D400 News Archive - 2014

UPDATE: 12 November 2014
8/9 November Working weekend.
Report by Mark

Two man mission to YRC today. Nick and myself have been pulling in the new wiring loom for the radiator fan. Despite a couple of early set backs progress has not been too bad. The two long cables [R1/R2] are in position. We chose to do these cables first as they run in a long single conduit from the rad fan room to the A side of the locomotive, and the Z26 resistor bank. This cable run is somewhat challenging as there are two right angle bends through an elbow and a tee piece, and a larger radius bend in the conduit. The Tee piece in the rad fan room also has very restrictive access. Some jobs on preserved locomotives require little or no special skill, some jobs are easy, and some are glamorous. Pulling cables through conduit is none of these. As access can be restricted, and takes a high degree of competence, and teamwork to be done properly

UPDATE: 8 November 2014
1/2 November Working weekend.

50050 With the cable having arrived, the electrical department set about making up looms ready for fitment next weekend. The traction motor blower at number 1 end is already rewired and with the new looms, the radiator fan motor will be too.

50050 at night The final joints and gaskets were made for the oil cooler. With this complete, the engine was oil primed and filled with water. No leaks were found on the cooler, but there was a leak on the new pipework to the water hand pump in the fan compartment. This was cured on the Sunday.

Finally a small amount of work was done on the continuing job of number 1 end cab refurbishment.

UPDATE: 23 October 2014
18/19 October Working weekend.

Fan Saturday saw four of us at Yeovil and three on the Sunday. The priority job was plumbing the repaired oil cooler back in. So a start was made on that. Cleaning surfaces, making gaskets, locating bolts and fitting pipes. The electric department sorted out an issue with A side lights and replaced the cab circuit breaker in number 2 cab. Finally, more sanding and paint stripping in number 1 cab.

Our radiator fan has returned from Bowers of Heanor. Many thanks to Dave Hesketh for his teams outstanding work.

To end, a couple of requests. If anybody has 25 meters of 16mm polyrad for sale please get in touch, also any 50 owners placing an order for new engine room roof hatches?

UPDATE: 17 October 2014
Yeovil 4-5 October 2014 After a Summer break, working parties resumed at Yeovil over the weekend of 4-5th October. Five of us in attendance on Saturday and three on Sunday. The main aim of the weekend was to get the repaired oil cooler into the locomotive and then into its place in the engine room. The cooler is very heavy and its very difficult to actually get into the engine room.

With lots of wood packing and aching muscles by Sunday evening the oil cooler was bolted back into position. Yeovil 4-5 October 2014 Yeovil 4-5 October 2014

Other jobs tackled included tyre gauging. Thanks to RMS Locotec at Washwood Heath for the loan of their tyre gauges and a brake cylinder was changed, using our last overhauled spare cylinder. The defective cylinder was taken to Washwood Heath to see if it can be honed and new seals fitted.

UPDATE: 28 September 2014
We have a few sales items that maybe of use or interest to preservationists. No fixed price, just email an offer or swap for 50 parts etc.

Also, have a look at the Sales Page we have added all sorts of new items, including newly designed mugs and polo shirts with a choice of locomotive logos.

UPDATE: 16 July 2014
Holiday time, means that we have had a short break in working parties on 50050. However this does not mean that progress has not been made. The big news is that at long last our radiator fan motor is now finished at Bowers of Heanor. We are awaiting final invoice and then it will be time to arrange collection. The day prior to Bowers telling us the fan was finished, Abbey Heat transfer told us the oil cooler repairs were completed too! We await the invoice and collection of the cooler.

On the sales front, we had a sales stand on the Saturday of the Spa Valley gala and will be having a stand at the Mid Hants diesel gala next weekend. Please do pay the stand a visit and say hello.

UPDATE: 16 July 2014
Written by Mark
2 man mission to YRC. Ash continued fitting the head rails to No2 end of the loco, and the kick plates above the access steps.

I took the opportunity to pull out the last cable [R2] from the conduit run to the Z26 resistor bank. I also managed to obtain some 'bell wire' we can use as a guide wire ...when we come to fit the new cables. At this point this job has to stop as we are waiting for material to finish the new cable loom before we can fit it to the locomotive.

Now for something which at first sight may seem a waste of time. Doing routine maintenance to a locomotive which at present does not go. However the batteries still get used for lighting, and we keep them charged. Therefore a battery examination was the order of the day. Cells checked for the correct electrolyte level and topped up as required. Voltage checked Terminals checked for corrosion and so on.

It is still good practice to keep on top of the routine stuff in between the bigger repairs

UPDATE: 30 June 2014
Working weekend 28-29 June 2014
More progress on the Rad fan wiring loom. The new conduit has been test fitted for length and to check the proposed route of the new cable run.

Nick had to undertake some remedial work where the conduit passes through the cross member below the door into the engine room. Looks like this area may have been either a Friday afternoon, or Saturday overtime [job and finish] job when the loco was refurbished, as we have found several areas where cables have been run over sharp metal brackets without any protection on the edges.

Needless to say we will be fitting the protective strips before we commission the repaired wiring. The 3 cables which go to the rad fan connection box [A,Y and R3] have been cut to length and fitted to the conduit. The existing R1 cables have been removed, and the R2 cable has been partly removed. This was found to be in very poor condition where it runs below the Z26 resistor frame, and was likely to fail before too much longer.

Other work, done included cleaning and painting the area that are inaccessible when the oil cooler is fitted. The door to the engine room, removed to get the oil cooler out, was repaired and is now free of the effects of years of drivers boots... The on going paint stripping in number 1 cab, saw Adam busy all day Sunday.

Finally, we had another meeting with the YRC chairman, regarding our 50050 shed project. The chairman is supportive and we have agreed a route to go down with this project.

UPDATE: 17 June 2014
Working weekend 14-15 June 2014
Nick has fitted the new cable gland joining the new flexi conduit to the No1 traction motor blower junction box, he has also fitted a small piece of flexi conduit to the 'T' piece behind the rad fan connection box.

After a some head scratching, a little miss understanding, and some cleaning, and the use of a dental mirror we have determined that the 70 Ohm resistor segments of Z26 are indeed fitted to their correct position on A bank side of the locomotive. This has allowed the remaining 2 cables to be identified beyond doubt.

Contactors KFC 2/3, and 4 have been located and examined. All appear to be satisfactory condition in fact the tips of KFC 4 are almost brand new.

The No1 blower motor has been megger tested, and after a few weeks inside, and the dry warm weather the readings have come good. Both sides being about 1 Meg Ohm at 500V

Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala - May 31 / June 1
The gala weekend was a success with the D400 Fund sales stand raising much needed funds. Thanks to DC Rail for the loan of 56303 during the weekend.

When not hauling shuttles on the centres running line, 56303 was used to fill 50050s air system. This was the first time in 4 years that 50050 has had air in it. The newly fitted M8A valves needs adjusting as the brake pipe is a little high and one brake cylinder is leaking, but other than that it was a good test.

UPDATE: 04 June 2014
Photos from the Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala - May 31 / June 1
Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala - May 31 / June 1 Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala - May 31 / June 1

Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala - May 31 / June 1 Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala - May 31 / June 1

UPDATE: 29 May 2014
Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala - May 31 / June 1
56303 has been confirmed as a guest locomotive at the Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala weekend.
56303 will also take turns hauling the shuttle trains.
For more details of other locomotives and other things happening on the weekend, please see the Yeovil Railway website

UPDATE: 25 May 2014
Yeovil 20th Anniversary Gala - May 31 / June 1
50050 will be taking part in the Yeovil 20 anniversary gala. The loco will be open for cab and engine room tours.

The D400 Fund sales stand will be present.

Other attractions include military vehicles, steam lorries, visiting Bullied Pacific loco for servicing and turning (Sunday only). There will also be railwayana and model railway displays.

UPDATE: 22 May 2014
Cab side freshly painted 18/19 May - a reduced size working weekend saw more wire tracing at one end of the loco and filling and priming at the other!

On the Sunday, the cabside was give a quick coat of gloss.

Have a look at the Sales page for some new items. We have added some new rucksacks with a choice of embroidered logo showing either: Original NSE livery, Dutch livery or Large Logo livery

We have also added issues 175 and 187 of Modern Locomotives Illustrated, full details on the Sales page

UPDATE: 15 May 2014
Welding cab side Welding Cab side

Welding cab side OJ Fabrications visited Yeovil for 4 days either side of the bank holiday weekend to reskin 50050s number 2 end secondmans side cab. This is the last of the 4 cabsides to be reskinned. In addition to the cabsides a couple of other small jobs were done including the last section of guttering that needed replacement. Many thanks to Oliver and to Pete for their work on 50050 over the last couple of years. Thanks also to Ian Horner for sponsoring this last cabside.

This last weekend, Ashley and Steve manned the group sales stand at the Swanage Railway diesel gala. Thanks to everybody who made a purchase and of course to Ashley and Steve.

Finally, we were pleased to loan our spare AV2 valve to the 50017 team, to help sort out their vacuum fault and ensure the loco is available for its running day next week.

UPDATE: 6 May 2014
Reskinning Int the shed A working party was held over Saturday/Sunday 3/4 May at Yeovil.

50050 is currently in the shed having its last cabside reskinned. This has been sponsored by Ian Horner from sales of his ground breaking book "The Large Logo Years."

Many thanks to Ian for this, its greatly appreciated.

Heat exchanger 50050 The heat exchanger was reassembled prior to being sent away for repair.

The fuel guage which was damaged in a bizarre accident earlier this year was refitted, complete with new sight glass.

Thanks to Dave Redbourne and Mike Matthew for help with this.

Engine room door Finally the engine room door from A side number 1 end was paint stripped and primed. This was removed to get the heat exchanger out.

UPDATE: 15 April 2014
Painting Last weekend we had the pleasure of being joined by 50050s owner Harry Schneider and his brother Henrick. We were delighted that Harry was able to visit after illness had kept him away last year.

Engine Room This weekend was a little different to usual, no electrics or lots a wire, it was all about a very heavy oil cooler. Located on A bank of the engine, the cooler has to be dropped down from the engine and the manhandled down the engine room past the radiator and out of the cab door. This is not a job any of us fancy doing again.

The oil cooler will be tested at Yeovil before we make a decision on how to repair it or if its better to replace the core with a spare.

Other jobs were more paint stripping on number 1 cab and painting the air horn grill for number 2 end cab.

Wires!! Forgot to report that there was a working party the previous week and that focused on the new wires to number 1 end traction motor blower.

Finally, many thanks to Dave from the Class 50 Alliance for delivering our new fuel guage glasses.

UPDATE: 5 April 2014 (work carried out 22/23 March)
50050 Oil Cooler The weekend was focused as usual on the new wiring being fitted to the number 1 end traction motor blower. This job is now nearing completion with conduit and looms now made up and ready for fitting.

The oil heat exchanger had an end cover removed. The usual class 50 sight of blocked tubes was revealed. The cooler will be removed for more attention soon.

A start was made on refitting B side radiator fan resistors and insulators. The new insulator we purchased was turned down to size in Derby last week and is now ready for fitting. New fibre washers have been sourced for the insulators.

Lastly Adam continued his solo task of paint stripping the number 1 end cab.

UPDATE: 23 February 2014
Yeovil 22/02/2014 The first job was to megga No1 Traction Motor Blower Motor. With the brushes lifted the readings were not too bad at 1.5 Meg Ohms @ 500V to earth. However with the brushes fitted the Field windings are only about 0.1 Ohms @ 500V to earth. Hopefully a bit of remedial action in the shape of some cleaning, and drying out will improve this.

The old blower motor wiring has been removed, and a new electric snake has been assembled, and is nearly ready to be refitted to the locomotive. As the dimensions of the modern materials are a little different to the original. It has been decided to run the blower motor and the rad fan wiring in their own wiring looms. This has the added advantage of not squeezing a lot of wires through the same conduit. This may have been part of the original problem.

Yeovil 22/02/2014 After Saturdays work there is cautious optimism That the light we can see is indeed the end of the tunnel rather than a train coming the other way.

Another job undertaken is making a start on cleaning up the clean air compartment and in the areas where the floor is currently lifted. Having seen photographs of the excellent work in area currently being done on 50042, we have a big job to make it as good as 50042s!

UPDATE: 25/26 January 2014
Yeovil 25/01/2014 On the Saturday, four of us were at Yeovil. Most of the day was spent with the ongoing radiator fan and number 1 end traction motor blower rewiring. Tracing wires and investigating how much new wire will be needed were the order of the day. A start was made on removing the old fire damaged wires

Yeovil 25/01/2014 The repaired fuel guage is now at Yeovil. We just need to collect the new sight glass from Kidderminster now.

Yeovil 25/01/2014 A replacement hose has been sourced and fitted. It is planned to replace all hoses on 50050s powerunit this year.

Yeovil 25/01/2014 The insulators for the radiator fan were cleaned prior to being refitted. Unfortunately one insulator was cracked, so this will need to be replaced.

Yeovil 25/01/2014 For those interested in class 50 history, the engine plate fitted to 50050

Yeovil 26/01/2014 Sunday was spent with a vaccum cleaner removing debris from the clean air comparment and from under the now lifted engine room floor.

Finally a reminder for those of you that buy online. If you use the Spend and raise button on the how you can help page, the D400 Fund get a small commission from each purchase you make. It all helps!

UPDATE: 12 January 2014
Yeovil 12/01/2014 On Sunday and with the numbers down to 2 people, work continued. When we arrived on site on Saturday, it was discovered that the B side fuel gauge had been badly damaged. How or why this happened is a mystery, so without dwelling on what may have happened, the gauge was removed and the outer tubing sent to OJ Fabrications in Weymouth for repair. We bought new tubing from our friends in the Class 50 Alliance, so that will now need collecting from Kidderminster.

Yeovil 12/01/2014 The racks that hold the air filters were given a coat of gloss

Yeovil 12/01/2014 A life expired pipe was removed and a new one will be fitted soon

Yeovil 12/01/2014 50050s hour clock. Most (all?) 50s do not have one fitted, so a photo for those curious!

Finally a meeting was held to discuss a possible site for our future 50050 shed project. The YRC chairman has asked given approval to continue with this project and we are now looking at costings etc.

UPDATE: 11 January 2014
Nick and Mark continued getting up the floor in the engine room to find the extent of the wiring damage. The effort paid off as once the floor was up, and the cover of a box section removed, the true extent of the damage was revealed. Happily it is not quite as bad as we feared. We can save a little bit on the cable needed for the repairs, and access is good. The bad news is the 3 rad fan cables have blown apart so we will need to carefully trace what goes where.
The blower motor cables are a little more straight forward, as they are still intact. 6 people on site so plenty of other work carried out including testing of the repaired main generator bearing lubrication tube.

Older News (February to December 2013)

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