Home Home

Latest News

Last Updated 21:33 16-05-2022


Hello everyone! It's been a while, hasn't it?
Apologies that updates on D6703 have not been as forthcoming as we'd have hoped but, as you will see, we felt it was important to understand the situation before we revealed anything.
During our last update we announced that the generator had been stripped for assessment and that we were awaiting an update on this. In the time since then a lot has happened; we were initially informed that faults had been found with both the main generator and the auxiliary generator and that these needed further investigation before work could progress on their overhaul (as any fault that couldn’t be rectified would understandably change the situation and our plans significantly).
However, luck has been on our side for once, with these faults being found to be easily repairable, and so it brings us great pleasure to announce that (all being well) the fully completed power unit, along with overhauled turbos and generator will be returning to UKRL on 6th June, with the intention to lift these back into the loco during late June/early July. In the meantime, we are planning to organise working parties onsite to prepare the engine room for this to happen.
Given all the challenges we have faced to get this far, we see this as a milestone being reached and we hope that you will join us in celebrating the completion of the power unit rebuild. Thank you for all your support thus far and we are glad that we are now in a position where we can begin to reveal to you what that support is achieving. Be sure to stay tuned for more as and when it comes over the next month or so!


Just a quick update to show you some of the work that has been undertaken recently. As you will see, the power unit has progressed considerably, with the vast majority of it now being rebuilt to the point of having paint applied to the casing and various pipework. The generator has been stripped for assessment and we hope to bring you more updates on this as and when we know more details.


Project 3-60: Where we are at!

So, you may be wondering what's been going on with D6703? It has, afterall, been a few months since we had any tangible news to update you with. Thankfully this doesn't equate to a lack of progress. Quite the opposite in fact, with the engine rebuild being very close to completion now!

We are really pleased with the amount of work that has been carried out and the progress that is currently being made. Finalisation of the rebuild aside, a few bits of preparation work will also need to be completed inside D6703 before the new power unit can be installed but we are hopeful that in the next few months this will all be in hand, especially now restrictions have been lifted!

We will, of course, bring you updates as and when we can. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support of our efforts and if you haven't already, check out the Project 3-60 page to find out what you can do to help!


With the engine rebuild going on at a steady rate, James and Colin took the opportunity today to get some bits done at Dereham and over the course of the day they sanded, primed and painted a number of air filter packing trays (such was the heat that the paint was drying in a matter of minutes!). An example of this can be seen below:

There's over fifty to go at but the guys had a good system going so this shouldn't take too long at future meet ups.

James also put some etching primer on the replica works plates, of which Colin will finish with top coat when time permits in the coming week or so (and then hopefully we can show you some photos of those as well!).

It's perhaps not much by way of an update, but it's progress all the same!


All the cleaning on the power unit has now been done and the liners have been dropped back in place. We are just awaiting for some oversized oil scraping rings to arrive and then work will continue to drop the conrods and pistons back in to the lump. We hope to bring you some pictures at the next update!


After many stops, starts and months of uncertainty, the C37LG is happy to announce that work has started on the engine rebuild for D6703! This work began in mid-March and has so far seen the replacement power unit being cleaned out in readiness for stripping and rebuilding. It is hoped that now this milestone has been reached, the project should start progressing with some regularity and that we will soon have a working power unit to show for our efforts! Thank you to everyone for their continued support and we hope you will join us in celebrating this key forward step!


December is always an important month for us as a group; D6700 was accepted into traffic on 2nd December and it hauled it's first passenger train on 24th December. These are key anniversaries for anyone dedicated to the class, as we are. However, perhaps more pertinent to us is the fact that our very own loco, D6703, was also accepted into traffic, and celebrates its "birthday", in this month. Today, in fact! That's right, sixty years ago to this very day, on 28th December 1960, D6703 was accepted into traffic and entered service at Stratford depot, East London. The fourth member of the class built, under BR the loco had a career of just over thirty-seven years, taking it to various points across the network, before it was officially withdrawn and we saved it for preservation on 24th April 1998. Whilst our group was established thirty-five years ago to promote interest in the class as a whole, we've proudly dedicated our efforts to D6703's preservation in the twenty-two years since we purchased it. In many ways, the loco gives us a purpose and many good friendships and working relationships have been formed over the years from a collective desire to see this EE workhorse live on. And live on it shall! Whilst current world events have sadly prevented us completing the ongoing engine repairs and overhaul in time for this milestone anniversary, you can guarantee that as long as we have a say in the matter, D6703 will roar in anger once again and for many more years to come. So please, join us in celebrating this special day, whilst we also begin to look forward to what the next sixty years may bring. Happy birthday D6703/37003!


On this, the eve of festivity, and in the spirit of Christmas tradition, join us momentarily for a tale of Christmas past...

T'was Christmas Eve 1960 and passengers at Liverpool Street station were busy boarding their train; many making a final dash to spend Christmas with their loved ones. The 144 mile endeavour would see the metropolis of London give way to fields and finally to the expansive flat wetlands of the Norfolk Broads. An important journey then to those choosing to travel, of that there is little doubt, but these festive wanderers could not have known of the significance of their journey, for 1K51 was under the charge of a then brand new D6700 and this would be both the locos first working, as well as the first passenger turn for a Class 37.

The events of the ensuing sixty years are, as they say, history, and no doubt they hold many a tale for another time. However, on this significant milestone of a day, let's take a moment to remember the one that started it all!


Today saw the group take delivery of our recently purchased second-hand 20ft container onsite at Dereham. This will be used more as a storage facility for all the loco spares we have accumulated and enable us to move some stuff out of our workshop container so we have more room to get work done inside. Once the good weather is here, the new container will be cleaned up, painted and fitted with some lights.


60 years ago today British Railways saw the introduction of a new class of motive power. Likened to an EE Type 4, but shorter, these new Type 3 locos were put to work on the GEML, but soon spread their wings across the country as their number reached an impressive 309 examples. In the 60 years since D6700 was accepted into traffic, the Class 37 has gone on to be the backbone of the British railway network, travelling to every corner and performing any and all tasks asked of it. It is testimony to the quality of design that many are still in use with mainline operators today and without them, we as a group would not be here. And so, on this special day, we'd just like to say a special happy birthday to D6700 and to the class as a whole!


Good news everyone! The eagle has landed! Our spare block and replacement crank are now safely on site at UKRL ready for the next stage of Project 3-60 to begin. Al Pulford was on hand to head over to Leicester to get these snaps which we can now share with you.

We now await confirmation of a time slot for the team at UKRL to be able to begin the engine rebuild. Obviously they are quite busy with mainline work so we cannot say when this will be, but at least the block is secured for future use.

With everything that has happened in recent month's worldwide, it is nice to finally be able to show you some progress as we try to re-start our efforts to bring our loco back into service! Hopefully you will join us in celebrating this moment!


With the ever developing situation within the UK during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the C37LG committee has taken the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all working parties and effectively 'pause' Project 3-60. With social distancing in place and a need to keep our team and loved ones safe, it would be unwise to continue advocating working alongside one another in close proximity at this moment in time. When all this has passed, D6703 will still be here and life will resume once more, but in the meantime it is vital we all do our bit to stop the spread of COVID-19. For the time being, online sales will continue as normal but we are monitoring the situation each day incase restrictions upon non-critical parcels are implemented. We will of course keep you updated.

Thank you for your continued support and for your understanding at this time. - The Class 37 Locomotive Group Committee


Whilst we await the delivery of our power unit, more progress has been made on various ancillary components at Dereham. Today, Colin and James started applying the top coat to the box frames for the headcode rollerblinds. These were spray painted with one being given a full coat of black on the exterior and white inside whilst two more have been given a coat of black. This is a far easier method and provides a nicer quality of finish than hand painting, especially in the current spell of cold weather!

Meanwhile Gavin, Rod and Al took (and passed) their PTS course for working on site at Dereham, meaning that in future we will be able to achieve more during our working parties, with more hands available. Congratulations to all three and welcome to the team!


It's been a busy few days for James and Colin over at Dereham. It was planned to have a two day working party over the weekend but as they found they were both free on the Monday, they decided to carry on for a third day! In this time a lot of progress was made on various items currently being overhauled on site.

First and foremost, after several stops and starts, the team have finally finished overhauling the roller blind mechanisms (hurrah!). In their own words, “it feels like we have been working on these forever and at times this has made us question why we started on them at all, but we are proud to say all four are now rebuilt and fully wired up for use on D6703”.

The outer boxes that these sit in have also been sanded down once more; three have previously been primed and one was still in ex-loco condition. This one required some additional filler which will need sanding at a future working party but otherwise all that remains is to prime and paint a top coat of black.

Colin is going to look at sourcing some new blinds meaning that by the time the various components are finished and ready to be married up, these can be finished properly.

The spare cab door Colin sanded down recently has been treated to a spot of filler and then primed also. This has shown up additional imperfections in the surface of the door which require further filling, sanding and priming before this can be added to the list of completed tasks.

Finally, glass components (door windows, tail light lenses etc) have also been treated to a clean and polish.


Recently Colin found himself with a few spare hours whilst at Dereham, so attention was given to the spare secondman door that was previously mentioned in our last working party report.

This has now been thoroughly sanded down, revealing it's history along the way, with shades of EWS maroon, BR executive grey, BR blue and BR green being noted! Pictures of the sanded door can be seen below.

With a working party planned for this weekend, we hope to have this finished and in primer by the end of play on Sunday, meaning it will be ready to go to Leicester as required.


With a few hours spare on Sunday, another little job was completed at Dereham by James who painted the group's headboard. Now, we know what you are probably thinking: Why paint a headboard when we don't have a working loco to fix it to? And in many respects, you are quite right! But there is method to our madness as this headboard will be used for PR purposes as Project 3-60 progresses.

Meanwhile, the red glass lenses from the tail lights were treated to some paint stripper and then a polish as the tail light clusters had previously been painted with the lenses in situ and there was some unfortunate yellow lines adorning the glass. Thankfully, these have come up a treat, although the intention is to give them a further polish before they are safely stored away for their future return to the loco.

Colin was also on site, albeit helping the railway with a shunting operation. He did briefly take the opportunity to do some further work on one of the roller blinds but this and the remaining example will be given our full attention at a future date.

James also turned his attention to stripping and preparing a spare second man door for potential use on the loco (although failing that, it is always good to have a spare that is ready to use!). The door window was polished and flaking paint was stripped from the inside. After a lot of elbow grease and some assistance from Colin, one of the brass hinges was successfully removed for future sand blasting with other loco components. The second one will be removed at the next working party but both hinges were/are somewhat stubborn, probably having not been unscrewed from the door for at least 20 years and then some!


With the team over at Warley, Colin and James decided to have a little get together of their own, spending a few hours on wiring up one of the completed rollerblind mechanisms.

The old blinds (taken off the loco) were refitted for the purposes of a photo but these will be replaced with new examples when returned to D6703. Having spent some time on these, it's good to see one in working order once more!


A little update from the world of D6703: We haven't forgotten about her, or you! Currently we are awaiting delivery of the crank and associated parts we acquired a few months ago. Once these are on site, UKRL will be able to start rebuilding a complete power unit by swapping the top end from the one we took out of the loco onto the new block assembly.
We have a few jobs that need finishing internally before the power unit can be lifted back in, but we have time enough to get these done.

Back at Dereham, Colin and James have been continuing work on various parts brought back from Leicester for overhaul. The rollerblind mechanisms previously being worked on have been resurrected, with the fourth one being stripped down. Wiring options have also been assessed for the next stage of that little project. Additionally, restoration of other parts, such as the wooden frame that the batteries sit on, have been completed and are ready to return to Leicester. Finally, a most vital piece of equipment has been installed for working in what is already a cold winter: A kettle! We're calling it "research" for when we get a much larger boiler working...

We will update you as and when things develop!

July 2019

Sadly when news hit us in April 2019 that our crank was possibly a write off due to fractures on the bearing surface.
Work on 37003 came to a grinding halt whilst we worked with UKRL to find a resolve the issues.
Now that we have purchased a replacement block and crank it was time to get stuck back into things and towards the end of July saw our contractors UKRL remove the power unit from 37003 from stripping apart.

Loco updates 2018

With the loco onsite at UKRL Leicester for its rebuild, plenty of parts have been removed and taken back to Dereham to be worked on. These include, Air Filter trays, Intercoolers, Marker light internals/Roller blind mechanisms and plenty of other small bits. Some eagled eye people may have also notice that the loco has also now gained the Identity of 6703. See picture


Before anyone asks we've not forgotten about our loco at Leicester, we are lettering the professionals get on with the assessments of the loco's power unit and various Components, With the roof removed a couple of months earlier, the hard working team at UKRL have cracked on and done a sterling job cleaning the engine block, polished the crankshaft journals, cleaning the crankcase and the bedplate out.

Have a Happy Christmas and a Fantastic New year from the Class 37 Loco group.


Saw the committee members involved with the loco side of the project get together for a meeting at Leicester to go through things. We was quite surprised to see 37003 in the shed with the roof all ready removed and the engine starting to be stripped of what components we had left on it. The body work has been assessed again and marked up ready for cutting in the future.


After a few weeks of preparation at Dereham, September 14th finally saw all the engine parts collected and transported to UKRL at Leicester. A massive thanks to everyone that helped with the sponsorship of the pallets.


Something we have longed to see for a very long time. 37003, under cover. UKRL are currently in the process of carrying out a detailed Power Unit assessment, having completed their external Bodywork assessment last week.


Finally saw 37003 moved from The Great Central Railway - Nottingham to UKRL at Leicester as 0Z58 Hotchley Hill East Leake to Leicester Lip in the most oddest of convoy's. Convoy haulage was provided by GWR's 57604 towing prototype power car 41001, 47828 and 37003 on the rear. Upon arrival at Leicester 003 was detached off and the convoy carried on to Old Oak Common prior to the following weekends open day event.

0Z58 is pictured at Rushcliffe Halt Railway Station by Barry Duffin

37003 is pictured amongst the Type 4s and 5s on UKRL's premises at Leicester awaiting to go in the shed for inspection.


After a long overnight journey from Norfolk, The sun finally shone down on 37003 as it arrived at Ruddington on The Great Central Railway - Nottingham. Unloading commenced straight away and by mid afternoon 003 was safely on the ground. Over the next few weeks a few odd jobs needed doing to enable us do get a mainline tow and transfer by rail to UKRL's premises at Leicester.


With the big day finally here it was time to get 37003 loaded for onward road transportation to Ruddington (GCRN) 10.07.17. As seem to be the norm of late, the weather was not kind to us for the loading of 37003 onto the Moveright International rig. Due to a issue with the trailer loading was put on hold until the following day. At around 18:10 37003 departed the main yard gates for her trip to Leicester via Ruddington


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.

Mick Millward


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!

10/12/10 Parts Servicing

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.

06/11/10 Working Party

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...

25/09/10 Working Party / Gala Preperation at Dereham

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.

11/09/10 Working Party at Dereham

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.


04/09/10 Working Party at Dereham

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.

28/08/10 Working Party at Dereham

Mr R hard at word

Beccles chopping out some more metal ;-)

25/07/10 Working Party at Dereham

Replating some of the 'rusty' bits was undertake, just needs a lick of paint to finish the job.

05/06/10 Working Party at Dereham

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.

06/03/10 Working Party at Dereham

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

13/10/09 Working Party at Dereham

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

08/10/09 Working Party at Dereham

Some bodywork repairs were undertaken to make her fit for the onset of winter weather.

24/09/09 Working Party at Dereham

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 access.
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.

21/01/09 Working Party at Dereham

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 )

27/10/08 UAT Axel and Equalising Beam test.

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 didn’t help in its removal.

Roy did the inspection (see pictures) and everything is fine, once we’d 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 else’s 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.

23/10/08 Tank Inspection / Working Party.

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 I’d tightened everything up properly, unfortunately found a new nasty air leak behind the compressors!

11/10/08 Working Party.

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.

30/08/08 Working Party

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

23/07/08 News

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.


19/07/08 Working Party.

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!

12/07/08 Working Party.

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

15/06/08 Working Party.

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

Looking complicated

One naked fan drive shaft

10/04/08 Working Party.

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.