Update from Saturday 6th January and previous week. By Simon Purvis and Ian Robins.
Simon has provided an update on D9518 and D9526
A small test run was undertaken with Colin, Terry and Simon whilst a shunting exercise was being
carried out at Williton. We managed a few runs from the south yard and down side platform to the
down section signal at Williton. As this was the first time the engine had been 'loaded' things were
taken gently. Also this was the first time the newly whitemetalled bearings in the side rods had been
worked. So we were basically running in a 'new' locomotive. As many of the circuits and systems had
been tested before hand, it was with a bit of confidence that we undertook these runs. The engine
was for some of the runs, taken up to 1400rpm and the loco powered against the brakes to simulate a
light load. We are glad to report that no major issues showed up and that in the first three miles, there
was no distress from the side rod bearings. They remained at a very 'ambient' temperature - so a well
done to the Restoration's boys who undertook this work for us. Before returning to No 3 road we
carried out a 'stall test' where the loco tried to push against a heavy load, but not move it. Again 1400
rpm was used and the engine governor indicator could be observed from the platform. This
necessarily must be a short test as it is possible to overheat sections within the hydraulic
transmission. It was good to see the temperatures come up to a full working value as well as the
hydrostatic fan kick in at the new (lower) temperatures. Soon it was time to put everything back in the
depot and the testing was curtailed. In all a successful first couple of hours testing but there is still
lots more to be trialed, checked and run in.
I would like to thank all who were involved with this as there was a lot of shunting and signalled moves
to be made to get D9526 out of the shed and put back.
Warren and Phil (from Yeovil) have started to prepare '18 for lifting off her wheels. They have
removed all the splitpins from the axlebox keeps and have ensured that these are free. They have
also started to slacken off the side buffers in preparation for this lift. Roy was cleaning and preparing
battery box lids for painting and continues with the task of cleaning and painting components so that
when the time comes for refitting they are at least in a coat of paint.
Ian has provided an update on the Class 33's for the Christmas period
D6566 - There were a few of us at WN on both Friday and Saturday. John Cooke finished the AWS
wiring and has now tested it. Apart from a couple of intermittent contacts in the change end switches it
all seems to work! We now need to assess it formally using a test magnet, I think we have one
somewhere. Andy R did some cleaning-up around the exhauster bay. While he was doing that Leroy,
Thomas and I put in the antifreeze. We used around one and a half barrels which should give approx.
25% concentration. The system was topped up with plain water and engine run for around one hour
to mix things up. But on Saturday morning, the hazards of antifreeze revealed themselves!
A small leak was detected at the top edge of one of the flanges on the settling tank adjacent to No.1
exhauster, never noticed it leaking previously. Therefore the coolant from the radiator was drained
into an IBC so it can be pumped back in again. This at least gave me the opportunity to easily test the
coolant protection and was good down to –23 deg.C. Repair to the leak would be easy if it were
possible to slide the pipe, the larger lower balance pipe, sufficiently across to clear the studs at the
flange, but no! Cutting a long story short, after a major strip down we found the pipe could not be
removed due to the connection for the drain pipe in its centre disappearing down through the
So unless that is disconnected underneath the balance pipe cannot be removed.
Now if only we had a pit at WN! So for the moment we just eased back the flange as far as would go,
cleaned it, and stippled in some Loctite flange sealant that was originally given to me to seal the more
reluctant transition rubbers. The sealant was allowed to set for an hour or so and just nipped up for
the moment. The sealant has bulged out a little so must be adhering.
It will be fully tightened and the coolant put back in next weekend for the situation to be reviewed.
If there is still a leak and we are unable to disconnect the drain pipe, the only option will then be to
remove the upper smaller balance pipe and cut through the larger pipe with an angle grinder so one
half of it can be removed to replace the gasket.
It can then be re-joined with some silicon flexible hose and we have plenty in stock.
D6575 – The loco spent the Xmas period in Dunster Yard following use on Per Way duties and was
noted from a passing train on New Years Day.
It has now been returned to WN and there is a list of jobs to be done on it over the winter period.