Out earning It’s keep on the ‘Big Railway’ , on short term hire to Colas.
Out earning It’s keep on the ‘Big Railway’ , on long term hire to DRS.
The loco has left Bo’ness to go on a long term hire to Direct Rail Services. During the last three weeks it was on site a huge amount of effort was spent trying to locate a problem with the air brake system. The bogie brake cylinder pressures were taking too long to reach the required values and after several hours of exhaustive tests, component replacement, pipework checks and anything else we could think of the cause was still beyond us. This effectively scuppered the original plan to move it away by rail and it left on the back of a low loader on January 13th for Rail Vehicle Engineering Limited at Derby. Since arrival it has been repainted in its original BR Large Logo livery although the signage is still to be applied. It is currently awaiting workshop space to allow the brake fault to be further investigated and also for various other tasks which we were unable to finish off to be completed. The engine is also due to be load bank tested to run it in.
None of this should detract from the huge effort that went in to the loco towards the end of 2015. A massive amount of work was carried out by a dedicated team who can all be proud of what was achieved. Looking back at photos it is hard to believe that at the end of September 403 was still up on the jacks with no fuel tanks fitted and both cabs still awaiting fitting out.
During this time the TPWS (Train Protection & Warning System) was wired up, commissioned and tested, the OTMR (On Train Monitoring Recorder) was wired up but not quite finished or tested and a multitude of electrical gremlins cleared. As each fault was rectified more testing was carried out which in turn would identify more faults. Eventually on December 20th enough had been put right to allow an attempt to take power and it successfully moved up and down the shed. Frustratingly a wheelslip indication fault (which causes a loss of traction power) was present and with no time to repair it the most it managed was a slow movement along the back yard loop and we didn’t get a chance to try it out properly.
Externally all the finishing details were put in place with new cab steps, treadplates, aluminium kickplates and covers for the lifting points. The front end lighting was all repaired and the cab external doors repainted and refitted with all the door and engine room windows fitted. The internal doors were also cleaned up, repaired and repainted and true to form didn’t fit back exactly as they should have.
Apologies again if I have missed anything out but there was so much done it could fill several more pages, an excellent record of the work carried out is at Diesel Group Smugmug website at www.realrail.smugmug.com.
It had got to the stage where the amount of effort required couldn’t be sustained and we were massively relieved to see it depart although disappointed it wasn’t operational. Nevertheless we are all looking forward to seeing it back working on the big railway after an absence of 16 years!
The second draw hook has been fitted to No 2 end.
Both fuel tanks have been removed . Replacement fuel and boiler water tanks have been sourced.
Parts for the loco’s restoration are being sourced by the STG.
Both cabs DSD’s ( Drivers safety device ) have been refurbished over the last few weeks.
The loco is in use and performing well .
All the loco’s brake blocks have been replaced along with fuel filters.