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 basically consisted of my son Robert and I going up every four weeks to bar over the power unit, check round the site, and retighten any loose ropes on the tarpaulins.
In March 2021 I was advised that we could restart very limited working parties, with only a couple of people on site, and only then if they had both been vaccinated. As such we took the opportunity to continue with the welding work that Ian Williams had been forced into temporarily suspending last year. Good progress has been made with the replating of the cabsides above the side windows, including replacing the gutters, the nose top has been replaced at the electrical cubicle end, the driver's front window pillars replated at both ends, some areas of lower bodyside have been replaced, a sizeable area has been replated on the bodyside above the logo, a hole in the roof of the electrical cubicle room has been replated, and a hole in the generator room floor replated. As a result, 50030 is looking considerably more solid and less rusty than it previously did, but there is still a substantial amount of work to do on the engine room roof, and all of the above welding work needs undercoating and top coating to protect it.
The good news is that in early April 2021, I was advised by Peak Rail that now that the rule of 6 has come back into force, we are able to hold proper work parties again provided we follow the necessary Risk Assessments and Method Statements to protect our working members and any other people on site. The necessary paperwork was completed and signed off by Peak Rail last year.
Our site has a number of COVID social distancing signs, and we have ensured that we are well stocked with PPE, hand cleaning materials and hand sanitiser.
Having removed the power unit last year, we have a huge amount of work to do, within the engine room, the generator room, on the engine room roof, and the exterior of the body, much of which needs doing before the power unit goes back in. As such we are intending holding work parties most weekends, and I am hoping that we will be able to get a reasonable number of people back on site. We are however, restricted to 6 people on site by the government rules, we also have to notify Peak Rail who is present, as such I would ask that before travelling you contact me by text or phone on:
To confirm that there is a work party, and so that I can ensure no one has a wasted trip. We look forward to welcoming existing and new volunteers to site for our work parties. We will post reports of our work parties both here and on our social media pages in due course.