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Saturday 25 October 2014

Working Day 25/10/2014

Hello again ......................................

Another productive day by the CFPS engineering team today on both loco's. 

Firstly 345 (40145) has today received its annual safety inspection and passed with no major issues. This inspection is necessary to ensure that the locomotive is fit for service at the time of inspection for continued use on Network Rail lines. 

As 345 is classed as an Heritage Locomotive with derogations granted to make loco exempt from some of the new railway group standards the loco must receive this inspection either annually or at 15'000 miles which ever comes first. 

The inspection is undertaken by an external accredited Vehicle Acceptance Body under contract by the CFPS. 

In basic terms its an MOT just like your car! 

I am also pleased to report that the coolant pre-heater on 345 has now been commissioned. The system was trialled for 7 hours yesterday and the engine block got warm enough to open the radiator thermostats which is around the 60 degree C mark. 

The last phase will be fitted this week coming is a timer function so it can be programmed to come on like your heating at home. There will be a Frost Stat function which will also automatically switch the pre-heater on if temperature fall below 4 degrees C. 

345 will be prepared for upcoming Compass Tours trip from Southport to York / Saltburn on November 29th 2014.  This will take place on Saturday's 1st & 22nd this will include the annual maintenance exam.


Whilst I was attending to the inspection on 345 the rest of the team was getting stuck into lifting the boiler room roof section off and craning out the stones steam generator out for refurbishment. 

Once this was completed the gang then removed the chequer plate floor from the boiler area for de-greasing and steam cleaning and steam cleaning the boiler compartment and all the pipe work from under the floor. 

There's still plenty of cleaning and painting still to do. Here are a few photo's from today's activities.

James gets to grips with 30 years of dirt and Grime with the pressure washer!

Floor plates after a good cleaning 

Front view of the Stones Steam Boiler

The gang get on with sealing boiler exhaust outlet before roof section is refitted.

Stones Steam generator after removal and cleaning 

Dave Greenwood gives the boiler a good clean off with pressure washer.

The next working dates will be as follows:

Saturday 1st November 2014 - 335 & 345 (Tour prep)
Saturday 22nd November 2014 - 345 (Tour Prep and exam)

If you wish to help please contact me by email on your more than welcome to come and join us and help us keep two pieces of English Electric & British Rail history alive. 

Alternatively we are seeking helpers to assist us with re-locating our vehicle parts stores and catalogue all parts we have in stock. We are seeking help in clearing vegetation to enable spares to be moved safely if you can help please contact either John Stephens by email - or Jonny Stevenson by email -    

Finally I wish to thank the following for their assistance today; Jonathan Stevenson, Mike Hirst, Mike Marren, Paul Morris, Dave Greenwood, James Bottomley, Mark Hornby, Derek Gibson & Andy Hardman. 

More news soon.


Thursday 9 October 2014

Working Day 25th October 2014

Evening All

With work on D335 now underway I wish to organize a working day on Saturday 25th October concentrating on progressing tasks forwards.

The loco will be at Castlecroft shed as we will need use of the 10 ton crane to remove boiler room roof section and lift out the steam generator onto a trolley.

Once steam generator has been removed we will need to steam clean the engine room and boiler area for painting.

The boiler will need to filled with an antifreeze solution to prevent frost damage and corrosion.

Also on the same day 345 will be inspected for its annual Network Rail safety examination at Buckley Wells shed.

If you can help and wish to get involved with our engineering team to get D335 fighting fit again please email me on

Even if you can only drive a scraper and paint brush your help would be greatly appreciated.



Wednesday 1 October 2014

CFPS Engineering Update

Hello All.............................

Firstly a huge apology for all who follow our engineering blog for not updating in so long, Other commitments have limited my free time in recent months to keep you up to date.

However with work already started on 40135 repairs and repaint it seemed a good time to start reporting on the progress made which only started today thanks to efforts of Seton Spencer.

Firstly I will give you all a brief run down on work that will be completed on 40135 (D335) over next 12 months with a return to traffic expected to be Autumn diesel gala 2015.

  • Removal of Stones steam generator - for total rewire, corrosion repairs and upgrade of boiler operating controls. 
  • Heavy cleaning and painting of engine room and boiler compartment.
  • Complete fitment of overhauled brake cylinders - 3 units left to fit.
  • Heavy cleaning of under-frame.
  • Heavy clean of main and auxiliary generator, overhaul brush gear on aux gen. 
  • Heavy cleaning and replace worn out brush gear and re-anti track paint traction motors 1 to 5. 
  • Sort out various minor coolant, fuel and oil leak  and C exam. 
  • Remove and re-seal cab windows and body side windows.
  • Corrosion repairs as required to body.
  • Renew cab floors both cabs and new floor vinyl added & new trim. 
  • Repaint body - BR Green - full yellow ends.
  • Refit and certify stones steam generator for 2015 winter season. 
As you can see there's quite a bit to achieve so if you can help us please get in touch by emailing me at 

Today Seton has got us to a flying start by unbolting boiler room roof, disconnecting boiler ready for lifting out and removing auxiliary generator brush gear for overhaul. Thanks Seton!!

I will post out a list of working dates concentrating on D335 over next day or so. 

A quick update on 345.

Loco performed very well at last weeks gala - it was noted that field diverts and general load control system is working much better after recent re-bushing of operating linkage between the power piston, governor and load regulator cam switches. There is some minor adjustments to be made to get field diverts coming in at correct speed and increase horsepower slightly. 

There will be also a couple of working dates on 345 to prepare her for next mainline outing in November. 



Saturday 16 November 2013

345 work 16.11.13

Hello everyone ....

Today I have been working solo on the snagging list on 345 here is the work completed.

1) completed fitting turbo charger storm drains this will enable rain water to drain from the bottom of turbo and not collect in exhaust system this will prevent any corrosion from taking place on the turbo impellers and nozzle rings. Excessive water in exhaust system can lead to hydraulic lock when trying to start.

2) A number of cab doors have been fettled as they were binding in frames making them difficult to open and close.

3) No1 end screen washers have been repaired and are now working the fault was traced to intermittent switch contact on drivers desk, switch has been replaced. No2 end washers have been checked and fault traced to faulty washer pump. I think a trip to local scrap yard will be needed for a replacement pump.

Our next working date for our team is the 7/12/13 there's a lot to do on both locos if you wish to get involved on the engineering team please contact me on As they many hands make light work. 

Cheers Lee

Tuesday 12 November 2013

More work on 345


This evening I have spent a few hours on 345.

The loco coolant system has been drained and the correct length sight glass  fitted and system refilled with anti freeze. 

I also fitted new turbo charger storm drains to A2 and B2 turbo charger.

I will continue this job on Saturday.

There's still a lot of jobs to complete on 345 to get her 100 % fit.

That's all for now

Night all.


Friday 8 November 2013

345 goes home

Today 345 (40145 )  and of course D335 returns home to the East Lancs Railway I from Tyseley TMD. 

Both locos have arrived safely back at the ELR with no issues either.

Tyseley TMD staff have been brilliant and a pleasure to work with. Once again thanks chaps.
Thank you to Mervyn Allcock at Barrowhill for making us welcome as always.

Also thanks Shaun Wright and the 40013 gang for all their help and support.

And Finally Harry Needles for his assistance and use of his facilities at Barrowhill.

I am somewhat relieved and pleased it all went well and also to give our members a taster of the healthy 345.

I'm pooped so I will say good night all.


Wednesday 6 November 2013

D335 goes to Tyseley & 345 returns to mainline action!!!

Hello everyone .............

I am sure you've heard by now that on Monday 4th November 345 returned to service back on the mainline working 13:40 0Z41 from Barrowhill to Tyseley.

The loco performed well just a couple of niggles to iron out these being an minor oil leak on B5 cylinder head and No.2 cab main generator ammeter is sticking.

The loco also hauled D9009 and D335 from Barrowhill to Tyseley for tyre turning. As I write this 345's tyres are being turned and the other loco's have been completed.

A big thank you to London Midland at Tyseley for accommodating us and make us welcome when we arrived.  A huge thanks to the lads at HNRC who have helped us through our difficult time with both locomotives and putting up with us for so long!!

On Friday 8th November 345 will once again haul D9009 and D335 back to Barrowhill this time dropping of D9009 before continuing home to the East Lancs Railway.

345's first passenger working for 3 years.

345 will be hauling the ELR Saturday diesel diagram departing Bury at 09:30 to Rawtenstall. As it is now heat season Class 47 D1501 will also be attached to the train for heating purposes. It is also the CFPS Annual General Meeting which is being held at the Grants Arms in Ramsbottom starting at 12:30 prompt.

I am sure many of you will be asking when will be the next railtour?? We are looking at running our first tour in over 3 years during spring of 2014 and details will be announced when we have finalized the itinerary.

We have a number of jobs still outstanding on both locomotives that need attending to during the winter and I am hoping to have one of our locos ready to work Saturday diesel diagrams with working steam heat boiler.

Much of the work requires money to spent on parts and equipment to help us extend life of components such as batteries. Its been on the cards for last 3 years to install battery chargers on both 335 and 345 to ensure batteries remain in good condition as a new set of batteries costs over £5000 pounds.

So we do still need your help with donations and items we can flog on our sales stands to help me and my team on the engineering side to continue to make the improvements to both locomotives and help to finance long overdue repaint of D335.

To all of you that have donated and supported our cause over the last 3 years with 345's repairs a big thank you.

Finally I personally would like to say thanks to our excellent engineering team over last 3 years on 345 its been a long slog but we got there in the end!

Cheers for now...


p.s anyone who has any pictures of 345 from Monday's jaunt or Fridays returning working I would be much obliged if you could send me a copy for inclusion onto the blog.