A lot has happened since our last blog:
205 Thumper DEMU
As part of the winter shut down maintenance, a split exhaust bellows, located between the fixed exhaust pipe and the turbo charger, was changed by Michael and Neil. It was quite a big job but well planned and completed within a day.
03 Shunter 03170
The locomotive’s Dynamo was found to be defective, and a decision was made to replace it with a more modern alternator. It was clear a fair amount of redesign, re wiring and fabrication of parts was required to fit the chosen high-output alternator on to a nineteen fifties design of Gardner diesel engine. At the same time, a new electronic rev counter was also to be fitted.
A mock up wooden pattern was produced prior to fabricating to finished metal parts to check all fitted correctly. The new alternator output (which has a built rectifier and control unit) is almost three times that of the old dynamo.
Both our own and external engineering staff have spent many hours working on the complex load regulator system which was defective. The loco was being tested as I wrote this blog – the indications were good. The team seem to have gotten on top of the problem.
We have made lots of progress, with many strands of work progressing. We have performed work to seal a leaking roof section above the battery box, remedial work on battery has taken place, new frontal light equipment is being fitted along with new wiring as well as other repairs.
There was a major problem in number one cab, being the driver’s desk rubber-mounting strips perishing with age, allowing the desk to fall out of its mounting. This proved a very difficult job to not only repair, but source the replacement industrial glazing strip.
After much hunting about, we managed to source the glazing strip and the special tool required to fit the rubber strip which holds the main strip in place. The glazing strip had to be specially ordered, thus proving to be rather expensive.
The real problem came refitting the desk, with the air pipe and electrical connections that had to be partly dismantled to be able to twist the desk at an angle to allow the rubber strip in place.
I was really struggling with this job. Luckily, one of our external engineers, Simon, and Michael Fisher – our own top engineer – were to hand, both having experience with this type of industrial glazing strip fitting.
After a further two hours, lots of dismantling, brute force, and washing up liquid being applied to the glazing strip (as lubrication), accompanied by a lot of cursing, the final section of glazing strip went into place. Just the small task of refitting and adjusting the parts we removed from the desk and final checking of electrical and air connections, which all proved good.
You will see from the photo, the desk, with its three coats of shiny black paint and the new draught proof skirting around the base of the desk, looks very smart. In fact, thanks to the teams hard work, the desk probably has not looked this smart since the loco was new.
The Class 31 has been a real workhorse during the close season, having been in almost daily use on engineering trains. With have put lots of resources in to work to upgrading the track as we get ready to extend our passenger service past Coopersale into Epping Forest. The 31 has also been in use on the vegetation clearance train.
Until next time
Diesel Restoration Group