Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of G.Is and Rolls'

23rd January 2011

Saturday: Andrew was away again, but Mrs B (well, having earned her disapprobration by depicting her in last week’s blog, I had better henceforward refer to her as Steph,) and I had planned on a quiet day on the 14’s troublesome window frames. Rowsley was very quiet – save for two young men dressed as American GIs who appeared to be patrolling the station site. I was tempted to point out that it is still 7 months to the Warring 40s event at Peak Rail but concluded that there was really no reason to intefere. After all, they had guns.

The 240V outlet by the coal stage was working perfectly, so no reason/excuse to move the loco. Instead we set up the jigsaw and sundries and gently trimmed/sanded/cursed until we were satisfied that some of those bits we had brought with us were now correctly interfacing with their envisaged bedfelllows. The four for the other sliding side window – well, they were cut in tremendous haste in Aug 09, using the originals as templates, just never had time to fit. But with the prospect of Mr Waterman casting a critical eye - oh dear.  Steph decided they just weren’t up to it. Time to discard the dross, measure the window frame and start again. In amongst all this we had a rendezvous. Andrew had left us the task of passing over some surplus vac parts to Ken Joy of the Brechin group, who rang at noon to say he was leaving Stalybridge, and expecting guidance to reach our house in Sheffield. Instead the poor soul found himself touring the nether reaches of Derbyshire, before pointing his car back to Montrose. As we packed up to leave, we found the GIs CO walking round. Had we seen his lads? He feared they might have gone to the pub. I’m not sure what effect the arrival of two 1940s GIs in a Derbyshire pub would have in January 2011. But if they had sneaked off earlier, they were then back to patrolling the upper reaches of Rowsley yard, 400 yards behind him. Thank goodness I had taken that big black + off the side of the van..

Sunday Jan 23: A late start with plans to meet Andrew by M1 Junc 28, Steph then driving his car back and me taking him on to Telford in the van. According to Plan A, handover would have been about 09.30, but thanks to someone’s oversight way away, Andrew did not arrive until noon, and Horsehay was reached at 13.30.

The crane was then already in use, which gave us a bit of time to get ready. I gave Andrew a hand lifting off the more modest bits of superstructure, then repaired to the Rolls-Royce C8SFL to prepare the front and rear brackets. Meanwhile Andrew and the crane took out the rear casing section (again) and the radiator assembly.

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Andrew guides the rad assembly out of the chassis

The old R-R standard mounting system, as I have mentioned before, used a now almost obsolete Metalastik mount with a complicated cast assembly.

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The old R-R bracket assembly ...

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...my rather simpler arrangement (well, half of it)

Fifteen years ago, when repowering industrials, I developed a simpler, cheaper mounting arrangement using a generic cone mount, and finding it so succesful, in 2007 drew up a version to squeeze into a Sentinel chassis. And a squeeze it is. I knew it fitted (because RMS had asssembled it before the company imploded) but as the crane lowered the power unit into the loco I was not entirely confident. Not only was it close on the width, it was all too obvious that we HAD to have removed the radiator first because the engine and converter only just passed the inside of the front grille and the front edge of the rear casing section (which is part of the cab top!).

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The engine swings across back to the loco..

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.. and does, after all, fit!

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Like so

With enough bolts in to hold it all while the rubbers settle we put the radiator and casings back on and wrapped up, doing a final tour to check for any overlooked tools (we have often returned to a loco to discover a spanner or two that got left last time ) and set off back north. As we trundled up the M1 an hour or more later, the Overhead “information” signs declared ‘ONCOMING VEHICLE’ with an advisory of 20mph, which everyone ignored. After 3 miles or so it simply terminated with the usual ‘End’. I sometimes wonder if there is actually a brain operating them.

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