Volunteer’s View – October 27th to November 3rd 2018

The latest from Graham Clarke…

Work has continued on 55015 on some days during the last two weeks and on Saturdays at Barrow Hill.

The compressors are now in, piped up and bolted down. A lot of time has been spent working out what parts need obtaining and finding things on the storage racks where items removed and refurbished are stored. Most of the nuts and bolts were bagged and tagged when they were removed. This has helped, but there are still some shortages. There are also a number of air system pipe fittings missing that need identifying and buying.

The main tasks underway at the moment are: completing the fitting of air tanks, finishing fitting out the engine room walls, a general clean up and completion of the electrical rebuild and testing.

A set of brake valves is also being assembled ready to go away to Railway Brake Services for overhaul. The driver’s brake valve are already in stock and ready to fit.

The buffer beams behind the buffers have also been cleaned and painted along with the buffers having the paint removed. They also need the springs changing, but I’m not sure yet how to achieve that. It’s a dangerous job, if you don’t know what you are doing, due to the springs being held under compression. You need to compress the springs in order to remove the backing nut and washer. This then allows the spring to be decompressed in a controlled way. If you don’t do that the internal parts of the buffer will explode in you face when you take the nut off.

As is often the case it is the preparation of jobs that takes the time. Doing them is often the easy bit, if you have everything you need to complete a job.

A big thank you to: Pete, Dave, Martin, Mick P, Mick C, Steve P, Ken, Steve M, Jon, Geoff, Mike and Ray.

Thanks also to the team on 55008’s cab. Nat, Beth, Nigel and James. We are attempting to get the cab inside the depot to allow work to continue over the winter. Hopefully, this maybe possible over the coming weeks, by moving things around.

I’ve been preparing for the difficult job of soldering on the traction motor connections that connect the main electrical supply to 4 of the traction motors in the back of the control cubicles. I was hoping to use crimp terminals, but they won’t fit. With Steve’s help, I removed them ready for soldering instead. Fortunately, I kept the original terminals safe.

Finally, I must also thank John and Harry for their help with finance and vastly improving the appearance of the depot with new safety barriers and signage.

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