News review - October 2015
It has been some months since an update on the news side has been made – those of you who keep up to date by reading Pete's weekly Weekend Rails blog will have seen the 'blow-by-blow' progress – for visitors to this site, here is the summary...
Geoffrey Briddon building
Work progressed during the summer completing the upper purlin runs on the ends of the building and the cleading rails. It was finally discovered that the eave beams that came with the building frame were of a type intended for a concealed gutter – which was not intended on our planning approval. Consequentally after much research these were removed and new ones fitted with new bracketry.
By September the decision was taken that we were ready for cladding and a suitable contractor engaged. Deliveries of rooflights (from Brett Martin in Coventry) and cladding sheets (from Tata's plant at Shotton) arived during October, and at the time of writing nearly all four walls and some of the roof is in place.
Internally, we had been concerned for some time that the concrete panels, which had been placed on advise from our steelworks contractor, on the inside of the columns, robbed us of around 25 square metres of floor space within the building, moreover, whatever void exists between panel and cladding must be filled with insulation. Consequently a programme of relocating the panels from the inner face of the columns to the inside edge of the outer faces is in progress, though most panels require trimming down in order to swing them into position.
Once the building is weathertight, installation of permanent electrical, water and pneumatic supplies can be undertaken.
The locomotive has been resident within the Geoffrey Briddon shed area all summer while we undertook a complete re-arrangement of its cooling system pipework. Experience late in 2014 had shown just how awkward and unreliable it was to fill the system due to restrictive pipesizes and de-aeration – these shortcomings have been addressed together with improving the “flow” of the coolant by removing many of the unneccessary bends and restrictions in the old system.
Meanwhile the BroomWade compressor, which was known to be passing oil excessively during 2014, has been rebuilt and refitted (it had broken piston rings amongst other defects). The Voith transmission cooler has been changed for the spare we have had in stock for several years (ex D9500) and re-connected with the new cooling system.
The fuel header tank, which had been effective but with limitations, has been replaced with a new tank mounted to the underside of the casings. The old tank had no visible external gauge, nor level switch which could be used to warn the driver if the incoming fuel supply ceased – the new tank includes both. And in connection with this, the opportunity was taken to re-wire the front end of the engine with better quality conduit and enclosures. This included a new multi-core from the engine front back to the control cubicle, and a new multi-core to the front lights, which is replacing an older multi-core, cable, odd-ball enclosure and conduit installed in a hurry in 2009.
The starter solenoid, which failed late in 2014, has been replaced by a better quality contactor and this has been placed within an enclosure.
Finally the BR4 brake blocks, which were worn and one had cracked, have been replaced by composite blocks using equipment Pete has been providing for industrial operators for several years.
The locomotive should be back operational and fully serviced shortly, and will thereafter be available for hire to other railways.
The code light boxes have been cabled up, the vac pipework completed, and parts are in hand for the actual drive from the propshaft to the exhauster which will make the vac system functional.
Pluto returned from the DVLR in August: nominally operational, there are some jobs which we must put in hand before the loco leaves for use on another railway.
Cheedale has been in the Geoffrey Briddon shed area for some time and is receiving attention. The torque converter, which has always leaked slightly since it arrived from Buxton, has been removed and opened up – unusually the body seal had failed and with that changed, it is ready for re-installation, at which time it will be converted from fuel to hydraulic oil fluid medium. The 'mechanics' coupling that goes between converter and gearbox has a defective needle roller bearing that must be renewed. Other planned work includes the replacement of its missing handrails and lift-off casing door, repairs to exhaust pipework, filling of various holes in its cab and casings from alterations made over the years and the renewal of the cab flexible mounts which have shrunk.
The compressor, fitted s/h some time ago, is to be replaced by a matching compressor with less than 150 hours use from new, and the Exhauster is to be recommissioned to bring the vac braking system back into function.
Two conflat wagons, converted into barrier or match wagons by having one end fitted with 'Tightlock' couplers, were added to the collection during October.
James continues in regular operation as works pilot, and collecting locos or wagons from Rowsley as required, a duty it performs admirably even though its paintwork is in dire need of attention.