Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of the year drawing to a close

30th December 2011

Having had the whole weekend before Christmas “off” I resisted the urge to do something on Andrew’s locos without his being there. For such a dereliction of duty not only was it inevitable that he would “book” me for Christmas Eve but 4 days between Boxing Day and New Years Eve to boot. Oh, well, what else would one do?

Christmas Eve – was nonetheless a quiet day by our standards. Having not had the opportunity to lift the casing tops off Libby (they are due a visit to the shotblasters) with mechanical aid, Andrew opted for manual procedures and we lifted the front section off and placed it on top of the rear section, so that we could get a better look at the space I left in front of the radiator with a view to installing the ex-Poole Harbour Vanguard transmission cooler in place of the current Cummins one. It is several years since I did this installation, and in hindsight another 20mm or so would have been advantageous. It will go but we might need the engineering equivalent of a shoe-horn. Meanwhile on Peak Rail itself, the last Santa trains of 2011 were running, with an Austerity at the Matlock end and “Pen-y-Ghent” at the other. “PyG” was running with a most-becoming piece of Yuletide decoration on its nose – no doubt it was once a ‘Tinselley‘ Depot loco? Anyway, we broke off for a discussion with another “03″ class loco owner as to whether he had any bits spare that we needed or that we had any for him, and as the light fell, loaded the welder and a compressor into the van and headed for home.

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Beverley had been parked outside by D2128

Tuesday: With Christmas behind us we headed over to Scunthorpe and had a nasty shock, for “Beverley” had been parked outside with the “03″ D2128. At first sight it was rather like a husband coming home and finding his belongings parked in bin bags on the front step as a subtle hint from his wife that she’d like him to leave. After all, Bev’s engine was open to atmosphere, had plain water in and no attempt had been made to sheet it or even bother to close the cab doors. Not only that, the flat wagon (with the 03s fuel tank on) and Andrew’s box van had been parked a long way down a siding round the back. After a flurry of telephone calls it appeared that it had all been a misunderstanding and we set about putting the supercharger and dynamo back on Beverley (the test having apparently been successful) and draining the plain water, I also had brought with me the forward drive shaft for D2128 and decided on a trial fit.

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The front PTO shaft will drive compressor, exhauster, rad fan and charge pumps

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No prizes for this, but I was speaking to Steph on the phone at the same time. "Arnie" in mid-shunt..

In due course Glenn arrived, the Yorkshire 0-6-0DE “Arnold Machin” condescended to fire up and some rapid shunting followed. The siding was emptied to access the 2 wagons, the shed road followed, the tank was lifted off the flat and D2128 brought back in underneath it. Glenn then helped us unload the radiator from the box van and D2128 was moved back a bit (the hoist is fixed in position) and the radiator lowered in place. Well, that sounds good, but it was apparent that the a/v mounts weren’t quite correct and the rad was at an angle across the loco so off it came, I re-drilled the mounting holes and on the second attempt, the radiator was positioned correctly. Andrew meanwhile had been welding the compressor base together and left it to cooler overnight, but moved over to D2128 and welded the top radiator stay mounts.

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Andrew secures the top of the rad before the slings are removed

Wednesday It is a truism in this sort of work that “large lumps” make for visible progress but are relatively quick to install whereas the time-consuming work is the small bits that the casual observer fails to spot. Big lumps for today were the compressor and the powershift cooler – the former is quite obvious but the latter is hidden between the engine and a side frame and requires some ingenuity in plumbing it in to the coolant circuit.

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Compressor and its new base. The front PTO shaft is back out the way, but this will be the first belt-drive on it.

Andrew was cleaning up a number of surfaces - such as the fuel tank top - which are inaccessible once the casing parts return (the shot blaster did his stuff within a week but in the pressure of work before Christmas our fabricators failed to get them collected, so those repairs can't start till next week) and coating them with primer. There is a large mounting plate on the back of the Cummins where usually the air cleaner is mounted on a genset. I have seen it mounted here too on locos, but on a "normal" Twin Disc fitted loco it then obstructs access to the clutch inspection cover plate, so I invariably place it somewhere else. It was during Wednesday that it occurred to me that the transmission on this loco did not have a clutch, so the air cleaner could go there after all. I drilled the plate ready but Andrew insisted on painting it first.

Thursday: Scunthorpe again. Maybe our stamina was running out, maybe we were just lacking "big lumps" ready to fit. The next major item is the torque converter cooler, planned to go in front of the radiator, but my CAD drawing suggested it was a little problematic, indeed it became apparent that the drawing the manufacturer had sent us was substantially different to the cooler he'd then supplied. A "planning meeting" ensued as the rain lashed down outside.

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In the end, I fitted my air cleaner (the pre-cleaner "mushroom" is left on for the moment but in due course will be replaced with a duct to draw fresh air - see the mod to 14 901 last March) and drilled out the mounting holes for the paxolin termination board that will hide behind Andrew's new instrument panel. Then I started on various measurement jobs - such as a what the t/c cooler really is through to "as built" details to incorporate onto my master CAD drawing. Andrew had been muttering that there must have been a joint of some sort under the fuel tank mounts, or the wooden bars it rests on had swollen as there was a gap when he came to tighten down the bolts. Lurking on the cab floor I found four plates each with two holes in that looked suspiciously like spacers - sure enough, having dismantled these parts a couple of years ago even Andrew (who frequently and annoyingly reminds me of things that I cannot remember) had forgotten that these had been there. Having finally re-sheeted D2128 "Arnie" was fired up again and a very wet "Beverley" brought back in whilst D2128 returned to the siding outside the shed.

Friday: Back to Rowsley. We had visitors booked but apart from a few volunteers down at the HST shed, Peak Rail was very quiet. We had brought back the welder but also the hydraulic oil tank planned to fit on "Beverley" as part of its conversion from fuel to oil in the converter. I had had this tank fabricated without any fittings (for cheapness) but could now use Andrew's welding prowess to add the bits, so marked out the tank bottom and made two holes for 1/2" nipples for feed pipe and drain, then drilled and tapped the top edge M6 ready for its cover plate. Once the first set of visitors had departed, it wasn't long before Terry arrived "to do us a bit of cutting". This would normally be a simple matter, but with the railway shut requires the two of us to open and close several sets of gates between there and the outside world. Eventually, Terry was kitted up and set too to remove the cupboard, which, despite earlier prophesies, still lingered, rusting and unsightly, in the corner of the cab.

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There is only a little remaining now, awaiting the attention of a grinder. With a few other minor bits of work on Libby's converter oil system, we declared it an end to 2011.

And a Happy New Year to you all.

More in this category: Of stripping without the tease »

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