The aim is to show you the many activities and tasks our hobby of restoring ex British Railway diesel shunters entails. As we are more of a "weekends group" the idea is to try and give a weekly update, (Please see "Restoration Progress" header for weekly/regular updates.
Three locomotives are under restoration at the moment.
D9525 Class 14, is having what used to be called a heavy general overhaul, in our "Running Shed" This includes repairs to the main generator which is now complete. The decision was taken to overhaul the brake frame which had to be removed as a matter of course to get the main generator out. New external battery boxes fabricated and fitted as original pattern, even down to the hardwood stays the batteries sit on. A replacement overhauled turbo charger fitted to the power unit. A full cosmetic overhaul , generally and at the moment one of our wiring boffins, Dave, is rewiring the electric cubicle. Yet to be sourced (Hopefully) are new route indicator blinds and boxes.
06003, the very last surviving 06, originally bought from Booths scrapyard in Rotherham by a small syndicate of our members is having an identity change, to its original number D2420, and losing its blue livery for Mid Brunswick green, as the sponsor of the repaint so wished. This has had its air operated gear box professionally overhauled to back to new condition. A full cosmetic overhaul is at present underway, with a new ladder to access the fuel tank being fabricated, as well as some of the plate work replaced that was life expired. Most of the loco is now in primer and will look a real treat when finished. The 06 is also being worked on in our running shed.
D2205 Purchased some time ago, from a member of the West Somerset Rly. and based at the same, I don't think its too unkind to say that this was probably one of the tiredest 04's to survive in preservation (The worst one definitely being D2272 Alfie, also with us, but more of that later!) The loco's one saving grace was its rarity value. There are only three that have survived from the first batch, and there was only about ten in the first batch from new, so this was probably going to be the only one ever available, the other two being, D2203 at the Yorkshire Dales Railway, (ex Wisbech and Upwell Tramway) and D2207 at the North Yorkshire Moors Rly. When it arrived one engine room door had fallen off while it was being transported up the M5. On examining the other 7, it would have probably been better if the others had been lost at the same time! No, I jest, given that the loco was first allocated to West Hartlepool -near the sea, Then another 20 years or so working for Tees dock authority, also obviously near the sea, and its protracted stop over at Williton, also not far from the sea, it came as no surprise that corrosion was very noticeable, especially on the platework. In the last 18 months the loco has received the following work;
New aluminium bonnet doors ,to the original pattern with 18 large louvres in each, and including 32 new locks manufactured,4 to a door and other fittings. A complete new cab roof ,which is probably a first for any diesel shunter in preservation. The radiator professionally overhauled. New wooden cab doors including new outer steel skins ,the only original parts used were the door handles, probably another first for any Drewry diesel shunter in preservation. New original pattern wooden sliding cab windows. Gauge panels overhauled including the use of wrinkle finish paint (No this isn't a misspelling!, the paint given the right conditions dries wrinkly!) This was originally utilised to stop glare or reflected light on the gauge panels. A complete new set of etched instrumentation tags for the gauge panels and desk made. Each tag requiring a fully dimensioned, imperial measurement, scale drawing for the company who were making them. New cab sides ,and a patch grafted into the back to properly repair accident damage some time ago. All the engine bonnets have had new steel plates let into the sides .Another job worthy of note is the following; When the locos were constructed all the platework was rivetted together. As its not really practical to use this process as the rivets need heating to a cherry red colour, placed in the hole and rivetted over while still hot. What we have done is to remove the old rivet from the hole, (if some of the existing platework is to be used or new platework added to existing.) This entails grinding the head off and using a punch and hammer driving the rivet out of the hole. Doesn't sound too bad does it? until you realise there are 200+ to do!! After the rivet has been removed it can the be replaced after the platework has been repaired and redrilled, by a set screw and nut (nut & bolt) which has had the head machined down to the appropriate sized dome to resemble a rivet head, Simple!!
New seat bases and arm rests made, and professionally upholstered. A new cab floor made of flooring boards of a specific thickness and width, which as you would probably guess are no longer available "off the shelf", so have to be specially made. No compromise is possible with this as the floor simply wont fit properly if the boards are not of the correct size. These are now in stock but are not fitted until the cab interior is finish painted. Most other accessible parts have been cleaned and primed ready for finish painting. The loco is being restored in the Brightmore shed, which is the bigger of our two buildings at Rowsley. This has by no means caught you the reader up with all the other work associated with the above three locos, but is an insight into the care and detail taken to enhance our fleet.