10th February 2013
There have been over two hours of phone calls this week between me, our transmission experts and Twin Disc over in the USA. One of the outcomes is that it may be that our low base pressure on D2128's powershift is the result of the charge pump not delivering sufficient oil. In the manuals we had with the transmission (or to be exact, the manuals that Hunslet supplied with the original locos when they were delivered in 1984) there was no reference to oil delivery rates for the transmission, only acceptable grades.
11th November 2012
There was frost in the grass as we made an early start across to the M1and then east to Scunthorpe. Andrew, still trying to get his body-clock straight after a few night shifts, was dozing in the passenger seat as I passed a plain flat-bed lorry. I was casually wondering what it was carrying in the red stillage on the back - some sort of engine? - a pump? Hang on, that's our powershift! I roused Andrew, who rang the driver. Yes, it was him. I pressed on, anxious to get in, unlocked and be as ready as possible before he arrived. At Tata's Gate D I drove up the barrier and waited. The ANPR did not recognise me and the light stayed red. Three guards were on duty and one came over.
13th May 2012
Back in the 80s, when I was working at Thomas Hills, we had an ultimately unsuccessful deal with the Illinois-based Varlen Locomotive Corporation which brought me into contact with real live Americans. "Kojak" - with Telly Savalas playing the lollipop-sucking detective - was on our TVs at the time and several of our visitors fitted the mould. More than once they would take off their jackets and over their waistcoats I expected to find a leather shoulder-hoster. I learned a few new phrases - "Can we sue?" was one that stuck in my mind perhaps because it came from one of the (I thought) more level-headed of our Transatlantic colleagues.
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?