Amazingly, it is now just short of 2 and 1/2 years since 55 022 began working the ‘Translator Coach’/E.M.U. movements for GB Rail Freight. The movements across the City of Glasgow between K-B Rail Services, Glasgow Works at Springburn and Scotrail’s Shields T.M.D. are set to continue for the foreseeable future and hopefully other suitable work will come our way, the prospect of extra work is helped with more drivers being trained.
Ease of maintenance was considered before the regular Scottish work was committed to and I decided that as always, our small dedicated team would rise to the challenge. After 30 months of regular scheduled maintenance as dictated by the locos VMI – Vehicle Maintenance Instruction, as well as a few repairs and replacement of time sensitive components. I think that I can now say we’ve handled it all admirably and the loco is probably in better condition now compared to when the current work was initiated!!
The co-operation of Knorr-Bremse Rail Services has made many of our tasks easier to complete, thanks to all the staff there, in particularly Richard Syson, the chief vehicle tester, whose facilities we generally use. Myself and Andy Marra have completed most of the scheduled maintenance, assisted at times by Andy McLean who is also a regular volunteer at the SRPS – Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway. Many of the team at the railway’s diesel department have also played a valued part and Stuart Sellar has also played a major role and been available at short notice to assist with essential repairs, which have resulted in a 100% availability for all rostered and additionally requested work.
Last Thursday, we carried out yet another Fitness To Run examination, when the accompanying images were taken. The first image shows two out of six of the brand new air hoses on the buffer beams, a job finally done that we have been trying to arrange for some time now! The vacuum brake hoses were replaced a few months ago, so all buffer beam fitted hoses are now brand new and should be good for many years to come. The second image shows the Fire Extinguishers that were removed, these have been replaced by a freshly inspected and certified set. The work was completed by a local company in Huddersfield, who will do the same job to the removed set shown, so we have a full set ready if needed. The extinguishers have to be inspected and certified every 12 months. Sharpe Engineering Solutions carried out their independent annual testing, inspection and certification of the locos TPWS, OTMR and GSM-R systems and all was once again found to be fine. Next year will be the tenth year that Sharpe Engineering Solutions will have carried out this essential work.
The third image, shows a piston being removed from the Number 2 end cab, which was found beneath the secondman’s seat, unfortunately it doesn’t fit!! The only work arising from our FTR exam was the replacement of a Driver’s Desk warning light in Number 1 end cab. Big thanks to all who have assisted in any way with ‘Royal Scots Grey’ since the Translator moves started, your help has been much appreciated by myself and I’m sure all who have witnessed these and other workings during this time. Fingers crossed the loco can be maintained in this condition for the future, regular operation, sure is the best thing you can do with a 54 year old loco!!