The morning started off nice enough with the sun shining, but how things turned out later on in the day!
Our Engineer Martin was stuck in traffic so took 4 hours to get to Ruddington on Saturday morning but we managed to get there early to start filling her up with water by hosepipe and that took 2-3 hours itself!
Once Martin arrived, we started the Peak up without any problems. We knew she had a faulty brake valve (also known as a FV4 valve) from March but this was a known historical fault due to moisture in the air system because of the cold weather. Usual fixes are methylated spirits in the air system, “blowing” the moisture through by opening the valve and slamming it into emergency or by turning the cab heaters on and closing the windows and doors in the cab to warm the valve up. All of these didn’t fix the problem so we decided to replace the valve with a spare we had.
To give you an idea on size, the valve is the one nearest the window in the images above but you can only see the complete size of it once it’s out – see the image on the right – and they’re not light either!
At the same time, somebody (they will remain nameless) blew the horn….and the horn valve stuck in the ON position! So we had to shut the engine down and drain the main reservoir air tank to shut the horn up.
We could get to the horn valve because luckily we were taking the brake valve out but we had to take the tops of the screws off to get it out, we managed to fix it and we refitted it in a temporary position for the time being. The air brake valve was refitted and we restarted the Peak. As always, she started first time.
This time round we received a fault light on the desk indicating a problem. This was flagged up as Traction Motor Blowers at the electrical cubicle, they were running earlier on but they no longer were.
Strangely she also wouldn’t take power – for our non-technical readers, the Peak should take power without any Traction Motor Blowers running and is able to run without them for a short period of time but this isn’t advisable, imagine running your computer without any cooling fans running and you’ll understand why!
We decided to call it a night then as it was 8PM and it was getting dark. A bit stumped as to why she was misbehaving we headed for the hotel.
Over some food and using a mobile phone we looked at the wiring diagrams (bearing in mind these are normally A3 in size!) and found a potential source of the problem….
An early start for us all but the first thing we did was take the cover off underneath the reverse/power handle and check all the contacts underneath there.
All of the contacts are on the left hand side behind the wiring in the image above.
We checked the fuse for the Traction Motor Blowers and it was ok, so we started her up. She started up, the brake valve was fine, the horn was fine, she took power, everything was repeated on No 1 end – problem sorted, with all the “pre-flight checks” complete we were ready to move off shed.
We had her ready to go on the stock early so we moved her into place. Unfortunately the guard thought we were out at 1100 rather than 1030! (Never mind Danny!)
We shunted the train into the platform for the start of the first service, passengers got on, we had the tip from the guard and away we went towards 50 Steps Junction.
The line splits at 50 Steps so a change of the points and we then headed South towards Rushcliffe Halt, we got to Rushcliffe Halt, stopped in the platform, people got off, people got on, we got the tip from the guard and away we went towards Loughborough but this is where things started to go wrong.
She then wouldn’t take power and we stood for 20 minutes trying to find and rectify the fault. After this time the guard wanted to know whether we needed a rescue loco or not but fortunately power was restored in No1 end cab but with non-working Traction Motors Blowers so we were able to propel the stock back into Rushcliffe Halt, then onto 50 Steps Junction and then we got back to Ruddington without the need for a rescue loco.
Arrangements had been made to swap 46010 for 20154. 46010 was moved onto shed and shut down. Andy B and Steve W were left fault finding while 20154 was crewed for the rest of the day’s service.
The next round trip with 20154 came and went without a problem but we later found that one of the Traction Motor Blowers wasn’t working properly. A phone call to the English Electric group, a few of their fitters nearby came over to inspect the loco – it was decided that the rescue loco had also failed and the two remaining service trains for the day had to be cancelled.
In the mean time we had found the fault with the Peak – Ironically it was also the Traction Motor Blower Brushes! So in one day two locos had failed for the same reason – the 20 being worst off compared to the Peak.
We would like to apologise to passengers who had travelled to see the Peak on Sunday we don’t like letting our Peak followers or members of the paying public down either and every effort was made to rectify the fault so we could carry on with the remaining service trips on the day.
As you can imagine to have this happen to us one our first running day this year is very deflating for us as a group after we’ve put in many hours replacing valves and rectifying faults.
But to take a positive note from this weekend – she starts first time on her new batteries and we have some good news about the Bodywork and Repaint project (more very soon)!
All of the Traction Motor Blower Brushes in No 2 end Traction Motor Blower have been removed and the plan is to get replacements from our own spares or purchased but we’re also planning on checking each piece of equipment that uses brushes in the same manner across the loco as a precaution.
Plans for this year
- Limited Company Setup (Finally!)
- Our First Meeting
- Bodywork and Repaint Project – progess was made this weekend.
- Driver Experience Trips
- 2 x Diesel Galas at the GCRN
- Possible Photo Charter
- Plaque unveiling ceremony in memory of John Kettlewell.
More news to come on the Bodywork and Repaint soon.
Some more photos from Sunday.