11 Jan , 2015  

As some may be aware, it’s been another rather hectic period recently with both ‘Royal Scots Grey’ and ‘Gordon Highlander’ and we thought it a good idea to advise on this website about recent and upcoming events.

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The loco had all the work scheduled during the visit to East Coast Trains, Craigentinny Depot completed within the required timescale. Tyre turning, which had become necessary mainly due to flange wear reduced the tyre thicknesses by an average of around 5mm. The tyres start their life with a depth of around 72mm and are classed as ‘scrap’ at a depth of 43mm, the average depth on the loco prior to turning on the lathe was around 70mm and they are now average around 65mm. This leaves plenty of life remaining in the wheel sets, we now once again have flange heights and thicknesses ‘as new’. Ultrasonic testing of axles and bogie equalising beams was completed by East Coast Trains contractor’s Applied Inspection, this was not due until March, but it was decided a good opportunity to have this done whilst at Craigentinny. Ultrasonic testing of these components must be completed every three years, these are now certified until 31st December 2017.

The ‘Smiths’ speedometer was calibrated using a Test Rig and is now very accurate across the range. This is necessary after tyre turning as the speedometer drive is basically a dynamo which produces volts increasing as the wheels turn faster. As the tyre becomes smaller with wear the circumference reduces and the ‘Revolutions Per Minute’ slightly increase and less voltage is produced, calibration is then required. The in cab speedometers are basically ‘voltmeters’ showing speed in Miles Per Hour purely as a result of voltage supplied from the speedometer drive. This was carried out by Andy McLean, one of our regular much valued volunteers, who completed the task as part of his employment at Craigentinny.

The final part of work completed at the depot was our ‘Fitness To Run’ examination, which was done on the afternoon of 7th January and Number 1 engine’s fuel injection and air start blanking adaptors and sleeves were removed from ‘C’ Bank and finally the Cylinder liners were visually inspected just before 22.00 for cracking. At this stage, no cracks have been found and work should continue next week. Thanks to Andy Marra and Dave Greenwood for their assistance with these tasks and the usual ‘banter’! We’d like to express our sincere thanks to all the staff at East Coast Trains for their co-operation, particularly Phil Buck, head of the Inter City 125 Fleet for making both ‘Royal Scots Grey’ and ourselves so welcome during our time there. Also huge thanks to GB RailFreight for their usual great assistance in arranging movement of the loco to suit work schedules.

The loco departed from Craigentinny, running as 0Z55 on Thursday 8th January and ran Light Engine back to Glasgow Works at Springburn, arrival was on time at 11.45. After being parked up and a brief meeting with Knorr-Bremse Rail Services staff regarding the upcoming repaint, the loco was inspected externally and some of the staff who will complete the work were shown inside, the job will also include a few corrosion repairs. The short trip across the City of Glasgow for GB RailFreight on Friday 16th January will probably be the last time to see the locomotive in its current guise as work is scheduled to start on Monday 19th January on the paint job. This work will require even more long trips to Glasgow to deliver components and ensure that progress is being made smoothly. It is expected to take around 3 weeks and be completed in good time to work the next scheduled operation to Shields with the Translator Coaches. At this stage, we are not entirely sure exactly how the loco will look, but one thing for sure is it will be different and certainly eye-catching. In addition a few trips to Springburn are planned over the next few weeks to progress engine repairs on the Number 1 Power Unit, at this stage it is unknown whether or not these will be successful.


Following Gordon’s visit to the Great Central Railway, which began in March last year, he was moved by road on Friday 9th January to Boden Rail’s Workshops at Washwood Heath, Birmingham by Allely’s Transport, where it arrived at lunchtime. Repairs to corroded areas of bodywork and a full repaint are scheduled to take place over the next 12 months or so. The movement happened rather suddenly as Boden Rail’s staff did not examine the loco until 2nd January. A space was found available in Allely’s programme which allowed the move to be completed both quickly and at a lower than normal cost. Following much interest and offers of help, a fund has been established to help towards the large costs involved with the bodywork repairs and we hope you can find a few spare pounds and will feel proud to have helped. Details can be found on the home page of this site, additionally I hope to announce various fundraising initiatives in due course.

We also hope at some stage soon to remove the ex-Marine power unit from the loco, which will allow us to exchange major components at our warehouse in Huddersfield and allow Power Unit 523 to start life as a locomotive engine. D9016’s stay at the Great Central Railway was for much longer than anticipated, as the loco was due to arrive in March and depart in May last year. Fortunately the loco was a huge attraction and brought many additional visitors to the Railway whenever it operated and as such was allowed to remain longer than originally anticipated. This was much appreciated by myself in light of events at the East Lancashire Railway and having to find a new home for the locos. Massive thanks to John Pepper for originally organising this visit and also Richard Patching, the Railway’s General Manager for his great co-operation. Also all the friendly staff and volunteers at the Great Central for making myself and the team involved with D9016 welcome and we hope to visit again in the future.

We will as always endeavour to provide information as work progresses and time allows. Finally thank you for your interest and we look forward to 2015 being another fantastic year in the history of ‘Royal Scots Grey’ and ‘Gordon Highlander’…..