Engine work is progressing on the Co-Bo’s Crossley and 45135′s Sulzer at the East Lancs Railway. Carl and his engine team have made a start on the strip down of the Crossley, removing all the cylinder heads, surprisingly without any damage – the cylinder head nuts obligingly submitted to the torque multiplier without shearing any of the long studs. The “threepenny bit” cylinder heads have some surface rust, but are generally in good condition. However, the next stage is not so straightforward, as the engine has seized in the last few years, and it is taking some effort and ingenuity to free it off, so that it can be barred over to access the big end bolts. Carl hopes to have this sorted during their next working day, and should then be able to lift out the pistons. After that, it is likely that the whole cylinder block will be unbolted and removed for refurbishing.
Plans are being made to strip down the bogies early next year, so that the traction motors can be sent away for overhaul. The underside of the Co-Bo will also be shotblasted to clean off many years of rust and grime.
It is really great to see work moving forward on all fronts with the Co-Bo by the enthusiastic volunteers of the Class 15 Preservation Society. They have people working most weekends on all three locos under their custodianship – Class 14 D9531, Co-Bo and their own D8233. If you would like to help out, they will make you most welcome, so make contact through their website http://www.d8233.org.uk/
A quick look in the engine room of 45135 found the top of the engine block with a forest of cylinder head studs, several liners removed and cylinder heads under overhaul. The loco has been moved into the compact shed at Castlecroft, and some restoration work has been done to No 2 cab.