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Restoration of Class 119 Driving Motor Brake Composite W51073

Learning to Run

Progress reported on 04/03/13.

Another week of fantastic progress as the deadline gets closer! Early in the week, work to complete the exhaust system on No.2 engine was continued with success. The engine was then started and it was discovered that No.2 engine also has the famous DMU rasp. Interestingly, the rasps of both exhausts are not the same. No.2 engine sounds very like the tone of it's Gloucester counterpart 'the bubble', but No.1 engine's sound is not too dissimilar to a Class 104.

Attention then turned to No.1 engine which was proving quite a challenge to get running, especially with the weather being cold. After the team were satisfied that there was plenty of fuel going in, new injectors were installed to no avail. Some head scratching was done until it was discovered that for some reason the engine timing was very slightly out. It was adjusted on the flywheel. The button was then pressed and the engine started within half a turn as one would expect.

With both engines now running and the exhaust systems in place, a convenient opportunity was found to test out the electrical jumper sockets on the rear of the vehicle as this had never been done. The vehicle was driven under it's own power to the front of a two-car set and coupled up. Time was then spent checking to see if all of the control systems worked through to the other cars and happily they did. As all seemed well, the set of three power cars was then driven up the steep 1 in 27 gradient to Ravenstor, as this line happened to be free at the time. The rail head was greasy making starting off difficult but eventually the train made it up the gradient and 51073 had both engines powering properly. This was the furthest the vehicle had been for 20 years, under it's own power and under load too. A very useful test, not only for the jumper sockets, but for the mechanical equipment too.

Left: 51073 brings up the rear of a power triple train with Metro-Cammell counterparts.

At the weekend, work on the cab desk progressed well. A new desk top was being cut out from scratch. Last week the right hand part was cut and installed and this weekend the other two were as well. It basically took a day per section with the left hand one (where the driver will sit) being done on Saturday and the middle section being done on Sunday. Where the driver sits has to have cut outs for the controllers, gauges and various switches. The middle section meant removing the vacuum brake top, handbrake wheel and the emergency brake as the desk top fits over them.

Once each section had been cut and trial fit, the task of installing all the components and switch panels began. New switch panels for the marker lights and tacho change over had been sourced so these were installed. Some changes were made in the way the marker light switches were wired to allow for indicator bulbs (which were not present before but the new panel had space for). Holes were drilled for AWS equipment, headlight switch, windscreen wiper and everything else that belongs on the desk.

Not an easy task as there was only one chance to cut it correctly. At the end of the weekend though the results were very pleasing. The cab has a brand new desk top fitted and great it looks too! New frontages will have to be manufactured as some of the original ones are missing but the installation of the desk top paves the way for the window frames to be installed.

Right: The desk top where the driver sits after day one of progress.
Cab desk
Desk 1
Above: A section of the cab desk prior to fitting. Note how little of it there actually is once all of the holes have been cut out.
Desk 2
Above: The completed desk top.
Above: 51073 at the top of the 1 in 27 incline. Unfortunately it was a foggy day!
Desk 3
Above: Dusk showed off all of the indicator lights and panel lights in the new desk.

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