Crompton Space Ship

With the generator and auxiliary machines away for overhaul, full advantage is being taken of the large space in the engine room of 33035. All the floors have been taken up for cleaning and polishing, and several bins loads of rust and muck extracted from the cable and pipework ducting underneath. Jonno’s reward for many hours of tedium was a gleaming maze of pipework after his first practice with the spray gun.

Carl has completed fabricating and welding in the new engine-room guttering that now drains into the drain-pipes instead of flooding the floor. The 3mm steel gutters should be good for another 50 years. He has also been pointing his welding gun at the door frames for the engine-room side doors, which have been another water feature every time it rains. The top of the frame was pretty much all converted to sodden rust, so that had to be chopped out and rebuilt with new steel plate.

The gutters are meant to collect water running off the side grilles, and cleaning these out of layers of old paint, muck and cement has become another grinding chore that has got the better of some. Just like the beautiful pipes under the floor, they are destined never to be admired by passers by.

As space is the final frontier in a confined engine room, the ex-silencer roof has now been removed for further modification to discard the ex-silencer box.  This will open out the top of the electrical cubicle for improved ventilation and better access.

Pipe run under the floor alongside engine

Mick has been painting up the free end of the engine, showing hydrostatic pump for rad fan drive

New gutters in place behind grilles

Rot over the top of the door frame

Top of door frame rebuilt

Side grilles scraped and painted by Jacob

Colourful selection of pipework waiting to be refitted, plus the infamous Keighley exhaust stack

Ex-silencer roof lifting off

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The More You Look….

The more you look, the more you find… is one sure certainty in railway restoration, and none more so than for BRCW. This was only meant to be a quick wash and brush up while the generator was away, but after a few prods of suspicious looking areas, 33035 is once again receiving major surgery.

And once again it is the cabs that have revealed more rust and corrosion, with the chief culprits being the floor framing under both driver’s droplights. Although the side panels have been replated many times, nothing was done about the steady corrosion under the floor, where water must have collected from the leaking windows and roof, not to mention gallons of tea slung down the side. There were drain holes when the loco left the factory, but these were just a token gesture from the draughtsman at BRCW, being so small that they must have blocked up in no time. Starting at No1 End cab, what little that was left of this area was chopped out by Carl. A proper mansize drain channel was fitted along the bottom of the window, running into a mansize drain to the outside. The vertical channel for the door frame was reunited with the floor section for the first time in many years.

Lower section of bodyside cut away to reveal not much left of the floor supports

From the inside, the remains of the "marine ply" panel that lasted only 3 years of derbyshire wet weather

Drain channel to collect water from window and actually drain to the outside

Even the tidy up in the engine room has expanded into a major exploration of the underworld, as floorplates have been lifted in a lucky dip to see what horrors await below. The choice seems to be either an oil well or a time team dig into the past, through layers of rust. This is inevitably what preservation is all about – cleaning and scraping the proverbial. Of course it is all worth while when it it restored and gleaming in new gloss paint – only to be sealed up again, never to be seen for another 50 years. Well a least the loco is a little lighter and fresher, and one day there will be nothing left to do?

Jonno and Nathan ponder which bit to do next

Jonno working round the floor sections in the engine room

Looking down on the floor areas for the compressor and generator connections, air pipes to the left, electrical cables to the right

New oil field discovered under a floorplate next to the engine - no rust here

Area in front of engine, temporarily vacated by the triple pump

Floor area in rad tunnel after cleaning and painting, before covering with floor plates

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Generator Rewind

33035′s generator now stands ready for collection after a rewind at Bowers over the last six months. The work has been necessary to restore the ETH section back to working order after it had previously blown out a winding at the Ecclesbourne Railway. The generator was sent to Bowers for overhaul, and the blown ETH winding temporarily sealed up so the loco could complete its season at the railway and finishing the year with a visit to the Nene Valley Railway diesel gala. Returning to Barrow Hill, the generator was removed for a second time last December and sent to Bowers. The following pictures show the stages of repair.

The armature removed and the old ETH windings exposed prior to extracting

Each new winding made of strands of copper wires bound together

Each winding carefully inserted in the armature slots

The windings are taped up and protected in the main slots with Nomex insulating sheets. This shows the strands fed into the commutator slots to the left.

The ends of the windings are arranged waiting for trimming and soldering to the end of the commutator

Windings now in place and ends taped up prior to dipping in varnish

After varnishing and curing in the oven, the final banding is done on a slow turning lathe

Armature after banding and revarnishing. It is now sent away for balancing.

Armature refitted into field frame, showing heating tapes added as a modification to protect the generator in winter.

Almost finished, awaiting refitting of the fan.


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Countdown to Swanage

After over three years tucked up in the comfort of No3 road at Barrow Hill, Sherwood Forester did not want to leave for its seaside holiday and so it put up a determined fight over the four weeks leading up to the Swanage Diesel Gala. There’s nothing like a deadline to focus minds and raise stress levels, but our team of volunteers and the co-operation of Barrow Hill made it all happen. Continue reading

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Back to Black

At long last Sherwood’s bogies are nearing completion of the restoration work to needle-gun, chisel and scrape many layers of paint and muck from the side frames and buffer beams. A coat of grey primer-undercoat allowed all the fine detail to be seen and admired by the rivet counters, but a return to the top coat of black¬† unfortunately also means a return to obscurity after the hours of hard work. In the pursuit of authenticity, we specified a finish part way between gloss and satin, as we felt that modern gloss paints are just too shiny compared with the old BR oil-based paints. Hopefully we have got it about right and the bogies will blend in nicely once we clean the blue paintwork. Continue reading

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Winter Blues

What to do during the cold winter weekends? Why needle gunning of course, but wrap up well, put on the ear defenders and safety goggles. Sherwood’s bogies have been under sustained attack from the needle gunners these last few weeks, blasting all the old paint and grime back to the bare metal. The buffer beam at No2 end was clearly overdue a descaling, as a small bit of rust around the edges of two small treadplates turned out to be some serious rot around the pony-link covers, all of which had to be re-plated in a number of places. Continue reading

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Motor Mania

The PDLG made its traditional festive visit to Bowers Electrical today, to view the latest casualties from diesel preservation, and progress with our own projects.

The generator from 33035 has been dismantled and the armature placed on roller stands. From this picture, you can see the ETH section on the right has the banding removed to reveal the blown coil. The glass bandings are on the floor. The coils will have to be carefully prised out of the slots in the armature, and then it will be transferred to the clean room for rewinding. Continue reading

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Spotlight on Sherwood

Since our return from the Nene Valley Railway diesel gala, the spotlight has shifted back to Sherwood, and the result of the last few weeks of progress now sees the loco up and running again after its 3 year engine overhaul. We originally thought it would take about 18 months, but as usual there have been distractions along the way. Anyway, it is finally coming together for 2015. Continue reading

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Gala Delight

It has been a short but intensive summer for 33035, starting with the Keighley & Worth Valley Diesel Gala, four Saturdays working the Wirksworth-Duffield service, and rounding off with another delightful visit to the Nene Valley Railway. Three years ago Sherwood Forester took part in the Nene Valley Railway Diesel Gala and returned home to Barrow Hill for its overhaul. 33035 has followed in its footsteps and is now delivered safely back at Barrow Hill after a smooth ride back on the mainline courtesy of DCR. Assuming no more phone calls, the loco will be wintering at Barrow Hill and receiving further maintenance work, which will be reported here in the coming months. Continue reading

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Ready to Face the Music

Recent visitors to Barrow Hill Roundhouse will have been surprised to find it has almost been emptied out, leaving just five locos huddled together in one corner. All the other roads have been boarded over and the turntable pit filled with a steel frame to provide the base for the Jools Holland concert this coming Saturday (13th). While all this has been going on, work on Sherwood has continued unabated. Continue reading

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