Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of 08s and trawler engines

30th January 2011

I blame the Rev W Awdry. The portrayal of what we know today as a Class 08 as the evil, slimy ‘Diesel’ in the Thomas books must have had a profound effect on the young, impressionable me, and influenced my view of what a good shunting loco should be. Today I can rationalise it much better – and have done in a few places...

An 08 is a State of the Art (as at 1870 though) chassis, a State of the Art (as at 1930) traction package and a trawler engine.

There, said it. Close contact with such machines has done little to improve my opinion. I was heavily involved with the radio control conversion of 08 921, and appeared on a number of Hima-Sella’s publicity photos (until we fell out over payment); I have had the satisfaction of sending a few for scrap (I normally only consign a loco for scrap under extreme provocation) and this week had some pleasure in spending time in C F Booth’s raiding the things for parts for Andrew’s locos. They have their uses, if only as a bearer of useful bits pillagable for better locos.

Saturday Jan 29: Andrew aided me on a small part of a commercial job, which I don’t normally write about here, but continues nicely from the lead-in above. Our objective was to start up another one of these trawler engines which had languished for a year or more and had recently been the subject of theft of its radiator elements. My customer had had to source fresh elements for me to fit, and after earlier (almost) filling it with 240 litres of coolant we wanted to start the thing and see if we had any leaks. This was succesful, though it attracted the ire of another group nearby whose leader told us in no uncertain terms to ‘F*** off site’ when the trawler engine demonstrated how far diesel technology has progressed in the last half-century – it had emitted vast quantities of smoke. From our point of view we had achieved our objective and withdrew, and meandered on to the far friendlier climes of Peak Rail. HST were out in force – D3000 had returned from Scunthorpe, and their new aquisition – 09 001 – had also arrived, and they were having a shuffle round, with two or three locos slated to depart. Andrew and I split up. I headed over to 14 901, countersunk the new desk labels and secured them properly then moved on into the electrical cabinet to continue re-securing all the connections on the Termates with spring and plain washers, while Andrew headed for D9500, to continue releasing bits ready for lifting out. As darkness fell, I fired 14 901 up, and took the loco up and down a couple of times to check all was well. Back home in the evening, with little to entertain me on the ‘box, I cleared the front room carpet, laid out 4 x 2 of 6mm ply and marked out new window surrounds ready for cutting.

Sunday Jan 30: If we had followed Plan A, we would have arrived at Scunthorpe with Andrew’s big MIG welder in the back of the van and been very peeved. But a check at Rowsley the previous night had revealed it to be virtually out of gas, so we’d left it behind. This turned out to be fortunate as D2128 had been moved away from the siding at the front of shed, and dumped on sidings at the back (which were out of range of our 3-phase extension cables). Andrew headed in to pick up where he’d left off on Beverley’s exhaust system, while I, armed with my Autocad drawing of the mounting arrangements, set too to mark out where the rear engine mounts are going to locate and to grind down any obstructions that might interfere.

"complete" at Lydney  and tonight after stripping

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Andrew holds one of the rear mounting brackets in place

With that completed, Andrew had asked me to move on into the cab and remove the electrical and instrument panels (well mod’d in the past from its conversion from Gardner to Deutz, they are now good only a as templates for new ones) and sundry bodged levers and redundant pipework. I broke off at one point to aid Andrew in lifting in Beverley’s new silencer (new? we must have had it in stock for 2 or 3 years now) and we were joined by Glenn, one of the AFRPS stalwarts, who was unaware that anything had been progressing on D2128 and promised that it would be relocated back to more accessible areas shortly.

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In at last! Bev's replacement silencer

All this is very worrying. This was the last weekend of the month, and nothing goes right on the last weekend of the month. Yet it seems to have been a productive weekend.

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