30/5/03 – CROMPTON TO GO ON LOAN
TO SPA VALLEY
During mid-May’03 , details were finalised such that the S.E.L.G. were in a position to sign an agreement with the Tunbridge Wells-based Spa Valley Railway which will see the loan of one of the SELG’s class 33’s to the line for their Summer season. It’s almost certain to be 33063, which is currently undergoing a repaint in her BR Blue to ensure 63 looks her best. It’s already been nearly three years since it was restored to BR Blue from the bus livery partially applied during the locomotive’s first few years in preservation at Rainham, Essex.
A few minor jobs are required to make ready for the transfer to Tunbridge Wells, due to take place during the second week of July, although SELG rep’s will always be just a phone call away if some assistance is needed. The Crompton should make for a fine site at the Spa Valley’s Heritage Diesel Gala over the weekend of 9th/10th August and again on their Steam & Diesel Gala on 11th/12th Oct. 2003. It offers the opportunity to sample a Class 33 on a line frequently operated by the class until closure in 1985. The recent move of 73 140 to the line also provides the first opportunity on a preserved line to operate an authentic Southern 33 + 73 combination!
Occasionally, it is also anticipated to operate various services and specials, as needs or demands arise.
The Spa Valley Railway provides a useful and most informative website which can be brought up in another browser window by clicking on Spa Valley Railway.
…….and other news
Since the end of last year (2002), both 33’s have, in the main, performed admirably, operating Santa Specials, Driver Experience days,an EKR Openday in March and various services train when required. There was one day in December last when 065 decided to have a ‘day off’ but 063 stepped in at the last minute to take over the services. The ongoing maintenance and restoration programme for both locos continues, and in effect, is perpetual, as there is always something to rectify or replace due to wear and tear. Cab floors are an area, for one, where attention is being paid, and a nice job the replacement sections are, too.
33065 : It is still the intention to fully restore 065’s ETH generator, being the better condition of the two Cromptons. However, we are awaiting the help of external expert assistance to complete the task which was delayed recently due to events beyond our and their control. We are also aiming to complete the external restoration in early summer with a further coat of BR blue to be applied followed by the application of numbers and BR arrows. 065 has been running without formal identity since last August’s first coat of Blue. The other most important item that needs attention is the power controller in cab 1. This was forced open when the loco was broken into at the end of last year. Resultant contactor cam damage has led to intermittent faults on taking power from cab 1 controls (little or no power on application of ‘notches’ by the driver).
Planned running dates for the coming weeks at the East Kent Railway which will see one or both Class 33’s in action are detailed as follows;
Sunday 15th June
Saturday 21st June – EPB Running Day