47401 PROJECT           
Preservation News (2008)

47401's recent workings have included several round trips during the MRB Autumn Diesel Gala on 6th/7th September 2008. This was followed by a Railway Experience Day on 20th September 2008, at which members of the public who had pre-booked, were able to drive, under strict supervision, a diesel loco (401), a steam loco, a shunter, a narrow gauge loco and a road roller, as well as operate a signal box. The occasion was blessed with some rare good weather and was an enjoyable and successful day with many compliments on the loco being received by participants. Photos of both events have been added to the 47401 Gallery Page.
On the 47417 front, it has been a little quiet over the summer with attention concentrated on 401's repaint, however things are now moving again! Inside the loco work has focused on completing the reassembly of the exhaust system, including the application of new heat-proof lagging to the exhaust pipes and removal and refitting of the four exhaust bellows from where they had wrongly been placed during a previous overhaul! Away from the loco the 17 removed air tanks have been given an initial inspection by a qualified inspector and 13 out of the 17 were deemed fit for further use. Of the four failures, not all are easily accessible or even present on spares loco 47761. Various options are being investigated including fabrication of complete new tanks, repair of the ones we already have, and/or recovery of partial or complete tanks from 761. Moving into October work has started on the oil system including cleaning the oil filter housings and replacing the filters and seals with brand new ones. Next job will be to drain the sump of the old oil.
The loco's two compressors have had their motors overhauled off-site, and new sets of brushes fitted, plus the compressors themselves cleaned up and painted. The next machines to go away for overhaul will be the TM blower motors.
47761 remains intact for the time being though will be giving up its turbocharger and some bearing shells to 417 before too long. We are also attempting to make up a viable set of batteries on 761 and use it as a "battery incubator", keeping them charged for eventual transfer to 417.
47401 RUNNING DAY 24th AUGUST 2008
The first run of our loco in standard blue livery since 1985 took place on Sunday 24th August, as part of the Midland Railway, Butterley's Works Open Day event. The team was able to apply most of the finishing touches to the loco in time (numbers, arrows, data panels, Gateshead crests)   and it   is looking great! As it was such a busy event with five steam locos and many diesels running over the three days (23rd-25th August), plus a visiting charter from Woking with two Class 67s (gave our shopkeeper the chance to sell a lot more Southern stuff than usual!), there was only chance for one trip with 47401 but the loco performed admirably, showing off its fresh coat of paint to the crowds!

47401 successfully worked three turns at the MRC on Saturday 14th June, part of a Diesel & Steam Weekend and 401 was rostered on the 1115, 1400 and 1615   ex-Butterley. The loco was not booked to work on the Sunday. We commented in our previous update that this may well have been 401's last run in large logo livery and indeed this would have been the case, however the loco was requested by the MRT at short notice to work again on Sunday 29th June, initially planned to undertake four round trips of the line but on the day a fifth trip (starting with the 1546 from Riddings ex-Swanwick) was added after a steam engine ran out of coal. 401 worked as follows:- 1030 Butterley-Riddings/1052 Riddings-Hammersmith; 1140 Hammersmith-Riddings/1201 Riddings-Hammersmith; 1250 Hammersmith-Riddings/1311 Riddings-Hammersmith; 1435 Hammersmith-Riddings/1456 Riddings-Hammersmith/1543 Hammersmith-Butterley/light to Swanwick Jct; 1546 Riddings-Hammersmith (from Swanwick Jct after steam failure); 1625 Hammersmith-Riddings/1646 Riddings-Hammersmith/1713 Hammersmith-Butterley.


On 5th July 47401 was moved into "C Bay" in the main shed building at Swanwick for work to commence on the long awaited repaint into standard blue as voted for by shareholders some time ago. This mammoth task involves far more than just sticking a brush in a tin of blue paint and slapping it on, as a great deal of preparation work has to be undertaken, sanding, de-rusting, replacement of corroded metal (including an entire cab door pillar) and removal of old numbers, logos, stickers, returning white painted handrails to chrome etc.   Thanks should go particularly to three volunteers, Rich ("Ricky") Ward, Martyn Catlin and Paul Parker who had all booked two weeks off work to tackle this job, also to Ernie, Malc, Rob, the two Daves, John, Pete and Mark who all chipped in at various times.


By 20th of July preparation work was pretty much complete and 401 began to look less like a patchwork quilt and more like a proper loco again, with the application of a coat of green primer, and then blue undercoat. The underframe will be done later as a separate job, in addition the engine room roof section will at some point in the future need to be removed for   substantial repair work, but it was decided that a coat of paint will suffice for the time being, not wishing to start dismantling 47401 again until 47417 is up and running! Photos of the repaint can be seen on the 47401 Gallery page and we will update this page again when the job is complete.


The main job on D1516 during June/July was the preparation of the loco's 17 air tanks for inspection by a qualified pressure vessel inspector. This involved sanding them all down to bare metal. They will all be checked for corrosion, safety of welds etc and if failed will have to be repaired/replaced as required (some but not all would be available in 761). The inspection is due in September and the tanks which pass this test will then be painted and hydraulic tested. Assuming they do not fail this second test they can then be returned to the loco.


The two compressors have been sent away to Bowers Electricals Ltd in Heanor for overhaul. When they return the vacuum exhausters and blower motors will also be sent away, the blower motor at No. 2 end having been extracted from the boiler room in July to join the one from No. 1 end which was already in store.


On the power unit front, work has centred on replacing the rocker gear, rocker covers, water pipes and exhaust pipes and applying new lagging to the latter. The power unit is now pretty much complete.


Spares loco 47761 remains stabled next to D1516 at Swanwick. We have not been able to start the loco up owing to the poor state of the batteries. No parts have yet been removed from 761 however expressions of interest have been received from several other Class 47 owners in various components. Our own initial requirements from 761 are likely to be   six main bearing shells for D1516 (the alternative being a minimum order of 20 at £100 each with a lead time of six months) and also the turbocharger (the one from D1516 will go into store as a spare).


No potential operators or preservationists have come forward or shown any interest in taking 761 in any form of exchange or cash plus spares deal so it seems likely that it will be sold to the highest bidder once we have taken what we need from it. This doesn't necessarily mean that it will be broken up, you just have to put in a higher bid than the scrappies if you think it should be preserved!


Another big step forward in the restoration of 47417 was taken on Saturday 25th April with the removal of the auxiliary compartment roof section and the craning out of the loco's compressors, vacuum exhausters, a motor blower, the triple pump and four large air tanks. A great deal of work had been put into preparing for this event as the removal of the roof section involves a great deal of disconnecting work of the fuel, water, air and electrical systems as well as the actual securings of the roof section itself, all in very cramped and inaccessible conditions.
The plan now is to have all 17 of the loco's air tanks given an initial safety check. Those which pass this test will in due course receive a full hydraulic test before being returned to the loco. Any tanks which fail will need to be repaired or replaced.
The compressors and the motor blower (and probably the exhausters too) will be sent away for overhaul. After 17 years out of traffic in cold and damp storage conditions and 24 years on from their previous overhaul, we are taking no chances especially with the 800 volt 'Generator specific' electrical machines!
In the meantime the compartment itself will be cleaned out and painted, and attention given to the severed electrical cabling as well as the repair/replacement of the two automatic voltage regulators.
The roof section has been temporarily returned to the loco but when covered accomodation is available it will need to be removed again for some structural repairs to take place plus removal of the two fan motors which will also be sent away for overhaul.
A selection of photos of the weekend's operation can be viewed on the 47417 Gallery page.
DIESEL GALA 19th & 20th APRIL 2008
47401 was brought out of winter storage on Saturday 12th April and completed two light engine test runs from Swanwick to Ironville and back without incident.
The 2008 running season proper kicked off on 19th & 20th April, with four trips per day rostered for 47401. Some trips were paired with other locos 25321, 45041 and 08590 and D182 also put in brief appearances at the gala.
Unfortunately 401 missed its first couple of trips on the Saturday due to starting problems in other words it wouldn't. This was thought to be caused by issues relating to the water pressure switch and is subject to further investigation. Once this problem had been overcome the loco completed the remainder of its booked turns on the Saturday and all of its rostered duties on the Sunday without incident.
47761 ARRIVES 11th FEBRUARY 2008
We are pleased to report the arrival at the MRB of 47761, which was purchased in 2007 by the 47401 Project for spare parts. The 47/7 was brought from Margam depot in two stages. On Wednesday 6th February, Cotswold Rail's 57005, working 0Z80 14:30 Fishguard Harbour-Gloucester, called in at Margam to collect 47761. The 57 arrived at Margam at 16:30, and   was booked away at 17:59. 47761 arrived at Gloucester at 20:01 where it remained stabled until Monday morning 11th February when 57005 (again) hauled it as 0Z76 09:00 Gloucester-Butterley, arriving at Codnor Park Junction at 12:50 from where MRB resident 08590 tripped it the final leg of its journey to the Swanwick museum site. The significance of 57005 being used to deliver 47761 has not been   lost on Project members   - this loco, as 47350 "Scorpion", starred in our Summer '96 Diesel Gala alongside 47401.
As previously mentioned on this site, it must again be pointed out that 47761 should not be regarded as a preserved loco. It will donate its bogies to D1516 as well as providing a host of other useful spare parts for 47401 and D1516 and other preserved 47s. After stripping the bodyshell will be scrapped. It is possible that prior to stripping the loco could make a few farewell runs at the MRB if not too much work is involved in making it fit to haul passenger trains. No promises, but watch this space!
47401 & D1516 UPDATE JANUARY 2008

While out of traffic for its winter repose, 47401 is receiving attention to the internal roof around the generator end to remove old paint, and perform the now familiar rust stabiliser/prime/gloss process to brighten the area up and improve cleanliness around the vulnerable generator. The rust stabiliser (SRC02 by Granville, see www.granville-oilchem.co.uk) has proved an excellent product which prevents rust regenerating without the need to fully remove surface corrosion. It is well worth the investment, both in terms of quality of restoration and man hours saved.


The former boiler compartment in 401, now in need of its second repaint in preservation, is currently having the floor stripped of extraneous metal and rust to reveal a bare surface for painting. The normal prep and finishing approach will be used to restore this area to its former glory. As with all these deep clean projects, the biggest job is removing the rust without creating a cloud which can settle on the electrical machines.


To progress D1516 in the New Year, the coolant pipes are being prepared for installation. These have had their faces honed, and following a thorough clean will be finished in the appropriate shade of blue before refitting.

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