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Latest News!

A big apology for the lack of recent activity and updates. Being a very small group of volunteers who all have other commitments, it's very easy to lose momentum and get behind which is exactly what we've done. From a personal perspective I've changed my job which has also meant relocating but I'm determined to catch up on lost time. As a group, we've decided to concentrate all our efforts this year on some overdue maintenance and repairs so we've decided that it will be best to defer our next running day until 2017. Sorry if this disappoints but I'm sure you all prefer visits to run as planned rather than suffer delays and failures...

First of all, a big thank you to everyone involved in the planning and operation of yesterday's running day at Moreton Park and of course to everyone who paid us a visit - I hope you enjoyed your day and your attendance was greatly appreciated. It was our first running day for eighteen months and the long awaited public passenger debut D2302 at Moreton Park. It was originally planned to have D2302 working top & tail with D2578 but due to public demand it was decided to also use 03145. This also allowed D2302 to have a rest between the two runs which gave the opportunity to patch up a hole that had developed in the exhaust. All three locos performed well although there's still plenty to do on D2302 to complete its restoration.

A selection of photographs taken yesterday can be found here.

Attention in April has turned to getting everything ready for the BLS visit on 3rd May. This entailed attention to the South Sidings Rail Gate so it could be opened and closed properly. Also on the agenda was to oil up all the South sidings pointwork and ensure they operated easily and fettle up to some of the trackwork. As well as the attention to the track the groups rolling stock was also given a check over. One of the vacuum bags on the shark was changed as the existing one was split, and a clean and oil up of the brake rigging on the grampus was also undertaken. Both where swept swept out and cleaned up in preparation for the 3rd May.

A lot of attention was lavished on D2302 in preparation for the BLS visit. The loco was fuelled up, which had an added bonus, in that when taking off the fuel filler cap there was an inrush of air into the tank, as though there had been a vacuum. Following investigation, it was found that the air vent holes in both filler caps were blocked up with paint, so as the fuel tried to drain out of the tank it didn't allow air into the tank to replace it, therefore causing a vacuum. Most probably the reason for the poor running and fuel starvation issues experienced in recent weeks. This was soon cured by unblocking the holes and since then the loco has not suffered from fuel starvation problems.

Problems with D2302's air system have continued. The compressor, which has caused problems in the past, is now working so well that the air pressure builts to high. It has so far defied solving, although a leak in the pipe connecting the air pressure governor and the unloader valve may well be the cause of the problem. As a temporary solution, trials have found that using the drain valves on the air system enables us to keep the air pressure under control.

Other issues that have been attended to on D2302 are, an oil change for the loco, a temporary drivers seat has been made and fitted to the RH side of the cab. Much to the relief of the footplate crew. The coolant gauge isolating cock, which was siezed and leaking, was freed, without be breaking it, and after sorting out a new washer for the housing, was refitted and tested OK. The loco was then taken out for a test run and performed satisfactorily although the engine idling was a little fast, but soon adjusted.

Both D2578 and 03145 have been out and about on various workings and are both running OK. At the moment 03145 is a standby loco for 3rd May in case of failure. The intention is to use D2302 and D2578 "top & tailed".

The fuel starvation issues with D2302 have been resolved and as can be seen from the picture below it is now up and running so barring unforeseen happenings it should be one of the locos in use on May 3rd.

Although it may look from the lenght of this report that not a lot was done in March that is far from accurate appraisal of the month. Both D2578 and 03145 where in use during the month, D2578 doing the lions share of the work, whilst 03145 was only run up for maintainance checks and during the odd stock shunt around. The opinion has now been reached that the knocking on 03145 may be to do with the injectors and not the valves, but the loco is due to come out of service in the summer for the inside of the bonnet to be painted and so a more thorough investigation will take place then. Meanwhile it still retains its stored servicable status.

With regards to the groups other loco, D2302, the middle of March saw work done to refit the fuel tank drain tap & pipe despite a bit of resistance from the fuel tank drain pipe, which was eventually coaxed (forcefully) into position. With that done filling of the coolant system was undertaken, it had been drained for the winter, to check there where no leaks in the system. A couple of water leaks where spotted and dealt with, although not without a bit of difficulty as with most "niggly little things", it was in the most inaccesable place. Whilst fixing the cooling system it was noted that the loco was missing its Dynamo drive belt. So another session of trying to fix something in a tight space, ensued. With all these Gremlins sorted out some fuel was put into the fuel tank to ensure the repaired fuel tank drain pipework didn't leak. It didn't so some success there. The fuel system was checked and found OK but a little slow in the flow. A spare set of batteries was fitted and a start up tried, and failed. The batteries had enough charge in them to get the engine to turn over, but not fire. Pinching the batteries off 03145 had the desired effect and the engine in D2302 turned over and fired, for the first time in 5 months. After a while it settled down and ran quite cleanly, which was a good sign. Once running the air system on D2302 once again showed a reluctance to build up. This was cured after a massive leak was found on a joint of one of the flexible pipes from the compressor to the rest of the air system. This was duly cured and instantly transformed the performance of the air system on the loco. The loco now has no trouble keeping the air pressure at around 100psi. In fact it is so good that the air system unloader valve was heard to work, cutting in at 110psi and out at 95psi. This is a first, the loco now having no problem in creating air and holding it. A vast improvement on before. With D2302 now seemingly in fine fettle it was decided to put D2302 back in its South Sidings home under its own power with D2578 acting as a load, and a means to get us back to the shed. This proved fortunate as it was soon obvious that D2302 was suffering from fuel starvation problems and had to be assisted by D2578. This could be because there was very little fuel in the tank, or blocked filters. Investigation of this will take place during April.

At the end of March attention turned to he groups rolling stock with attention focused on repairing the vacuum fault on the Shark plough van and the restoration of the Conflat L, which had reached the "finishing touches" stage. The end of March saw the vacuum brake working on the Shark and one side of the Conflat fully lettered up, although needing another coat of paint. The other side had all the paintwork finished except for the "Conflat L" lettering, which was marked up but required painting. This should be finished in time for the BLS visit, with the intention of include the Conflat in the train.

Most of January and February has been spent tidying up the area around the loco shed and siding, and sorting out the line to the South Sidings after the attention of the local rabbit population. In this respect the Groups Shark plough van has proved most useful as a mobile mess van into which to retire for a quick warm up and cup of tea as the weather, although fine, has been a little cold at times. Work has also been ongoing to replace some of the foot timbers by the point levers, that have rotted over the years we have been at Moreton. The replacements have been in the form of redundant plastic pallets cut to size.

On the stock front, replacement parts to repair the vacuum release valve on the shark have been obtained and are now awaiting the attentions of the C & W department. A start was made at the beginning of February on marking out the lettering on the Conflat, quickly followed by the group painter, and his paint brush adding paint. At the end of Feb about 75% of one side had been painted. The rest will follow as time and weather permits.

The groups loco fleet has not been neglected. A bit of work has been done on D2302 in the form of removing the fuel tank drain cock and associated pipe. This has cleaned up and tested and now awaits refitting to the loco. A start was also made on cleaning up the paintwork in the cab which will continue until the paintwork on the inside of the cab has been fully stripped down and repainted. This is however, a long term job and will continue as and when time and other projects allow. The cab electrics are also coming under scrutiny and additions made after its BR life are being stripped out. A full rewire will most probably take place at sometime in the future. At the end of February a replacement BIS was been fitted to D2578 allowing it to come back into operational use. This was fortunate as No8 cylinder on 03145 developed a knock for a time, during a P-Way outing at the end of February. This is thought to have been caused by a sticking valve and also happened on D2578, way back in 2002 shortly after the Group bought the loco. This resulted in a complete strip down of the cylinder heads on D2578 at the time, and this cured the problem. Since the engine in 03145 has had very little heavy maintenance work done on it since the group bought the loco, and therefore since it was in Swindon Works back in 1982, it has been decided that it is time to have the heads off, looked at and cleaned. This will probably be in the summer and include a repaint of the inside of the bonnet at the same time. The loco will remain available for use in an emergency for the time being so to that end, 03145 has gone into "Stored (un)serviceable" status for the moment until a plan for looking at the heads is formulated. In the meantime the groups focus will be resurrecting D2302 in time for the BLS visit in May, and keeping D2578 in running order for the same day.

In association with the BLS and PLEG, we have arranged for a public running day on Sunday 3rd May. Two trips are planned (12:00 & 14:00, taking approx 90 minutes) at a cost of £15 per trip. It is expected that 2 locomotives will be used to haul the Grampus and Shark around the site and subject to availabilty one of these will be D2302. There has been strong interest in this so please book early to avoid disappointment but if the event is a sell out we will look to run a repeat later in the year. More information and booking details can be found here.

The news section has been brought back up to date but to keep things nice and tidy, everything from the last six months has been lumped together and inserted below.

A belated Merry Christmas and apologies for the lack of news in the last few months. There's been plenty going on but I've been been suffering from computer and software issues so I got completely snowed under (pardon the pun!). Best Wishes for the New Year, when hopefully normal service will be resumed, including news on our next running day at Moreton Park which is scheduled for Sunday 3rd May 2015.

The last couple of months of 2014 brought mixed fortunes for the groups three locos. 03145 was brought in from the cold of the South sidings , where it had resided for a large part of the year. D2302 was duly drained of fuel and water and the batteries removed before being put out to pasture for the winter in its place. November saw 03145 given a thorough exam, with all the grease points and axlebox pads given attention. Three grease points proved to be faulty needed replacing. Another fault that showed up was a defective cab light. The compressor and exhauster oil levels where checked and in the case of the exhauster topped up. The opportunity was also taken to clean up the paintwork on 03145 with paraffin and oil, it having acquired a white bloom during its exile in the South Sidings. A set of replica worksplates commissioned for the loco were also fitted. D2302 was not completely forgotten about and a start was made in cleaning the paintwork up in the cab and investigating the electrical fittings and the post BR wiring and noted old stuff that will have to be replaced with new.

Up until December D2578 had performed faultlessly in 2014, but just before Christmas it decided to ruin that record. The contacts on the Battery Isolating Switch fused meaning we were not able to turn the BIS off. The batteries therefore had to be disconnected from the loco circuits. D2578 ended 2014 in an unserviceable state, but fortunately a new BIS was found which will be fitted in 2015. The defective BIS will be refurbished and held as a spare

As well as maintenance of the locos, the groups wagon fleet also came under the maintenance spotlight. All the pads in the Sharks axleboxes where removed and cleaned out before filling with fresh oil. The other wagons with oil boxes where topped up with oil. All the vacuum brake systems on the wagons were tested. Two where OK but the brakes on the Shark and the Vanwide leaked off very quickly. (The Vanwide is a long standing fault but not critical), The Shark is a recent development. A check of the Sharks brake system found a leak in the small flexible hose between the train pipe and the vacuum cylinder. This was changed for a spare but did not cure the problem with the brake so the release valve was remove for investigation. The diaphragm was the main suspect and, as a precaution, will be replace once the replacement parts are sourced.

At the beginning of December Moreton had a visit from a group undertaking the restoration of 03141 for the Gwendraeth Valley Railway. The loco is currently at the Pontypool & Blaenavon railway, but once restored it will return to it's former home on the BP & GV, original haunt of 03145 as well. They wanted to see 03145 to assess what they were missing on 03141 and any restoration tips. The intention is to restore the multi-working bits on the 03141. The long term ambition is to see 03145 returning to the BP & GV so that the sound of multiple worked 03's will once again run in the valley.

Other group work done around Moreton is the seemingly never ending vegetation trimming, although attention has now turned to putting right some of the track formation vandalism of the local rabbit population in the form of track levelling.

Finally on another topic related to D2578, Heljan released their first pre-production models of D2578 in its present form and its earlier Bulmers guise as "Cider Queen". First on view at the Warley Model Railway exhibition at the NEC at the end of November, 8 versions of 05 are being produced in the form of D2574, D2581, D2592, D2600, D2595, (in blue as currently preserved), Departmental 88 and of course D2578 & Cider Queen. They are expected to go on sale in the shops around March 2015.

So endeth 2014. All the best for 2015.

Well it's been a while since the last report but the group has been far from idle. Most of the group’s efforts during the summer months have concentrated on two things; cutting back vegetation and restoring the groups “Conflat L” wagon.

The conflat was stripped down, as far as practical, given a thorough clean and repainted. New platework was manufactured for the side panels and then painted and fitted. The floor will not be returned to its original configuration as the flat floor will be retained from its days as a cable drum carrier, it being more useful to the group in that form. At the end of October it was awaiting the final touches to its paintwork and lettering although the latter is most probably going to wait until next spring for completion. A photographic record of the restoration of the Conflat L up to now can be found here.

The horticultural side to the group’s activities during the period has mainly consisted of finishing the weed spraying and clearing back the trees on the reception line from the main line at Moreton on Lugg SB to the stone loading terminal. Over the last 10 years they have gradually been encroaching on the track and so it was finally decided that the time for radical cutting back had arrived. As the weather and manpower allowed, approximately 500 metres was cleared back to a distance of about 5-8 metres and is now a lot clearer.

On the loco front the group was in the position of having three available locos to use, although D2302 was a “loco of last resort”. D2578 did most of the running around for the group during the summer and ran well, except towards the end of October when engine fuel starvation was noted. This was quickly identified as blocked fuel filters which were duly changed, and the loco was swiftly back in service.

03145 was in exile in the main part of the site (South Sidings area) while its space in the shed was occupied by D2302. It was regularly run up and used as required and saw no major problems, apart from the paintwork fading.

Although technically a working loco, D2302 was considered to be “work in progress” and spent most of its time in the shed, with work on it continuing as and when time and manpower allowed. Although up and running it was not possible to shut the engine down from the cab as the “Engine Stop” cable was seized. This was stripped down and made to work, although it does now look a bit “Heath Robinson” in appearance. However everyone is happy that you don’t have to scramble onto the running plate to shut the engine down in an emergency! Eventually a new one will be sourced, but it is not a high priority job. The engine air filters were finally fitted to the engine after much refurbishment and patching of rusted areas. With the two above items sorted out the engine was considered to be finally in working order, after a fashion, although the gearbox is still sluggish on take-up so will need looking at in the future. The air system also needs looking at as applying the loco straight air brake dumps all the air out of the gearbox. The rectification of these faults will however have to wait until 2015 as by the end of October the loco was drained down for the winter ready for it to swap places with 03145 in the South Sidings. D2302 is now considered as in a “Stored Serviceable” condition.

Before that happened however, one major event for D2302 was the purchase and fitting of new cabside windows. The original sliding cab windows had been replaced sometime earlier in its preservation history with single pane glass ones. This was no doubt because replacements in the original style were next to non existent, something we found out when trying to source them ourselves. Fortunately we found out that the Heritage Shunters Trust had replaced them on one of their 04’s and so we went to their supplier, Kellett Engineering of Halifax. Our first task was to remove the original windows to get accurate measurements of the window aperture for the new windows to be made. These were picked up at the beginning of August and fitted a month later. This has made D2302 a lot easier to drive as the driver now has a window to open and look out of, saving many banged heads for those who forgot the originals didn’t open! As an additional luxury a temporary cab seat was made up to provide even more driver comfort. New seats are in the process of being commissioned. Photos of the new windows can be found here.

With D2302 up and running, the beginning of July saw the group in the position of having 3 operational locos but only just, as D2578 has been the only one of the three not to have problems, performing faultlessly throughout June. Unfortunately, despite the blackbird having finally flown the nest inside 03145, an attempt to start 03145 failed due to flat batteries. Not really a surprise as it had been outside over the winter and had hardly been run up, especially during April and May. However, a trip to the battery charger soon had the loco back up and running and playing it’s part in the general tasks facing the group.

D2302 has had a mixed month and although operational a couple of issues that have shown up during it’s time running means it is considered to be “stored serviceable” until they are sorted out. One thing that was done was to change the oil in the engine, using the old oil from D2578’s recent oil change to replace the stuff put in at first start up. The original oil had done its job and flushed through the system so a clean out of the oil filter was an absolute must at the same time. The replacement oil will stay in D2302 for a couple of months before completely new ”straight from the barrel” oil is put in it. It had been noted when running the loco that D2302 was revving at more than 1200RPM at full throttle. We were not sure if this is because the cab tacho was not reading correctly or the limiters on the fuel pumps isn't set right. A bit of reading up and tinkering got the engine to idling at around 300rpm indicated and by use of a bolt positioned in the throttle lever slot 1150rpm at max. This is only a temporary fix and more reading up and adjustment is required to cure this irregularity. At the moment the engine sounds as though it is running at the right speeds. This problem could also be tied in with a fault with the fuel pumps which are leaking fuel. This is a worry as they had been refurbished before they were put back on the loco, Advice has been sought on this problem but at the moment it is not a high priority and will be looked at it when time allows.

A lot of the groups time in June was devoted to "gardening duties". Weed spraying over the rail system was finished as well as tree clearance, an annual undertaking that will no doubt continue during July and August as well. Work has also continuedon tidying up the track leading to the loco shed. One of the major jobs was to move some of the spare rails we have, to a location that was not, quite literally, under our feet.

With all that was going on, time was still found to continue with the restoration of the Conflat L, helped by the fact that some of the work was able to take place away from Moreton at a time more convenient to the restorer. All the new side panels have been made and attention has now turned to smoothing and securing down the floor which has been much modified over the years. Work continues as and when time and other projects allow.

One surprise that has interrupted the group’s activities on weekends is the appearance of stone trains for loading on a Sunday. Although not unknown in the past, the appearance of them on two Sundays in June is a new development. Two trains were booked in on the Sundays concerned, one between 14:00 and 15:00hrs and one later in the day at around 23:00hrs. Talking to the Tarmac and DB Schenker representatives elicited the information that these trains could become semi regular runners in the future but only time will tell.

May started where April left off in that most efforts were in trying to sort out the small problems that came to light when D2302 was started up for the first time. The oil feed issues where sorted fairly quickly with a bit of persuasion involving the air supply from D2578 and some “Heath Robinson” fittings. The water leaks were also cured although that did involve taking some of the bits off we had lovingly put on. Once again D2302 started with no fuss and with all the previous issues resolved attention turned to getting the gearbox to work. We expected to have to trace and possibly dismantle the air system but in the end the air pressure slowly built in the control reservoir gauge and a little reluctantly first gear engaged enabling D2302 to finally move under her own power. Successive test runs engaged 2nd and 3rd gears with no problems, albeit a little hesitantly. Not wishing to push our luck, we decided to check the oil in the gearbox and final drive. Neither seemed affected by the journey although we topped up the oil in the gearbox as it was on minimum. It was then decided to make a run up to the Tarmac loading dock and try 4th & 5th gears This proved the gearbox was getting better in operation and 4th & 5th did work but with mixed results. They engaged but produced a lot of noise and sounded rough. We will have to see if this improves, but as they rarely get used around Moreton it may not be an issue if they don’t.

The opportunity was taken to give D2302 a rub over with an oily rag. A bit of one cab side had been done previously, but it was decided to do the rest and the loco looks smart again. The end of the month saw D2302 awaiting an oil change to be completed, but this was delayed by other more pressing issues. D2302 was not the only item of stock to receive a lot of attention during May. One of the group members decided to take on the task of restoring the groups Conflat L, B738718. It had come to us after serving as a cable drum carrier for BR. Although most of the ironwork associated with that time had been removed, some of it remained and was sometimes a nuisance when trying to use the wagon. Steve has set to work removing these and has also removed the side paneling around the chain pockets as some had suffered from the dreaded tinworm. All of it will be replaced by new metal and the floor will receive attention to give a flat platform to work off. One bit of the wagon we will be most unlikely to replace are the low sides that made the wagon look like a lowfit wagon so because of this it may be finished as a runner wagon for 03145.

Of the other locos, 03145 has been out of action due to having a Blackbird nesting on top of the radiator! D2578 has also received attention in the form of a new oil pump. The oil was changed at the same time and D2578’s old oil was put into D2302 as replacement for the “flushing” oil that was in it when first started. As the old oil from D2578 was still in reasonable condition, it will be run in D2302 for a couple of months to flush the system through a bit more before new oil is put in. D2578 was only out of action for a couple of days and by the end of the month when used, the exhaust was just about clear when running. D2578’s old oil pump will become a spare after being refurbished. All that is left to do by way of a mini overhaul on D2578 is a gearbox oil change and fit a dial temperature gauge in place of the thermometer type ones on it at the moment. Then we might have some idea of what temperature the engine is operating at!

Other outstanding work undertaken during May was a general clear up around the outside of the shed, which also coincided with the start of the weed spraying season. The bad weather over the winter has also left a few trees needing attention to keep them clear of the tracks. Although there is always some sort of tree pruning needed throughout the year this year some will need special attention.

D2302 PROGRESS UPDATE 05/05/2014.
D2302 was started up yesterday and after a bit of tinkering in moved under its own power for possibly the first time in ten years. A video clip of it can be found here. There's still plenty of work to be carried out on D2302 but we now have three working loco's at Moreton Park and are looking forward to hosting an open day event with all three later in the year.

Well virtually all of the group’s efforts in March and April have been concentrated on getting D2302 up and running over Easter weekend, something we achieved, just. But I’m getting ahead of myself. March was mainly concentrated on cleaning up and painting the water pipes ready to put them back onto the engine along with the water pump and the thermostat housing. The water pump is not best positioned on the loco, being hidden behind the compressor. On investigation and cleaning up of the area of the water pump, it was noticed that the main air pipe connecting the compressor to the air system was not connected. It was pretty gunged upand difficult and difficult to get connected. Because the compressor is not original but a replacement one, it was decided to remove the twin "cobbled together" pipes to clean them up. This had the added advantage of giving us more room to maneuver the water pump into position along with its associated pipework. The cleaned up air pipes were refitted later.

Towards the end of March attention tuned to the coolant thermostat. This was missing when we bought the loco, but we had managed to obtain two replacements. One was just the housing with no thermostats, the other a complete thermostat but in a bit of a state. It was decided to try and clean up the complete one, but this proved to be impossible. In the end it was carefully but forcefully dismantled so as to get at the actual thermostats which were then cleaned up and checked that they worked OK. They proved to be fine and so where then fitted into the better condition thermostat housing, which was then refitted onto the loco. With the thermostat in position the cab temperature gauge reader was also refitted. The water system was complete and ready to be filled, although the water level sight glass on the bonnet front is broken so will have to be repaired at a future date.

We also found time to eliminate the twist in one of the compressor drive belts. This was achieved by barring over the engine which was turning over very nicely at the end of the exercise. Whilst paying attention to the area of the compressor we looked at the compressor itself. As this is not original and a replacement of unknown parentage. The main concern was not knowing if it had any oil in it, what level it should be, and where to fill and drain it. This was sorted out, although we still don't know the make of the thing but at least I know where the oil level should be.

With the water and oil systems sorted out, the beginning of April saw attention turn the fuel system and the fuel pump. The prospect of refitting the fuel pump was a bit daunting, never having done one before. It is a two man job to lift it and it only goes on one way. We had rigged up a block and tackle to assist in the re-fitting, and it proved to be a godsend. Putting the fuel pump assembly back onto the engine. was successfully achieved, although only on the second attempt. The first attempt saw the pump go back on after a couple of hours effort, only for us to realize that the studs holding it onto the engine block were too short and we couldn't put the nuts on them. So off the pump had to come, although not right off as we feared as it proved possible to lift it just enough to get to the studs and screw them out. They were the right length; we had just screwed them in too far! So the second attempt went a lot better and so, by close of play, the fuel pump was in position along with the oil pump, which is driven off it, and the associated pipework. The throttle cable was also connected up so that the cab throttle now works as well. The engine stop is seized and needs a little work so that is waiting to be connected up. associated pipework.

With the fuel pump in position the week leading up to Easter saw efforts concentrated on refitting the fuel system and the cleaned up injectors. This was achieved and the fuel system primed towards the end of Easter Sunday. Some images of the work carried out can be found here.

Easter Monday saw the sump refilled with oil and D2302 ready to go, we hoped, so with the batteries connected the start button was pressed. Turning over the decompressed engine on the batteries showed up no obvious problems and no strange noises. With the batteries flagging a bit after quite a while turning the engine over it was decided that it was now or never and decided to see if the engine would fire up. After a bit of hesitation and juggling the throttle the engine burst into life in a cloud of black smoke and bits out of the exhaust. The engine seemed reluctant to keep running at first until it was realized that the idle screw had not been set. That was soon sorted and the engine settled down to a steady, but uneven beat at first. The tacho in the cab showed only just over 200 RPM at idle, low for a Gardner, but the engine sounded fine. Possibly a glitch with the tacho. The exhauster, compressor and dynamo all worked OK, although the compressor was a little slow in building up the air it did get up to around 80psi. All seemed fine with the engine itself. After around ten minutes of running the exhaust was very clean considering how long it is since it last ran. There are a couple of oil feed issues to some of the valve rockers and a couple of small water leaks that need attention but apart from that it's a runner, engine wise. A couple of photo's of the startup can be found here and here.

Although we got sufficient air pressure up we couldn’t get any air supply to the gearbox. Not sure why and we ran out of time to chase it up. This will be looked at in May once the engine leaks have been sorted. So we now have our third loco running, although it can't move at the moment under its own power. As well as sorting out the air to the gearbox there is some cleaning to be done on the air inlet filter housings and cure the tin worm in them, then look at the cab and electrical wiring to the lights.

With regards to D2578 and 03145, D2578 has seen frequent use shunting D2302 around as required, and the occasional track work. 03145 hasn’t done much but has been run up every couple of weeks to charge the batteries and exercise the gearbox. Future work required on the two locos include touching up some of the paintwork on 03145 after its winter outdoors, and an oil change on D2578 for both the engine and the gearbox. A spare oil pump will also be fitted and the old one sent away to be refurbished.

Although we do not usually entertain visitors on an ad-hoc basis, during March one of the group met an ex BR Scottish region driver from Dunfermline who had actually worked on 05's when they were in service up there, and had offered to reacquaint him with the loco as well as hopefully giving us a few tips. His name is William Gilmour and he is 92 having retired from BR in 1982 but he proved to still be very capable of climbing on and off D2578. We were well entertained listening to some of his tales. His one comment 05's in general was that the BR drivers loathed working on them and were just as bad at when it came to gear changing as our groups members - Lots of crunching of gears! They were universally hated by all and avoided if at all possible - nothing new there then! He is a very accomplished artist, spending a lot of time sketching whilst he was at work. He has written a book on his life and has a website.

The latest update involves the website itself and apologies if you've found the site been down on occasion. We're moving from a ".com" domain to "" as well as changing host. Hopefully if you're reading this then everything has gone smoothly with the new webpages and also the redirect from the old site!! If you find any problems then please let me know.

Well a new year but the same old workload continues. Work has continued on cleaning up the engine block and pipework on D2302. The Beginning of January saw nearly all the oil and water pipework removed from the engine block for cleaning up and painting. By the beginning of February part of the cooling system had been refitted to enable the engine block to be filled with water and pressurized to see if there were any leaks in the heads and engine block. The loco had been bought knowing it had problems with water in the sump. This had been attributed at Barrow Hill as a faulty water pump but we decided to test the block to be sure there were no other surprises. The engine block was successfully water tested along with the radiator and no leaks detected. By the end of February a start had been made on refitting the pipework back onto the engine with most of the oil system back together but the water system lagging behind with the thermostat and the water pump and associated pipework still to refit. The coolant system thermostat proved to be a troublesome component. We had acquired two of them, the original being missing on the loco. One had a refurbished housing in very good condition although lacking the actual thermostats, the other was complete though not in as good a condition. This was the one that it was originally intended to fit but it proved to be impossible to fit the reader for the cab water temperature gauge to it. So it was decided to see if the thermostats could be removed from this one and refitted into the "better conditioned" refurbished housing to which we could fit the temperature gauge reader. After putting up a bit of a struggle the (not quite so) complete housing relinquished the thermostats which as I write are waiting to be fitted to the better one.

A couple of bonus issues were cleared up during February. As the loco had to be moved out of the shed on a couple of occasions (using D2578) it was decided to couple up the vacuum and see if the vacuum system was complete on D2302. This proved to be the case and the brake valve and the vacuum brake gauges worked as well. New batteries have been fitted to the loco and preparations are underway to refit the fuel pump. It is to be hoped that the loco will be ready to attempt a start up at the beginning of April.

D2578 and 03145 have had a quiet couple of months but have both been woken from their slumbers on occasions to undertake stock movements (in the case of D2578) or trackwork (in the case of 03145).

Well after the exertions of the run up to 27th Octobers BLS visit, things quietened down slightly during November but not quite comatose. It had been planned to change the gearbox oil in D2578 however during a routine oil level check preparing 03145 the oil was found to be way over the max level. This required investigation and a rather messy partial draining of the sump resulted in over 2 gallons of oil being drained before the level dropped below maximum. As there was no sign of water mixed in the oil thoughts turned to fuel contamination. A quick check on hours run verses gallons used showed fuel consumption up slightly over the past months compared with previous benchmarks. A check around the immediate suspects found a defective fuel injector delivery pipe. This was quickly repaired and 03145 given a short run up to check for any other leaks in the fuel system. None were found but considering the amount of fuel in the sump oil, an oil change was considered prudent. This was successfully completed the following week as events at the beginning of December required us to have two locos operational. D2578’s gearbox oil change was deferred until 2014.

At the beginning of November, DB Schenker had approached the group with regards to moving two crippled wagons. These wagons h ad defective wheel sets and could not be moved off site by rail. DB Schenker had decided to change the defective wheels using a crane This required the wagons to be moved from the cripple siding, not accessible to a crane, to another part of the Moreton Park site which was not accessible to mainline locomotives. Hence the request to the loco group to move the wagons. The beginning of December saw the date set by DB Schenker for lifting the wagons, so the weekend before, Sunday 1st Dec, saw the two wagons moved to the appointed spot by 03145 and D2578 (see photo's below). The wagons where lifted the following Wednesday, 4th Dec, and returned to traffic the day after, with the first wagon leaving Moreton in traffic on Fri 6th. 03145 was on hand during the wagon lift should any changes be required to the positions of wagon before and after the lift. 03145 was also used to move the repaired wagons back round to the “Main line” part of the site. D2578 meanwhile has not seen much use during December, sat nice and snug in the shed awaiting its gearbox oil change. All the shunting around of wagons and locos in preparation for the wagon lift, allowed D2302 the luxury of access to the shed and more importantly the pit. With 03145 being on the outside, so to speak, whilst D2302 occupies its spot in the shed, 03145 has been run up once a week to keep the batteries charged up.

D2302’s continued and tenacious occupation of the shed has allowed the engine sump to be finally cleaned of the gunk, (it was the same consistency as mousse), caused by a previous water leak at Barrow Hill. By the beginning of December the sump was finally clean and attention had focused on the pipework up to the oil filter which by the weekend before Christmas had also been cleaned up. Work also continues on cleaning and restoring the rest of the engine block and associated parts (see photo below), the air inlet filter housings particularly suffering the effects of tin-worm. Attention is now focused on refitting the cooling water pipework but this is likely to take until mid-January. D2302’s time in the shed over a pit has also allowed us to check over the brake gear and brake piston. Attention was paid to getting the handbrake to work effectively and also observe that the brake piston was not seized in the cylinder (which it isn't). Any other problems will have to wait a little longer for us to find them.

Well that's this year's BLS trip over with! Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and to everyone who made the effort to visit us at Moreton Park, it's much appreciated. Both loco's behaved themselves (D2302 was static display only) and I hope that despite the rather changeable weather everyone had a good time.

As there hasn’t been a news update for a few months you’d have thought there was a lot to put into writing. Well there actually isn’t a lot to put into writing. It’s not that we haven’t been busy. Far from it, it’s just that we have concentrated our efforts on just a couple of things.

On the loco front it’s been quite. D2578 has been out and about on various occasions and has performed exemplary. 03145 has not been idle either and has been used on track work projects for most on the time. A battery charging issue was investigated but defied rectification, so alternatives are now being considered. The batteries are still being charged except when running a full lamp load so it’s not an urgent task. The loco was also topped up with fuel and water, the latter highlighting the possibility that 03145 has a very slow water leak. Initial indications are that it is possibly in the bottom of the radiator so after the BLS tour on the 27th October the 03 will be taken out of service for investigation work to take place.

Work has slowly progressed on D2302, mainly on account of the planned stay in the loco shed being usurped by another project, although cleaning up of part of the engine block and internal oil ways and galleries that will be difficult or impossible to get at when the fuel pumps are put back on the engine block has been done. The suspect water temperature gauge has been tested and works although it doesn’t read 0 when cold. An idiosyncrasy that we will put up with. (Part of the locos character). We also put a few gallons of fuel into D2302 to test the fuel gauge, which works. Another bonus.

One of the main jobs undertaken during August and September, (and hogging shed space originally intended for D2302) has been on the groups Shark plough van. The attention has been the area around the duckets, the objective being to finally glaze, fit and seal the duckets in position and replace the rotten timbers above and below them. With this it was decided to get the shark painted and top coated to weatherproof it for the winter. There is still some body side planking that needs replacing but that will be replaced next year when time, the weather or shed space permits.

This year proved to be a good tree growing one as testified by the trees which have gone mad in terms of growing everywhere especially onto the track. The line from the stone terminal to the main line is our usual priority, and despite being tackled earlier in the year it had to be revisited again in September to cut back some of the more rampant examples. The line around to the south part of the site also suffered from exuberant tree growth and had to be visited repeatedly in August and September to cut back growth. The track round to the South sidings (not used by main line trains) also suffered from the enthusiastic attention of the local rabbit population who badly undermined part of it, resulting in a couple of weekends of track work being undertaken.

Most of the work undertaken during October has been to get various bits of stock and track ready for the BLS visit on the 27th October, with plans already in place to continue restoration of the groups other wagons and of course D2302 as and when shed space becomes available. Regarding the BLS visit, everything is going according to plan but there is still room on both trains if you'd still like to come but please contact Stephen Phillips as soon as possible (details on the link below).

We're pleased to announce that we've got together with the BLS to arrange for one of the occasional visits to Moreton Park where we'll be providing two trips around the site on Sunday 27th October. The visit is open to all but must be booked in advance and full details can be found here.

Two of our members have now added photo collections of the D2578 Locomotive Group to their Flickr sites. They can be found by clicking here and here.

Although not originally not planned, it was been decided to carry out an oil change on 03145. The old oil will find a use in the overhaul of D2302 as a flushing oil when it is first run up.

With D2578 running as required for stock movements the group now has two loco's back up and running and apart for a couple of minor things to attend on the 05, they shouldn't need any major attention for some while, leaving us free to concentrate on D2302.

With regards to D2302 the RH starter motor has been tested and is working. A number of crankcase doors have been taken off to inspect the sump and remove the oil filter from the bottom of the sump for cleaning. The engine was barred over to oil up as much as possible around the big end bearings. All seemed OK with no signs of rust, although the sump is full of sludge in the bottom and will need to be cleaned out. With the fuel pump off the engine, the area around the valve push rods has been looked at and cleaned up. This being a difficult area to get at once the fuel pump is refitted. The opportunity was also taken to remove the water temperature gauge as it is showing a temperature reading on a cold engine and may need replacing. No time scale has been set for D2302 to be back up and running. The autumn is penciled in as a possibity but is by no means assured.

The group’s rolling stock has not been neglected and with some dryish weather on offer, an investigation into the state of the floor on the Grampus resulted in a decision to replace part of it. The opportunity was taken to oil bits of the brake gear that couldn't be reached during its brake overhaul at the end of last year. The end of July saw also saw some work carried out on the Shark plough van around the duckets to try and remedy the water leaks, one of those jobs that we’ve been aware of for some time back but never tackled. This also involved replacing some planking, the replacement planks coming from a brake van that had been cut up over 10 years ago, salvaged and stored. One side has been done with the other is in progress but only time will tell if the leaks have been cured. Finally, once the duckets are completed it is also hoped at long last to finish the painting of the Shark as well as repainting the Vanwide.

Outside activities have been focused on vegetation control, with tree pruning and weed spraying to the fore, although the weather had a big say in the latter, all trackwork around the site was sprayed to varying degrees of success. A start was also made at removing some of the saplings and trees encroaching inside the loading gauge, although this will have to be an ongoing task as this years growing season is all screwed up!

The middle of May saw 03145 back up and running after finally sorting out the valve clearances. The engine now runs sweetly, the problem with lack of compression on No1 cylinder finally resolved. Some of the exhaust manifold joints required tightening and a watch was kept on the coolant system for leaks for a couple of weeks afterwards for weeping joints, but that’s part of the normal post overhaul procedure. By the end of the month the engine had settled down nicely and was producing very little smoke to the extent that when it was left running in the shed it didn’t fill it with smoke as in the past. Although originally not planned it has been decided to do an oil change on the loco, the old oil will find a use in the overhaul of D2302 as a flushing oil when it is first run up.

With D2578 running as required for stock movements the group now has two loco's back up and running and apart for a couple of minor things to attend on the 05, they shouldn't need any major attention for some while, leaving us free to concentrate on D2302.

With regards to D2302, the beginning of May saw the engine on the loco barred over for the first time. Over the following few weeks this got easier and easier, helped by discovering that the air drain cocks were closed and so trying to bar the engine over also was charging the air system up. Still it proved the compressor worked and the air system didn’t leak as air exhausted out of the system when the drain cocks where opened. A double bonus and the engine barred over a lot easier afterwards! Work also continued on checking over oil lines and the cooling system but with the 03 back up and running, D2302 will be moved to the shed where the pit will give us access to the brake gear a lot more easily. By the end of May a start had been made on the electrical system with the aim to get the engine to turn over on the batteries. This was partially successful with the RH starter motor responding to the start button but not the LH one. Investigation of the electrical system is required to determine the cause of the fault although removing the starter motors to have them refurbished has not been ruled out. No time scale has been set for D2302 to be back up and running. The autumn is penciled in as possible but by no means assured.

Whilst all this has been going on and with the weather now encouraging the local weed population, thoughts have also been focused on vegetation control, with tree pruning and weed spraying to the fore, although the weather has a big say in the latter. There have also been discussions about a possible Autumn visit/running day and more information on this will be posted in the near future.

Work has continued on returning 03145 back to working order although the cold arctic blast of weather did deter some work. Frozen fingers and small cold nuts and bolts don’t go well together. However the gearbox oil and oil filter where changed and the rest of the fuel and water systems were put back together in due course. Progress was slightly slowed by a sheared bolt in one of the exhaust manifold joints, but it was drilled out successfully and the rest of the exhaust manifold was refitted. The inlet manifold quickly followed although a defect was found in one of the inlet air filter housings, so it was taken away for repairs. The water temperature gauge and associated capillary which had broken during the initial dismantling and needed repairing was also taken away for repairs and a new reader bulb successfully grafted onto the old capillary and refitted to the loco along with the repaired air filter housing. The opportunity has also been taken to check on the running and brake gear and generally give the loco a good once over. The radiator elements were also given a clean out to the extent that you can now see daylight through them. The end of April saw 03145 back in running order of sorts but awaiting the valves to be set before attempting a restart.

D2578 has had a quiet time, but the end of March saw a request from Heljan to photograph and measure up D2578 for a projected 4mm model they have in mind. This opportunity gave us a chance to give the loco a good run around, just as well as D2578 showed reluctance to start and also move, the gearbox being in a particularly cantankerous mood. Well I suppose you would if you'd been left alone for a month in the freezing cold. After 4 hours of running all seemed well, and everyone went away happy. With some warmer weather at last by the end of April good old Cider Queen seemed a lot happier with things whilst on stock movements.

D2302 has not been totally neglected and by mid-April all the injectors had been removed for inspection and Derv poured into the cylinders to see if that will free up the engine. With end in sight for the work on 03145, hopefully it won’t be long before it’s in the shed and being worked on in earnest.

As of mid-March when this report was written, work has again concentrated on 03145. Cylinder heads 1-3 have been replaced and the cleaned injectors were also refitted. Work to return the loco back in working order and attention moved on to the coolant system with all pipework joints cleaned and new flexible hoses fitted as well. The oil system was refitted and some work was also done on the fuel system with the secondary fuel filter being refitted along with some of the return pipework being put in position.With time and warmth running out it was decided to leave the majority of the fuel system to another day. Another task in front of us is refitting the exhaust system which means drilling out an errant bolt in one of the fittings.

The New Year started with finishing off the cleaning and overhauling of the brake gear on the group's Grampus wagon. Attention will now be focused on replacing some of the rotten floor planks later this year. This will also allow us to reach part of the brake rigging that is just under the floor and couldn’t be accessed this time round.

With the Grampus out of the way the group’s attention turned to 03145. First to be attacked, quite literally were the front lifeguards. These had been bent out from the loco frames ever since we bought the loco, so it was decided it was high time for them be straightened to the correct shape. The L/H one came off after a bit of a fight with the fixing bolts but the R/H one proved stubborn and we had to resort to some quite drastic measures to remove it. They were then taken away to a friendly neighborhood blacksmith to be straightened out. Work was also undertaken to replace the bolts on the rear lifeguards at the same time. Towards the end of January with the weather a little bit better and not needing a sledge to get around, work resumed on removal and refurbishment of some of the 03’s cylinder heads, No’s 1 & 2 being a longstanding and much delayed project. These came off quite easily and with so little drama that it was decided to take off No3 as well and have a look at the seals. This head, along with No’s 4-8 had not to our knowledge been removed since its last BR overhaul back in the early 1980’s. The condition of 1 & 2 where as we expected and No3 was in good condition except the seals were beginning to show their age but still serviceable. All 3 heads where taken away to be cleaned and the valves re-lapped in. Some thought was given to carrying on and removing all the heads and checking them, but it was decided to do just do the 3 and get the loco back up and running, then concentrate on D2302 for the rest of the 2013. Once D2302 is up and running we can then re-assess 03145 and possibly refurb the remaining 5 cylinder heads in 2014.

D2302 was not neglected during this time with attention turning towards getting the engine to bar over. A couple of broken decompression levers hampered this but eventually with all cylinders decompressed an attempt to bar the engine over proved unsuccessful. The next move is to remove the injectors and pour derv into the pistons and see if that frees them up, but with work on 03145 taking priority this is taking time to achieve.

D2578 had a quiet start to the year although it was run up a fw times and used to shunt the loco’s and stock around.

The great shed tidy-up reached the halfway point with work ongoing on an ad hock basis.

03145 has been taken out of service, initially stored serviceable at the beginning of November with the removal of the batteries for the winter. This changed to unserviceable at the beginning of December when the coolant was drained and and a start was made on the long delayed overhaul, the main objectives being overhaul of No1 cylinder head and changing the gearbox oil and filter. The overhaul is expected to be completed around Easter 2013.

D2578 has not been idle and has been used to shunt 03145 in the shed in conjunction with its overhaul.

Attention has also turned to D2302. A start has been made on a complete check of the engine and replacing the missing parts and although work on the 03 takes precedence, the work on both locos is along similar lines so hopefully D2302 will be running by October 2013 with any luck, although some way to be being fully restored.

Work on refurbishing the loco shed has nearly finished with only a small amount of tidying and sorting left to do. Both loco's spent most of the month in use either shunting the groups stock around to enable some maintenance to be done, or taking friends and colleagues around the site. Both loco's suffered from fuel starvation problems which, after consultation of the maintenance records, was quickly traced to blocked fuel filters. These where quickly changed, except in the case of the secondary fuel filter on D2578 which required someone to squeeze over the exhauster to reach it - not the easiest of jobs but it was good exercise for Paul!

Problems also arose on the groups Grampus wagon when one of the castings holding the brake block onto the brake hanger was found to be broken in half. This was quickly removed and repaired and replaced a week later. Work continues on overhauling the groups other rolling stock.

With the demise of Fotopics a while back we've not had a gallery to display any images by our group members.

Our gallery will probably migrate to another site in the future but in the meantime one of our members is adding a selection of photo's onto his Flickr site. The collection is still a work in progress but can be found here.

Work has continued apace on refurbishing the inside of the shed and there are only a couple of sections left to go. Once finished, our attention can return to the loco's and 03145 in particular.

Despite constant checking when the loco has been started recently, D2578 suffered a bad coolant leak around some of the newer joints by the water pump. Tightening up of a couple of jubilee clips (something to be expected on new joints) and a refill with water and antifreeze soon sorted things out.

03145 is still operational but it is being used only "as required" as it is awaiting the replacement of No 1 cylinder head this winter. Once this has been accomplished work can start in earnest on getting D2302 back up and running.

Attention has also been focusing on the groups rolling stock with "fitness to run" exams underway and a plan formulated to get a winter overhaul scheduled.

Work has continued on D2578 and as expected the cooling system pipework did require a few mods to get everything fitting correctly. As 03145 had been fired up to position D2578 over the pit, the opportunity was taken to check over the air system on the 03 and ensure that the safety valve was opertaing correctly.

The clutch repairs have formed the main workload on D2578 and the new spacing studs that we've had manufactured were fitted allowing re-assembly of the spring tensioners and checking of the clutch wear adjustment. Finally the clutch actuating “fingers” were assembled but the newly welded joint was found to be somewhat out of line so brute force had to be used to bring it into the right position! The clutch was operated several times and seemed to disengage satisfactorily although the "fingers” may require some more adjustment.

The big day! The last tasks that were completed included adjusting the “fingers“ on the clutch, reconnecting the throttle and engine-stop linkages and oiling and greasing all round. This done, a start was attempted and the engine burst into life. After ten minutes D2578 was successfully moving backwards and forwards along the shed road and this was followed by a trip round the site to check all was well. Everything was okay so after a year of rest the 05 runs again - well done to all those involved!

On a different note, one of our group members has also been into works for an overhaul but I'm glad to say that he's doing well after major transplant surgery. Hopefully his recovery will continue apace and we're all looking forward to his "return to service"!!

03145 continues to give good service and was used to power the annual "weed killing" train around the site in May along with a follow up vegetation trimming exercise. The annual "complete working test" of the loco's air system didn't flag up any problems on that front.

Progress on returning D2302 to working order continues off and on. All the parts required to get the engine back up and running have been sourced and are being made ready to fit on the engine. Work continues slowly as the workload on D2578 continues to be high.

Work continues on the rehabilitation of D2578, unfortunately things have not quite gone to plan. Putting the clutch back together stuttered somewhat as a problem emerged putting some of the original parts back in place, namely spacing studs. New studs have been made and await fitting. Problems also emerged when refitting the refurbished water pump back onto the loco so modification to some of the pipework is required to get a proper fit.

April has been a relatively quiet month on the locomotive front. Repairs are progressing on D2578's clutch so it shouldn't be to long before it's back up and running. Attention will then turn to the compressor which has a sticking unloader valve.

On 03145 half the injectors have been removed and cleaned and this has already shown an improvement in the amount of smoke coming from the exhaust. The remaining injectors will most probably have to wait a bit longer for attention as their removal is a bit more involved than the others.

Work has also started on restoring D2302 to running order as and when time is available. This has mainly involved inspection and cleaning of the engine and attention to the cab interior.

March saw the shed beautification continuing, although the need to move some of the stock around should have resulted in running 03145, but a routine check of the oil and water systems on startup revealed a leak on the rear of the water pump. As this had not been touched since the loco was withdrawn in 1982 and had spent a fair few years sat in a scrapyard it was decided to take no chances and remove it to have new ceramic seals fitted.

As D2578 was drained down for the winter whilst awaiting clutch repairs, it was decided to remove its water pump as well as it most probably had not been touched for many years as well. (Inspection of the pump suggested it had not been touched since it was in service with BR). In the meantime the water pump off D2302 (this loco also being drained down for the winter the water pump having not long been overhauled and not fitted to the loco) was used to return 03145 to running order.

By the end of March 03145 was back up and running with attention turning to some of the little faults on it. The decompression fault on No2 cylinder was fixed and attention turned to removing and cleaning the injectors. No1 head requires replacing as its compression seems low, but with D2578 out of action for the near future and D2302 unlikely to be up and running before the end of the summer, it's replacement will have to wait its turn.

The news page has had it's long overdue update! Hopefully we'll keep things going with a monthly (ish!) update!

February saw all but basic maintainance done on 03145, with D2578 still awaiting repairs to the clutch, attention turned to some long needed shed alterations and makeover.

Christmas and early January saw very little work on the loco's with most attention being turned toward upcoming trackwork. The end of January saw 03145 up and running around the site in connection with aforementioned trackwork.

The oil change on 03145 was completed. Ongoing maintenance on D2578 continues with the oil feeds under scrutiny. New trimmings are required on some feeds so a complete set will be made and the best of those replaced will migrate to D2302, which has some in need of replacement.

Other work has been done on the shed lighting, replacing the tubes which had failed or become erratic in operation.

The D2578 Locomotive Group are proud to announce that there has been a new arrival on site! Privately owned D2302 arrived at Moreton Park today and will be maintained under the stewardship of the D2578 Locomotive Group.

We're keen to hear from anyone who has historical information regarding D2302 so if you know anything about the loco during its BR service, industrial use or since it's been preserved then please e-mail us.

Most of November was spent getting ready for the arrival of D2302 at Moreton. On arrival D2302 was drained down for the Winter period with work projected to get the locomotive back up and running starting in the Spring/Summer of 2012.

03145 was not neglected and a long overdue oil change was done on the locomotive as it is liable to be in service for a few more months while repairs continue to D2578.

D2578 was drained of coolant at the start of the month ready for the winter and to allow replacement of some of the flexible coolant pipes. Work also started on dismantling of the clutch. Although the dismantling was successful the offending pin could not be removed due to it being held in by the clutch pads on the thrust plate. Because of this it was decided to take the whole offending plate off. The only way to do this was to dismantle the drive train between the clutch and the gear box. This went reasonably well until it came to the bolts fixing the flexible drive to the gearbox, a couple of which refused to budge!

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and having considered fairly drastic action on them, the offending bolts would not shift. As we cannot dismantle the drive train without more work than we can realisticaly achieve at Moreton, it was decided to seek the advice of a professional welder as to the possibility of welding the damaged stud in situ, not ideal but evidence pointed to this being done once before. One crumb of comfort that did come out of all this attention to the clutch is that the clutch plates are half way through their life cycle and will therefore probably outlast most of the groups members!

03145 was resurrected from its slumbers so that the group now has a working loco available again.

Work started on returning 03145 to working order. Fortunately the overhaul had not progressed very far so this didn't take long!

A discussion on the work required on D2578 resulted in the decision being made to dismantle the clutch and remove the offending pin, along with the other two and get three new replacements made. There are also a couple of other issues with the loco that were on the waiting list so the opportunity to fix them will also be taken. One is a sticking unloader valve on the compressor and the other is the replacement of some perished rubber hose on the coolant system.

Aside from the work on the locomotives the group was also successful in purchasing a couple of photos of the both locos. One is of D2145 in 1969 and is important as we at last have a photo of it in its early blue livery, the other is a good colour shot of D2578 at Thornton Junction in June 1965.

A start was finally made on dismantling part of the exhaust system on 03145, mostly involving freeing up of nuts and bolts on various bits and pieces. Towards the end of the month reports from drivers using D2578 indicated a possible problem with the clutch. A close look at the clutch mechanism revealed that one of the three adjusting studs had partially sheered off from the flywheel, creating a situation where the clutch plates are no longer parallel during the clutch take-up. This will inevitably cause uneven wear on the clutch plates, which will be very expensive to replace.

As a result, D2578 was put on restrictive working, to be used only in an emergency as 03145 is also currently out of commission in the early stages of its overhaul. The decision was made to stop any further work on 03145's overhaul to enable D2578 to be sidelined until clutch repairs can be assessed and completed.

Visits from various individuals and groups of friends meant both locomotives where run up during the month, including a wedding special for one of our members! Finally towards the end of the month 03145 was retired from service ready for its major service/overhaul to start. (Or so we thought)!

The month ended with a spot of tree felling. One particular example has continued to grow over the reception line from Moreton Box over the past few years and although cut back in the past it had grown at an angle that was causing concern. Once down it didn't take long to clear up and so some further cutting back of a few bushes and trees along the "main line" back towards the Tarmac loading area was undertaken. These where mainly Hawthorn or Blackthorn which despite cutting back over the years only seemed to produce more branches instead, so the opportunity was taken to get rid of them completely!

Both D2578 and 03145 where run up during the month to test the locomotives air systems, specifically the safety valves, which were working properly on both locomotives. A visit from a friend of the group who is a diesel mechanic allowed an assessment on the best way of tackling the overhaul on 03145, the original intention being to stripdown the heads and exhaust system to enable us to paint the inside of the bonnet as this has never been done. It is beginning to look a little tatty and rusty, but after this visit where he watched and listened to the loco running he didn't see any need to take the heads off, his main concerns being a suspicion of overfuelling, caused by a faulty fuel pump or the timing being out. The decompression fault on No 2 cylinder has been identified as a broken bolt on the decompression lever and is an easy fix. No 1 cylinder head will be removed and a spare head we have has been taken away to be fettle up ready to replace it. Further investigation will take place before a decision is made on possible the fuel pumps and timing issues.

Work undertaken elsewhere on site included weedkilling the "main line" down to Moreton Box and mowing around the shed area.

An oil change was started on D2578. After allowing the engine to drain down for a week the sump oil was replaced and the oil filter cleaned. All seemed well on restart as the loco ran with a very clean exhaust.

Although an oil change is due on 03145 this has been delayed pending the overhaul of the loco. As a loco swap was required in the shed the opportunity was taken to run up the 03 and make it do a bit of hard work by towing the groups stock with the brakes rubbing to warm up the engine, in an attempt to de-coke the exhaust system and reduce the excessive smoke. The 03's drivers got a bit worried when smoke began to come out from the bonnet doors, fearing they had overheated the fluid flywheel but investigation dismissed this. They had just achieving what they set out to do, which was get the exhaust warm. Anyone who saw the 05 at the Middleton in 2009 will vouch for how much smoke (and flames) can come off an exhaust when it gets hot and Neil has seen 03170 at Shackerstone do the same!

The annual BLS visit to Moreton Park went off without a hitch and all those who took part appeared to enjoy themselves! A big thank you to everyone who turned up to support the event and to everyone involved in organising and volunteering on the day. I didn't manage to get much of a chance to chat to the people that I knew or to get many photographs as I was manning the 03 for the day but a couple that I did take are shown below.

After the BLS visit, 03145 was taken out of service yet again for a long overdue top end overhaul, especially cylinders No 1 & 2 which have been giving cause for concern as they show a marked lack of compression compared with the rest. A faulty No 1 cylinder head was responsible for the withdrawal of the locomotive back in the early 1980's and was replaced by Cotswold Rail many years ago. This replacement will become a future spare.

Hopefully we'll be able to run a similar event next year - and with a bit of luck the sun will be out again!

Just a quick update to confirm the arrangements for Sunday (now that my internet is back after 8 days!). Both loco's passed their fitness for service exam last Sunday so everything should be as planned with trips at 11:30 and 14:00, subject the usual disclaimer for any on the day problems.

Unfortunately our group "stalwart" isn't very well at the moment and will probably still be in hospital on Sunday. Get well soon Paul and we'll do our best without your leadership but it won't be the same (and it'll be more driving for me and Greg - can volunteers claim overtime?!?).

March activities included preparations for April’s BLS visit, and generally involved oiling and greasing of the wagon brake gear and axleboxes to ensuring all runs smoothly on the day, "Gardening" expeditions around the system to ensure all trees and shrubbery where clear of the running lines also took place. General maintainance on the locomotives also continued.

The winter hibernation of both locomotives was rudely interrupted during February. Although D2578 had been run up occasionally during the winter, 03145 had been stored in a serviceable state for most of 2010, although the loco had been barring over every couple of months to check that all was free and no knocks or bangs present. With a visit by the BLS in the offing, it was time to resurrect 03145.

First to receive attention were the axlebox pads which where taken off the loco and given the once over and oiled along with the rest of the running gear. Starting the loco had to wait a week as one of the batteries required recharging and another required replacing, the very cold winter temperatures taking its toll. (It had been on the loco for at least 7 years so hadn't done too badly).

With the batteries replaced/recharged, the engine decompressed and a check that fuel was flowing, the engine was turned over on the batteries and fired no problem as the decompression levers where returned to the normal running position. The oil pressure came up quickly and after a little manual holding the fuel racks open, one of the idiosyncrasy's of an air controlled throttle, the loco quickly settled down to steady if a somewhat smoky running, complete with trademark smoke rings. After running for a while and with no obvious leaks visible, the loco was shut down and the gearbox de-isolated and restarted and was coupled up to the 05 and conflat to be given a test run round the site ready for the BLS visit in April.

One thing that cropped up on checking the loco's history was as follows:- REPORTED COMPLETE IN "A" SHOP OF SWINDON WORKS ON 29th JANUARY 1961 AS D2145 IN GREEN AND CLASSIFIED D2/2 UNDER THE 1955 BTC LOCO CLASSIFICATION CODES. ALLOCATED TO SHED 82C, (SWINDON), FEB 1961. So the loco was celebrating its 50th birthday when restarted!

Apologies for the lack of recent updates and a belated Happy New Year to everyone!! A full update on both loco's will hopefully appear shortly but I can confirm that 03145 was successfully started on Sunday for the first time in about a year, in readiness for the impending BLS visit.

The date for the next BLS visit to Moreton Park has been set as Sunday 10th April. Stephen Phillips is very kindly overseeing bookings again and more details can be found here.

Time for an update on our two locomotives. Both have fared well in the cold weather this winter. As expected they where a bit reluctant to burst into life during the cold weather but after decompressing and barring the engines over to give the batteries a chance they both eventually fired up and settled down to quite happily running at idle after about 10 minutes.

One problem that surfaced on 03145 is that one of the batteries is now over 8 years old and is not holding a good enough charge to start start the engine. This was overcome, short term, by swapping batteries between locos so that 03145 could be run up now and again. However as 03145 is due an extensive overhaul, the the loco was considered "stored servicable" for the early part of 2010. As of the beginning of June work has started on the overhaul so 03145 will now be out of action for the foreseable future.

D2578 itself is still giving fine service with the gearbox behaving itself. Some adjustments have been made the the gear selector columns on either side of the cab as these had a great reluctance to work in unison with each other, and so far gear selection seems a lot easier than before. When not in use time has been spent on general maintainance of coupling rods and brake rigging as well as the usual rounds of oiling. A couple of other maintainance issues require attention on the loco, but nothing to stop it running.

One thing that had escaped my notice and therefore gone unreported on our webpages was the arrival of some more rolling stock in the shape of a hand crane and match wagon. Details will shortly be added to the stocklist page.

Seasons Greetings to everyone! Apologies for the lack of news in the last couple of months, due to the usual mix of work commitments and hectic home life! The website will be updated in the new year, along with our Fotopics site. I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Preparations for this Sundays BLS visit to Moreton Park are going well and at the moment 03145 is behaving itself so should put in an appearance alongside D2578 subject to passing a final fitness inspection on Saturday. There is still room available for anyone wishing to come along on Sunday but please contact Stephen Phillips to check availability on the two trains. Booking details as well as contact details can be found on the link below.

The Shark ploughvan has also seen some more use recently to help clear the build up of stone around the Tarmac loading point. There has also been enough spare time to re-cover its roof which will hopefully cure a couple of minor leaks so it will be available for use on Sunday for anyone not brave enough to sample the Grampus (and judging by todays weather that may be most of you!).

The date for the next BLS visit to Moreton Park has been set as Sunday 11th October. Stephen Phillips is very kindly overseeing bookings again and more details can be found

20/08/2009 - Loco status update.
D2578 is performing well and has definitely benefited from its visit to the Middleton Railway back in June. The arduous hill climbing there certainly cleaned out the exhaust system as the small exhaust fire on the first day of test running testified! The loco also lost a taper pin from the jackshaft crankpin nut whilst at the Middleton Railway but this was swiftly replaced by their engineering staff so many thanks to them for that and to the shunter who spotted it was missing in the first place. The gearbox behaved itself and if anything it seems to be a lot easier to use since its return to Moreton Park. It did however prove to be a challenge changing gear on some of the gradients at Middleton particularly when double heading which proved to be a hit or miss affair. For the record the loco ran for 41 hours and covered 61 miles (if the speedo readings are to be believed) whilst on the Middleton Railway. Since its return, the loco has passed its working air test with flying colours and is "in service".

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of 03145. It is approaching 1000hrs running time in the groups ownership and is beginning to show signs that a top end overhaul is needed. Recent running has been accompanied by lots of smoke and although Gardner's are noted as smokey runners when cold, ours is still smokey long after reaching running temperature. One of the likely causes of this smoke is the oil level a little to high in the engine sump and this proved to be the case on 03145 so some of the excess was removed from the sump. This however didn't completely cure the problem and attention is now turning to the valves. These have long been causing concern especially in the winter on starting up the loco when one or two appeared to be sticking. This fault has now started to appear during the summer so as a precaution the loco has been taken out of service for the moment. Hopefully the overhaul that was already planned for this winter will once and for all sort out this and a few other little niggles that we have on the loco. It did however also pass its working air test.

After its trip to the Middleton Railway, D2578 has been taking a bit of a rest while 03145 has carried out some of the more mundane duties including weed spraying and more recently a bit of ballast ploughing. This will change in the Autumn when the 03 is stopped for some overdue TLC so it is hopeful that we will be able to arrange a running day before this happens. More details will be announced as soon as we have a date confirmed. One of our members visited the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway on Saturday to check on the progress of our sister loco
03141 but it still looks as though it will be a while before it is back in service.

D2578 has headed back south to Hereford after a nostalgic pause outside the Hunslet works for a photostop.

D2578 near its former home, heading over the Bulmers branch in Hereford on 08/06/2009. Photo courtesy of N Aitken.

D2578 performed well at Middleton. Hopefully the weekend was a success and everyone who attended the gala had a good time. A big "Thank you" to everyone at the Middelton Railway for organising and running a great event (and for inviting us!) and to Paul for driving and nurse maiding the 05 during its visit.

D2578 after arrival at Park Halt with a service from Moor Road on 07/06/2009. Photo courtesy of N Aitken.

Apologies for the lack of news - the first half of the year has flown by and due to a combination of other commitments and job concerns I've not had much time to dedicate to group activities. I can however confirm that all is well with both locomotives and D2578 has today made its way north to Leeds for a visit to the Middleton Railway.

D2578 being loaded at Moreton Park on 02/06/2009. Photo courtesy of P James.

Although the Middleton Railway is now closed for the winter, they have added the visit of D2578 to their website. More details should be available nearer to the event as well as on the PLEG website.

Over the next few weeks I will be carrying out some modifications to our website. If you find any links that do not work, please return to the home page and refresh your browser.

Good news, Fotopics is back in action so rumours of it's demise were greatly exaggerated. Hopefully all the problems are resolved and it will be business as usual.

Due to the cold weather, we decided to fire up both locomotives. Despite neither being very keen to start at first, we had just enough time for a short run around the site before the light failed and it started to snow.

Apologies to anyone trying to access our Fotopics site. All Fotopics sites are currently unavailable and there rumours that the company is either having major server problems or financial problems. Hopefully more will be known in the next day or so.

Happy New Year to you all!

Just to correct some misleading information printed in Heritage Railway Magazine regarding D2578, it is still planned for the loco to visit the Middleton Railway in June but D2578 is not and has never been stored at Long Marston. The history of this locomotive often seems to get confused despite being quite simple as in the last 40 years the locomotive has only moved from Hereford on two occasions and ironically to the same location - Moreton on Lugg! The first visit was on 08/07/1971 for a day trip with a brake van special and the second was when we transported the locomotive to it's new home after purchasing it from Bulmers. The full history of D2578 can be found here.

Sorry we haven't appeared to be very active lately but we've all been very busy with other things including yours truly. I am however glad to say that everthing is going well with the group and we are all looking forward to 2009 and in particular the visit of D2578 to the Middleton Railway in June. More details on the visit can be found

27/09/2008 - OPEN DAY NEWS!!
The visit to Moreton Park, organised by a local BLS member, is going ahead on Sunday 12th October. Details for anyone wanting to visit for a ride on D2578 & 03145 can be found on the
PLEG website half way down the page.

## Apologies for the lack of recent updates. This is due to the usual Summer lull when we're all off doing other things! I'll try to get all the updates done in the next few weeks.

Our "Heath Robinson" weedkilling train took to the rails behind D2578 and we spent three hours spraying all the track. The loco performed well despite the warm and muggy weather although the oil presssure did drop towards the end (something that tends to happen after a long session of slow running in warm weather). Hopefully the weeds will now do their thing and die off!!

The typical bank holiday weather scuppered plans for a tour of the site with the weedspraying gear so work concentrated on the two locomotives instead. 03145 had been having trouble building up its air when first started so the double check valve (normally hidden by the air receiver) was removed and cleaned. D2578 also received some attention with the drain vale on the centrifugal dirt collector being cleaned, repositioned slightly and painted for easier identification. The new oil pressure switch was also fitted and the electrics returned to normal from their jury rigged configuration. The loco was started up and test run to prove everything was okay.

D2578 had an oil change as despite not being run much it had recently suffered from low oil pressure. A check of our records showed it that it hadn't been done for 4 years! The loco has now got a clean bill of health for the Summer. The batteries off 03145 had suffered a bit over the Winter and were a bit low in charge. One was given a good trickle charge last week and the other will now be done as well.

I've just been told that 03141, sister locomotive to our own 03145 has moved home and now resides at the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway. Maybe one day we can get the two locos together for a run in multiple?

The air receivers on 03145 have been dismantled ready for their 2 yearly exam. We must be getting good at it as it didn't take us long at all but putting them back could be a different matter! This now means that 03145 will be out of action for a couple of months as there are a couple of things that could do with some attention that can only be got at with the receivers off. These are a couple of double check valves in amongst the pipework that runs along the frames behind the air receivers. With 03145 out of service, we will also have chance to change the oil in the gearbox and also do some adjustments to the engine but hopefully the loco will be back up and running by the end of August.

05/05/2008 - OPEN DAY NEWS!!
The next occasion when the locomotives will be in use for public trips around the site is planned for Sunday 12/10/2008. Once again, this is only possible with the help of the Branch Line Society as Moreton Park is a private site and therefore not normally open to the public due to security and insurance restrictions. Details about the event will be available shortly but access will only be permitted by pre-booking, anyone turning up on the day will not be allowed on site.

Both locomotives were run up to swap them round in the shed and put 03145 at the back of the shed in preparation for its bi-annual air receiver inspection.

03145 was used to retrieve the Grampus wagon and also to collect some concrete sleepers from B shed.

03145 was used to shunt the wagons and position the Grampus for loading with spoil.

A working party day at Moreton Park. Work concentrated on cutting back some overhanging trees on the reception road (don't want to scratch any of those 66's!) with 03145 used to assist with the removal of a few of the larger trees!

03145 was given a run up to help charge the batteries. A small leak on No2 injector pipe was also fixed.

D2578 has had its cab seats sent away for a repair quote with the aim of getting the seats re-upholstered and restored to their original appearance.

A working party day at Moreton Park. 03145 was used on an engineering train to help with trackwork carried out on the spur to C shed.

A working party day at Moreton Park. D2578 failed with a faulty oil pressure switch which prevented the loco from being started. 03145 was brought back into traffic as our serviceable loco while repairs are carried out to D2578.

D2578 was run up and used to shunt some wagons of track components.

A working party day at Moreton Park but work was mainly restricted to sitework and repairs.

Happy new year to everyone! Another year and another list of things to do but such is life. 2007 ended with D2578 in traffic and work progressing on the overhaul of 03145.

All eight injectors on 03145 have been replaced with refurbished ones and the loco was started without any problems.

03145 has had its felt oil pads renewed which has allowed the coupling rods to be replaced. Work should now move onto the injectors and gearbox.

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