This section is a brief report on what we're up to keeping 003 looking pretty and sounding good Section just up and running so there should be more detail on previous working parties, not yet listed.
If you wish to lend a hand and can hold a spanner / paint brush or even take the photo's so I don't get my camera dirty* please contact us
*please note Tractor pres in perfectly clean and leaves no lasting odours
If you can't help out on the loco, you could always make a donation
The main objective for the weekend before last was to prepare the loco for the inspection of the Air Reservoirs. This involved removing some of the smaller units so that they could be inspected quicker and easier, and for the larger ones, make sure that access was provided, and that all the necessary pipework was removed to allow for an internal inspection using an endoscope.
As part of this work, we still had a couple of outstanding air system jobs to do. Refurbishment of the number 2 end centre brake cylinder, and to fit the nice new brake pipes we had purchased that week. As you will see from the attached pictures, we now have a nice and air tight cylinder and a lovely new set of pipes up front. The end result of all this, is that we have received a clean bill of health for our air system. Once we receive the bill, I will finally put out the offer of having your name on one of the tanks. I have had a couple of people put their name down off the back of the mention in Syphon-ette, and I will get back to you all asap.
Some of you may notice that we no longer have any vacuum "bags" on the front. These were in a very poor condition, and with no requirement in the near future to provide a vacuum supply, and to keep the ever attentive eye of the inspector from digging, we decided the easiest option was to remove the pipes, blank off the fittings and isolate the exhausters. So for the first time in her history, she is "officially" air only!
With space being freed up in the container, we decided it was a good time to decant all the loose items out of the loco. To say that we now have a full container would not be an understatement! 63 feet of loco sure holds a lot of stuff!
With room to move, Colin was able to paint the vee of the engine, so now everything matches, and the oil feed pipe has been refitted. And James did a fantastic job on the inspection panel plates. All these are now back on the engine, and with nicely oiled bores again, the engine has been wrapped up. Now the weather is changing, the decision was made to remove the winter tarpaulin, and change to a couple of lighter ones.
The batteries have had a good couple of days charge put into them.
Roof latches freed with a suitable persuader, so it now stays shut. Whilst up there, Colin evaluated the roof, and we have identified 20 seemingly important bolts missing from the roof that will be fitted this coming weekend. This should make sure that nothing comes adrift at 75mph during our journey East.
As much of the waste fluids have been removed from the bed plate and spill tanks. We will drain the fuel tank on arrival at Leicester as it will have had a good slosh on route which'll pick up any gunge that may be in there.
Steve Potter, James and Colin got busy with the paint palette, and all the brake cocks and multi cables are now wearing new coats of paint.
Frost grills and works plates removed. She is looking very 80’s now!
With hopefully just a few more hatches to batten down, the gear cases to be filled, and a damn good session with the grease gun all over the bogies, I think we are ready!
A really productive day at Dereham today, Gavin Wolfenden got stuck into realising the brake rigging in readiness for the loco having a new set of blocks fitted soon, trying to remove years of built track up dirt and brake dust didn't help things but at the end of the day all was released and ready for the new blocks. James Powley and Colin Makcrow got stuck into unbolting the axle caps and fitting new locking nut tabs before tightening them back up and fitting some new gaskets before fitting the axle box covers back on and making it all water tight.
With the loco now over the pit, we got to work cleaning and releasing the brake rigging on the bogies in preparation for having its new brake blocks fitted over the coming weeks. Moving inside the loco, the crank has had its bearing surfaces protected with corrosion inhibitor and a good clean out of the cabs is needed over the next few weeks.
If any Members can spare any time over the next few weekends it really would be appreciated. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved, There are no special skills required for most jobs, just a good deal of determination.
After a bit of planning with the Operations Department at Dereham, Sunday 15.01.17 finally saw 37003 moved from the site of the proposed shed onto the pit road in readiness for the coming weeks working parties.
After moving a few other things around the site, We decided to pipe 37003 up to 47596 to put some air through the system to see if her "dormant" period had affected anything, all seems to be working well apart from a leaking brake cylinder on the No2 bogie drivers side.
At last, parts are starting to go back into 37003. Colin and Gavin wrestle liner B1 back into the block as Mick instructs Roger and Nick on the hi-ab....oh yes, thanks to Gav's wife for the bacon rolls!!.
A couple of pics from recent work on 37003.
Liners in Savoy after cleaning and external protection applied Crank being measured with a 7-8" micrometer. All pins within 0.001" of new spec.
Block cleaned and prepped by Colin Makcrow.
Roger looks pensively at the liners now waiting final removal after a hard days graft from the team
Thanks to Gavin, Andy, Roger and Colin for the sweat and swearing and Gavin's Mrs, Julie for the bacon rolls!!!
Work continues with Martin Ranson, Gavin Wolfenden, Andy Shildrick, Colin Makcrow, Mark Hallett, Mike Millward and Andy from Blakes taking 37003's engine to bits
Mark Hallett got stuck in today and pulled three of the big end bearings apart. The Bearing shells don't look too bad, but it all depends on what the micrometers say later...
Mark Hallett tries out the endoscope on B4 cylinder, after a successful day stripping exhausts and more upper components with Colin Makcrow.
Major spanner work from Andy Shildrick, Colin Makcrow and Mike Millward got the top of the engine stripped of rocker gear, manifolds and air intake.
A good days work yesterday with Gary and Gavin saw the intercoolers finally prised out and removed from 37003 (they are 60% clogged up so needed a damn good clean anyway) and work start on stripping the heads and rockers, including much foul language and bruised bodyparts...
As part of the work on 37003, which will include (next year) some major body surgery, the "Dereham Neatherd High School 1912-2012" nameplates have been removed for return to the school (along with a lot of bodyside paint...). They were only supposed to be on for one year anyway, so now is a good time to return them. (Thanks to Colin Makcrow for the pics)
Whilst some of the team had a very successful weekend Swanage-ing around in the souith of England, over in the flatlands a trio of enthusiastic volunteers, led by Mike Millward set about starting to pull 37003's engine apart. Dodging some very heavy showers, they managed to get the old contaminated oil out of the engine by fair means and foul and drain the remaining coolant, then set about starting to strip the intercoolers. Thanks go to Gavin Wolfenden, Mark Clamp and Colin Makcrow for the muscle and Mark Hallett for some spectacular forklift driving!
Bit of a change of plan today; work continued on Savoy but after an item of local wildlife beecame interested in one of the rust holes, Mike and Colin Makrow spent the day bunging up and filling the body rot, also giving the brake end a lick of paint to tidy it up a bit. Now a Bee-free zone....
Another afternoon's work in Savoy saw it get closer to being ready for "The Big Strip" of 37003. Mark Clamp and Mike Millward put some more work in and a lucky find of a plastic carboy means the kitchenette area is nearly ready to roll. We have been asked why we are concentrating on Savoy and not 37003; well, 37003 is going nowhere soon and we have nowhere else on the site to store and repair parts other than Savoy, hence we need to have Savoy fully functional before starting to pull 37003 to bits. This is quite a big project and if we start in a muddle, it will just get worse and slow the pace of work down. Please bear with us; we do have a plan, it just needs to happen in sequence.
As of December 21st 2013, 37003 is out of service with internal engine coolant leaks. Cylinder liner A1 is definately passing coolant (badly) and there may be more. Considering this power unit was last overhauled in Crewe Works in 1991 and then top end overhauled at Toton in 1998; it has done superbly well to stay coolant tight this long. The Group apologises for the lack of haulage action for the foreseeable future and would welcome some helping hands next year when we start stripping the engine down.
Thats better, a newly refurbished brake cylinder back where it belongs.
A couple of days graft saw Steve Potter and Mike Millward get eight of the brake cylinders off and repairs to some of the interiors started. New seal kits are on the shelf as are new nuts and bolts to refit. Some of the old fastenings were so tight Mike broke a 6" socket extension....
Heres Mike breaking a 6" socket extension trying to remove one of the brake cylinder bolts, some of them were very hard to crack and took quite a bit of time to remove!
Heres one of the 37003s Brake cylinders assemblies we removed for overhaul...full of gunk and rust. The pots will be cleaned, renovated then new rings and seals fitted before reattachment to the loco, dirty work but someones got to do it!!
Before and After
More progress today with Mike Millward and Steve Potter on site; a load of parts were herded up out of their various hiding places and sorted into the storage area, the Ambulance cupboard was modified as storage, a kitchenette are was created to provide hot drinks for the crew and after a darn good clear-out, the work area had some more paint applied to tidy it up. Progress is rapid at the moment, but we have work to do to 37003 before the Christmas Gala event. Keep an eye out for updates....
Start up today was successful even if a bit noisy and smokey!!
Well the weather has fallen apart, but luckily the work on the 'public' side of 37003 has reached the point of being acceptable. Steve Daniels and Mike Millward spent Tuesday dodging showers and fitting decals. Not all went to plan, and more work will be necessary before Friday. Nevertheless, considering the sheer amount of work put in in such a short period and up against iffy weather, the end result is quite good. Final finishing off can waith until the weather improves a bit more (ha-ha!)..
Almost done :-)
and with a little bit more paint
The repaint continues :-)
Loads done today thanks to a gap in the weather and a couple of assistants. Both sides now primed and prep on noses coming on.
Busy couple of hours on Weds evening, between the thunderstorms, saw more bodywork and the first undercoat applied by Gary and Mike. Next work party is Sat 9th
We're very pleased to report that our shiny new electronic AVR (automatic voltage regulator) has today been fitted, and it has been tested in situ - and all is fine. On the meter it returned 111 - 112 volts through all scales of engine revs, so a good job done.
Meanwhile, Mike M has finished the air pipe leak repairs off. The repair was also tested, with 100% success, and the various components we'd had to remove to get access to the leak were then bolted back into situ. The loco was then used in shunting moves around the yard before being put to bed. We then took the opportunity to drain the bedplate of dregs before she goes into the bay for remedial work. She has been specifically requested for use in a full driver experience day next Saturday, and after that she will be pulled from service to do this work - all hands on deck time!!!!
It's good to report a fully operational loco again!
Got to the MNR at 0745, prepped and started 37003 up and got her nailed on to the Works Train (MLV, crane,
crane runner, 2 x flat wagons) and off we toddled to Thuxton via a couple of equipment drops. We left the
train at Thuxton and then had to go to Crownthorpe Bridge to change a fishplate on a dropped rail joint;
once that was done we went back to Thuxton and did some more shunting.
Then Mark Hallet and I went for a trip down the line to Wymondham to do tests on the 1st field divert.
On Danemoor Bank, we put some pressure on the straight air brakes to simulate a train and Mark gave 37003 full power whilst I monitored the load reg. At 1st divert, the LR ran back and the engine speed picked up again; it is still a little slow reacting, but at least it now works properly.
A couple more checks to
confirm and it certainly looks as if we are heading in the right direction. After a break at Wymondham,
back to shuffle the works train again, couple of circuits of the loop at Thuxton and back to Dereham
picking up cut logs en route and then beddy-byes for 37003 at about 1630 as the sun gave up.
I took the chance to go over the engine with the laser thermometer and also check engine revs with the tacho; nothing untoward anywhere. No2 end controller works a lot better now we've rebuilt it and shuts down immediately when asked.
New job on the list are new droplight window seals - bugger that wind was cold!
It is planned to have 37003 on the Santas at least some of the time as 47580 is coming back for a few weeks until 47596 is up and running again.
Todays moves were:- Dereham - Thuxton - Crownthorpe - Thuxton - Wymondham - Thuxton - Dereham, 7 hrs in all.
Just a quick message to sum up what has been a very successful (long) weekend for the Group - despite the need for a
lot of last minute work, 37003 was ready in time for the weekend's Mid-Norfolk Railway gala, she worked reliably
throughout the three days of the gala - including helping out when other traction became temporarily unavailable.
As we were aware, there were - and are - still some adjustments that need to be made, in the areas of the governor/load regulation and timing, so she was driven accordingly and with sympathy to the remaining "quirks". We're very pleased to see that the refurbished AVR is working well, and she is using negligible oil and water - and nothing additional by way of faults emerged during the most intensive use she has seen for many years. Suffice it to say, we are very pleased indeed with how 37003's first weekend in revenue-earning service on the MNR went.
More widely, the gala itself was excellently organised and an undiluted pleasure to visit - a supremely high standard that we have come to expect of the MNR team.
Anyway, the most important reason for my writing this is to express the Group's sincerest thanks to all of those who made this possible by putting in countless hours of hard work - and frankly a lot of serious brain power too - to get 37003 into traffic. At the serious risk of missing somebody off, thanks need to go to Chris Cheney, Pete Clay, Paul Mobbs, Steve Potter, Gary Brzeczek, Mark Hallet, Jed, Mike M - and everyone else who helped with getting 37003 ready for a successful weekend's running which included two stand-in runs that weren't booked but were carried out anyway with no fuss or difficulty. Thanks also as ever go to the MNR management, ops and everybody else. But a special word of thanks is also due to the drivers who handled 37003 with a very high level of mechanical sympathy, knowing she's not yet "the finished product" but still letting her stretch her legs and clear her throat.
And, finally, a big thank you goes to all of those who attended the event and showed your support for the railway - and for our Group.
37003 has run OK all day and had a good test run again this afternoon, passed FTR. Out d/h with 37219 on the 0930 Fri morning.
Pete C, Chris C and Mick D have been busy fitting the AVR, checking the oil, priming the fuel today.
Must have got it right, cause 003 has been shunting a few mk2s around Dereham today.
Well done lads :-)
Steve, Gary and I with help from Mick Doyle drained the oil cooler and cleaned out the suction strainer today.
The oil cooler drains were a complete pain to get to get out but came
off eventually and the strainer had a good amount of detritus in it. Next time round we should be at the point of fitting
the AVR and priming the oil system, then topping up again.
Today we successfully managed to pump out the engine block sump of the old oil and replace it with shiny new liquid engineering.
We are now in a position to refit the AVR next week and finish off other minor jobs before the batteries are recharged and button is pressed!
Today being 37003's 50th Birthday, a small Group turned up at the MNR to say 'Happy Birthday' to 003 and check things over. Despite the freezing temperatures, all fluids are where they are supposed to be and all looks good, roll on the oil change and getting the AVR fitted!
Pete has been busy with the AVR, which is now rebuilt and ready for refitting, testing and final set up.
A new 150R resistor has been fitted as the original suffered some heat damage (cracks to terminating bands) and also wouldn't give a reading(???). Four replacement carbon piles from 50019s former unit have also been fitted, replacing one cracked disc and several chipped ones.
Just need to do an oil change and replace a few more gasket seals on the crankcase covers, then we can fire her up.
Good day, bit chilly, Gary and Steve sorted the fuel filter OK and the water trap, then went on to strip the old gaskets off the crankcase and take patterns to make new ones for the whole engine. James spent the day grubbing foam out of the floor by the drivers seat and Mike spent several lovely hours sorting out the knackered cable supports in the aux gen and reterminating the power cables. Lack of daylight stopped play...
37003 was repainted into Dutch livery and renumbered 37360 for the 50th anniversary Gala at the Mid-Norfolk Railway. She was renumbered
37360 due to her being fitted with CP7 bogies and had she still been in mainline service, it would have been allocated this number.
A problem with the AVR was discovered, but thanks to Steve Benniston, a temporary replacement has supplied and fitted and 360 was returned to service on the Saturday of the gala.
A number of issues were identified, but nothing to give us anything to worry about, and she should be up and running again later in the year.
First of all, I must say many 'Thank You's to Chris who spent a fair bit of Saturday pokeing the AVR with sharp and sometimes quite hard objects and after refurbishing the trimming pot, was successful in getting the thing functioning again.
After as many checks as we could do, we started 003 up and she ran for well over an hour, the repairs to the gen bearing have been successful, everything worked as it should (apart from the AWS and the deadmans, which we will be investigating next) and we even took power after a brake test.
The next part of the plan is to get her over the pit at Dereham so the bogies and traction motors can be inpsected and to do a full oil change before traffic, start snagging the minor issues and hopefully in a fortnight she will be ready.
We're very pleased to announce that, after herculean efforts by Mike and the regular team of devoted volunteers at Dereham, 37003 was successfully started on Saturday evening - at the end of a long day's preparation and final checks.
Initial indications are that the main generator bearing swap has been a success, and the engine started easily. There's also no sign of contamination in the oil
However, we are not quite there yet - there is a niggling problem with the automatic voltage regulator (AVR - a mechanical device which as its name suggests ensures that the voltage put through the electrical system is not too high) is sticking, and we need to rectify that before she can be put through her fitness-to-run test and we can run her. But, with enough volunteer support, there is a good chance that 37003 will be a runner by the MNR gala event in 3 weeks' time.
So this really is the final push - so please allow me once more to make an appeal to any members who might be able to help out at Dereham between now and then - it's more vital than ever, especially as we want 37003's bodywork looking tidy too for her big day.
Mr R hard at word
Beccles chopping out some more metal ;-)
Replating some of the 'rusty' bits was undertake, just needs a lick of paint to finish the job.
After a long time apart, the bearing is now back in and should be completely bolted back together ready for a test run very soon. Some picture from the re-assembly are shown below.
Steady progress has been made on the Class 37 Loco Group's 37003, despite the bad weather during the winter. Prior to the bad weather, the Group invested in a high-quality roof cover which has kept the worst of the winter out and with additional lighting fitted, allowed internal work to continue. Overall 37003 is in good condition; the bodywork will need further attention as it was last worked on ten years ago (37003 has been in preservation since 1998), the engine has been fully checked through and is fine and the only major concern, the worn out main generator support bearing has been replaced. This has taken longer than expected as we had to fabricate special tools to complete the task.
It is expected that 37003 will be making test runs by late April 2010 and introduced via a 'Members Day' to traffic during the early summer, then work will be carried out so that by the Mid-Norfolk Railways Class 37 50th Anniversary Gala in September, it will be in the guise of D6703 to work alongside the visiting locos.
Anyone who would like to help the oldest privately preserved Class 37 can contact the Technical Officer via the contact us page
Good progress made today with further split seams sorted out and taken to filler. The welder had a darn good workout....
It is important we get the 'North-East' side of the loco looking good first as when she comes away from the bay at some point, she will be sat to attend to the 'South-West' side on the opposite platform. At the moment we are patch painting her BR blue for three reasons - 1) we have lots of paint, 2) it enables us to 'guide-coat' the body as we go which will guide us as to what else needs attention and 3) once she's ready for service she'll look half decent straight off
Some bodywork repairs were undertaken to make her fit for the onset of winter weather.
Had a cracking day up at Dereham on the 24th, myself, Al Pulford and Steve Potter got the rad fan grille fitted
at last, having spent some time finishing off the rad fan ducting and then we ripped into some bodywork. Some
stress cracks have now been welded up and finished to filler, the previous repairs to the panels below the
radiator grilles have been cut out and rewelded properly, plenty of old filler/rust was dug out and cleaned off
to bare metal before new was added, the bodysides have sort of been cleaned and one cab is now tidy for public
We had a minor fright with a large lump of corrosion on one cab roof, luckily it turned out to be where the paint had cracked and water had got in so it has been cut back and primered ready for attention.
Overall the body is in very good condition for a near 50-year old loco and once Terry Waller and his C&W gang start in the next couple of weeks with the metalwork, she should be superb.
We've also fitted the fuel drainoff pipes to the engine, the aux gen puller is on order from the company we are borrowing it from and work is starting to upgrade the green/cream cab.
The skirts which were temporarily re-fitted back in 1999 have finally been permanently refitted
The nose end doors have been secured and bolted shut, just need a few new hindges fitting to finsh the job (hopefully this won't take another 10 years )
Roy from Applied Inspection Limited came to do the test, while Mick Parker was on hand to remove and refit all the covers and end caps. Having removed the first cover, bent back the locking ring and removed the bolts, the first end cap was well and truly stuck, no amount of gentle persuasion would help with the removal of the cap, so I left it. Continued to remove the rest of the covers & caps without too much trouble, a couple needed some talking too (2lb hammer) but they soon gave up. So returned to the first and using some jacking bolts and a lot of four letter works, I finally removed the end cap, only to find that it was a non-standard model complete with a few lumps and bumps that didnt help in its removal.
Roy did the inspection (see pictures) and everything is fine, once wed had a brew, Roy had a quick walk around the museum and left. I then had the fun of putting everything back together, grease grease everywhere and not a drop to fry my chips in! Putting it all back together was fairly painless, apart from the difficult end cap, which even after a few round with the grinder, it was still a little tight, still that will be some elses problem next time round. .
All in all not a bad days work, and knowing that 003s axles and beams are OK was worth 5hrs round trip to get covered in grease.
A very windy but mainly dry day, Undone inspection plugs and opened doors to let the tank inspector have access to visually inspect and thickness test all of our 15 air tanks. Took the opportunity to move the large bracket and fix the AWS magnet back to the No1 end bogie. Air system re-pressurised to check Id tightened everything up properly, unfortunately found a new nasty air leak behind the compressors!
A sunny Saturday! Mick Chester and myself removed the No1 end blinds in order to paint and overhaul them, in order to keep the weather out 003 gets to wear its dominos for a bit.
Frothtastic? A new look in under a hour!
Mick Sasse and Chester cleaned the Rad room floor to such an extent that they have found the drain holes, defiantly on the summer painting list now.
A through inspection was made of the engine and it was decided that the timing chain and oil needed our attention.
Ooooh look at that bore honing! Mmm.
Turbo charger fan shaft end play was checked to prove how bad the turbo bearings are. As expected they are U/S and need overhaul.
A sunny Saturday finds Mick Chester in the workshop adjusting some pipe work to fit back to the engines waste fuel lines, as we don't want to waste fuel. It's too expensive! And it sounds better when the engine uses it.
The sharp eyed will see the AWS magnet and cable, which we hoped will get the system working soon.
The next working weekend is Sat 13th - if you wish to come along
While delivering some parts to the container, the fuel delivery turned up, which was handy as the gauge could go back on. Looks better than the blank plate with 'fuel in here' on.
With the possibility of good weather I decided to give have a go at changing some buffers. There was a faulty 22" removed from number 2 end when we were at Wolsingham, this was replaced with a 20" we had spare. There was also another 22" faulty on number 1 end and another 20" spare. So simply removing one 22" from one end and replacing with the spare 20" would give us the same size at both ends.
If anyone has some spare 22" buffers? will swap for some 20" :)
I arrived early after picking up an engine hoist off a friend as it was going to be a one man job, The bolt were on very, very tight, my 3/4" power bar was assisted by a 12' boiler tube on the end to give me a chance of cracking em' off, a strong cup of tea later and they were loose. Next I had to roll the spare buffer out onto the concrete apron, Which is actually quite easy with a round one, its all a question of getting the balance right and keeping toes out the way. Next I moved the loco forward onto the apron and used the engine hoist to change round as planned. This is of course when the rain started, just as I was finishing the long task of tightening the bolts up the sun can back out and gave me sunburn! Happy with the days work I had a wander into locomotion for a cuppa and look at Evening Star.
Look! same size and everything!
Finally a nice day for slogging a spanner, result after 3 Saturdays graft rad fan is back, drive shaft on, clutch adjusted and tested. Sounds nice too, no more dry bearing noise. Mick Chester even managed to get the horizontal drive shaft covers on.
Looks quite boring unless you know what is above that nut
- if you wish to lend a hand and can hold a spanner please contact us
Think this is probably the day we got properly going with the rad fan drive, looks difficult until go get big enough spanners, a hydraulic jack from my old landrover and a big enough hammer.
Worst bit was the staggering amount of grease involved, maybe you would like that...?
We have gloves if you don't.
Donor Bearings from here
One naked fan drive shaft
Just managed to get the blanking plates by Armstrong engineering on before the gala, giving us better use of the fuel we put in the tanks.