D400 News Archive - 2013


UPDATE: 6 December 2013
Yeovil 30/11/2013 Last Saturdays working party was a quiet affair with a couple of jobs done. The M8 in number 2 cab was swapped for the correct M8A. The oil in the vacuum exhausters, which may well date from the early 1990s was changed. Finally the locos battery was put on charge.



UPDATE: 24 November 2013
WNXX News update 23.11.13
You may have seen 50050 featured in a news update on the WNXX website. To correct some minor inaccuracies in the report, a brief review of the current state of the restoration. 50050 last ran on the 18 July 2010 when it gave cab rides to visitors at the Yeovil 150 event. It was last started in October 2010. Bodywork restoration started in January 2011. To date three of the four cabsides have been done and the last will be done in March 2014. The centre section of roof has also been replaced as have all six roof hatches. Many sections of gutter section have been replaced.

Alongside the bodywork, the radiator cooling fan has been removed and sent with a spare to Bowers of Heanor. The rad fan flashed over when the loco was started for the first time in the spring of 2010. The fan compartment has been repainted and both fan Control Units overhauled. New fan probe sensors have been purchased and will be fitted soon. All the rad fan resistors have been removed for cleaning and checking. A start has been made on rewiring the cables to the rad fan and traction motor blower at number one end.

All brush boxes have been removed from the main and eth generators for cleaning. This job is now complete except we need to source a single brush for the eth generator, which was damaged during removal. In the longer term we would like to remove the ETH generator and send it to Bowers for overhaul.

The oil cooler is currently dismantled to repair frost damage that occurred probably at the end of 2010.

Currently we are looking at the possibility of building our own shed for 50050 at Yeovil. A very long way to go with this idea, but essential for long term preservation of the locomotive.

Finally, 50050 will be taking part in the open weekend at Yeovil on May 31 / June 1. There will be a display of original class 50 nameplates including 50050's Fearless plate. Please do come along and have a tour of the locomotive.



UPDATE: 20 November 2013
Yeovil 17/11/2013 Work day at Yeovil last Sunday.

The sole purpose of the day was to get water back into the engine and radiators. It might seem odd to be filling a loco at the time of year when most people would be draining theirs, but 50050 has been without water in order to allow repairs to the oil cooler.

With blanks fitted, the cooler has been bypassed to allow the engine to be filled with water.



Yeovil 17/11/2013 While the loco was being filled, various parts were painted.



UPDATE: 5 November 2013
Yeovil 02/11/2013 One step forward and two back at Yeovil on Saturday. After a battle with screws that did not want to be unscrewed, the floor next to the number 1 end traction motor blower compartment was lifted.

The idea being to find where best to run the new cables for the blower and radiator fan. The picture describes the scene better than words from me. Lots of new cable and lots of conduit will be needed.



UPDATE: 18 October 2013
We have a Westinghouse M8 brake valve that we would like to swap for a M8A valve in a similar good condition. Also we need two pairs of ETH generator brushes, if anybody can help, please email.


UPDATE: 13 October 2013
Work done during Saturday 5 October 2013:
Well we can almost put the ETS generator on 50050 to bed. All of the brushboxes have now been refitted, and the engine has been turned over to allow the com and vee ring etc to be cleaned. Just needs a couple of replacement brushes to complete the job. The main generator is now also sporting a full set of brushes again..

The framework that holds the airfilters at number one end, was cupbrushed and primed


UPDATE: 22 September 2013
Yeovil 22/09/2013 Yeovil 22/09/2013
The ETS generator story of 50050 is now drawing to a close. the refurbished insulators have been fitted, along with 2 of the brushboxes. he final brushbox has not been fitted to improve access for cleaning. Hopefully the engine can be barred over on the next visit, so that the ETS, and Auxiliary generators can be properly cleaned out.

Just one of the many jobs in preservation which are time consuming, have to be done properly, but have nothing to show on the outside.


UPDATE: 5 September 2013
Yeovil 03/09/2013 Yeovil 03/09/2013
On Tuesday 3rd of September, 50050 was shunted to the turntable and turned. This is a precurser to the next session of bodywork repairs.


UPDATE: 4 September 2013
Yeovil 01/09/2013 After a short break for summer holidays, last weekend saw another working party at Yeovil. We were delighted to welcome our third new volunteer this year, James Keith from the 50017 group.



Yeovil 01/09/2013 Main jobs were paint related. With many pipes from the oil cooler disconnected, James was given the job of cup brushing and painting the oil and water pipes.

Another job was painting the new metal that has been welded into the roof. A tricky job to gain access to the space between the top of the engine and underside of the roof. At the other end of the loco, a start was made on repainting number 1 cab roof.



2014 Calendar One final point, please have a look at the Sales Page for details of the 2014 Calendar. All items sold help to fund the restoration of 50050.



UPDATE: 23 August 2013
We need to replace a small amount of carbon brushes in both the main generator and ETH generator. At the moment 50050 is fitted with brushes made by Morganite and so any new brushes have to come from that company as its not best practice to mix brush manufacturers in a generator.

In order to buy the three brushes we need, requires us buying a lot more to satisfy the companies minimum order requirements. So if any class 50 group needs a small amount of Morganite main or ETH generator brushes we would be delighted to share the order.

Or if any group has a small amount of Morganite carbon brushes for sale, we would be pleased to hear from you.



UPDATE: 18 July 2013
Yeovil 13/07/2013 A blisteringly hot July 13, saw our largest ever working party with 8 of us at Yeovil and for the third working party in a row, we were joined by a new worker. We also welcomed back the 50027 group. Mike and Andy 50027s owners and Laira legend Dicky Daw.

Dicky, Mark and Nick continued the inspection of the DC machines. The ETH generator and the Auxiliary generator were megger tested. The results were both very pleasing and perhaps show the results of keeping heaters under the generators?



Yeovil 13/07/2013 The oil cooler was stripped insitu and as suspected show a number of leaking tubes. There was also one previously blanked tube. Early days yet so no decision on repair or replacement. Thanks to Keith Bulmer from the 56 Group for his advice.



Yeovil 13/07/2013 More body work, with a couple of jacking point covers refitted and the handbrake covers at number 1 end refitted.



REPORT: 29/30 June 2013
Yeovil 16/6/2013 Saturday we welcomed our second new volunteer of the year, Nick to Yeovil.



Yeovil 29-30/6/2013 The last of the three cracked insulators was removed from the ETH generator at the other end of the loco the air tank and hand pump removed from the fan compartment, while that compartment was repainted were refitted.



Yeovil 29-30/6/2013 A large amount of time was taken trying to get the last two roof hatches to fit. This has been ongoing for a long time, so perhaps its time for plan b..



Yeovil 29-30/6/2013 Sunday was spent fitting tarpaulins to the loco as it is about to live outside again.



Yeovil 29-30/6/2013 Many thanks to our hosts for the prolonged shed space.



UPDATE: 26 June 2013
Yeovil 16/6/2013 June has seen three working parties on 50050. As usual the focus was on bodywork.

The rheo brake louvers have been welded closed. This was done by a volunteer at YRC and is the first time any welding has been done on 50050 on a voluntary basis. So we are very grateful to Martin for doing this for us.

The roof section above the auxiliary generator has been completed and bolted back down. This section has been shot-blasted and repainted. New seals and imperial BSF bolts and nuts fitted. We are trying to keep the loco as 'authentic' as possible and as such try to avoid metric bolts or fitting on the loco.



Yeovil 16/6/2013 The section of roof above the water header tank has been removed, descaled repainted and refitted. Again with new seals. Thanks to new volunteer Adam for his help with this.

Two of the roof hatches above the engine have been bolted down and completed. This job has been ongoing for about 18 months and its good to finally manage to get them to fit! Thanks to Dave from Royal Oak diesels and Tim from D318 limited for the advice on this. Seems we are not the only group to have a battle fitting roof hatches....

The damaged insulator from the ETS generator has gone away for a quote to renew it.

One job that we have not looked at until now, is the rewiring of the compartment at number 1 end that houses the traction motor blower and voltage regulator. This compartment had about six inches of water in the bottom of it, when the first inspection of the loco was made in January 2003. The conduit has dissolved and the wiring is in very poor condition from being submerged. Early days yet, but this is going to be a major project with lots of new wire and lots of expense....



UPDATE: 25 May 2013
Brush Boxes from D400 On Saturday 18th May, couple of us ventured to Yeovil to continue with a few jobs on 50050s generators. Despite the fantastic weather (which was a major distraction) we managed to complete a few outstanding jobs.

No8 brush box and the insulator assembly were removed to allow it be sent away shortly to replace the cracked insulator as per the previous update.

To get to the final one (No7) we will have to jack the brush gear around to get to the final assembly and insulator. This will hopefully be undertaken at the next working party.

We also barred the engine round so we could clean the main generator Vee ring riser, and as much of the top of the riser as possible.

No4 brush box was also removed to allow some old flash damage to be cleaned up



UPDATE: 17 May 2013
This is to announce a brand new book about British Rail Class 50 locomotives - being sold to raise funds to help towards the continuing preservation of 50027 Lion and 50050 Fearless. For more info and to buy please see our sales page

Written by Ian Horner, co-author of First of the Last - The Life and Times of 50050 Fearless and compiled by Andy Coward, Regular writer for RAIL magazine and co-author of First of the Last, author of Together In Electric Dreams - E3137/86259 Les Ross and his brand new title, The Decline of British Railways in Bury and Rossendale.

This is a detailed review of British Rail Class 50 locomotive-operations throughout the 1980s, when interest and popularity in the fleet peaked after years of largely being ignored or even disliked by many diesel enthusiasts.

Following a reprise of their career so far and a look at how the "50s" came to be named, Class 50s: The Large-Logo Years reviews the refurbishment programme and examines why it was so important. Subsequent chapters chart the story of the class through the 1980s by timetable period, including; changes in workload,locomotive rosters, depot reallocations and reliability concerns, to the heady days of the mid-1980s - arguably the high-water mark of the "50s".

With "sectorisation" came big changes in BR fleet planning and management, and in the last quarter of the decade, the decline of the "50s" truly began as the fleet saw less use on express passenger trains and more focus on other traffic such as parcels, freight and departmental work. Class 50s: The Large-Logo Years charts this period and muses how in spite of them falling from favour, BR found it could not do without the "50s" and continued to expect a lot from them in spite of minimal expenditure on heavy maintenance.

The book's chronology is interspersed with specific chapters including; a review of the Doncaster Works era, freight operations, the Sir Edward Elgar story, the 1988 railtours over Shap, the inside story of the Laira F-exams and a close look at the various liveries carried by the "50s". The Foreword is written by Geoff Hudson, Area Fleet Manager at Laira depot during the locomotives' final years working for Network SouthEast.

Full Chapter summary: -
1 - The Story so Far (reprise of the early years and transfer to the WR),
2 - Naming,
3 - Refurbishment,
4 - Faster to the West of England (how the HSTs usurped the '50s' on the WR),
5 - The early 1980s,
6 - The Sir Edward Elgar story,
7 - The Waterloo to Exeter line,
8 - Summer 1984 and the 'jumbos',
9 - Enter Network SouthEast,
10 - The Doncaster Works Era,
11 - Sectorisation,
12 - Freight,
13 - Operation Laira Care (the F-exam project),
14 - Return to Shap (on tour in 1988),
15 - 1988/89 the work reduces,
16 - The South Coast,
17 - The last 'up' (the May 1989 timetable change and increased passenger work),
18 - Departmental days,
19 - Liveries and repaints,
20 - The final years and disposals

Class 50s: The Large-Logo Years is illustrated by a wealth of colour photographs, plus a small number of black and white images - kindly supplied by photographers from across the UK. All but a handful are published for the first time in printed form.

This is a 192-page perfect-bound hard-backed book, priced at £25.00 with any profits being put towards the upkeep of 50027 Lion and 50050 Fearless.

For details of how to order see our sales page



UPDATE: 14 May 2013
Mug 5005 at York We have just finished updating our sales page. We now have added two new mugs; the one shown here of 50050 at York and one showing 50050s data panel, at only £5.00 each, they are good to look at, as well as good value.

We also have copies of Modern Locomotives Illustrated - Issue 193 at only £6 inc UK postage.

Finally, we have added Rucksacks to our inventory, high quality, lightweight and sporting a representation of the Fearless nameplate.

The Rucksacks are only £22.00 and are ideal for carrying around a flask, sandwiches and whetever else you need for a day out (may we suggest a decent mug for your coffee?)



UPDATE: 13 May 2013
D400 Fund sales stand The group had a good couple of days at the Swanage Diesel Gala. During the event both Fearless nameplates were reunited for 1 day, one looking a lot dirtier than the other!!! Many thanks to its owner for bringing this along.

Also Massive thank you to those who attended, said hello, bought products and donated.
Thank You!



UPDATE 8 May 2013
We will be having a sales stand at the Swanage Railway this Friday and Saturday - please come, enjoy the locomotives and buy yourself some of the great stuff that can be seen on our Sales page


UPDATE: 1 May 2013
ETSgenBrushBox Brush boxes have been removed from the ETS generator for cleaning and megger testing.



ETSgenCrackedInsulator As usual, there were some set backs. Several insualtors in the ETS gen were found to be cracked. These will have to be replaced

If anybody knows where to source new insulators, could you please email and let us know? We have been considering removing the ETS gen and having it sent to Bowers for overhaul, if we cannot find any replacement insulators this will have to be our course of action. If anybody has a WOSS for ETS gen removal (if one exsists) we would appreciate a copy.



Spare Fan Our spare radiator fan motor and traction motor blower are at Bowers for assesment. The fan was bought mainly for spare brush boxes, but will now be used in conjunction with the repair to 50050s exsisting rad fan motor

Finally thanks to our sales team of Ashley and Steve for manning our sales stand at the Mid Hants diesel gala.



UPDATE: 26 April 2013
We will be having a sales stand at the Mid-Hants Diesel Gala this weekend - please come, enjoy the locomotives and buy yourself some of the great stuff that can be seen on our Sales page



UPDATE: 22 April 2013
Rad fan compartment Rad fan compartment2 Working party on the 6th/7th consisted of a few of the outstanding jobs progressed.

Work in the radiator fan compartment continued with more rust and grime removed. Both walls either end of the radiator fan were were painted in gloss, and the finer details also painted in there respective colours.



Pump Whilst work in this part of the loco was taking place, we took the opportunity to inspect a hand water pump and gate valve which had been seized for sometime. After completely stripping down, cleaning and refurbishing, it was painted and reassembled and now just awaits reattaching back on the loco.

We also began riveting back on the 2 roof centre covers that have been fabricated to cosmetically keep 50050's appearance accurate. Unfortunately we were only able to complete the first one as our rivet gun gave out, A job for next time!

Another update from the working party of 20th/21st to follow shortly


Pump Pump



UPDATE: 19 April 2013
50050 will be open for visits and tours this Sunday as part of Yeovil's steam day and Model Railway Exhibition. The D400 Fund sales stand will also be present.

There will be an update reporting on both last weekends working party and this weekends, sometime this week.


UPDATE: 06 March 2013
Compressor An update to fill in the gaps since the last working party update.
We have been busy spending money.... The opportunity to buy various spares has arisen and obviously it was not to be missed. We have bought various relays and contacts from a 37 at Booths. Many thanks to Tim Wattison from the 37263 group for his help with this. From Europhoenix came a spare compressor. Thanks to Dave at Royal Oak Diesels for collecting this for us. Also, we have been part of the latest bulk buy of new parts arranged by the Class 50 Alliance. Thanks to Mike Matthews for including us.

Buying spares is not cheap, but neither can we afford to miss out - if 50050 is to have a long term future as a operating loco. Funds are now running low and there is a danger we will have to choose between buying spares or employing contractors for the latest batch of bodywork repairs.

One of of sources of income is sales, please do have a look at our sales page and consider a purchase. Or perhaps make a donation. It does not matter how small. Each person who makes a donation is given a guided tour around 50050 at Yeovil and shown where their money is spent.

Finally, missed from the previous working party reports, work has proceeded on cleaning the main generator and megger testing. Thankfully megger results are better than we expected. The last of the brush boxes has been out for cleaning and work has started on the ETH generator.


UPDATE: 10 February 2013
Congratulations to 50050s owner Harry Schneider and his partner Cindy on the birth of their second daughter today.


UPDATE: 1 February 2013
Radiator Fan Compartment The first working party of the year took place last weekend (26th/27th January). Work continued inside the locomotive with attention continuing on the generators.

Further progress was also made in the radiator fan compartment, which is starting to come together prior to the return of the fan motor later in the year.



50050 Roof repairs 50050 Roof repairs One of the roof covers that had recently returned from shot blasting was painted along with the replacement covers that have been cut for the middle of the re-skinned roof section.



50050 scavenger fan top hat preparation scavenger fan top hat
The scavenger fan top hat was also refitted concluding a productive weekend.


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