Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of Teddy Bears and cross links

30th June 2013

If Andrew had been paying me for the time spent on his behalf this week I would be a wealthy man. For amongst the hours spent back at Briddon Towers, furiously painting (my shoes now have so many paint blobs on them that they match the mottled non-slip flooring at my dentists - I think this non-drip paint is wonderful) I have been chasing to and fro getting bits organised and generally being in the wrong place at the right time.

On Monday I sallied forth up to the profilers, and returned with the cross-linkages for both Beverley and the Drewry, but de-toured into the battery suppliers to order up a pair of 12volters for the latter (but will go for now on the former) and drop off the batteries from Coronation in the hope that their battery chargers could coax them back to life. They were silver alloys, after all. One of the other bits from the profilers was Andrew's new special device for undoing the retaining nut on the end of a motored exhauster. When we did 14 901's, I separated the motor from the exhauster crank by chopping away with a 9" grinding disc - messy but as we didn't have a drawing of how it all went together, we were learning. Now he had a special spanner which, with a couple of M8s to engage the nut (and a large hammer for encouragement) does the job. He insisted on going back into Rowsley Monday night to try it out, so I re-measured the floor bits for the Drewry while he did.

img 1949 blog

On Tuesday I had the afore-referenced dentist visit, after which it was back to Darley to meet up with our Structural Engineer and witness a test hole or two to ascertain just how solid the ground is, as in reality we are still in the alluvial plain of the River Derwent. Our Engineer was involved with the building occupied by Slater's Plastikard (readers into modelling will know who they are, others can guess) which is not that far away but apparently required much more excavation to reach summat solid than we will. Peak Rail volunteers had been at work clearing the site - of considerable interest is the sleeping car which has been volunteer accommodation at the end of the siding since the year dot. Apart from apparently being a now-rare Mk1 sleeper, it had arrived sans bogies and those upon which it is now sat were unconventionally secured. Might there be the possibility that an overly-sharp tug or a refusal at a turnout might cause the body and bogie to go their separate ways? Charlie had brought quite a train down to Darley - a bogie flat for general loading, another tube wagon, the Weltrol with the JCB on and the rail crane. Heading back on the bogie flat were two van bodies, a B4 bogie and a hut or two. The garages which were once the Peak Rail machine shop were flattened and turned into scrap, and a 40ft container - which is steadily gaining the structural integrity of a string vest, looks like being cut up on site.

On Thursday I was back up to the battery people - sadly the two from Coronation have been stood untouched since the loco left us in 2010 and as a result they will not recover. So they have gone the way of their manufacturer, which apparently went bust in 2010 too. But I did come back with the two new ones ready for Beverley on Saturday.

The turbo for 14 901 was originally due for despatch back to us on Wednesday, so I planned Thursday to be around to receive it, but a later up-date was that a bought-out was still awaited and as one of the Directors was delivering to Stockport anyway on Friday, he would drop it off about noon. As Andrew had come up with a list of nuts and bolts that we might need, I had just enough time to get back to Sheffield and get back to Rowsley on Friday morning before he arrived. I was a bit late setting off (long conversation with a supplier about extracting crank-pins on a project which I will tell you all about later) and was barely 15 minutes on the way north when Andrew rang to say that the revised ETA was 11.30. Maybe I should have given up and turned around, but I pressed on, got the bits and was on my way back when said Director rang to say he'd arrived - at 11.05. I drove back as fast as I could - probably earning a few "White Van Man" curses on the way, and collected the turbo and the old u/s parts. It was certainly a thoroughly professional job. Incidentally, some of the feedback from the repairer has thrown some more light on the engine's history. Although the Model 6 Holset turbo is common on Rolls' DV8's, this particular version is unique. It appears that the combination of core and ring "derates" the turbo boost compared to the standard DV8-fit. If you have read the history of 14 901 on Andrew's website, you will know that we were, at first sceptical of the story that the Rolls engine came from a class 17 when the latter was scrapped at St Rollox. It seemed too much of a fairy story. After all, although a diesel engine in a loco drives a generator, that generator is usually a DC device and runs at variable speed, not an AC device running at a constant 1500rpm (1500rpm with a 6 pole genny gives 50 cycles, 1800 gives you 60 cycles for the US market). But from the SRPS came a long story from the man that bought the engine and installed the genset in the GPO building, and replaced it with another later, so providing the provenance. In addition, a former Rolls' Service Engineer confirmed that he had been called out to it in Glasgow because it wouldn't govern properly, and found it had rail traction governor, not a genset one.

But that left me with a question. The two class 17s fitted with DV8s were, apart from a bulge in the casings, identical to the Paxman ones and they had had engines rated at around 450bhp at 1500rpm. As a former employee of the Rolls-Royce group, I know my DV8 ratings and the straight DV8T can produce 562bhp at 1800 (such as was fitted in the Hunslet BoBos at Scunthorpe) so could probably have produced 450 at 1500 without charge air cooling - heavens, the normally aspirated version could produce 445bhp at 1800 (though it smoked a lot doing so!). Of course, horsepower is only half the story, and the Rolls technical applications guys probably had to match the torque curve of the engine to the Paxman in order to match the generator output, hence the charge air cooling combined with a non-standard turbo. Which leaves us the question as to what is the actual rating of the engine now, or what is the fuel pump actually set up to try to do.....

During the week, we had an offer from that nice, kind Ben Riley to do some of the timber work for the new floor on the Drewry, so Friday afternoon I was up to the timber merchants at Tansley for some suitable hardwood, and back to Rowsley to see Ben and give him a sketch and some manky old bits as patterns.

img 1951 blog

And so, finally, we get to the weekend. On Saturday morning, we unloaded the turbo and reloaded a number of items for Scunthorpe, and popped in to Darley to collect a few things from our container (which has been there since last August, but not mentioned previously to avoid giving any hints of our plans there). I took a couple of pictures of the site clearance, including a sad old Teddy Bear, presumably a once-loved bed-mate of a volunteer, but not worthy of being taken to Rowsley.

img 1950 blog

Over at Scunthorpe we put the batteries on to Beverley, topped it up a bit on coolant and oil and fired it up. It ran immediately with the additional popping of the exhauster. I had also checked the new cross-link fitted between the two control handles. At first, we had no vacuum showing on the gauges, but while Andrew went off to check the pipework for leaks, I went into the desk and found that one of the two regs, which I thought I had set to 25psi last week, had decided it liked about 45psi now and when I turned it back down, the control valve immediately brought the vacuum up. As a train load of visitors was due we shut it down again, and retired to the shed and set up the welder. First on Andrew's list were two of the turbo outlets for 14 901, where we had extracted the two u/s temp gauges. The nipples were well and truly welded into the castings, so he filled them up with MIG. The cross-link for the Drewry was also assembled, and the operator fork under the control handle for Beverley, linking it to the controlling air valve. That and the cross-link got a dose of paint and we waited for the visitors to depart and the train return.

img 1952 blog

Sat in front of Bev were two locos, and eventually these were shunted out the way for us, not before one or two AFRPS members who apparently did not think that we actually knew what we were doing came aboard to watch the vac gauge going up and down. But moving a needle is one thing, we wanted to see what it was like with a train and so took it across and hooked up to the two dmu trailers. Andrew drove it up and down, and although professing that the train had (more than) a few leaks, it all worked like it should. We dropped off the trailers, and sneaked back into the shed so that Andrew could apply some of that missing paint to the casings.

img 1955 blog

Late on Saturday night I showed Steph the pictures of the empty Darley Dale yard including the forlorn Teddy. I should have remembered, of course, that she has a soft spot for them - my first wedding anniversary present to her was one, and he is still an honoured member of the family. I received strict orders to rescue the Abandoned Bear of Darley Dale.

img 1960 blog

So Sunday morning it was back down to Darley, to collect some bits from the container and rescue one bear. Terry was joining us for the day and for once arrived before us, but before long we were admiring the turbo and considering the procedure to get it in and reassembled. I was however banished to the Drewry, to fit a new battery isolation switch and the cross-linkage for the two train brake levers. As I said last week, working in a cab with no floor (sounds a bit Clint Eastwood, that) is not the easiest or comfortablest, but I deployed the 110V, decided where I wanted the switch (dictated by cable-route and access for the drill) and tapped an M6 hole in the cab front. I had the spirit level, and the presence of mind to ascertain how level the loco was at the time, and then back-marked the switch to be parallel, rather than level. I had got this far when summoned for a quick meeting with Peak Rail's MD, Jackie Statham, over shed construction topics and forthcoming moves of locos and equipment.

img 1961 blog

Andrew meanwhile, had been spending his time punching and cutting numerous joints out of material suitable for exhaust faces - paper jointing is woefully inadequate - while Terry had started by removing the other half duct to the charge cooler for the left hand bank and recovered what he reckoned was the remains of a polishing rag. They then worked together to get the turbo in and aligned, while I drilled the brake handles for the Drewry and trialled the movement. The brake valve and its dummy are on different levels, and the linkage had to miss the sanding levers and the window that enables you to see the fuel gauge. I was quite pleased that it all lines up OK.

Towards the end of the afternoon I found a piece of flex conduit of perfect length and sleeved the two wires that feed the Drewry's control panel, so terminated them off at the new master switch. Can't do much more until Andrew provides me with some new battery cables. Back at 14 901, I made up a new hose and reconnected the header tank - Terry and Andrew had had a fight with the turbo to get it all back and lined up. I acquired some fuel in a 2litre empty Lilt bottle and proceeded to part fill the header tank - first finding the drain tap wasn't quite closed...

At about half six, there was the familiar grind of the starters and the DV8 came to life. A couple of plastic hoses fouled the prop-shaft (disturbed by the presence of Terry and Andrew working above them) and after these were secured, we built up the air and took the loco up and down. The throttle needs a little attention and a few other bits going over, but the loco seemed livelier. Now, where did I put that Fitness-to-Run form?

Did the sleeping car make it back? Of course, though Charlie was propelling most of the train (listed above but with a brake van and a CCT) with the sleeping car in tow and two loose commonwealth bogies tagged on behind. They proceeded at walking pace just in case. At that speed and train length, they must have been very popular at Station Road and Church Lane level crossings!

This site runs on a system that employs Cookies to establish a link between your web browser and our site. This link is required to deliver to you the page you requested, let you see any photos or videos or to use the contact form. The Cookies that allow this to happen are automatically downloaded to your device (pc, mobile, laptop etc) when you click onto our site. If you set your web browser not to accept Cookies then its probable you will be unable to use Weekend Rails properly. Click to Accept (or the message stays visible). To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site