Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of "oh-a-3" in motion

3rd June 2012

Andrew has had a rough time of it this week. His eye was getting worse over last weekend so he went to see his GP on Monday and got prescribed anti-biotic pills bigger than pound coins and an instruction to go to the hospital eye clinic if it got no better. 24 hours later he was at the clinic, which immediately stopped the anti-biotics in preference to heavy-duty eye drops. The eye is no longer painful and hopefully will soon be better. In contrast, me and Steph put an offer in for a house on Monday,. which was immediately accepted, so we should be moving at some point later in the summer.

During the week I have been playing with the new "Weekend Rails" website which should be going live very shortly. Amongst its features are that it will notify you (if you 'subscribe') whenever a new post is made, and I have been promised a space for uploading video. Stills will continue to be in the blog text, but rather than wait for You-tube to index the clips, we can show you them immediately on the site.

I was also in touch with Cummins about parts for "Beverley's" oil pump. Of the 4 parts I needed, 2 were ex stock UK, one ex stock Belgium and one ex stock USA - not bad for an obsolete pump on an engine built in Shotts in 1967! Sadly, unless I wanted to pay VOR ("vehicle off road") charges I am having to wait for the US and Belgian bits.

Anyway, Saturday had us heading back to Scunthorpe. The Branch Line Society were doing a tour and were hoping that D2128 might be available to haul it. We had spent some time pouring over the transmission manual, trying to work out what had gone wrong, and Andrew had decided to remove the spring from the spool valve driven from the Neutralling valve in order to ensure that it travelled over. While he was doing that I terminated the wires, connected and mounted the nice new alternator and installed its fuse link at the desk. We fired up the engine, and in a few seconds Andrew appeared at the cab door shouting something unintelligible but with a clear enough expression that had me hit the neutral switch followed by the engine stop button. It transpired that oil was suddenly issuing from another port that we had failed to spot and block off. This, the manual showed us, was 1st gear test point, which was strange when you consider I was trying to engage second. A sawn-off 7/16" bolt and some washers sealed that hole and with the engine restarted I tried again, and was somewhat startled when D2128 unexpectedly drove back 6" into the Janus parked behind. Calming ourselves that we had drive, we coupled up, released the Janus brakes and opened the shed doors before trying again, at which point D2128 emerged outside under its own power. Three brake vans sat ahead so we added them for good measure and D2128 had no problems with moving the combined load of 110tons, level then starting on a grade, entirely on tick-over. This momentous occasion was witnessed by various volunteers but sadly we were not out of the woods, as having for a while been unable to disengage the drive when I de-activated the valves, after a minute or so it decided to de-activate itself.


Thus encouraged we refitted the spring, and raised the servo pressure with another washer under the cap of the regulator in the hope that having worked once, we could get it to repeat the exercise in the manner intended by Twin Disc. Barely had we achieved this than the engine ran out of fuel. We had so far run up 3.5 hours of testing according to the engine hour counter, and all on about 3 gallons of diesel some of which would have filled the "sump area" of the tank and be unavailable. Having proved though that motion was possible, the AFRPS proved that fuelling was also possible, by dragging D2128 with the Janus most of the way across the steelworks. The Tata fuel filling point has one of those screw-on fillers for fast-fill and at first sight it appeared much the same size as the two filler caps on the top of D2128. Toby managed to get the adaptor to screw on for a turn or so, but there it stuck and the fuel went "out" as well as "in". A second attempt holding an alternative adaptor butt-up to the neck was similarly (in)effective. The cry went out for a funnel and we searched hi and lo, but Glenn finally came up with the solution by unscrewing one of D2128's horns - fortunately the one which Andrew had not got to operate properly!- and fuelling it through this. With 200 litres in the tank the pair charged back to the loco shed, there leaving Andrew and I to try and get it to work properly while the Janus hauled the brake van tour for the BLS. But try as we might we made little progress. It would engage first gear after a long delay and with a clunk, drive for 30 to 60 seconds, by which time some pressure build-up somewhere inside brought the clutch back out and 4-5 minutes was needed for the pressure to dissipate and enable us to drive again. Clearly the loco was ready for "short haul" duties only! The control schematics were well-thumbed, but unlike a Voith, where if all else fails you can manually screw the fill valve down, there are no external "force" points to get you home. We demonstrated the loco for the BLS members when they stopped at the shed for refreshments, but had to disappoint those hoping for it to take the train back to the station - it was beyond the 60 second range.

The day had been dry on Saturday but Sunday, when all the street parties were scheduled, was of course, wet. We had loaded the MIG welder at Scunthorpe and were working this back to Rowsley to get "Libby's" cooler in to place, but did not make much of an early start.


Having cleaned up the brackets and chassis Andrew welded the cooler in to place, while I was underneath removing a thin inspection panel which was intended to give access to the drawgear springs but for our purposes also accessed the bottom connections on the cooler.


These hoses were duly connected up, including replacing the 1 1/4" nipples at the converter end and adding the tee which will carry the converter temperature switch in due course. Andrew then started doing some remedial work in the cab, where burning had nicked the backsheets, but broke off to aid Peak Rail's CME Paul Wainwright and (another) Peter shifting a newly acquired hydraulic press from the centre of the workshops, over two tracks and into a suitable place in the machine shop. Andrew wrapped the afternoon up by rubbing down and painting various bits of cab and body panels, after which he announced that he wants me to fit the code lights onto the corners of the cab roof like we did on Beverley, but by the way the cab roof is finish-painted. Perhaps I had better invest in several of those JML scratch camouflage pens that the shopping channels keep

More in this category: « Of Amberley and "Jack"

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