3/2/19 – Testing times ahead

Before we move on to this weeks update, I was sent some images from James Brace who visited the railway during last weekends gala, he caught Nick, Ross and I conducting our duties as TPO Groundcrew.  Thank you James.

This weekend we move on toa new arrival to the fleet.  Although it has been on the GCR for some time it has recently passed into our care.  ADB975397 or more commonly known as Test Car 2.  It gives me great pleasure to once again be responsible for this vehicle, it was myself that saved it from scrap in 2016 when it fell out of use on the Old Dalby Test Track.  In its glory days, it was used for the slip brake testing of rolling stock and latterly it was used for taking visitors up & down the test track.


So this weekend our adventures take us to Rothley Carriage & Wagon.  We are preparing the vehicle before it is moved to Quorn as it will be our temporary base of operation whilst “the yellow coach” comes to Rothley for much-needed bodywork to be carried out.

The vehicle has already had some work done by C&W staff.  The sealing of leaking windows and the refitment of Pullman gangway and matching buffers to the Generator end.  This is to enable the coach to be coupled with other coaches and increase the usability of the vehicle, most notably as an emergency brake vehicle if the need arises.

On to this weekend and a wash and brush up to start the proceedings.  Jake took care of the interior with a hover and a wash of all surfaces,  I focused on the outside most notably the windows.

In what can only be described as “playing”, me managed to get the lights throughout the vehicle working. Including the head and tail lamps.

The headlight had an infestation of flies.  So this was removed for cleaning. Thankfully however the vehicle had a spare and more on that lower down this update.20190202_171223

Between the slip end and the main saloon, there was a hole which was the location of test equipment long since removed.  This hole was filled and will help retain heat within the main saloon.

The vehicle is laid out as follows:
The South end has observation windows and was were the slip operation was controlled from.20190202_173213

Next is the main saloon which held the monitoring equipment and instrumentation for recording the testing.  This would have been a hive of activity during testing.

A small area for coats and baggage and a toilet are next.

This is followed by a kitchen area and the Guards compartment.

Then we have a workshop area and the main generator set. The workshop I spent Sunday tidying up.

Looking in cupboards and behind panels, we found two noteworthy items.  A BR(M) Blanket and the original running number chalked on the back of an access panel.

So on to Sunday and as mentioned above more time cleaning and tidying the Workshop area, before that however, I completed the installation of the replacement headlight, complete with double arrow.  The removed one will be stripped down and cleaned up and retained as a spare.

During the tidy, the side panel for the equipment rack in the main saloon was found and duly refitted

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Jake continued with a number of odd jobs.  Fitting the slip end microphones and refitting panels and trims that had been displaced.

Before the vehicle left Old Dalby in 2016 I removed the owner’s plate that was located on the Kitchen Door.  This plate has been on my stairs at home for almost 3 years doing nothing but gathering dust.  I saw fit to return it to its original location after a quick polish.

Ross fitted locks to the doors so we can secure the vehicle for our use

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The final task for the whole weekend was to reinstate the vacuum hoses, again found in the tidy up.  Having looked under the vehicle we knew at this stage it would only be a through-pipe but the main reason for refitting the hoses was to check its integrity. With Rothley’s vacuum test rig wound up the gauges dotted around the vehicle began to raise.  As can be seen in the images below 20 inHg was attained, this was seen on all gauges. A duplex in the slip end, one in the main saloon and the Guards gauge which was installed moments before the test.

With the integrity of the through pipe confirmed next step is to reinstate the vacuum cylinders and hopefully we will have an operational vacuum brake.  But more on that next weekend.