BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - 2011
|Built||December 1964, BR Swindon Works|
|Power Unit||Rolls-Royce DV8TCE|
|Rating||640bhp at 1800rpm|
|Present Location||Peak Rail, Darley Dale|
Over the winter of 2010-11, 14901 had relatively little work, though it did spend a week with the works train at Matlock in connection with the re-connection of Peak Rail to Network Rail (lead photo). The anticipated departure for the Gwili Railway was delayed, giving Andrew, Pete, Steph and even Terry more time to deal with the large number of 'miscellaneous' tasks required if it was to be operated 250 miles away. The cab re-furbishment continued, the rear compartment horns were re-plumbed using larger bore valves, an additional air tank drain added to one of the air receivers, vents manufactured and 8 fitted - 4 to each of the front and rear casings, and so on and so forth.
Of particular importance was the air cleaner. Running as it was with what was intended as a genset air cleaner, it drew combustion air from within the casing. As this air was already heated by the presence of the engine, it was "thinner" than the air outside and consequently the charge air coolers were less able to cool it before it entered the cylinders. It had been drummed into Peter (who had long experience with repowering diesel locomotives) that the engine should draw fresh air from outside, and any warmed casing air should be prevented from entering, let alone drawing 100% of it! By late autumn 2010, Pete had identified a suitable air cleaner element that was approximately the same size as that originally fitted to the 14s and thus could be located behind the grille on the first casing door where it was built in on D9524, but long since disappeared.
A fabricated enclosure was drawn up and manufactured, but it was not until March 2011 the we got around to installing it. Removing the old air cleaner revealed that thanks to corrosion, moderate welding and cracking, the existing air cleaner had been allowing completely unfiltered air into the engine - altogether we should have dealt with this earlier.
During March a team from the Gwili came up for final acceptance inspection. One of their requirements was a deadmans system, and although we had sourced suitable pedals, the valve that would vent the train pipe (as a dual fit loco, the train air pipe is the primary brake control and operates both the vacuum and loco straight air) did not arrive in time for it to be installed before the loco left Peak Rail from Bronwydd Arms. Read about that here.
Arriving at Bronwydd on the 2nd April, the deadmans was comissioned and tested and the loco performed clearance and test runs to Danycoed in the course of the afternoon.
The first real public work was at the "Day out with Thomas" event over Easter, top'n'tailing with "Thomas" on a 4 coach rake. After that, (steam) motive power problems saw the loco in regular service, accruing almost as many hours in the first two months as Andrew had run up in 2 years! There are several videos to be found on You-tube, and Rob Phillips kindly supplied some photos, and one is reproduced (above, right):
It seems however that there was much less use made of the loco during 2012, it spending much of its time parked up on the south side of Bronwydd Arms level crossing.
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - first steps in preservation
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - developments in Yorkshire
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - operational at last!
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - farther afield
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - 2013
- BR Swindon Class 14: 14 901 - facts & sundries