March - November 2015
Since the last report in March, considerable electrical progress has been made. The control frame has been put back in B-end cubicle and almost all of the control wiring has been pulled to its final destinations and terminated, barring that going into A-end cab. The cab desk at B-end has also been almost completed, both electrically and mechanically.
|B-End cab drivers desk as it looks currently, notably the control cubicle (centre) is back in place|
This marks a major milestone in the restoration, both psychologically and practically. Practically, there remains only A-end cab to finish the control system electrically; after that only the power circuits will be left. Psychologically, we have all been given a huge boost, as we now have a cab that looks like a cab!
The centre and second man's side of the desk have also been covered with new formica and, along with the cubicle items beneath the desk, the fault light panel and associated equipment has been refurbished and refitted. An item of electrical Wizzo archaeology was uncovered as well ....
|B-End cab fault light panel reconstructed and ready to go back in the loco|
|... and again, installed and wired up (left) plus the Aerated Coolant label find (right)|
.... Back in the late 1960s, Swindon looked at adding a system to detect and warn against excessive air build up in the engine cooling system. It wasn't adopted in the end, with the intended warning lamp becoming a spare. Whilst refurbishing the lamps, the 'Spare' label was found to have the original 'Aerated Coolant' on the reverse side.
The original BR Western Region electrical notes for the 'Thousands' suggest the Aerated Colant warning was to help with early detectection of cracked cylinder heads and gasses escaping into the coolant system as a result. In reality, usually the remnants of the piston and conrod rolling around on the tread plates is a good indication!
The electrical equipment for A-End cubicle has also been seeing attention off the loco with the power frame all but complete and the control frame has recently been stripped bare and assessed. Work has also continued on refurbishing some of the remaining auxiliary motors.
|A-end control frame before and after stripping of components for refurbishment|
|B-Engine Fuel lift pump stripped down under assessment (left) and reconditioning work underway (right)|
During July, most of the battery cables were pulled (forced!) into position in their conduits beneath the loco. While under there, the opportunity was taken to examine the underslung large compressor; this revealed that its motor has badly flashed over at some point in the past, and will need considerable work. The mechanical part of the compressor is also leaking oil badly. As it will now have to come out for overhaul in any case, consideration is being given to re-fitting it in the boiler room rather than beneath the loco, where access will be far easier in the future, and the machine will be in a much better environment.
|A view into the underslung compressor giving an idea of the task ahead|
This plan is only one of the various changes being made as the overhaul progresses, sometimes because technology has improved since the 1970s; sometimes since things that made sense for BR and its huge resources don't make sense for us; and sometimes they are just better design decisions.
|Refurbished interlocks on A-End Power Frame with improved contactor position micro-switches|
All this progress has fired up motivation within the team, and interest outside it: we have gained two new volunteers over the last few months - Anna Duncan and Kenny Raistrick have both got stuck into the work with enthusiasm.
We move into winter with plans for work focussing on rebuilding the A-end control frame and other removed parts, while the loco is full of condensation due to the cold weather.
In short, we are all looking forward with enthusiasm to more progress and success in the new year.
And finally, some Western art.
|Cabside Butterflies .....|
The previous report (01/03/2015) can be viewed here
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