Preservation News (2010)

D1516 UPDATE - 23rd October 2010
D1516 had another milestone last Saturday being re-united with the majority of the items that live in the auxiliary room......

3 large air tanks
1 medium air tank
2 compressors
2 exhausters
1 compressor frame

All the items were craned back in and secured in position, now they just require 'final adjustments' and connecting up the wiring where applicable. The exhausters were their usual pain line up but it pretty much went to plan. All that is left to go back now is the triple pump which is still off site being overhauled and, joy of joys, the brake frame.
Next up will be the re-fitting and testing of the radiator elements before the roof section goes back. A big few weeks ahead and still much to do elsewhere on the loco.
A massive thank you to our small team (you know who you are). Some pictures have been added to the 47417 Gallery page (with more to follow in the next few days).

BR Blue Sulzer Weekend - 2nd/3rd October 2010
The timetable has just been received for this weekend's running, what was to be the MRB Autumn Diesel Gala but is now one train running in top and tail mode (due to signalling cable theft). Basically three trips for 47401, off shed 10:30ish for a 10:40 departure ex Swanwick, all done and dusted by twenty to four. It's an all Sulzer affair – 25321, 45041, 45133 and 47401.

By way of a further update on recent events, 401 did an additional running day on Saturday 25th September, a last minute substitution for the 46 (flat batteries) which itself was a substitution for steam (they don't have any). Well done to all concerned for prepping and turning the loco out at short notice.

Less good news is an attempted cable theft from 401 discovered the same day, fortunately only minimal damage to the ETH wiring, which will not prvent our running this weekend. But still a very worrying situation for the Project.

UPDATE - 15th September 2010
The new conduit in the corner of D1516's auxiliary compartment has been completed, the last stages including the fitting of Elephantide insulation, a like-for-like replacement of the tired original material. The next job is to replace some severed cables which end a yard short of their intended termination at the brake frame. The next major step for the Project on D1516 will be to complete the cooler group roof section and return it to the locomotive, starting in the next few weeks.

The donor roof section (ex-47756) is now having a concerted effort levelled at it too, after a good long period languishing outside. The final areas of the cantrail area are being replaced, on what will equate to the 'A' side of the locomotive when installed. The area on 'B' side has already been treated.  Remaining patches of the exhaust well not already replaced will then be tackled. Finally the additional bracketry required to turn the roof into a “Generator” roof will be welded to the external exhaust well skin.  

The No. 1 cab continues to be cleaned and undercoated. 

47401 remains in traffic. Currently our next planned outing will be the Autumn Diesel Gala at the MR-B (October 2nd/3rd).

A few new photos have been added to the 47401 and 47417 Gallery pages today.

UPDATE - 1st September 2010
D1516's No. 2 end cab has started to be cleared of the clutter it had attracted up until now and has started to be cleaned and painted.  Meanwhile, the auxiliary room pipework is being tackled piece by piece as the air-tanks are replaced into the locomotive.  The remaining conduit in the auxiliary room has been cleaned and repainted, along with several other items in the locality.  Finally, the new conduit section which has been fabricated over the last few weekends was fitted in place.

Some recent photos are on the 47417 Gallery Page.

General maintenance tasks are ongoing on 47401 to maintain the locomotive in operational condition.

47401 RUNNING DAY - 14th August 2010
A further running day has been added at the request of the MR-B, this coming Saturday 14th August. Please note that this will be in top and tail mode with "Duchess of Sutherland" thus reducing the 47 mileage on offer this weekend.

The Project is attempting to increase its sales of model railway items by mail order. The old model sales pages on this website have been replaced with New Pages listing more recent model releases including Heljan's new Class 26/0 models just received. Further items will be added as and when available.

Our prices will be competitve with the main model railway mail order sellers, being 20% or more off the manufacturer's RRP. UK postage is just £4 per order.

For your convenience we accept Paypal payments through this website. However this normally incurs an additional charge to the Project, so we encourage other means of payment such as cheque or direct bank transfer which are cheaper for the Project.

These models are separate from our sales stand stock so all boxes will be in the condition as received from the manufacturers with no 'shop soiling'.

47401 has been requested for a further short notice vice-steam turn, this coming Saturday, 31st July. It is rostered on the MR-B's Timetable "A", thus will be working four round trips beginning with the 1115 ex-Butterley.

FLEET UPDATE - 1st July 2010
47401 (D1500)
The fleet pioneer successfully completed its booked workings on Sunday 20th June, clawing back some of the mileage lost earlier in the year after the fan motor failure. The loco was (briefly) out again the following weekend on Saturday 26th June. Class 14 No. 14901 failed at Swanwick during the MRB's shunter event and although initially a Swanwick-Riddings-Butterley passenger run looked on the cards for 401 in its "Thunderbird" mode, to the disapointment of several passengers the train was cancelled and 401 worked ECS Swanwick-Hammersmith-Butterley then light engine dragging the "Teddy Bear" back to Swanwick. Some photos of the rescue job appear on the 47401 Gallery Page.

D1516 (47417)
The air tanks are being refitted to the locomotive as and when space allows.  Like many things, the air tanks need other elements of the locomotive to be complete prior to installation.  For instance the auxiliary room conduits, which are inaccessible with the "torpedo" tanks in situ need checking for cable condition and conduit condition.
More auxilliary machines have been reunited with the locomotive, including the traction motor blower at No. 2 end, which looks excellent amidst the sea of grey and white paint which has transformed the appearance of the area. A lot of hard work has been put into cleaning this area of assorted corrosion and general detritus, and it's a credit to the lads who undertook it.
The cooler group has now been thoroughly cleared of corrosion, cleaned and painted. This will then be moved to a secure location prior to fitment of its elements and subsequent hydraulic test. 
The locomotive body is having weld repairs undertaken by the Midland Railway Trust's staff, to put the body side steps back to rights and replace a corroded section of the body at No. 2 end (the same area we replaced on 401 some years ago). 
The severed cables in the auxilliary room are gradually being replaced. The conduit which runs the length of the of the auxilliary room has had the cables removed from it for inspection. These have been suspended at several points along the bodyside, allowing the corroded length of the conduit to be replaced. Photos of recent work can be seen in the 47417 Gallery.

47761 (D1619 - 47038 - 47564)
The body of spares donor loco 47761 has been sold by the Project to Harry Needle Railroad Company (HNRC) in a cash plus spares deal, having already contributed much useful equipment towards the restoration of 47417. A bogie swap will be undertaken before the faded RES liveried loco departs for pastures new, 47761's bogies being destined for 47417.

47401 20th June Extra Trip
401 will now be working six round trips in total this Sunday (see news item below). An extra 16:20 ex-Butterley departure has been added as compensation for the reduction in the advertised service from "Timetable C" to "Timetable B".

Also, some new photos have been added to the 47401 and 47417 Gallery pages.

47401 UPDATE - 16th June 2010
47401 will be running this Sunday 20th June, vice steam loco, working five round trips starting from Butterley at 10:20. Note the MR-B website advertises this day as "Timetable C" (two train running) but it has been reduced to "Timetable B". Timings are here.

The loco performed well at the Diesel Gala (see below) though the last trip on the Sunday was knocked on the head due to running low on fuel.

47401's next working following the gala was a Driver Experience day on Friday 11th June, and again the loco performed well on a series of light engine and stock moves, the customer who had chartered it seemingly very happy to have a 47 for his big day.
Anyone interested in doing the same should contact the MR-B direct.

47401 UPDATE - 19th May 2010
47401 is back to operational status as of last night. The failed fan motor went off site for repairs but duly failed when bench tested following initial remedial work. Further work has been carried out and this delayed its return. However we are pleased to report that the motor is now back and over the past two weekends we have reunited it with its cowlings and the whole assembly is now back inside the loco. On Monday evening 17th May the loco was run up to double check all the other 800v machines were OK and then last night it was the same again plus the fans. So subject to the usual caveats 401 will be performing at the MRB diesel gala this weekend. A word of caution for the purists, it's a top and tail affair with several visiting locos. I believe we have 45133 for company on a couple of turns and then the visiting Class 14.

So our thanks to Richard Ward, Paul Parker, Tom Gray, John Ward, Martyn Catlin, Ian Crampton (plus his ‘Assistant’ crane driver) for their efforts over the last few days.

Here is the link to the full info on the MRB diesel event with details of the three visiting locos.

D1516 UPDATE - 22nd March 2010
Monday 22nd March was another milestone day for D1516. The event taking place was the hydraulic pressure testing of the locomotive’s air tanks. Some of you may recall that these tanks (47401-20 each have 17 air tanks) were removed from the loco almost two years ago and an initial inspection resulted in four of the tanks being failed. Owing to the unique nature of these items it has taken a long time to source replacements which eventually resulted in three brand new tanks being constructed and one tank being reconstructed. In the case of the latter the inspector deemed the shell of the tank was defective but the dished ends were okay.

Having obtained our replacements we have held back from the second phase of testing until we were close to completing the refurbishment of the auxiliary room and its roof section which is where most of the tanks are situated. This also includes the overhaul of the various auxiliary machines that occupy this compartment as some of the air tanks are positioned under these machines. So with the end of these tasks in sight it was time to carry out the pressure test.

We had 13 tanks to test, two of which are ‘dual’ chambered giving us 15 tests to undertake in all. In addition it was also decided to test one of the new tanks simply to bring its test date more into line with all the others. So physically we had in one large tank to test A2 (the "torpedo" - for those of you familiar with 47s this sits under the compressors), three medium tanks to test and ten small tanks.

The testing itself is straightforward enough but time consuming so in order to speed up the process some of the tanks can be coupled together and tested as one. Generally the working air pressure system on a Class 47 is 140psi which means for testing purposes you must test upto 1.5 times ie. 210psi. However to complicate matters a few of the tanks work at different pressures to others so you have to be careful on ‘doubling up’. With that in mind valuable brain power was expended putting together a running order of tests taking into account the couplings available – male/female threads, size ¾  bsp, ½ bsp etc, etc. Quite simply you then fill up each tank with water and the inspector pumps this up to the required pressure and then makes sure this holds over the next 10 to 15 minutes.

Come the big day we got off to a flyer and by lunch time seven tests had been completed, which included the dual chambered air tanks one each of which sits under the driver’s seat – these are peculiar to the ‘Generators’. Apart from a slight ‘weep’ from a reducer all went well and while this testing was going on the ‘torpedo’ was moved onto a forklift truck and placed in position. Our first minor hiccup came with tank A4 which I’d hoped to double up. Having filled up its partner and connected the two up it was then realised that A4 contained not only a filter but also a further reducer meaning it would take ages to fill up even though it was only a small tank. With its ‘mate’ ready they were split off and A4 was eventually tested solo.

Just after lunch the threatened rains set in and we had to move undercover. Rain is not very helpful when you are checking for potential leaks. We had three small tanks left to do and then the bigger items, which to save time we had already begun to fill up. Filling up an approximately 280 litre vessel through a small ½ connection is not a quick job. However we soon arrived at our nemesis A2 the ‘torpedo’. Pressure was applied but unfortunately at about 100psi the blanking plates started to leak rather badly with little fountains of water appearing. So whilst the blanking plates were taken off and tried again the remaining medium sized tanks were tested.

After two further attempts with the ‘torpedo’ a combination of PTFE Tape, Boss White and Horse Hair finally cured one leak and brought the other under sufficient control to allow the test to be carried out at the designated pressure and that was it, no leaks, success.

All we had to do now was pack up and empty out all the water. By now the rain had stopped and the sun came out to shine on a successful day. Our thanks to Martyn, John, Paul and Richard for giving up their time.

Over the next few weeks the air tanks will be repainted and then put back in their rightful place. D1516 will internally start to look a complete loco again.

47401 UPDATE - 1st March 2010
A bit of bad news we're afraid.

We are sorry to report that on Thursday 25th February 47401 had a flashover and has consequently has been taken out of service.

The loco was involved in a one day commercial testing contract hauling ECS. Following several runs with a rake of stock the loco was idling when No. 1 fan motor flashed over. Quick action by the crew ensured that damage was kept to a minimum.

For those who may be wondering it was a non-passenger carrying event, not open to the public which is why it was not advertised. So rest assured no chainage/mileage was lost! We do sometimes receive this type of work which tends to generate more income for the MRB than for the loco itself. On this occasion though it provided us with the opportunity to use the loco and check for any faults prior to its planned running days in March.

If there is any good news amongst this it is that only No. 1 fan motor was damaged and the 800 volt generator was unaffected. Whilst we do our best to ensure the commutators and brush boxes are kept spotless and the loco is tarpaulined during the worst of the winter it is suspected that a combination of damp and possibly a build up of carbon in areas inaccessible to us have contributed to the cause.

Anyway, Bowers Electrical Machines have already been on site to give their professional diagnosis and the motor will be sent away for rep
airs. The surmised reason for failure is that fixings within the stator had exposed metal as a result of corrosion and resultant degradation of the anti-tracking paint covering them. Normal Brush practice would be to shroud said studs in winding tape, set with resin which would offer superior insulation and prevent corrosion of the fixing undermining the insulation so profoundly. The resultant flash-over has affected the integrity of the cable insulation (local to the commutator) on the motor’s stator which is to be replaced by Bowers. The commutator has also suffered damage, which will be remedied by re-machining. The machine will then be thoroughly cleaned and re-finished with anti-tracking paint. 

The motor un-affected by the flashover had similarly unprotected fixings. This is currently being remedied using tape, resin and anti-tracking compounds whilst the machine remains in situ on the locomotive. Prior to this the machine was thoroughly cleaned. Additional anti-tracking paint will be applied onto exposed areas of the stator following a forced drying of the rotor and stator. Hopefully this will reduce the probability of further failures.

Some photos of the errant motor being lifted out are on our 47401 Gallery page.

Repairs to the flasshed over motor should occur in the next two to three weeks. Regrettably this does mean that 47401 is not now going to be available for its running days on March 13/14.

Apologies to those of you who may have had plans to visit but hopefully the advance notice will allow you to change your arrangements.

Assuming the loco is repaired in time then the next planned running day will be the MRB Diesel Gala 22nd/23rd May.

Not a good start to the new season, things have been progressing so well of late.

CLASS 47 DATA FILE PART 2 - 4th February 2010
Finally! The book is complete and is being delivered from the printers tomorrow. We have banked the cheques this afternoon of everyone who has paid via that method and hope to despatch all the back orders durover the course of next week. Meanwhile Part 6 is on the way (D1682-D1714)! To order Part 2 just click on the Book Sales page of this site (with Paypal payment), or alternatively by cheque/PO payable to 47401 Project (send to 21 The Oaklands, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 8AD). Cost is £9.99 + £2 P&P.

WEBSITE EMAIL CONTACT - 5th January 2010
It has been brought to our attention that some emails sent to the Project via the contact link on this site have not been getting through to us. We have therefore replaced it with a direct email address - enquiries47401project@hotmail.com  - you can either click on this link or cut and paste it into your address bar. If you have tried contacting us before and received no reply, sorry, we haven't been ignoring you! Please try again and we will get straight back to you.

CLASS 47 DATA FILE PART 2 - 5th January 2010
We are expecting this book back from the printers anytime now, it did not quite make it in time for the Christmas holiday period due to a few corrections and alterations being required to the completed page proofs. We will post a further update when we receive the book, at which time we will also bank the cheques of everyone who has ordered. If you haven't ordered yet then you can do so via the "Books" section of our for sale pages on this site (with Paypal payment), or alternatively by cheque/PO payable to 47401 Project (send to 21 The Oaklands, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 8AD. Cost is £9.99 + £2 P&P.
  Site Map