D400 News Archive - February 2012 to November 2012

UPDATE: 27 November 2012
D400 Fund Beanie Hat We now have stocks of our new Beanie Hat - and judging by the weather reports, just in time for a cold snap!
At only £7.00 + £1.00 p&p it is well worth it to keep your ears warm, have a look at our Sales Page there is lots of good stuff there and it all helps 50050.

UPDATE: 16 November 2012
50050 Roof repairs Last weekend the loco was drained for the winter and to enable the oil cooler to be dismantled and inspected. As usual the main focus was on body work. Another roof hatch removed for shotblasting and new seals to be fitted.

50050 Roof repairs The scavenger fan blades and cowl were painted and the top hat give a second coat of gloss.

50050 Roof repairs A brake test rig was on site during the weekend, so the opportunity was taken to fill the locos air tanks with air and to test what still worked. Thankfully most did.

UPDATE: 16 November 2012

SPECIAL OFFERS are now available on our SALES page.
We have offers on Mouse Mats, Fridge Magnets, Grey Polo Shirts and the fantastic Fine Art Prints
Look for the yellow boxes like this one, on the sales page

UPDATE: 12 November 2012
50050 Roof repairs Another working party at the weekend. Much of the work done was not very photogenic so not many pictures this time.
A start was made on washing out oil and carbon deposits from the main generator. Number 2 traction motor also recieved attention. The new central section of roof was primed and glossed.
New covers are being made to go along the middle of the reskinned section. Obviously these covers no longer cover anything, but its an important cosmetic addition and will restore the roof back to its former look. The extractor fan top hat was glossed and the blades and cowling of the extractor fan painted.

UPDATE: 31 October 2012
50050 Roof repairs The weekend of the 27th/28th saw the completion of the roof repairs to 50050.
The remaining metal was ground out.

50050 Roof repairs Two sections of the main central beam were cut out and replaced prior to the main re-skinning.

50050 Roof repairs 50050 Roof repairs
50050 Roof repairs The resking comprised of 3 sections which were cut, placed and welded into place.

50050 Roof repairs Then all the old split pin catches and roof hatch handles (all 8 of them) were welded back into place.
All that left to do is give it a good clean and paint.
Big thank you to friends from 50017 who came down to assist us with this major task.

UPDATE: 24 October 2012
generator brush boxes Last weekend 20th/21st saw a small working party at Yeovil. A start was made to remove some of the main generator brush boxes, which were removed and cleaned up before being refitted.

more cleaning and painting being completed More progress was made within the rad fan compartment, with more cleaning and painting being completed.

painted with red oxide All the lifting points which had been needle gunned the previous week were painted with red oxide prior to some gloss being added.

further work on the roof Also further work on the roof prior to being re-skinned, with all 8 handles and the shrouds they fit into being removed (with some difficulty!) from the roof

UPDATE: 9 October 2012
The D400 Simon Glancy Print If you head over to the D400 Fund Sales Page, you will now see we have all sorts of items to tempt you with!

The latest is this wonderful print courtesy of Artist Simon Glancy. Available in either A4 or A3 sizes or on a mug!

Christmas is only a matter of weeks away and all profits go to support D400, so please have a look at the sales page.

UPDATE: 4 October 2012
They're back! D400 Fund Polo Shirts - black or grey, now back in stock in all sizes.

UPDATE: 1 October 2012
The D400 29/09/2012 With visitors from Holland and Belgium, last weekends three day working party had a real European feel to it.

The D400 29/09/2012 Jobs done this time was a start on repainting the radiator fan compartment.

The D400 29/09/2012 The D400 29/09/2012
Various areas on new metal in primer were painted in top coat gloss.

The D400 29/09/2012 More metal was cut out off the roof.

The D400 29/09/2012 The top hat for the scavenger fan was removed and is now at Washwood Heath for shot blasting.

The D400 29/09/2012 The fan and fan cowl will be painted while the top hat is away.

The D400 29/09/2012 The scaffolding around the loco was completed and we now await a visit from the contractor doing the roof reskinning.

A start was made on returning the traction motors to working order. This will be an ongoing job...

Finally thanks to the gentleman who travelled from Belgium just to visit 50050. Your presence was much appreciated!

UPDATE: 26 September 2012
The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired We had a working party 22nd/23rd September: On Saturday and Sunday major progress was made on work to re-skin the centre section of roof, in-between the 4 main roof hatches.

The D400 being repaired We have managed to cut out most of the life expired metal, and now just need to finish of the finer bits to make sure the new metal fits flush.

The D400 being repaired With assistance from YRC volunteers we now have scaffold around the locomotive to make this work easier and safer.

Time was also taken to inspect some of the locomotives internal components. The auxiliary DC machine exam has been progressed, and is now nearly completed with only the extractor fan and fuel pump outstanding. An initial exam on the generators has also been undertaken.

After years of borrowing battery chargers, we have finally got around to buying one. Shackerstone based, Heritage Traction Restoration and Supplies do a very nice small charger at bargin prices. Email for contact details and we will put you in touch.

We are holding another working party over the 28th/29th/30th September

The D400 being repaired New controller top plates, donated by a kind supporter.

UPDATE: 30 August 2012
The D400 Fund sales stand will be attending the Crewe Heritage centre / Freightliner event this Sunday. Joining us on the stand will be Les Ross MBE, Owner of 86259 and former BRMB breakfast show DJ and TV presenter. Les will be available to talk about the 86 and all things radio related. His stories are well worth listening to!

This is the first time we have ever had a sales stand away from Yeovil, so please do try and pay us a visit.

UPDATE: 23 July 2012
The D400 being repaired The weekend working party was a bit different to usual, we started putting things back on the loco, rather than taking them off!

The D400 being repaired The exhauster access door has been shot blasted and a new strip welded along the top edge. A new hinge sourced from the manufacturer who supplied BR when the locos were refurbished, has been fitted too. The first lifting point door has been refited also with a new hinge.

The rheo brake louver doors are to be welded shut this week so a last clean up and another coat of paint was added.

UPDATE: 18 July 2012
OJ Fabrications returned to Yeovil for two days work last Thursday.

Rather than start on the re-skinning of the last cabside, the idea of this visit was to do lots of small jobs and to finish off uncompleted work. 50050s number 1 cab is now approaching completion of the metal work jobs.

Various sections of guttering were replaced around number 1 cab. The gutter section had been purchased previously from Rail Traction supplies. On A side of number one cab a hole just above the gutter level was cut out and replaced. Indeed a rather large area including sections of the cab roof were replaced.

On number 2 end of the locomotive, the area below the rheo brake louvers was replaced. The skin had previously been removed and the area needle gunned and repainted. The louver doors themselves received much attention. The bottom two laths of both grills were replaced and an area of the grill nearest to number 2 cab was cut out and replaced. The bottom edge of both grills was also replaced.

How to tackle the louver grills has been give much thought recently. The laths on 50050 are not original. They should have a 'kick' at the bottom of the lath as originally designed by English Electric, presumably to guide rain water away. The laths on 50050 however were all plain strips, indicating that they had received a rather inferior BR repair. So we were left with a decision how to tackle this. Do we hack out all the laths and replace them with original style EE type or repair the BR style that we had? After some though we decided to stick with the BR style lath. Although this design is perhaps inferior, it is part of the locos history and how it was during its latter days working with BR. With an eye to historical accuracy we would like to keep modifications or alterations to a minimum. We are in the preservation / museum business after all. Please email us if you have any thoughts on this issue.

The first job on number 2 end B side cabside was undertaken. The upright between the droplight and quarterlight was replaced and an area of guttering heading up to the cab roof was replaced.

The following day we had a volunteer working day. The priority was to paint the new metal work in primer. Various jobs were undertaken in number 1 cab to reassemble it following last years metal work and internal woodwork replacement.

Finally we have completed the purchase of a spare radiator fan motor and also a traction motor blower. These were collected and delivered to Bowers in Heanor for assessment. Many thanks to the RRRG for the joint move of our spares and theres. A report on the rather fraught move is here

UPDATE: 17 July 2012
OJ Fabrications returned for another 40 hours contracted work. Full update later. The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired

The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired

The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired

The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired

The D400 being repaired

The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired

The D400 being repaired The D400 being repaired

UPDATE: 7 July 2012
The D400 Fund Sales Stand Over the weekend of 23 and 24 of June 50050 was open to visitors as part of the Yeovil Railway Centre gala weekend. The group also had our first sales stand in attendance.

Obviously with guided tours for members of the public happening, opportunities for any work on the loco were limited. However some progress was made. Using lessons learned from the cubical work on 50008, 50050s wheelslip relays and field divert unit were inspected and it was not a surprise to find the same amount of broken studs as 008 had. Replacement brass imperial studs have now sourced and will be fitted soon. A defective NR28 relay on the ETH side will also be changed soon.

With the loco now back in the shed, this years bodywork jobs will start soon. OJ Fabrications are returning this coming Thursday and roof repairs will begin in September.

Finally, there are lots of new sales items in our shop. Please do take a look.

UPDATE: 21 June 2012
Together in Electric Dreams YEOVIL JUNCTION GALA WEEKEND
50050 will be on display this weekend at the gala. We will be available to show visitors the restoration currently done aswell as indicating what still needs to be done on the loco. Cab Tours and Engine Room visits will be possible.
We will have a sales stand where various items can be purchased or donations made.

Available on our sales stand will be Andrew Coward's latest book "Together in Electric Dreams" this is an illustrated history of E3137 / 86259 "Les Ross" priced at only £15.00 this is a follow up book to our very own successful "The First of the Last."

"Together in Electric Dreams" has a foreword written by TV/Radio personality and star of the top rated show "Who wants to be a millionaire" Chris Tarrant.

UPDATE: 25 May 2012
50050 + paint We had a working party on 19th May, with the focus being on preparing the loco for the open day at the end of June. The batteries were topped up, straps regreased and then charged. Inside, Mark was busy investigating why the number 1 end traction motor blower stopped working during the last open day in 2010. Next time 50050 is started it should now have two serviceable blowers. The compressor motors were washed out and the brushes checked.
Finally Ashley has been wielding a paint brush in an attempt to make the loco look a bit smarter for visitors.

D400 Fund Polo Shirt Finally a preview of our new sales line, the D400 fund polo shirt. These will be available on our sales stand at the Yeovil Open Weekend and later available here on the website. D400 Fund Polo Shirt

UPDATE: 18 May 2012
50050 50050
The Royal Train visited Yeovil. 50050 was visible to all! (Photos: left Brian Haigh, right Tony Reese)

UPDATE: 10 May 2012

UPDATE: 18 April 2012
50050 We had a working party at Yeovil last weekend and as usual there was progress and setbacks.

50050 50050
B side radiator fan resistors were removed for cleaning and testing

50050 More new wood has appeared in number 1 end cab. This time on the drivers side

50050 Both cabs have seen their brake selector indicator boxes recieve attention. The covers have been removed and dismantled for painting

The cause of the defective headlight at number 2 end was investigated by new volunteer Mark. A defective inverter was found to be the issue along with loose wiring to the switch. Unfortunately our spare inverter was also found to be defective so another inverter has had to be bought this week.

The loco was filled with water for the first time this year. The drain valves which despite replapping in the past are now leaking very badly and will have to be replaced. A common class 50 fault and not too unexpected.

The fuel pump galleries were cleaned out and the governor fuel rack linkages were lubricated.

50050 will be taking part in a gala open day at Yeovil Railway centre on June 23 and 24. The locos number 2 cab will be open and visitors will be able to see the three reskinned cabsides and compare them to the one yet to do. We hope to have the engine running although at the moment its too early to promise this. No cabrides this time, that will have to wait until the 2014 event! There will be a D400 Fund sales stand during the weekend, so do please try and visit

We have only one copy of the "Class 50 Finale - The Laira Years DVD" remaining and we will not be ordering anymore. If you would like a copy please visit the sales page

UPDATE: 15 February 2012
50050 outside in the snow

Older News (April 2011 to December 2011)

(C) Copyright D400 Fund