AC Locomotive Group Volunteers are continuing the restoration of the Class 89. The testing and investigation phase of the restoration work is nearly complete, with all the locomotive’s systems having been inspected and tested.
Preparations are underway for the overhaul of the bogies with the removal of the Primary Suspension Dampers having recently been removed. The Secondary Suspension Dampers were removed when the locomotive was lifted in 2016.
Testing of the Rheostatic Brake Stacks has shown that both units have failed. Following removal from the locomotive, Brake Stack #2 was stripped down and inspected, the inspection has shown that there had been a catastrophic failure of the Fan Motor which in turn caused serious damage to several resistor elements. The Fan Motor on Brake Stack #1 has also been found to be badly damaged. We have reviewed the service history of the 89 and have found that there were persistent problems with the Fan Motors throughout the locomotive’s life, so the decision has been taken to rebuild the Brake Stacks with ‘new’ motor and fan assemblies of the type used in Classes 86 and 87. CAD work is in hand for the redesigned Brake Stacks and a mock-up will be produced to check the mechanical fit of the revised Brake Stack into the locomotive.
A number of obsolete components have been identified for replacement; the Voltage Transducers for each Traction Motor are in the process of being replaced – access to the Voltage Transducers can only be achieved by dismantling the Motor Contactor Cubicles so this is a time-consuming job. The ACLG Engineering Team has identified several areas where reliability improvements can be made by replacing and modernising components and sub-systems.
Repairs to various items of cab equipment have been completed; the brake controllers and the switch panels on both desks have been worked on, most of the equipment is in good condition. Some cosmetic work remains to be undertaken on repairing various interior trim panels before they can be reinstated.
Cleaning of various items of electrical equipment and equipment ventilation systems has been undertaken by ACLG volunteers. Small amounts of corrosions on the interior of the cab roof framing, under the cab floor and in the Brake Stack areas has been cleaned up and prepared for repainting.
Our thanks to our volunteers for their work over the last year and to our industry partners at Bowers Electrical, Bralesford Engineering Services, Fletcher Moorland and HNRC without whose help the work on the 89 would not be possible.
Picture: (Top Left) ACLG Volunteers removing Primary Dampers, (Bottom Left) Primary Dampers removed for refurbishment, (Centre, Top) Rheostatic Brake location, (Centre Bottom) CAD Model of new Rheostatic Brake Stack, (Right Top) Overhauled Brake Controller and (Bottom Right) One of our younger Volunteer’s Homework – preparing cab interior panelling.