Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Third Entry

16th August 2010

I was consoling myself with a few minutes wander around Matalan on Tuesday morning when the mobile rang and I received the news that the torsional coupling for 14 901 would be ready in about 20 minutes. So I changed my plans for the rest of the day, and by two-thirty I was up in Bradford and collecting a very much better-looking coupling ready to go back into the loco.

Andrew arranged to take Thursday off work and he and I headed to Rowsley. With a bit of help from Rob Sanders and a large forklift the coupling was bolted back in, and the engine run up. Andrew of course was not happy, it was not as smooth as he wanted. To me it was an improvement and with a rigidly mounted engine, it wasn’t going to be completely gone until we anti-vibration mount it.

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Lifting the coupling back into the loco

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Back on the flywheel, just the prop' to reconnect

Saturday saw me at work on an 08-type loco. I am not a fan of 08s and my opinion was not improved, after swapping both an AVR and a train brake valve, by having to “top up” this one with 75 litres oil lube oil, hunked in 25 litre drums for half-a-mile from the oil store, up onto the loco and then managing to spill some over my knee, boots, up one sleeve…. Why anyone should “rate” a loco that requires 40 litres just to get from min to max on the dipstick (and then only for 350bhp) is beyond me.

Sunday: I headed straight off to Rowsley, but Andrew and my wife went over to Elsecar to start collecting smaller bits and see a potential purchaser for one of the locos. The atmosphere was reportedly decidely unpleasant – my recounting on the piddling-in-the-cab incident(s) had apparently upset people: it had upset Andrew and me at the time but as usual it is much easier to attack the messenger than address the message – but the Company Chairman did concede that in hindsight they had handled things badly, especially as the Director who took on the task of informing us neglected to tell us half the reasoning and instead chose to put his own personal slant on it. (Oh, and it seems the current preferred theory at Elsecar is that it was a wild animal that climbed the steps, opened the cab door, wee’d in the cab and then exited, closing the door – twice).

While all this was going on, I was getting the Brush loco at Rowsley over a pit as it too is up for sale and prospective purchasers were on the way over. Back on the ‘14 though, one of my other tasks was to change the gearbox motion sensor. To suit the electronic control system we strip the old Westingouse mechanical one, machine the barrel and mount a perception-head sensor to count the pulses – I had used a Telemecanique sensor but it had proven to be a gnat’s whisker too short to work properly, though it had suddenly started accruing a few miles on the distance counter. (I found it had wound itself off the end of its thread and was bouncing on top of the barrel). I had a longer sensor from Pepperl & Fuchs (love the name, and the sensors are good too) but the sensor is in such an awkward place I was unable to fit it in situ so had to take the complete standstill assembly off the gearbox. To achieve this, there is actually a machined groove in the gearbox casing so that the drive tang can clear, otherwise there is no room between gearbox and side frame! Of course, that is all very fine on a loco that is new and clean, but sliding the assembly back in after fitting the new sensor is bound to pick up dirt which is then pressed into the gearbox drive tang/bearing. Maybe I’ll persuade Andrew to let me fit a slimmer Briddon-ified version in future.

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