power unit ex-50008 Thunderer which was purchased by RRRG for use in 50030 is now almost complete. This has involved removing all sixteen cylinder heads and either overhauling them or replacing them with overhauled heads, then removing all sixteen pistons and con rods before replacing both big and small end bearings, piston rings and if necessary pistons to effectively return the power unit to "zero hours" status. Even with highly dedicated volunteer labour this has been a lengthy process but is now well into the "home straight".
Dave Rolfe has concentrated on an external overhaul of the unit, cleaning and painting especially auxiliary items such as water rails (blue) and oil feed pipes (pink). This will enable us to identify potential problems such as oil leaks when the unit is in service inside 50030. Ian Kemp, RRRG's mechanical team leader, and his fellow dedicated volunteer Peter Carter have been refitting the auxiliary pipework to the unit. This has now reached the stage of refitting the lower cooling water rails.
In common with other Class 50 owners we have decided to manufacture our own gaskets as this is much cheaper than buying ready-made items. Ian and Pete were busy today cutting out and fitting the water rail gaskets to one side of the power unit before refitting and attaching one of the water rails. This is not an easy task because the casting of the engine block makes accessing the fastening nuts very difficult! The corresponding water rail on the other side will be refitted in due course.
The tasks remaining to complete the overhaul of the diesel engine part of the power unit are to complete the refitting of oil and cooling water feed pipes and to test and overhaul the Woodward engine governor if necessary. We also need to source a set of braided hoses which feed cooling water to the turbos - these were either missing or rotten when we bought the power unit. The main generator attached to the engine is in good condition and will be detached and overhauled separately nearer the time the unit is ready to be installed inside 50030.
The power unit currently in 50030 is also practically complete and serviceable. We did start an overhaul of this power unit before the Thunderer power unit came on the market and it is turn intended for use in 50029, to replace the power unit in that locomotive which suffered a serious seizure that was the cause of 50029's BR withdrawal in 1992. An exchange of main generators is possible, to mate the good generator on 50029's damaged block with the good block attached to the main generator with flashover damage that is currently in 50030 - however this is a decision some time in the future.