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Volunteer’s View – August 18th 2018

Graham Clarke writes:

It was a very productive day at Barrow Hill last Saturday.

D9009 received a Fitness to Run examination ready for Thursday’s move to Burton on Trent ready for the Tour on Saturday. Pete, Dave and Beth mostly did the work.

John was busy with finance and depot development. Darrell was busy with getting sales ready for Saturday. Nat, James, Beth and Nigel worked on painting the cab of D9008. Howard cleaned the dust off the bogie bolsters.

Later on both sets of draw gear and the new couplings were installed in D9015 by Steve, Dave G and Pete.

I spent the morning finding important bogie documents relating to axle box bearings ready for an upcoming audit and mainline certification of 55015’s bogies.

Geoff was busy cleaning and painting, including one of the new couplings.

Sheaf Engineering has made substantial progress with the bogies. They are now wheeled and the traction motors are fitted. They are now well on the way to completion, maybe by the end of this week.

Ray has been helping sort out the material specification at a laboratory in Sheffield of the metal for new bearer pads and getting copies made.

Bob and Darrell came in the week to work on painting the engine room floor in D9009.

Thank you everyone. It was a very constructive day, not forgetting the midweek work.

Spa Valley Railway this weekend

A reminder to everyone that 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ will be in action at the Spa Valley Railway for all three over the Bank Holiday Weekend. This will be the last opportunity to sample ‘Deltic’ haulage on the line before 55019 departs for the Great Central Railway next Tuesday. The Spa Valley will be running its green timetable (mixed steam and diesel), with the Deltic booked to work the following services:

11.10 ex Eridge, 12.00 ex Tunbridge Wells West, 14.30 ex Eridge, 15.20 ex Tunbridge Wells West.

The full timetable for all three days can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Volunteer’s View – August 11th 2018

Another report from Graham Clarke…

It was back to work at Barrow Hill last Saturday after a very enjoyable weekend at the Spa Valley Railway the previous weekend. I was impressed with the Spa and their young team. It’s really good to see that and I’m keen to encourage them in taking the railway forward.

It was quite busy, with the area around the bogies for 55015 being cleared ready for final assembly to start this week and the axle boxes being painted by Steve and Geoff. Mike was busy with the diesel forklift moving stuff around. Thanks.

Outside, Nigel and Beth were working away on the cab of 55008 making it look much better. Hopefully, it may be possible to move it inside in the future. This would make it much easier to care for and develop as a visitor attraction. We’ll see how the idea develops.

Ray was tinkering away on depot bits and pieces as well as reviewing health and safety documents with Mike. Thanks Ray.

Alex and Pete also popped in for a chat about plans for working parties on 55015. I’ll provide more details as the plans come together for the final push to completion of this mammoth project. There’s a picture with this post of the two measured (OK), crack tested and painted draw hooks all ready to fit to 55015.

I managed to finish off connecting cables to the reverser in 15′s no.1 control cubicle. It’s really not easy to pull large cables about in confined spaces, but with a bit of help from Geoff I managed to get everything where I want it. I’ve also routed the cables that go on the back of the generator cut-out switch and I’m now much happier that everything will connect up without straining some other more delicate wiring or trap a large cable and make it too short to reach where it goes to, which is why I needed Geoff’s help. Hopefully, I’ll manage to finish both cubicles next Saturday. There are 4 cables left to cut to length (if they need shortening), strip off the insulation and crimp on the connectors.

The midweek crew of Bob, Mark, Martin and led by Darrell have been busy taking up the tread plates, cleaning and painting the engine room floor of D9009.

The final piece of work was Geoff polishing one side of D9009 to add to the work he’s done to nose ends over the last few weeks. I have to say that it looks stunning! Thanks Geoff.


Great Central Railway – DPS Members Day/Fish & Chip Special

The 2018 DPS Members Day with 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ at the Great Central Railway will take place on Saturday October 20th, and is being combined with an evening Fish & Chip special which will also feature 55019. During the daytime, DPS members will be able to travel for free on Deltic hauled services only on production of a valid DPS membership card. You will be given a wristband which will also entitle you to a free pint on the Fish & Chip special if you wish to stay and travel on this evening special (note that a separate ticket will need to be purchased for travel on this train – for further details and to book, please visit Spaces are limited).

Spa Valley running weekend – August 11th/12th

We hope that those of you who attended the Spa Valley Railway’s Diesel Gala last weekend (see pic below at Eridge) enjoyed the performances behind 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’. Our visiting Deltic will be in action again this coming weekend, working five round trips between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge (73140 will assist with shunt releases). Day Rover tickets are a bargain at £12.00! For further information, please visit the Spa Valley’s webpage by CLICKING HERE.

If you can’t make the event, why not keep an eye out for 55019 on the Spa Valley’s Railcam as the train passes Groombridge? The link to this cam be found HERE.



Volunteer’s View – July 28th 2018

An update from the Deltic Preservation Depot at Barrow Hill last weekend, by Graham Clarke.

The main job on Saturday was reassembling the axle boxes for 55015’s bogies that were dismantled a little while ago so the axles could be checked for cracks. This is done on a 3-yearly basis. A big thanks to Dave G for driving back up to Barnsley to collect a torque wrench so we could do the axle boxes. Also a welcome to new volunteer Ken Brindley who helped Dave and Mike and enjoyed himself.

The axles are now almost ready for final assembly of the bogies. The rear axle box covers need the nuts torque tightening, but we need to buy a special type of spanner to fit on the 1/2 inch square drive on the torque wrench for this. There is also a little more cleaning of old lubricant from the gear wheels to do, but not very much.

As well as the axle boxes, Geoff completed painting the wheels and cleaned many flies from the noses of D9009. They don’t half stick!

Nat and James continued working on the cab of 55008. I carried on connecting traction motor cables to the reverser. After struggling last we I found that the routing of the cables under the control cubicle was not ideal, so with Geoff’s help the cables were pulled back a rerouted to avoid them crossing over each other and stretching some of the control wiring because of the size of the heavy traction motor cables. Al the big stuff is now on the floor under the cubicle and lying neatly in the clamps where these are fitted for the cables to no.3 traction motor. Unfortunately, I had to shorten 3 cables I had already crimped, involving much hacksawing, grappling with the hydraulic crimper and a sore right shoulder today.

Dave G finished off fitting a replacement horn to D9009 and it now sounds as flat and tuneless as normal. Darrell was also busy sorting sales items.

The next working party is on Thursday.

A big thank you to everyone for their support on Saturday.

GCR Driver Experience Update

There has been a lot of interest in the Great Central Railway Deltic Driver Experience course and the two initial dates (October 15th/16th) are now booked up. Two more dates have been added as a result (Thursday 25th/Friday 26th October) – for full details, please see the GCR website HERE.

GCR Deltic Driving Experience

The Great Central Railway has now announced details of its Deltic Driving Experience using 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’, which will take place on Monday 15th/Tuesday 16th October (dates full – additional dates on Oct 25th/26th).Don’t miss this chance to drive a Deltic on the Railway’s double track line. Full details of the special package can be found on the GCR’s website by clicking HERE.

Volunteer’s View – July 14th to 21st

An update from Graham Clarke covering the recent period:

A Deltic progress update from the last two weeks at Barrow Hill.

Two Saturday’s ago work was focused on 55019 and getting it ready to go to the Spa Valley Railway. Stuart was busy on one power unit’s radiator fan gearboxes changing the oil. I found a spare route indicator light switch and replaced a faulty one that would not turn off.

I also removed a bearer pad from under 55008’s cab to act as a sample for 8 new ones to go under 55015. These act as a wearing part between the locomotive body and the bogie bolster that can be easily replaced. The old ones are very thin and need replacing. I’m going to get the metal analysed to find out its grade, so that I can have some replacements made from a pattern. Work carried on cleaning the gear wheels and painting the wheels. Thanks Stuart, Adrian and Steve.

Work also continued on 55008’s cab with Nat, Beth and Nigel working away on interior parts, painting and repairs to the route indicator box. Thanks.

There was a midweek working party on Thursday. An attempt was made to lift the tread plates from the floor of D9009’s engine room floor to allow cleaning and painting. Unfortunately, the screws would not budge. The cleaning and painting of the wheel sets for 55015’s bogies continued. Thanks Darrell, Bob, Martin and Mark.

On Saturday, 55019 had most of an A Exam completed and attention to a couple of damaged and loose brake pull rod safety brackets. These act as secondary retention to stop the pull rods dropping off in the event of them becoming detached from the brake levers. The loco was also partially cleaned. Thanks to Howard, Geoff, Beth and Mike.

D9009 has attention to a defective horn from Dave and Nigel. The parps and other farty noises were hilarious and the cause of much banter and toilet humour! I think the musical career is on hold, but thanks. Dave also struggled with the tread plate screws to no avail.

Work carried on on the cab of 55008 and thanks go to Nat, James and Nigel again.

Geoff carried on painting wheel sets. Hopefully, once Mike has refitted the axle end plates next Saturday and with some final cleaning of the gear wheels, they will be ready for Sheaf Engineering to start final assembly of the bogies!

Darrell worked on sales and I made a start crimping terminals onto 55015’s new traction motor cables. It was hot and very physical work. Both factors won in the end and I’m going to need help next week to reroute some of the cables. They are crossed over each other under the no.1 control cubicle and might be too long. I hope not. It’s difficult to cut them in situ.

Spa Valley timetables released

Timetables for the Spa Valley Railway’s Diesel Gala, which features 55019 ‘ROYAL HIGHLAND FUSILIER’ plus visiting ’25′ D7612 and ‘Clayton’ D8568 as well as home fleet locos, have now been released, and the full Working Timetable can be downloaded from the Spa Valley website by clicking HERE.

Services due to be worked by 55019 during the event are as follows:

FRIDAY 3RD AUGUST: 09.15 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 11.25 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 13.35 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 15.45 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 17.55 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West.

SATURDAY 4TH AUGUST: 09.15 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 11.25 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 13.35 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 15.45 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 17.55 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 19.50 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 20.50 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 21.50 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West.

SUNDAY 5tH  AUGUST: 12.15 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge, 14.15 Eridge-Tunbridge Wells West, 17.15 Tunbridge Wells West-Eridge (‘Loadex’ x 6 locos).

For further information concerning the event (ie fares, advance ticket sales, food/drink availability etc), please visit the Spa Valley Railway’s website by clicking HERE.

UPDATE 23/07: 55019 should be leaving Barrow Hill by road for its journey to the Spa Valley today.

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