Placed on 2xth April 2008
Summarised details as released in our July/07 and Jan/08 Newsletters (#47 & #48 resp.)
The Return of 33 063 : It was a close call but at 1600hrs on Wednesday 3rd October, 33 063 complete with replacement traction motors and fresh from 25 successful miles of staged test running, was loaded onto the low loader ready for transportation to Wansford at the Nene Valley Railway. The committed team of members and supporters who have worked tirelessly over the summer breathed a collective sigh of relief and for the first time began to look forward to an enjoyable weekend at the Nene Valley Railway where our flagship locomotive would follow in the tracks of 33 065 and stretch its legs over the 7 mile line.
Here are some links to photos and videos covering the Nene’s October 2007 Gala (these open in new browsers]
The work undertaken by the Group since the catastrophic failure in February which would have seen many locomotives out for years, and particularly since the bogie lift at the end of June has been nothing short of phenomenal. As well as addressing the small matter of fitting two replacement traction motors, the opportunity was also taken to work on the bearings and clean/prepare and paint the areas you normally cannot get near!
Week commencing 1st October saw the locomotive lowered back onto the repaired bogie and the first tentative test runs to High Rocks at low speeds. Gradually the speed and mileage was increased with continual checks on the bearings for overheating. Thankfully all proved well and we could give the green light to the journey to the Nene Valley Railway.
Hopefully, those that travelled to the Nene Valley Railway to see 33 063 in action will have concluded that all their efforts were worth it as the locomotive put in a faultless performance across the two days where it completed 5 round trips either solo, or with 47 270 or fellow construction liveried 31 271. The sight and sound of 33 063 was greatly admired by all who attended and as with 33 065 earlier in the year, its attendance and performance could do harm to the group’s profile.
After a very successful weekend, 33 063 immediately returned to Tunbridge Wells on Monday 8th October and took part in the very successful October Mixed Traction Gala on 21st/22nd October.
Since then, further work has continued, investigating hydrostatic oil loss, further electrical work and other cosmetic jobs in order that the locomotive is in the best condition before we withdraw 33 065 for its long deserved overhaul.
Work is now also starting on repairing the defective traction motors ex 33 063…something else to keep our dedicated team very busy over the winter months!
33 065 : Whilst much of our attention has been focussed on returning 33 063 to traffic, 33 065 has continued to fly the operational flag at the Spa Valley Railway. Once all outstanding work has been completed on 33 063, 33 065 will be withdrawn from traffic for its overhaul. This should mean that its last booked duties following the Mixed Traction Gala on 21st/22nd October will be this winter leading up to end of season Santa Specials in December.
N/L 47 – July 2007
33065 – The 2007 UK Tour Part 2 : Following its successful appearance at the Mid Norfolk Railway diesel gala in March 2007, 33 065 then undertook a series of additional operating days at the railway throughout March and early April as detailed in the previous newsletter. A particular highlight was the SELG charter day on 30th March, which saw a good turnout enjoy 3 round trips along the line. The opportunity was taken to hold several photo stops throughout the day including a ‘drive past’ at the normally out of bounds Hardingham.
With its duties complete, 33 065 returned home following the Easter weekend, leaving Dereham on Wednesday 11th April and being unloaded at the West the following day. It was soon completing its first duties back on the Spa Valley with the fish and chip specials following our AGM on Saturday 14th April.
33 063 The major news regarding 33 063 is that the bogie with the defective traction motors has now been removed following a successful lift at Tunbridge Wells West on a very wet Saturday 30th June (this followed a successful trial lift the previous weekend). The locomotive is now currently on jacks over the outside inspection road whilst the defective traction motors are replaced (to eventually be sent for overhaul). While the locomotive is in this position, we intend to take advantage and pay those areas that are usually extremely difficult to access, some attention.
In addition, much effort has been made since the last newsletter on steam cleaning off floor plates, thanks to quite a few in the group. Otherwise Engine Room painting has continued along with digging out the crud around and under the exhausters.
A happy afternoon was had literally digging out the radiator element drains, each element bottom casting and holding bolts are now exposed as they should be instead of under 40 years of muck. Good news is they came up quite well in good condition. Also cleaned and proved by rod and hosepipe were the drains from the radiators. The roof gutter drains received attention, too.
The radiator access doors seals were perished so these have been cleaned off. 3mm thick new seals have been obtained but the doors and frames are warped and 3 mm turned out not to be enough so now we have a roll of 10mm thick sponge rubber to cut and fit, in stores. This will stop the rain getting in through these doors.
A defective fire extinguisher firing mechanism has been changed and the resistance covers have been painted and resistors cleaned. More work is required on the load reg resistors, though.
Other works planned includes:-
Paint on the floor /wall joint inside
Repair with GF the guttering
Ensure any bedplate holes do not drain water over the new second hand traction motors
Ensure any water from around the radiators drains through the segmental compartments into
the main engine bedplate drain
Finish second coat pipework paint
Drill out pop riveted floor plates, steam clean off and re-rivet back.
33 065 : is still running well in service although no. 7 cylinder head is not getting any better – poor combustion when engine is cold.