NEWS FROM THE SHED – October 2017
Film stars returned:
Charlie and 03 901 returned in March and February from Longcross Studios following completion of their filming work. Murder on the Orient Express appears in cinemas from November and many of the scenes used the locos either propelling or pulling. Charlie still has its modified Fox coupler on the rear as we haven't had time to remove it!
The joint restoration with Tarmac has got under way with a vengeance, at one point 4 Tarmac fitters joined Pete at Darley Dale to assist in stripping the loco. As parts have been removed, they have been shot- or sand-blasted and primed, culminating in the frame leaving Darley for Tunstead in September. Various cracks and other identified defects have been rectified (including a large part of the running plate at one side) and the frame sprayed protective black. Examination of the wheelsets revealed that the right hand driving crankpin was loose in the wheel. This will be metal-sprayed and machined after which it will be cryo-genically shrunk and refitted. Tarmac are anxious to get it back on its wheels and permit serious restoration work to begin – this will take place in the very workshop where it was converted from steam to diesel, 58 years ago. The spare engine bought for RS8 is being prepared ready for a test-run prior to its freshly-overhauled converter being refitted.
The title to the PCV moved from Colas to us when the original wheelsets and bearings were returned to Colas. Alternative wheelsets have been acquired and a number of bearing housings, but Andrew intends fitting this with new SP120 cartridge bearings which are currently on long lead time, so for the present the bogie frames remain stacked on Conflat 'Louise' awaiting time to overhaul ready.
- has moved to the Colne Valley Railway, but a recurrence of an intermittent problem lead us to remove the fuel pump which revealed that a valve in the hydraulic governor had stuck. While this was being attended to, a panic call from First Great Western was received as the planned Class 14 for the Old Oak Common Open Day had fallen through. As 14 901 (in its original guise as D9524) had been an OOC loco, Andrew was happy to assist and it arrived at 11pm on the night before! It is now back at Castle Hedingham, re-united with its fuel pump and running better than it has for a while. Unfortunately there is no mechanically-governed version of this CAV pump available, and the hydraulic governor is totally obsolete as castings are no longer made and scouring by the fluid causes irreparable damage over time. This is an issue that will be returned to in due course.
Claire in public gaze:
After years of hiding at Llanyblodwell, Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0DH 'Claire' was moved to UKRL at Leicester during September, and can be spotted from the ends of Leicester station platform! On indefinite loan to help out our friends, Claire will act as works shunter to avoid starting up large locos (with attendant noise and fumes) which causes nuisance at a nearby school.
The partnership of Hunslet 0-4-0 chassis with Thomas Hill superstructure left storage at Llanyblodwell with Claire by kind co-operation of the Tanat Valley Railway. It had been positioned ready for collection in May, but had to wait the manufacture at Darley Dale of a new unloading ramp to suit the trailer needed to get in through the access gates. (As the loco is 3 metres wide, it cannot travel down from Rowsley.) Since engine, converter, cooler group, etc are all stock items, it is likely that work to narrow it to UK width and develop an operating loco from it will be one of 2018's projects.
Sadly whilst awaiting departure, someone we think used the Hunguard as target practice, smashing two windows. Meanwhile back at Darley Dale we suffered a dramatic increase in vandalism with other cab windows smashed with stones, fire extinguishers discharged, etc. We had to take time out to install CCTV, which made us realise just how many youths considered it was OK to wander around the yard, and we started identifying some, including two who forced a roller shutter door on the PCV and graffiti'd it and the VBA. They came in and carried out 'restorative justice' on their artwork, although the roller shutter will require more killed attention. Meantime we tried adding barbed wire to the fence to no avail, so installed ex-MoD razor wire, and this, plus the Police interviewing some troublemakers, brought things back under control.
Wickham wanderer returns:
The 1953-vintage Wickham railcar has arrived at Darley Dale as the personnel at Embsay had been unable to progress restoration. There are no immediate plans to start on it but first thoughts revolve around fitting it with another engine and utilising the Petter PH1 currently fitted to power a hydraulic power unit for the winch on Andrew's recently acquired low-load trailer.
Work inside the shed has seen much of the electrical system completed, though much remains to be done. A Rolls-Royce engine turnover stand has been put on loan – this has been thoroughly overhauled and is now nearly ready for use. It will probably be employed first on Jack's engine which awaits repairs to the knocking and absence of significant oil pressure.
So a brief round up of what's been happening in the last 12 months – for a detailed, week-by-week story go to weekendrails.co.uk.