Andrew Briddon Locos

Andrew Briddon Locos

preserved railway vehicles

Brush Traction 0-6-0DE: 803

picture 140 2

Works Number 803
Weight 36tons (in working order)
Power Unit Rolls-Royce DV8N
Rating 427bhp at 1800rpm
Train Braking Air
Present Location Peak Rail, Rowsley

The only diesel-electric in the collection is this Brush loco from 1977-8. Built for construction of the Tyne & Wear Metro as their number WL3, it was retained for maintenance use but then superceeded by electric overhead/battery locos, being reported as 'Out of Use' by late 1988. Although based on a design produced by Brush as a metre/3'6" gauge loco for export purposes (when usually fitted with a Paxman engine) the T&W locos were fitted with the Rolls-Royce DV8N (normally aspirated) engine (initially rated at 445bhp/1800rpm) which was provided with water-wash exhaust for use in the tunnels. The DV8N engine was however a "dirty" engine and although de-rated later to 427bhp to reduce smoke, the water-wash was subsequently abandoned in favour of fume diluters. The reservoir tank for the water wash still exists under the cab floor. For their 110V auxiliary electrics, the crews reputedly demanded sufficient battery power to run the cab heater for several hours and still have sufficient power to restart the engine, resulting in a large, two tier NiCad battery in an enclosure behind the fuel tank that lost the rear walkway and looked like an "after-thought" (below).

brush 550 hdr2

Along with 4 others it was sold to TML for construction of the Channel Tunnel at Cheriton, prior to which, RFS fitters went in to get all 5 operational. In 803's case this included receiving two "Class 08" pattern buffers at the rear (fuel tank) end. When their work at Cheriton came to an end, they were sold again to Insulated Structures, who owned the Round Oak Rail terminal near Dudley. Despite their considerable appearance, the locos only weighed 36tons, and may have given their new owners the impression of being bigger, since one by one Round Oak Rail succeeded in overloading them. This was the last, and the resultant flashover in 2005 caused a fire which was extinguished by a nearby mainline railway loco crew.

With repairs estimated in £000s, it was to be scrapped but Andrew negotiated to buy it. It has been stored as repairs were considered outside Andrew's price range, although Peak Rail have put it to good use as a gas oil storage tank! Some re-wiring has taken place however to rectify fire damage, and simplify some of the m.u. capability originally provided. The "08" pattern buffers were replaced by two of the correct pattern Oleos (from a class 37 at C F Booth's), and finally the battery box has been removed: it is envisaged that when work is put in hand (in the new shed), the cab will be lifted and the water-wash reservoir tank removed. This occupies a considerable amount of under-floor cab space and will provide space for batteries to be located.

fuel tank composite

With the battery box (left) and without. The walkway will be made good in due course.

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