26024 and 27001 at Grosmont in 2005

26024 and 27001 at Grosmont in 2005

26024 has now been moved to the other road of the shed after a successful rotation test to make sure all the traction motors were turning the same way. This will greatly speed up the preparation of the bodywork for painting.

The reconnection of the traction motor cables on 26024 is just about complete. The rubbing down of the paintwork continues, the loco will be moved to the south road of the shed to make the loco a bit more accessible.

26024 has had some minor bodywork repairs before the preparation for the re-paint gets underway. It is hoped to start the rubbing down next week.

The bogie swap has been carried out on 26024, two bolster springs were found to be broken on the bogies that came from 26004. These were steam cleaned and checked over to make sure there was nothing wrong with them before being swapped. Re-connection of the traction motor cables and some scraping and painting will be next on the list followed by a bit of bodywork and a repaint before the North York’s gala in May.

26024 has had its snowploughs removed in preparation for the bogie lift which will happen after the broken primary bogie spring has been changed. The first of the 004s bogie have been steam cleaned, this took a day to do due to the build up of brake dust, etc on the inside of the bogie frames.

26004 has had its bogies swapped with the accommodation bogies. Its original bogies will be steam cleaned and given a check over before getting a coat of paint. They will then go under 26024. Its bogies will then be overhauled and we will hopefully find out what is causing the noisy traction motor and also why one of the motors was tripping the earth fault relay!

26004 has now been put over the pit to start to get the loco ready for the bogie swap. The handbrake mechanisms and various air pipes and traction motor cables need to be disconnected before the lift can take place.

26024 finally went into regular service during 2003. After occasional use
during 2002, a concerted effort was made during April and May 2003 to get it
ready. The new diesel shed was put to good use and 024 spent two months in
it prior to the May 2003 gala.

A working week was held and efforts were concentrated on the bodywork. The
main roof section was removed and all the rust underneath it attacked. The
underside was also cleaned and repainted, making a big difference to the
available light in the engine room.

While the roof was off, we took the opportunity to replace the turbocharger
with an overhauled spare, as the original had a leaking oil seal. A lot of
welding work was also carried out on the engine room doors and frames. New
metal was welded into the frames and the doors themselves, which was both
difficult and time-consuming. A section on the front of the No.2 cab was
also replaced. These areas have been touched up and we hope to do a full
repaint fairly soon.

A number of faults were repaired just prior to the May gala, including
reinstatement of the sanding equipment at No.1 end and repair of the
Driver’s Safety Device (which applies the brakes if the driver takes his
foot off the pedal under the desk. This was the first time these items have
worked in preservation!

However, it was the old story of one step forwards, two steps back…
firstly a brake valve isolator failed, meaning half of the cab had to be
dismantled to change it. More seriously, the power earth fault relay kept
tripping when the loco was under power. This was traced to the armature on
No.3 traction motor being down to earth. Fortunately, it’s possible to run
the loco on three traction motors. The faulty motor will have to be renewed;
we hope to do this soon.

A huge number of other defects have also been repaired in 2003. All the
fault indicator lamps on the drivers’ desks now work and the anti-slip
facility also works now, after repairing a cable which was shorting on the
loco’s bodyside. The speedos have been repaired and the fire alarm circuits
and firebells replaced and made to work. The missing conduits in No.1 cab
have also been replaced and the wiring replaced and reconnected. A
long-standing leak in the vacuum chamber system (which can be notoriously
difficult to find) was also cured. Finally, the field divert system has been
recommissioned, along with a full examination of all the electrical
equipment in the control cubicle and a heavy clean of the engine room. Most
of this work has been done by a new recruit to the Diesel Group, Iain
McCreadie, assisted by his father-in-law who worked at Eastfield for 40
years and has a great deal of experience of loco repairs.

26024 worked 185.5 miles on passenger service trains in 2003.

These are the repairs outstanding for 26024:
Replace No.3 traction motor with spare
Investigate noise from No.1 wheelset/traction motor
Complete all exterior bodywork welding jobs
Weld in new engine room drainage channels
Recommission engine room fire extinguishing system
Complete interior refurbishment of both cabs

The SRPS Diesel Group has been concentrating on construction of the new diesel shed. However, both locos are now through the major restoration work and now require mostly routine maintenance.

26004 has been available for traffic and has done its fair share of work. There has been a number of problems, particularly in the vacuum system, which may have been inherited from BR days. However, this has now been sorted out.

26004 should be available for the first half of this year, before it is taken out of service in June for its three-yearly air tank examination. The plan is to use this downtime to finish off the remaining jobs in the cabs (wipers, seats, holes in the cab floors), repair a broken bogey spring and give the loco a repaint, which is also overdue. Shareholders will be canvassed on the new livery… red stripe railfreight is one possibility…

26004 was taken out of service in July 2002 when the insurance expired on the air receivers. There were various defects on the loco, along with a deterioration in the condition of the cabs. Rather than spend time and effort patching it up, it was decided to sideline it until space and resources were available in the diesel shed at Bo’ness.

26024’s vacuum system is still causing problems, which caused it to run air-brake only at the Worth Valley.

The plan is to have 26024 complete and ready for service by the time 26004 is taken out of service, the air tanks on 024 are also due for inspection in May. There is a noisy bearing on the bogie at Number 1 end, which may require the bogie to be removed and inspected.

Both locos worked at the AGM on 23/03/02 and at the SRPS May gala.


After the massive efforts put in last year to get the locos to Bury and Polmadie (with most effort expended on 26024), everybody has been taking life a bit easier and getting involved in preparing the site for the new diesel shed and various other civil engineering jobs.

After 26024 enters service at Bo’ness, 26004 will remain in service until July next year, when the air tank insurance expires. After this it will come out of use so that the outstanding work in the cabs can be done, along with all of the other outstanding jobs and a repaint.

26004 has seen very little use over the previous winter, having suffered a number of minor defects. It did, however, do a works train over the Manuel extension and a photo of this appeared in Railway World. It was hoped to use the loco on Easter Monday, but this was scuppered due to an electrical fault with the brakes, which later self-rectified.

It saw no more action until the diesel weekend, when, on its first working, the 1130 from Bo’ness, the brakes applied whilst going along the foreshore. The loco was about to be declared a failure when it again fixed itself. It later failed completely back at Bo’ness and missed its next working, the 1540 in tandem with 26024. The fault was traced to a defective wire running between the cabs. Spare wires are laid in for this very problem and one of these was connected in its place, after which everything worked correctly.

Its recent workings have been
3/01 Works train Bo’ness-Manuel
5/5/01 1130 Bo’ness-Birkhill
6/5/01 1130 Bo’ness-Birkhill and 1540 Boness-Birkhill (multi 26024)
12/5/01 1615 Bo’ness-Birkhill

After the problems suffered at the diesel weekend were repaired, efforts were made to try and use the loco more regularly. This season, 3 return trips were run on Thursdays for 9 weeks prior to the midweek running season. It was originally intended for these trains to be DMU worked, but as this is still under overhaul, diesel traction was used. 26004 did the majority of these trains, but disgraced itself once by failing after it could not create vacuum. This was traced to the problematic exhauster motor resistors, with a loose connection causing the problem. This was repaired, but 6 weeks later, the same thing happened.

This time, more extensive investigation was required, as another resistor had burnt through. The last spare was fitted, and the whole circuit was thoroughly checked. No.1 exhauster was found to be connected up wrongly, meaning it was running faster all the time and drawing too much current through the resistors, which is why they were overheating. Since this was put right, and various other minor repairs made to broken connections in the control cubicle, the loco has been working more reliably.

It is now approaching 4 years since the loco was painted, and the paintwork is starting to suffer from being stored in the open. The cabs are still only partly restored and there are various repairs required to the engine and the bodywork. Because of this, it has been suggested that 004 is taken out of use when the air tank insurance expires in July 2002. We can then make use of the facilities in the diesel shed to do all the work required. There may well be a delay before the work starts while other projects are completed, but this will give us the chance to get the loco up to scratch. It would also give a chance to repaint the loco, how about Red Stripe Railfreight?

Work started on 024 in earnest from the 15th to 22nd April 2001.

The recently replaced radiator fan motor was shimmed to align it and stop the fan blades hitting the loco body. The vacuum chamber system, which helps apply the brakes on the loco was pressure tested to check for leaks. 2 were found and repaired, but testing proved there are still other problems with which have yet to be found. Several other air leaks were cured, and the air system now holds air very well.

In No.2 cab, some minor welding work was done so that the internal panelling could be fitted. This then allowed us to fit the 2nd mans desk. The DSD (Drivers Safety Device) pedal was welded in, meaning you could drive from that desk. The switch panel and lighting was then reinstated and the marker and tail lights made to work. The remaining air pipework for the horns and windscreen wipers was made up and fitted. This allowed the windscreen wiper motors to be fitted into place. The front area of the cab was also cleaned and painted before the pipework was put in place. The final luxury to be fitted was the cab heaters!

In No.1 cab, most of the surfaces were scraped down and painted. The air system was also finished off and window wiper arms and blades fitted into place. The wooden trim for around the side windows was cleaned up and fitted, and new bits made to replace those that were missing or damaged. Several other bits were cleaned up and painted prior to fitting.

The loco is now substantially complete, with most parts refitted, although a lot of tidying and finishing work is required in the cabs. The biggest job is to make up, fit, and cover with lino new floor panels. Once the cabs are complete, and the brakes and electrics are cleared of all outstanding faults, the loco will go into regular use, and should be a credit to the group. There will still be outstanding welding work on the engine room doors and the engine room storm gutters and drains, but this will be tackled over the Winter when there is a bit less to do.

It has more or less only worked at the diesel weekend, as follows:
22/4/01 Light engine Bo’ness-Manuel (Track inspection/repairs)
4/5/01 Railtour ECS Bo’ness-Manuel (tandem 25235)
5/5/01 1400 Bo’ness-Birkhill; 1540 Bo’ness-Birkhill; 1720 Bo’ness-Birkhill (tandem 25235); 1900 Bo’ness-Birkhill (top/tail 25235)
6/5/01 1400 Bo’ness-Birkhill
1540 Bo’ness-Birkhill (multi 26004)
1720 Bo’ness-Birkhill (tandem 25235 & 27001)

Very little was done to 024 after the diesel weekend, largely due to the diesel group having other commitments, mainly site preparation for the diesel shed. However, that all changed following the request from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway for the loco to appear at their diesel gala on the 4th and 5th August.

A great deal of work was required to make the loco presentable to another railway. We stipulated straight away it would only be able to work air brake trains, as it would not be possible to devote enough time to the vacuum fault. There is always a rake of air brake stock in use for the DRS locos, so this wasn’t too much of a problem.

The running gear and external appearance had all been brought up to scratch last year, so very little work was required in these areas. However, the cabs were still ‘a bit of a mess’. A lot of work was put in the weekend before.

In no.1 cab, new wooden floor panels were cut out of 3/4 plywood and laid. The seat supports were fitted, along with 2 good cab seats. The right hand marker and tail light were fitted and wired up, along with the cab lights and the DSD holdover button on the secondman’s side of the cab. The missing cab panels were fitted, and the whole of the cab interior was painted, making a vast improvement. The windscreen wiper motors and pipework were fitted, along with the arms and blades on the outside.

In no.2 cab, new wooden floor panels were also made and fitted. The missing seat support was welded in, and 2 good seats fitted. This cab had received a lot of attention during the working week earlier in the year, and was more complete. The missing panels were fitted, and the interior was also painted. The windscreen wiper motors, pipework and arms were also fitted. After final adjustment at Keighley, the wipers were found to work perfectly, meaning it was at last possible to see where you were going in the rain.

Prior to the inspection, we renewed all the bufferbeam air hoses, as these have to be no more than 10 years old, and checked and topped up all the oil levels etc. The inspector asked for the axleboxes to be regreased, and for the traction motor gearcase ‘motak’ lubricant levels to be topped up. This and some other very minor repairs were done and 024 was ready to go.

After arrival at Keighley, another inspection was done, along with some more minor repairs. It was then taken up to Oxenhope on the Friday night, for its first working, the 1030 to Keighley.

26024 performed very well and made loads of ‘thrash’, hauling 6 coaches up the bank out of Keighley with ease. The only concern was a loud whining noise from No.1 traction motor. This, and the wheelset, will probably have to be removed for investigation. Over the weekend, the loco worked 2 round trips to Keighley each day, one on its own, and one as a pair, along with a quick trip to Haworth on the front of the 47 for fuel on the Saturday.

It performed again at the SRPS diesel weekend on the 4th and 5th September, and did the last ‘Beerex’ train on the Saturday. It is now awaiting completion and entry into regular service. This will hopefully be completed by the Spring, and a working weekend or week may be arranged to try and get it finished.


June 26004 air system; 024 traction motor swap, wheels and body
December 26024’s first run in preservation

Following the cold snap of December 1999, an air system water trap in No.1 cab was found to have frozen up and split. This is located in the lefthand corner of the cab, and great deal of dismantling was required to get it out. After it was brazed up and a new drain cock fitted, the cab was rebuilt. The fault re-occurred during test… A vacuum chamber leak was also discovered which was traced to a broken pipe in No.2 cab: so, with all this, 004 was out of service until April 2000, when it worked various service trains and civils trains.

While working a railtour train with 27005, a large flash was seen and a loud bang heard from the control cubicle as we motored between Birkhill and Manuel. This was found to have been caused by the No.1 overload relay overheating and then melting. This blew a 4in diameter hole in the mounting board. The sparks caused a small fire in the control cubicle, which was soon extinguished. This was probably down to a broken or loose connection on the overload relay. This type of fault should have been detected by the wheelslip relay, but this was also found to have a broken stud.

The overload relay panel was subsequently stripped out and dismantled. New wiring was run in to replace the burnt bits, and a spare panel was built up with the good original relays and a spare: all of which were cleaned up and overhauled.

This panel was fitted once the wiring repairs were completed and the loco run up and tested on June 11th. The overload relays were then set to trip at 600 amps. Like 26024, all the relays were either seized or screwed up past the point they could trip at… but will now work as they are supposed to!

Bogies and underframe
No.1 traction motor was renewed as planned on Sunday 30th January, despite the gale which blew in… This TM change was a first for the SRPS site. While the bogie was out, it was given a heavy clean and the brake gear removed for refurbishment. The centre casting bolts on the loco were also found to be loose.

The wheel sizes were checked and No.4 wheelset was found to be 1.5in in diameter larger than the other three. The maximum difference allowed is only 0.5in, so we had a choice of sending the loco for tyre turning, or removing the wheelset and sending it for turning. We decided to remove the wheelset! We jacked the loco up inside the shed and left it sitting on wooden blocks; the bogie was dismantled and the wheelset sent to Shields Road.

The wheelset came back just before the start of the working week, so the first few days were spent refitting the wheelset and traction motor and cleaning the bogie. All the brakegear was stripped down, cleaned up and regreased, with new pins and bushes fitted to the outer support links, which were badly worn. Both traction motors were stripped down and cleaned up and a burnt connection was repaired on No.3 motor. This was giving a low insulation reading which was probably the reason the motor was suspected to be damaged when the loco was withdrawn.

The bogie was refitted on the Tuesday of the working week and reconnected. Since then, No.1 bogie has also had the brakegear refurbished and fitted and many other minor tasks have been carried out.

Air system
The last major part of the loco left to fix was the air system. Large amounts of copper pipe and numbers of valves were removed from the loco in store at Motherwell, mostly from the boiler room and brake frame area. Various other bits and pieces were also needing repair in the cabs.

The brake frame had previously been repaired with pipework salvaged from MC Metals, but the pipework between the frame and the loco needed replaced. So much had been removed from the boiler room that we had to take several pictures of 26035 at Brechin to get an idea of what was missing. 26004 is slightly different as it was dual-braked in the 60s, so wasn’t an accurate guide!

The repairs started towards the end of the working week, with two new compressor delivery pipes being made up. The pie and fittings are high spec and expensive. New pipework was then made up for the wall of the boiler room to replace the missing parts of the main air supply system. Since then, repairs have been made to the pipes joining the frame to the rest of the loco and to the pipework within the cabs.

In No.1 cab, most of the pipework had been carefully removed and only needed refitted, with some minor repairs. However, in No.2 cab, a lot of pipework had been cut out, and several new sections had to be made. The main air tanks in the cabs were aluminium, which the insurance inspector refused to pass to working pressure. Fortunately, we had a spare set which we painted and fitted.

We were also missing driver’s train brake valves, which were obtained from Llangollen. Two refurbished gauge panels were made up and fitted. Several parts were also missing from the control air system, which had to be made from scratch. The air system was completed finally on 11th June, but needed some ongoing work to cure minor leaks and defects before it could pass a brake test.

Both cabs have been reassembled gradually over the last six months. No.1 cab had the equipment on the secondman’s side refitted after a new sidesheet had gone on. New pipework for the windscreen wipers and washers was put in and both the desks were refitted. The inner fibreglass roof sections were refitted after aluminium strips had been fitted along the tops of the windows to replace the wooden strip which had rotted and split. The metal ‘squares’ cut out of the bulkhead were all replaced and the equipment refitted.

No.2 can had the same treatment, along with installation of the cab lights. No work was required to the bulkhead, as this was accessed from the other side.

Body work
New sidesheets and corner posts were fitted to both sides of No.1 cab and the corner uprights and the metal along the top of the windows was also replaced as required. This was all filled and sanded, along with the various areas of the bodyside. The missing sidesheet on No.2 cab still had to be fitted, along with the handrail recesses.

A great deal of filling and sanding was done on the south-facing bodyside, so it was almost ready to be undercoated. The radiator grilles and roof panels were prepped and undercoated.

December report
After the repairs to the control cubicle, 26004 worked a railtour train in tandem with 20020, which highlighted that some ‘setting-up’ of the overload relays was still required. Unfortunately, after this, some parts were removed from 004 for 26024, to try and complete the air system so the loco could be completed and get to the East Lancs diesel week. Because of the shortage of parts, 004 saw no more use until the SRPS diesel weekend. The two drivers’ brake valves were kindly loaned to us by the Pioneer Diesel Group, which looks after 45060, 45105 and 45135; the valves were fitted along with some other minor parts to allow the loco to run.

No.1 end centre window then had to be removed to donate to 26024 to allow it to attend the Open Day at Polmadie. Although 26004 ran at the 6LDA AGM, some minor repairs were required before the loco entered regular service. Workings since June were:

1220 Bo’ness to Birkhill and return
1630 Bo’ness to Birkhill and return (in tandem with 26024)

1415 Bo’ness to Birkhill and return (in tandem with 25235)

Bo’ness to Birkhill and return (multi with 26024)
The loco was yet to move under its own power and large areas of bodywork needed attention. A huge amount was done in the two weeks following June 12th to try and get the loco finished.

The sidesheets missing from the cabs on the south side of the loco were rolled to shape in the steam workshop and welded on. The sections rolled to shape for the handrail recesses by a firm in Falkirk were also welded in and new handrails made up… making it possible at last to climb in without risking your back!

A new corner pillar was made up for the No.1 end driver’s window and then all the cabside windows were riveted back in. The four cab doors were fitted into place and made to open and close. While all this was being done, a lot of filling, sanding and undercoating was being done on the cabs and the bodysides.

The most notable addition was the ploughs, borrowed from 27001, which had to be set to height.

Along with attention to the running gear, the missing items from the cabs were refitted, including the driver’s gauge panels, brake valves and the equipment missing from the bulkhead at No.1 end.

26024 finally moved under its own power on Saturday 17th June. Each traction motor was tested individually to make sure it was connected correctly (it is possible to reverse cables, meaning one motor could go in reverse to the others…) Once all this was done, all 4 motors were put in and the loco taken for a spin up and down the loop at Bo’ness. Owning to electrical problems in No.1 cab, it could only work from No.2 end, but it seemed to go well!

We had a test run with 25235 on a railtour train up the branch on the evening of 25th June (only the downhill cab of 024 was usable). We were trying to make the loco ready for the East Lancs… but it became obvious it wasn’t going to happen, as there were just too many jobs for a small group to do; and it would have meant using an untested loco, so we settled for aiming for the SRPS diesel gala as our next target.

The last bits of welding were done and all the windows refitted. On the diesel weekend, the missing parts of the vacuum system were made up and fitted. As we were still waiting for resistors for the exhausters, another loco would have to run with 024 to provide vacuum.

At 1630 on Saturday 2nd September, the moment of truth came when 024 worked with 004 to Birkhill. Unfortunately the lever in the driver’s controller fell off, so the run was a bit of a stagger! This was remedied (using a bit off 004) in time for the 2000 beerex with 25235 providing vacuum. This time the loco went very well… until Birkhill when the engine room was found to be full of smoke! The radiator fan had seized and the motor had overheated; so only one run was made the next day on the 1310 with 235.

We still had the deadline for the Polmadie Open Day on the 16th September to meet, so for this, the last bits of bodywork were finished and the loco topcoated in BR blue. At PO, it formed part of a line-up with 25235 and 27001 and looked superb. 024 next worked on the 11th November, on the 6LDA shareholders special.

After Polmadie, the heat exchanger was replaced with an overhauled spare. The radiator fan motor was removed, and a spare cleaned up and fitted. The motor wasn’t sitting in line with the body, which meant the fan blades were fouling. The resistors for the exhauster arrived in October, purchased from the original suppliers Allen-West. The vacuum system was made operative, although there were still some leaks.


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