Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of festivals and failures

10th June 2012

The Young Master took his old, decrepit Dad for day out on Monday. Seeing as how his employers are one of the sponsors for Railfest, he had the opportunity for VIP passes for self and family and took it up. So with bright yellow passes strung around our necks, we wandered in to York. Now, I am not usually one for "dos" like this. If I am involved in organising, looking after a stand, or something, fine - I've done quite a few exhibitions over the years representing one employer or another. But to be one of the visitors is a different matter. I cannot immerse myself in the atmosphere the way some people seem to be able and left to my own devices, am liable to charge around everywhere at high speed, tell myself I've done it all and leave!

But I managed to resist the urge, especially as we had several people we wanted to catch up with, and a couple of others we bumped into that we hadn't expected. I even found myself being congratulated on pushing an 03.

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The weather was quite good, certainly better than some days of this peculiar week and we rather regretted taking jackets "just in case". We had footplate passes so availed ourselves of a run on the footplate of tiny Peckett 0-4-0ST "Teddy" with our old friend Anthony Coulls at the regulator.

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Although "Teddy" is named in honour of the long spell it sat outside Cadeby Rectory (am I the only one who remembers a programme in the "Look Stranger" series where Teddy Boston actually drove the loco on a then unopened Battlefield line?) but I had a feeling that I had encountered it before, and later found b&w pictures I took of it in a yard in Ewell in April 1971. Andrew pointed out some of the more esoteric features of a class 57 (he is involved with them professionally at the moment) and I picked up Vol 1 of Tom Ferris' pictorial history of Irish n.g to go with Vol 2 that Steph bought me some years ago.

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We consulted our expert on all things Twin Disc during the week as regards the peculiar behaviour of the powershift in the 03. The opinion was reached that the problem must lie not in the valve block we had had changed, but another, thicker (heavier) valve block that lay between it and the transmission proper. I collected one on Thursday and Saturday we arrived at Scunthorpe with one of us fit to do battle. I had had a migraine the previous evening so was less than enthusiastic. Andrew carefully removed the valve block we had previously changed, the interface plate underneath, then the big-un, which, being both heavy and oily slipped and nearly injured a finger. The replacement came from the third transmission of this type that Andrew owns, bought cheap from RMS Locotec years ago and judged uneconomic to repair, but now proving its worth as a Christmas tree. We re-assembled it all; OK, Andrew rebuilt it but I was gofer for any different socket, spanner, PTFE tape, etc. that he required. We were about to start up and test when the passengers arrived on one of the AFRPS tours, but once they had returned to the train, we started the engine, opened the doors and were regaled with absolutely nothing. Andrew determined there was some torque coming through the drive (move the prop slightly and it turned back) it was insufficient to move the loco.

With both the control valve blocks now judged to be sound, we have to face the truth that our problem lies within the unit itself - possibly a hydraulic line failure between valves and a clutch pack. We had to an extent anticipated this - our third (complete) transmission, in store at Rowsley, has been moved round ready for collection - but this means draining the hydraulic oil system complete, removing two casing sections followed by the fuel tank, before lifting the transmission itself. And we are not about to do this on the off-chance - first we will have the transmission tested and fixed if required.

Abandoning the 03, we moved over to "Beverley". The remaining parts had arrived from Belgium and the USA so Andrew rebuilt the oil pump and it was duly refitted and primed. But the batteries were to low to turn it over much, and as my head was still hurting we called it a day.

A bright, humid Sunday found us back at Rowsley. Andrew headed in to the bowels of D9500 - the two over-engineered brackets that once carried the exhausters are destined for the D&EG at Williton, but first I took myself to WD 72229 - the Drewry - and removed the dynamo. The end cover that protects the bearing had come loose, and we were worried at one point that the armature or comm had been damaged, but close examination revealed this was not the case, and repair should not take long, though I might refit with a link belt and shorter at that. With 72229 due to take some role in the Warring 40s event this year, there are some outstanding jobs to be done so I measured up a few things and then assisted Andrew in undoing the last two 3/4" Whitworth bolts that he was struggling with. Once again I was impressed at how Whit bolts will undo when our so-called modern superior threads would have needed a chisel or gas to separate them.

Rob had been reporting a tendency on "Charlie" to 'die' when engaging drive and although I first put it down to old age (er - "Charlie's" fuel pump, not Rob), on reflection it occurred to Andrew and me that the governor section is not engine oil fed, and if it had leaked in any way it might be the cause. Sure enough we opened the filler screw on the pump governor and the oil was low, so we topped it up and shall see if the problem recurs. We keep promising ourselves to give "Charlie" some TLC, and so we shall, but we thought, only when "Libby" was available to replace. Now Peak Rail has agreed to "Tom" coming in from Telford for finishing and a shakedown, so some relief is not far away. We did get some time on "Libby" adding body filler and discussing cable routes and sliding door gear, but I did not make a start on the codelights and I am not looking forward to bringing the wires through the cab front and back, which are 3/8" steel.

The new (permanent) home for this blog went live during the week, but rather like the 03 only in a sort-of way and has had to be deactivated. Hopefully though a quick and easy cure will be found (unlike the 03) and this is the last edition that will be posted (only) here. I will, once it is fixed and functioning, load all the old entries back to July 2010 (and maybe a little earlier if I can find them) and I am assured you will be able to register with the site to add comments and receive e-mail notifications whenever a new entry is added. The current entry will remain here on Andrew's site.

More in this category: « Of oil and pumps Of fans »

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