Autumn 2014 news
25th September 2014
Sadly, 14 901's visit to the GCR was not without incident, as we suffered another attack from algae 'the diesel bug' which caused unexpected problems on both the Saturday and Sunday of the event. In the case of Saturday, a presumed filter blockage caused the fuel pump to draw air in from somewhere, and as Andrew was on hand, we had the system bled through and the engine restarted within an hour, aided by the fact that the shutdown had occurred while running round at Loughborough. On Sunday, the shutdown occurred at Rothley while running top and tail with a class 31 - nevertheless once back at Loughborough, Terry and Pete found the cross-pipe between the tanks blocked, the lower fuel tank dry, and the primary filter blocked. These were sorted that evening and the loco powered itself back to Quorn a few days later for return to Peak Rail.
On return, the fuel system was again treated with biocide and a cleaning agent to try to de-clog the hydraulic governor which was now affected. This has been largely succesful, although the governor still hunts a bit more than before and the pump may receive an overhaul over the winter. Meantime 14 901 continues in service with Peak Rail, having covered a full week while D8 was attending the Etches Park event in Derby. For a diesel weekend at Peak Rail (20th-21st September) it operated at the south (Matlock) end of the train, giving a number of new and interesting views for those who attended.
Planned maintenance work this winter includes replacing the Voith heat exchanger (which is known to leak) with a spare held in stock, and re-piping the cooling system to get rid of a hotch-potch of badly laid-out plumbing inherited from its last repower.
Down at Darley Dale, the 'Geoffrey Briddon Building' has received its doors and completion of the internal concrete walls, giving it in effect a "compound" pending cladding. Peak Rail staff and volunteers have continued the track work, although there is still some way to go before the rails laid out in the shed are connected to the sidings outside. The turnout which will form the junction between the two tracks was being installed at the end of September.
Attention now turns to D2128, which is due to haul its first public trains at Scunthorpe over the weekend of 4th and 5th October, sharing its duties with Sentinel 'Tom' and other AFRPS/Tata locomotives. Paintwork is being hurriedly progressed, one defective buffer spring replaced, and new cab floorboards are in hand. Some jobs we had hoped to have finished, such as the vac exhauster drive and provision of new code lamps in traditional style (but with LEDs) have had to be postponed.
The decision has been taken to defer completion of 'Libby', currently sitting in the Mattersons at Rowsley, until the new shed at Darley can be occupied. It will be brought out and sheeted down shortly.
Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0DM 'Ashdown' remains available for traffic, Yorkshire 0-4-0DH 'James' still awaits a fresh coolant pump after which it will be available for use. 'Cheedale' is in regular operation around Rowsley, usually bringing 0-6-0ST 'Lord Phil' in and out of Rowsley shed.