Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Just a quiet weekend

6th September 2010

No sooner had I committed last week’s saga to the electrons than the phone rang and a former neighbour of ours was congratulating us on the article in Railway Magazine. This came as a surprise since I had been expecting a proof but no matter, a short while later the postman delivered something in a plain brown envelope and there it was for all to see.

Radiator with PB-designed fan drive

Wednesday: Andrew had the week off work and although Plan A (re-mount the class 14’s engine in anti-vibration mounts) was a non-starter, the fact that his girl friend was coming up for the weekend meant that he had time to harass his poor parents over tidying the house, plus spend a day at Rowsley. For some reason I decided to join him later in the day, concentrating on getting the workbench completed He meanwhile was getting ready to lift the radiator back into “Libby”. “Libby” arrived at Rowsley about 3 years ago but after some initial runs, we took the radiator out for repair and having got it back, just seemed to have no time when we, Rob Sanders and the JCB could get together to put it back. But today was the day and once the train service was finished, “Libby” was shunted by the ‘14 into position and the JCB lifted the rad back in, followed by a gentle shunt into the shed so that Andrew can carry out bodywork repairs and paint.

Rad in and casing top following

The Brush (taken a couple of years ago)

Saturday: Andrew was occupied with the girl friend, but had kindly laid on two visitors for me to look after at Rowsley. I therefore had added a visitor in the shape of Dave Hesketh, from Bowers Electrical, to give his verdict on the necessary reapirs to the traction motor on the Brush 0-6-0DE. This loco, one of 5 built for Tyne & Wear in the late 1970s, suffered fairly severe traction motor arcing at Brierley Hill in industrial use and had “lost” bits of brush box, and commutator bars. Although we had spent some time re-cabling after the subsequent fire damage, a budget price of £13k for reconditioning the traction motor is basically prohibitive, and HL is/was close to selling/scrapping it if a more economic solution could not be achieved. Thus Dave’s visit was fairly crucial, and I shunted the Brush over the ash pit with some trepidation. His verdict is that it can be recovered with much less expense, so we’ll see what happens next. Meanwhile Andrew’s visitors had cried off (“hurt my back” – “gone fishing”) so I had a quiet day with only the prospect of driver training another Peak Rail regular on the 14. Thus I finished the workbench by fitting the vice, then set to on the 14 with some of the other outstanding tasks. The cab light which it possessed when we took it on was a monstrous affair. A more discrete Jagger one was in stock and had to replace the original before the cab internal lining could be cut, so this went up and I made a note to bring the “pull-thru’” to get the cabling through the conduit bends. Second task was the revised controls for the rear horns. Andrew is convinced that the horns need a bigger bore line than the 6mm we had installed, and rather than buy more new (expensive) two-tone horn valves, proposed a pair of (stock) 1/2” bore electric valves to power them. That in turn meant two-way electric switches, but the Telemec “heads” were pricey and there matters rested until a couple of his friends produced two joystick switches recovered from a Plasser & Theurer. I always leave a few spare 22mm holes in the control desk for “afterthoughts” but these needed 30mm, so I had to punch an enlarged hole. Having fitted and wired them back to the desk multi-pin plugs, I called it a day.

Sunday: I had arranged with Peak Rail MD Roger Hallatt to train him up on the 14 on the Sunday morning, and I had been on site about half an hour when he arrived and I took him through it. We shuffled up and down from the loco shed to the far end headshunt, and surprisingly even these impromptu workings had enthusiasts out with cameras. I got the feeling that if he hadn’t had something else he was supposed to do, he would have happily shuffled up and down all day, and I was told later that this was the first time he had driven a diesel at Peak Rail. Once he was happy I returned to work in the cab – pulled the wires through to the cab light, and installed the new horn valves and cabled them through. No doubt if this works Andrew will want a similar conversion on the front horns – lets hope that his friends haven’t raided another P&T…..

New joystick in the rh side desk

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