Could you be of help for an exciting new heritage railway engineering project?

It concerns a bogie overhaul for a former British Rail main line Class 52 diesel hydraulic locomotive – D1013 Western Ranger, which is based on the Severn Valley Railway, under the care of volunteers from the Western Locomotive Association (a registered charity).

Stirling has long been associated with the Engineering & Manufacturing sectors and we are therefore pleased to help promote this particular project…!

If you would like to make a donation, (no matter how large or small!), simply CLICK HERE!

Bogie Overhaul Project for D1013 Western Ranger

The Western Locomotive Association is making good steady progress with the overhaul of D1013 Western Ranger. Over the last ten years, the locomotive has benefitted from literally thousands of hours of volunteer help which so far, has included a full electrical re-wire, component overhauls including such items as pre-heaters, fuel pumps, cooler groups, cooling fans, cardan shafts, exhausters, air receivers, cab desk rebuilds, internal paintwork etc, not to mention current work to overhaul its two massive 65 litre V12 engines.

Why so much work?

D1013 was built back in 1962, was introduced into service in December 1962, and clocked up 1.32 million miles before its withdrawal in February 1977. Its last overhaul was with British Rail (Western Region) over 45 years ago!

Of course, general maintenance work has been carried out since the locomotive was withdrawn from mainline running as the locomotive has spent much of its time in preservation, operating on the Severn Valley Railway. However, many major components were in need of major overhaul and the electrical wiring was getting to the point where it could have become a potential fire risk. In the end, with safety of paramount importance, the best and only option was to withdraw the locomotive from traffic and embark on its current major overhaul.

To what standard is the work being done?

Once withdrawn from traffic, it was agreed that any work should be at least to the standard or better than BR would have achieved. This means that everything would be overhauled in accordance with the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) specifications and requirements using materials that were equivalent or better. Where necessary, specialist items (such as cardan shafts and brake valves) would be returned to approved companies where the necessary work can conform to safety standards, with certification. In effect, all the work is being done to a “mainline standard” and as if the locomotive were to return to the mainline hauling passenger trains over Network Rail. The philosophy is that “if the locomotive is fit for the mainline”, then it is fit to run on privately preserved lines such as the Severn Valley.

What other work is required?

Over the last ten years, work has been carried out above the solebar level i.e. above the bogie wheelsets. With so much work being carried out on the locomotive, consideration now has to be given to the bogies themselves, as it is a fact that the locomotive hasn’t been lifted for over 45 years! Experience gained by the Diesel Traction Group (DTG) with their locomotive D1015 Western Champion, and also with some experience gained by the WLA in lifting D1062 Western Courier, has indicated that D1013 will need a full bogie overhaul if it is to gain a new lease of life for the next 150,000 miles over the next 40 years or so. This work will include lifting the locomotive off its bogies for an initial assessment, prior to a complete strip-down, clean, overhaul, repair and assembly. A major part of this work will require the wheelsets to be re-tyred as currently, they are virtually life-expired on minimum thickness safety levels.

How are we going to do a bogie overhaul?

Whilst the WLA has some experience with bogie work, much of this will need to be outsourced with specialist engineering companies to make sure that work can comply with safety standards and meet the specifications that were in place back in BR days. The WLA is fortunate to be able to liaise with the DTG who had restored three bogies to mainline standard for D1015. A process of adopting appropriate paperwork is underway which will eventually lead up to a specification for the overhaul of both bogies. This will include the strip down, shot-blasting and repairs to the bogie frames, overhaul of the lateral dampers, new thrust pads, springs and overhaul of the final drives, whilst the wheel sets are re-tyred. Once the specifications have been drawn up for each part of the overhaul, the work will be placed out to tender, to gain costings and a budget.

So how much will a bogie overhaul likely to cost?

At the present time, it is not known exactly how much but we know that a re-tyre will cost around £20k per bogie, so £40k to start off with. It is thought that such a project is going to cost in the region of £200k but this figure will be clarified once items go out to tender.

If you would like to make a donation, (no matter how large or small!), simply CLICK HERE!

How will the bogie project be funded?

Clearly, this project is a massive undertaking for any volunteer group and therefore, in addition to volunteer “hands-on” help, the WLA will need to seek help from private donations, sponsorship and will need to apply for funding with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

What will the benefit be?

A fully working locomotive that has had hundreds of hours of volunteer labour spent on it, able to return to work on the Severn Valley Railway for the enjoyment of many thousands of people who visit for operating days, gala events and special events, plus the option of visiting other heritage railways and depot open days, throughout the UK.

Would you be able to help?

If you would like to make a donation, simply CLICK HERE!

Alternatively, if you are able support this project in any way, whether it be “hands-on” help, engineering advice or sponsorship, please complete the form below (we would love to hear from you!):

Photograph courtesy of Colin J. Marsden

Western Locomotive Association Ltd  is a Registered Charity No. 1115058

Registered Address: Western Locomotive Association Ltd, 5 Prospect Place, Millennium Way, Pride Park, DERBY DE24 8HG.