A busy period indeed for our no heat machine 47367. July saw some engine room and power unit painting (in between its duties) followed by an air vacuum isolating valve being swapped out. It has improved matters, but more investigating is required. Into September, and a start on the engine's "B" exam begins. On the 2nd the troublesome panel on the lower part of the driver's door at No.1 end was re-attached, and a start on disconnecting the injectors began. Back on the 9th it was 'over the pit' time and checking of the traction motor brush lengths. On motors 2 and 3 the insulator rings got a well-deserved clean and motor 2 had its Motak topped up in the gear housing. On the 12th the injector change began with B2 being taken out and replaced and B4/B5/B6 being removed. Three days later the whole of "A" bank injectors where removed, and the last two from "B" bank were taken out the following day With refurbished injectors being fitted. A return to site was made three days later with all new washers being fitted to the spill pipes and all the final connecting done and 367 was fired up. At the beginning of October the long overdue oil change was completed, with 150 gallons of oil swapped. Towards the end of the month some minor running repairs were done on the load regulator, and a check on the speedo unit was made after some reports of an intermittent fault. On the operational side 367 has was in use in the September diesel gala then followed by the railway's hosting not only of the regular Gin specials but also the Halloween-themed Scream train nights. 367 has also been involved with P.Way workings for MNR's project Hedgehog to install new sidings for Grater Anglia to store its new and then old trains. 367 also has seen some use on Santa/Polar Express trains mainly with 596 T'n'T and twice T'n'T with protype HST power car.
Essex returned to Southall and continued to work charters, most of which involved being tucked inside steam locos to get over the steam ban. All went well until returning with a charter on 30 June when a wheel slip light came on when leaving Bedford. The on board fitter identified a problem with No.5 traction motor which he then isolated and 580 completed the job and returned to Southall depot. Investigations revealed that the coil on the No.5 traction motor contactor had burnt out and was swapped out with a spare with this the problem was resolved, and Essex was put back in traffic. After further charter work off Southall 580 was booked to work the Dorset Coast Express with A4 60009, this being a vacuum-braked train. The train reached Weymouth with no problems and 580 took the empty stock into sidings and was shut down. Three hours later when the crew returned to restart the loco 580 would not start, the control circuit breaker tripping every time the engine start button was pressed. 47580 was declared a failure. Being a vacuum-braked train the nearest assisting locos were at Southall apart from the Swanage Railway's 33012. The later was the preferred option, and the loco was given a FTR and dispatched to Weymouth arriving some 3 hours later. 33012 worked to train back to Southampton before being sent ECS to Southall. 60009 returned light engine to Southall via Salisbury. Essex was collected from Weymouth by a WCRC class 37 and returned to Southall. The fault was narrowed down to the No.2 wire from No.2 cab: isolating this wire seemed to solve the problem, but the No.2 wire from No.2 cab also fed the SSF safety system and after carring out further tests reconnecting the SSF system. With 580 was declared fit for traffic. Essex then worked further charters until 11 September, when - returning from Hellifield leading 47760 and 33207 plus load 10. South of Chesterfield the crew were alerted to a potential traction motor fire and the train was brought to a stand but this was not the case. The source of the burning was traced to the main generator and the crew fired two CO2 fire extinguishers into the inspection hatches and then then let off the three large CO2 fire bottles in the engine compartment. These actions had the desired effect and the fire was put out. 580 was then pushed into Morton loop and left behind. The train then carried on behind 47760, arriving at Radlett in the early hours of the next morning having been diverted via Corby because of an engineering block on the Midland main line. Essex was collected the following day by 47826 which was sent from Carnforth and then was taken to Burton for assessment, 826 returning to Carnforth. A visit Burton to inspect 580 was the carried out and the commutator and brush gear although discoloured do not appear to have been damaged by the fire. Any damage has to be under the generator in areas that you cannot examine without removing the generator from the loco. Therefore, have no choice but to remove the generator from the loco and send the generator to a specialist repairer for assessment and repair. Nemesis Rail have been contracted to remove the main generator.
Aldeburgh Festival has remained in traffic throughout the summer and autumn without too many issues. A vacuum brake fault caused a few problems, this eventually being traced to the air vacuum isolation valve. For mentioned valve we had a refurbished valve in stock and were able to replace it. Also, both of the driver's FV4 valves have also been replaced by refurbished FV4 drivers train brake valve to improve reliability. A oil leak was found under the floor on the triple pump supply side, with a flexible hose had perished and was leaking between the rubber and the metal ferrule. A replacement pipe was purchased and fitted and has solved the problem. On one of the halloween specials 596 lost a second man's droplight. A temporary piece of Perspex was inserted before a replacement glass droplight was installed. 596 has seen use in the September diesel gala then followed by the railway's hosting not only of the regular Gin specials but also the Halloween-themed Scream train nights. 596 also has seen use on MNR's Santa/Polar Express trains mainly T'n'T with the protype HST power car but also some trains with SF 467 groups class mate 47367.
Previous news items can be found in the archive section.

Page last updated 01/02/19