Andrew Briddon Locos

Andrew Briddon Locos

preserved railway vehicles

BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - operational at last!

Works Number D9524
Built December 1964, BR Swindon Works
Wheel arrangement 0-6-0DH
Weight 48tons nominal (in working order)
Power Unit Rolls-Royce DV8TCE
Gross Rating 640bhp at 1800rpm
Transmission Voith L217U
Final Drive Gearbox Hunslet "650"
Train Braking Vacuum and twin pipe air
Present Location Peak Rail, Darley Dale
Photos Gallery


Getting the engine to run was a significant step, and it wasn't long before we had the output shaft of the Voith transmission turning too. But applying air to the cylinder that operated the Hunslet "650" forward/reverse gearbox gave us nothing. Clearly it had jammed through lack of use (Hunslet gearboxes are all splash-fed, so a loco standing for long periods may suffer from all the oil draining away from internal surfaces). It was not too accessible either, being below the cab floor and under two propshafts. Andrew squeezed in with a selection of hydraulic jacking heads and packing material, and in the course of two weekends, pumping the selector shaft to-and-fro with a hand pump, we got the shaft to free up so that it could work properly on air. By the end of March 2009, the loco was ready to test, but it was struggling to make air pressure, so we hooked it up to Andrew's Drewry 72229, and set off part way down the line in convoy. A week later, bouyed up by that and having sorted out the compressor and sundry air leaks, a repeat run was made solo, reaching all the way to Hemingfield.

IMG 0740 ws

First solo test run, 5th April 2009

Andrew was sufficiently confident to promise the loco for the August Diesel Gala, so the publicity began, as did the pressure. We were unhappy about the SRPS's rear engine mounts, which were packed out with washers and such, so had new plates machined and the old brackets stiffened. The loco had as yet no vacuum braking - certainly we had renewed 95% of the SRPS's through pipe, replacing it in steel throughout, but there was yet no exhauster nor control gear. A 4-pot exhauster from a Class 31 was fitted in the rear compartment in early August, driven by a layshaft and belts from the rear PTO of the Voith. (We were assured you could not convert a 110V motor-drive exhauster to belt-drive, but we did!). The same shaft also drove the re-positioned 24V alternator (SRPS vintage and apparently secondhand from a DAF truck) as its previous location was completely wrong.

By mid August we were sufficiently far advanced to give it a go, and it worked a couple of test trains - only for a coolant hose clip to blow.

024 ws

By the time of the August Gala, we were more confident and found that the loco would indeed handle 4 Elsecar coaches up the very steep gradient of this former colliery line, and sounded pretty good doing so. It didn't look so good, as there had been no time for anything cosmetic - a rub over to get the best of the paintwork it had from Bo'ness had been our limit. We were even cutting new floor boards only the day before! Sadly, as the Gala drew to a close, the engine died on our last run and we found that the primary fuel filter was blocked. So with the Gala out of the way, we drained off all the fuel, opened up the tanks, cleaned them out and resealed them, and on November 16, another running day resulted in passengers journeying from as far away as Devon!

Archived News        
2009 8th May 2010 11th January 2010 9th August
  30th May   23rd January (continued) 1st September
  24th June   22nd February   13th September
  13th July   8th March   13th October
  29th July   29th March   22nd October
  11th August   5th April   14th November
  16th August   22nd April 2011 10th January
  1st September   3rd May    
  22nd September   19th May    
  1st November   23rd May    
  8th November   18th June    
  16th November   27th June    
  23rd November   1st July    
      8th July    
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      23rd July    


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