Volunteer's View - August 17th & 24th 2019

Graham Clarke has a lengthy update from Barrow Hill:

Two Saturday’s ago we had a meeting to discuss how to best further the completion of 55015. It was well attended and positive. We discussed how best to communicate about the work that’s going on and I think some positives came out of that conversation. It can be quite difficult to co-ordinate when there are working days on more than one day per week. I thank everyone for there tremendous contribution to the efforts they put into all three locos.

At the end of the meeting Peter gave another short training session on the maintenance of motors and generators. Thank you, I think it was well received and informative.

Geoff has been busy painting the foot steps ready to go onto 55015 when it’s ready to receive them. They’ll go on one the panels under the cab doors are fitted. They are off at the moment to allow access to pipe connections.

Mike finally managed to remove a broken bolt from one of the fuel tank connections, allowing them to be fully completed.

During the last couple of weeks, further progress was made on fitting the small air tank that is the control reservoir for the brake distributor in the no.1 one nose end of 55015. New nose end air filters are also on order thanks to hairy Steve measuring them up and finding a sample.

Alex, Pete and I also spent a fair amount of time looking for information on how the top dead centre tool woks with the timing gear that we have. This tells you when the exhaust piston has reached the upper limit of its travel as the crankshaft rotates. PU451 will have the timing checked, because the parading gearbox was removed to change the output shaft seals. It should have not moved, but it’s just not worth trusting that and risking damaging the engine.

Nigel and Beth have now completed both head code blinds for 55015. Nigel is very proficient in the black art of repairing these over complicated and cantankerous devices. Thanks!

With Pete’s help, the lights in 55015 are now completed, part from fitting new bulbs when they arrive courtesy of Stuart.

A lot of work has gone on during the week to progress restoring parts for the cab of D9008 and engine mounting feet for 55015. As part of this effort, new window, head code glass and instrument panel seals are now on order thanks to Darrell.

Inside the bottom of them, there is a limit stop that prevents the power unit moving too far. It a disk surrounded by rubber bumpers connected to an adjustable shaft that is attached to the upper parts of the mount that moves on the main suspension Metalastik pads. It don’t think anybody has touched these since the locos were built and the rubbers are totally shot. We are investigating how to make replacements. I spent some time with Nigel J on Saturday removing the last of the bottom plate screws that were putting up a bit of a fight. We won and the mounts are all now fully stripped and painted. They will be rebuilt with all new rubbers and then go onto the floor of 55015 ready to take power units.

Outside the depot Stuart and Wizz ran up 55019 and checked it over ready to go to the Nene Valley Railway later this week. It’s always nice to hear one running to remind you what it’s all about.

I have also reduced to one the negative connections that I need to identify in the bottom of 55015’s no.2 control cubicle. Pete is also helping me to get new cab heater elements manufactured to replace the junk that we have that’s causing problems with earth faults, due. To the life expired insulation disks in the mounts at the ends of the elements.

Hopefully, repairs to D9009 will also start within the next couple of weeks, due to monies received from our insurers. More information. Please keep an eye out for more detailed information over the next few weeks.

A big thank you to everyone who has volunteered in recent weeks, including those specifically mentioned and: Mick, Martin, Bob, Trevor, John and Mark. I apologise if I have missed anyone.