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Volunteer’s View – July 15th & 22nd 2017

A report from Graham Clarke covering the last couple of weekends at Barrow Hill:

It’s been a couple of very hectic weeks and I’ve not had chance to provide an update on progress at Barrow Hill.  It’s been all the hands we have on 55019.  Unfortunately, there just ended up being too much to do and we ran out of time, so we had to cancel the Spa Valley Visit.  I’m sorry we had to let them down.

The loco now has the roof back on with the sealed exhaust outlet modification.  It’s a collar welded to the outlet under the roof and bolted to the roof.  The original design is terrible and never seals letting oil into the engine room; yuk.

The exhaust system now needs connecting up, which is going to take some shuffling of the silencers and taking the connecting bellows off to compress them so they will go between the collector drum outlet and the silencer.

Both engines have had serviced fuel injectors fitted and the air filters changed.

Stuart, Adrian, Beth, Nigel, Geoff, Steve, Bob and Mike have worked really hard on this.  Thanks very much.

The axles have been crack tested and passed again. A huge thanks to Mike and Nat for this.


Pete (thanks) and I have completed the servicing and checking of all the electrical machinery and switchgear on 55019.  I’ve also redone the temporary repair I did on the no.2 traction motor blower.  The terminal board has some burn damage, the cable terminals were in a poor state and I was unhappy with the soldering of the feed to the field coils.  All these have been attended to with a repaired terminal board and crimp connections apart from the field connection itself, which is a tapered bush bolted in place and a specially made piece.

Ray and Steve had another major tidy up last Saturday as well. Thank you.

Thanks to all of you once again.

New tour featuring D9009 ‘ALYCIDON’

Pathfinder Tours have today announced details of a new railtour which is expected to be hauled by D9009 ‘ALYCIDON’ throughout. The train runs from Burton and stations in the Midlands/Severnside to then via the Reading avoider/Basingstoke to Bournemouth and on to the Isle of Purbeck/Swanage Railway.

For full details concerning ‘The Swanage Belle’, and to make a booking, please CLICK HERE.

Spa Valley visit

The DPS regrets to announce that 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ will not be able to visit the Spa Valley Railway this Summer as previously planned. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the DPS volunteers, we have had to concede that work on the loco at Barrow Hill will not be completed in time for the loco to attend the gala at the beginning of August and subsequent events. We share the disappointment this will obviously cause to our friends at the Spa Valley Railway, and apologise to those of you who were looking forward to riding behind or driving 55019 on the line.

Volunteer’s View – July 1st 2017

Two reports from last weekend, firstly Graham Clarke:

Last weekend at Barrow Hill it was mostly all hands to 55019. Ray did some work on the depot as a follow up to a recent fire inspection. The fire doors need the floor marking keep clear.

Mike and Nat stripped off the axle box covers, axle end plates and purged out all the old grease. The axle end plates were then put back on to keep out debris. Thanks both. The axles are being crack tested next Friday, as they are every 3 years.

Nigel and Beth carried on changing fuel injectors. The boots out the engine room window while your working on top of the engine was funny. Thanks to you both.

Stuart carried on preparing the cab and nose sides for painting.

Darrell worked on fitting new silencer lagging. Some’s got to go back for alterations, which is a real pain time wise. Thanks Darrell.

Tom carried on with various jobs from the annual exam job sheet. Thanks Tom.

Pete and I checked over and cleaned the electrical machines and switchgear. No.1 main generator was rather oily for some reason, so it took a fair bit of cleaning to get it to an acceptable state. Thanks Pete for for your help.

And from Bethany Marsh:

Down at Barrow Hill last weekend and all attention on 55019 in preparation for the running season. After leaving Nigel to sort the injectors out on his own last week while I went to a productive board meeting I went to keep an eye on him today. Nigel focused his attention on connecting up number one engine of the injectors that he’d changed the week before.

As normal I was running round after him for parts which later in the day he already had but didn’t see, well didn’t even look for after me telling him where they are. I managed to start disconnecting the injectors on number two engine. By the end of the day number to engine has one set changed and connected back up with the other two to do next week.



Spa Valley Railway gala timetable

The Spa Valley Railway has announced the full timetable and roster for its Diesel Gala on August 3-6, which features 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ on all four days. A copy can be downloaded from the Spa Valley Railway’s website by CLICKING HERE.

A summary of services which will be hauled by 55019 can be found below:

THURSDAY AUGUST 3RD: 09.00 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 10.45 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 12.05 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 13.25 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 15.25 Tunburgde Wells West-Eridge, 16.45 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 18.45 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West.

FRIDAY AUGUST 4TH: 09.15 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 11.47 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 13.06 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 15.41 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 17.00 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 18.40 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West.

SATURDAY AUGUST 5TH: 10.15 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 12.12 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 14.08 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 16.06 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 18.12 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 19.50 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 20.50 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 21.50 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 22.50 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West.

SUNDAY AUGUST 6TH: 10.10 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 12.05 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 13.20 Eridge-Groombridge, 13.45 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 16.30 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 18.55 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West.

UPDATE 11/07: Regrettably 55019 is now unable to attend this event.

Volunteer’s View – June 24th/25th 2017

For a change, the report this week comes from Stuart Page:
Saturday was the DPS Board meeting which I’ve missed to continue with the work needed on 55019. The work on the boiler roof is nearing completion with the roof refurbished and the modifications to the exhaust outlets to the roof opening. The same mods were carried out on Alycidon a few years ago. The outlet ends from the silencers being bolted to the roof. Most of Saturday was spent in prepping the outer roof skin with rubbing down, primer and undercoat by Howard. The locomotive itself needing attention where the boiler was located with painting from head height and above to the opening where the boiler roof sits. Again cleaning, rubbing down, primer and undercoating, while other areas needing just top coat. This work needs completing before the boiler roof section is fitted to the locomotive as becomes inaccessible with the silencers bolted to the boiler roof section. Nigel was changing the injectors on No 1 P/U. Geoff was painting again, air intake grills for the nose traction motors and cleaning part of the loco while I was sanding down No 1 end nose.
Sunday again was with myself sanding the cab areas and moving down to No 2 end nose and cab, gradually during the day I was turning into a shade of blue. Adrian painted the top coat to the boiler roof and continued the day helping me prep the loco ready for painting.
Boiler roof

DPS@40 tour cancellation

Mike Hallam-Rudd writes:

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control we are not able to run this tour and must advise you of this unfortunate and difficult decision we have had to make.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to you all for offering to support us on this occasion. However the main event at the Bluebell Railway will still take place on Friday October 6th to Sunday October 8th at the Bluebell Railway, where they are running a Golden Arrow Pullman on the Friday evening, will still be taking place.

Any monies or cheques will be returned and debit/credit card details will be destroyed. I must add my sincere thanks to Neil Mewes and his team at Avocet Travel Management for all of their hard work in organising and planning this event on our behalf.

Spa Valley driver experience – sold out

Please note that all five Deltic Driver Experience dates (August 11th/12th/13th and September 2nd/3rd) on the Spa Valley Railway are now sold out. If you’ve missed out, then you can still see the loco in action on the line on the following dates:

Thursday August 3rd-Sunday August 6th (Diesel Gala) ; Saturday August 19th-Sunday August 20th (Deltic running day) ; Saturday August 26th-Monday August 28th (Spa Valley 20th Anniversary).


Volunteer’s View – June 17th 2017

This week, Graham Clarke’s report comes from the main line, where he was one of the support crew on board D9009 ‘ALYCIDON’. A gallery will appear shortly.

Fantastic day out yesterday with D9009 on the Welsh Central Liner Rail Tour run by Pathfinder Tours. I was on the late turn with Alex Williams. It was a great shift with the loco performing well, despite the heat and a run at the Lickey Incline (1/38) from a stop at Bromsgrove right at the bottom of the Bank, without a run at it. The engine temperatures did rise a bit, but not beyond the limits. We really got going once the locomotives took a field divert and I’m informed we passed the top at 51 mph with 10 coaches in tow. Not bad for nearly 56 year old! I was in the engine room taking measurements and that was quite an experience too.

I especially enjoyed the opportunity to ride up front on the run down to Gloucester in the evening sun, barrelling along at about 90mph with the Napier Symphony as an accompaniment. Thanks to our Drivers Greg and Nigel from DBS, Alex, all the other onboard team, DPS riding fitters, water tanker, fuel tanker, everyone who paid to come along and the masses who turned out to enjoy the spectacle. There were a lot of people on nearly every vantage point there was to be had.

D9009 on Central Wales line

A good run has been had with D9009 ‘ALYCIDON’ over the Central Wales line in glorious weather. The picture shows the tour during a short stop at Llandeilo.

The loco is due to return from Burton to York tomorrow, departing around 13.00.

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