Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0DM: Ashdown
|Works number||D1186 (also Hunslet rebuild 8526)|
|Year of build||1959|
|Power unit||Gardner 8L3, 204bhp at 1200rpm|
|Transmission||SSS gearbox, final drive jackshaft mounted|
|Braking||Train vac and straight air (vac temporarily disabled)|
|Weight in working order||40tons|
With an eye to developing the collection into a wider range and depth, this 0-6-0DM has been added to represent this earlier design of Hudswell's.
With the advent of the Sentinel range, Hudswell responded with their Twin Disc locos as represented by "Grace" (and for that matter by "Claire" and "Beverley") but for many years earlier both its standard and narrow gauge designs were wedded to the Gardner series engines and the SSS ("Synchro Self-Shift") transmissions. SSS transmissions use a direct-drive clutch and an intertial shifting arrangement which combines to give an automatic gear change without loss of torque inherent with de-clutch/shift/re-clutch. It makes an interesting comparison with the more common Wilson epi-cyclic box as used on the Drewry WD72229.
SSS transmissions were available in 3 or 4 speed versions, although the 3-speed is by far the most common. This particular loco was built for industry with a 3-speed 'box - the externally very similar BR version (eg D2511 (Hudswell D1202/61) on the K&WVR) had the 4 speed.
D1186/59 was built for the Manchester Ship Canal, where it was numbered firstly 2001, then later D1, being the first diesel mechanical loco they had bought, and named "Ashdown". Later it was bought by Hunslet and rebuilt under works number 8526 before going to a coal distribution depot in Newport, Gwent where it displaced ex BR shunter D2181 and gained its name "Pride of Gwent". Moving into preservation , it arrived at the Butetown Historic Railway group in Cardiff, where it is photographed (above, right) alongside NB 27932, another loco destined to end up in Andrew's collection.
It arrived with the former 03's exhauster and work began on vacuum fitting for passenger use, utilising equipment recovered from dmu's being scrapped by Cashmores in Newport. When the Butetown collection was broken up (the area being part of the Cardiff Bay redevelopment), the HC moved to the Vale of Glamorgan Railway, where it gained a new name of "Bill Caddick" after one of their committee members. When the VoG group ran into problems, it was bought by the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway.
At Furnace Sidings however it came to be regarded as unsuited to the steeply graded nature of the line so was used little. In 2012, the idea of an exchange for "Beverley" (a duplicate in Andrew's collection) and the HC was broached, and as the the P&B's own HC 0-4-0DH was very popular (and awaiting repairs after the unfortunate run-away) a deal was struck in February 2013, to be completed as soon as Beverley's vacuum brake fit was completed.
The loco arrived at Rowsley on the 11th July 2013. Andrew intends removing some of the Hunslet-added features (lights) and restoring its original name of "Ashdown".
First work undertaken was to identify why only 5" of vacuum could be drawn - this turned out to be because the exhauster valves had been clogged by dirt as there was no suction filter in the system. The dmu-specific valves and reservior were removed and sold, and although a replacement cylinder head (and filter!) solved the vac problem, the "box" that contained the exhauster and a weird and wonderful tower so spoilt access and forward vision that at the end of October the decision was taken to remove it, leaving the vac braking operable (if "sucked" by another loco). The whole vac system will be brought up to a better standard in due course. Meanwhile the right hand cab window, covered with a piece of plywood while at Pontypool, was temporarily replaced with clear plastic. After discussion, the decision was taken to remove the droplights and replace with sliding windows - completed on New Years Eve, 2013.
Meanwhile a charge fault was traced to a broken wire in the dynamo - the opportunity was taken to fit the loco with a new version of Peter's solid state dynamo regulator complete with an oil pressure warning light and field isolation.
The loco requires attention to the transmission - at present the traction clutch is rubbing making changing direction difficult - and this will be looked at as soon as certain more pressing tasks are out the way. In 2014 it is planned to relocate the batteries within the cab, and use their present location (under the running plate behind the front steps) to become the site of a replacement exhauster, with hydrostatic drive. This is part of on-going development work with a view to incorporation into D9500.