Update from the 31st March and 7th April By Ian Robins.

Update 31/3

D1661- The Class 47 has been moved into the Swindon Shed to enable repairs to corrosion in the roof
section to be attended to.

D6566 – A very productive Easter Weekend was spent on the loco.
On Good Friday, Simon and Martin assisted by Graham, Thomas and myself managed to get the
replacement No.1 exhauster installed. On the Saturday Andy and Thomas assisted to connect up the
cables and pipes enabling the unit to be tested – and it works! Very strongly in fact, and we now exceed
the 7” vacuum requirement against the 3/4” test disc by some margin, before we didn’t quite get there with
only a single exhauster. Therefore, further testing of the braking system was performed towards getting a
full fitness to run certificate for the loco and was completed on Monday as far as was practical.
Thomas has given the exhauster another coat of Rail Grey paint all over and it now gleams again!  See
picture.
Assuming there are two drivers available, there is test running provisionally planned for Saturday 7th April.
Williton depart 10:05 with D6575 and going down to BL for running between there and NF again, fingers
crossed there will not be another flashover!

D6575 – This worked a two coach train on Saturday in connection with the “Meet Peter Rabbit” event at
Minehead and was called out at short notice on Wednesday 4th April to work the 10:15 from Minehead and
12:15 return from Bishops Lydeard vice steam following a problem found on visiting S160 loco no. 6046.

D7017 – Continuing the exhauster theme as above, one of these was removed from the loco, stripped
down and re-assembled by Graham, John Cooke and Colin to replace a leaking oil seal.  The exhauster
was replaced, tested and deemed to now be satisfactory.

D7018 – Work continues towards a re-entry into service.


Update 7/4

D6566 – With D6575 taken as load and insurance, a further test run was conducted on Saturday.  Crewed
by Martin as driver, John L as secondman, Will as trainee secondman, me as fitter and Paul in D6575 the
run proved to be a bit more successful than the last one, no flashovers anyway!
Commutation was very clean in fact.
The loco ran generally ok although it was noted that air was sometimes being drawn into the fuel system,
mainly noticed this during longer periods of idling. The vacuum gauge fitted in the fuel suction pipe
occasionally dropping to zero and the fuel rack was noted to be opening more to compensate.
On Sunday the fault was traced to the flange seal between the suction pipe and fuel tank, a common Class
33 problem apparently.
Cleaned it all up, sealed it with hylomar and the gauge now reads steadily around the 4-5” vacuum mark.
Also starts a lot better as a result so hopefully this might also overcome another issue whereby the water
pressure switch sometimes does not hold in during starting.
But all being well a loaded test run is provisionally planned for 21st April with a view to getting a full Fitness
to Run Certificate by the end of the month.