On arriving I was met by one of our 'elder' statesmen of the department, Derek Mills. Derek had decided to put in a shift around the shed and was getting a little worried that no one else had turned up. Although, now more at home behind the sales stands of the Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group and Growler Group, Derek had worked extensively on the restorations on 'Peak' 45149 and on the earlier diesels that had arrived at the fledgling railway in the 1990s. Despite not being as mobile as he once was, Derek has been helping out recently with the bogie overhaul on Class 24, 5081, doing some small jobs and organising some of the spares for the 24081 Group.
With the first order of business sorted - putting the kettle on - I had a quick gander around the shed. Immediately inside the door was a small pile of what seemed, on first looks, as a pile of scrap. With a second, more thorough, glance it appeared to be a collection of bits and pieces from the Grolwer Group container. Group Treasurer, Kev Jarvis, had been clearing some of the odds and sods that the group had collectively accumulated over the 20+ years of existence. The largest piece in the pile was a flame cut from one of Inverness TMD's famous Highland Class 37's.
|The last earthly remains of 37260 'Radio Highland', a long way from Inverness.|
On Road 11 more evidence of the body work preparation on Class 47, 1693. With the glasswork covered on No.2 end primer had been added around the cab areas and extra sanding and filling had been undertaken. No.1 end has been sanded back and the glass covered ready for priming. The buffer beams have also had a coat of primer added ready for a top coat in the near future.
More progress on the second bogie of 5081 has seen more bits refitted to the frame. All of the larger bits, traction motors and brake frames, are now in grey primer and awaiting a date with the top coat. With 2019 being the 60th anniversary of the Class 24 build it is hoped that the loco will be completed in time for the middle of the new running season. The seized fuel pump has also been stripped and sent for repair. I believe a new one has been sourced with the repaired pump being kept as a spare, although I may be corrected on this.
|Traction motors and frame await a date with the spray gun!|
So, what was the agenda for the day? Well, after completing the first cuppa of the day, Derek and I were joined by Steve M who had turned up to carry on stripping down Class 20, 20035. Not much of the loco now remains on the main frame except the power unit and the support structure. Scattered around the floor of the shed are a number large crates containing a variety of tanks, pipes, filters and switches that have been removed for spares, sale or scrap. With not much else going on Steve asked Derek and I to make a start on cleaning some of the accumulated gunk and dirt off of the removed metal work. As it was still relatively dry outside I fired up the pressure washer while Derek grabbed a chair and a wire brush.
|This is what we started with....minus a few of the longer/larger pipes.|
|Derek gets to grips with the more stubborn dirt.|
|The cannibalised electrical cubicle.|
|Not sure which came up cleaner - metal or concrete?!|
Later in the day we were joined, briefly, by Mark and Ben E who had dropped in before heading up to Broadway to recover some bits and pieces from one of their containers for use on the Class 24 later in the week. On their return Ben stayed and helped out with some more of the component recovery on the underframe of the former CFR Class 20. Steve is hoping to have the power plant removed in the early New Year and to have the remainder disposed of by April.
Just a reminder that the fleet has four more running days of the 2018 season remaining. We have GREEN timetable days on Boxing Day and New Years Day - D6948 is the rostered loco due to its heating capability. On the 27 and 28 December we have the Mixed Traction Gala with D6948, 37215, D8137 and, 45149 rostered to work alongside the steam engines to a more intensive timetable than usual.
Finally, the 2019 timetable has been finalised and published. The diesel fleet sees a similar amount of running as the 2018 timetable but the number of timetables has been simplified slightly. The number of special events has been reduced and the year split into 'off peak' and 'peak' running. The diesels will see regular use on the BLUE and RED timetable (DMU only), the PURPLE timetable (last train of the day from Broadway to Cheltenham then return to Toddington) and on GREEN timetable (3 round trips). For full details you can click HERE.