Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of lights and locos

19th September 2010

Ever since I went self-employed, if I am at home at lunch time, I seem to end up watching Bargain Hunt over my sandwiches. It has little relevance to this blog, save that it involves auctions, an environment that Mrs B is quite familiar with. Ever since Barclays bank screwed up my business back in 2001, we have watched a particular monthly auction in Sheffield, and over the years a surprising amount of tools and tackle have come our way from there, from swaging machines to sack trucks.

Take this week: the catalogue indicated that amongst other things, a construction firm, and maybe a theatrical lighting company had gone into liquidation, and amongst the wide range of power tools, et al, were two lots of fluorescent lights. So Tuesday morning she took a good book and her registration card and sat in at the auction, winning a lot of 4 110V site-type lights that will admirably suit our purposes in lighting the inside of the VBA at Rowsley and the Palvan at Scunthorpe. All for £17. But sitting in to the end of the auction, by which time many buyers had gone home, she secured a fully working Clarke bench pillar drill for £12.

A day or so later we had a formal request from the Heritage Shunters Trust about using the class 14 at their gala in late October. It seems D9525’s auxiliary generator will not be ready in time so 14 901 will be runing solo, but whether on 6, or a rumour of a two train service of 3 or 4, I don’t yet know. Either way it seems I will have another weekend being a train driver…

Saturday: With Andrew back at the girl friend’s, I was undecided what to do but old habits die hard, and I took myself over to Rowsley. I started to rig up the lights into the VBA but neither of the first two would work. I stripped one down and found it had a starter clearly labelled “220V-240V” – shucks. The third one did, a little half-heartedly, and by its illumination I drilled the work bench with the necessary holes to mount the bench drill, then in a moment of optimism decided I could lift the thing up and mount it, though my back gave me jip later in the evening! To round off the day I wandered over to the class 14, drilled a hole in the light control box, fitted a switch and wired the cab light to it.

Sunday: Andrew was back and we had a visitor booked at Rowsley for 10.00, so he set his alarm for 07.00, appearing downstairs at about 08.45. As we headed over to Rowsley an hour later, a text came through to say our visitor had only just got up, and then another to the effect that the family was coming too. So while Andrew continued sorting “scrap” material from the accumulated bits in the VBA, I wandered over to the 14 with my sketch pad and started measuring the detail of the bulkheads which require cosmetically finishing in pegboard. I did a quick measure during the week, showing that we needed seven 8 x 4ft sheets, but as these are rather ungainly things to transport, cutting them at home first should make them much easier to take to and install in the loco. I hope. We’ve also being doing a re-think about the air cleaner. The “standard” class 14 has its air cleaner built into the front right hand casing door (the turbo is at the front) – what Barclays (Andrew, not the Bank) did for the Dorman 8QT we don’t know – but the SRPS left the genset type air cleaner on the DV8 and not only is it unsuitable for a loco but it draws (hot) air from within the engine bay. This is simply bad practice as it lowers the efficiency of the charge air cooling and ultimately increases smoke. Plan A had been to fit a pair of Donaldson-type air cleaners, with their pre-cleaner mushrooms out on top of the casings – functionally the best but further changing the loco outline. Plan B is now to recreate the original air cleaner arrangement behind the door, but to suit trunking down to the turbo (which on the DV8 is at the back). This is not ideal as the trunking will be in the hottest part of the casings, but at least the air will start off at ambient, and we can always lag it. Of course we could look at swapping the door from front to back and arranging the air cleaner right next to the turbo, but that DV8 is just too darn wide. Our visitor finally arrived at quarter to two, and by the time he had gone, it hardly seemed worth starting anything else…

More in this category: « First Entry Just a quiet weekend »

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