The AC Locomotive Group

Operations of the 86s and 87 with Caledonian Sleeper continued with the locomotives requiring only an occasional visit from a fitter for examination or inspection. 86101 visited Barrow Hill for an ETS cable repair, the fitting of new electrically powered windscreen wipers and replacement of the incandescent tail lights with LEDs; both of these later items being reliability improvements. The pattern of operations for the ECS services settled down so that 86401 generally covered the services into Glasgow Central and either 86101 or the 87 working the Euston services, rotations of the locomotives caused by exams and operation of the Lowlander Sleeper saw 86101 and the 87 also operating ECS services in Scotland. 86101 was used on a GBRf tour, 'The Absent Shunter' and a Chelsea FC Charter. 87002 was used on 'The Caledonian' tour. 

2017 was a year for 'outside' restoration, the Roundhouse at Barrow Hill being emptied of locomotives for rebuilding. 

Work on the 89 continued with a comprehensive set of tests being undertaken on the Armature Convertors. Inspection and testing of the voltage measuring equipment on the armature circuits led to the decision to replace the Voltage Transducers and remove the resistor panels associated with them. This took quite some time to complete as the Voltage Transducers were located at the rear of the Motor Contactor cubicles, and a major strip down was required.

The 89's brake system saw works with both of the train brake controllers removed and overhauled, and all of the air reserviors being inspected and recertified. Once the brake system components were back together a considerable amount of time was devoted to working through the manuals for the E70 brake system to identify each of its components and then test how it operated in response to the train brake controller and various other switches on the driver's desk.

Oil samples were taken from the Transformer and both Armature Convertors, the samples demonstrated that the oil in the three devices was in good condition and there was no evidence of any insulation decay that could cause impurities or other changes in the oil.

An attempt was made to recommission the TDM system, unfortunately the replacement TDM rack fitted had a defective power supply module, so this work was held over until we could obtain a repaired rack. 

Preparations for the 89's bogie overhaul were advanced by stripping the bogies of all their dampers. Thankfully HNRC had already removed the large dampers from the internal 'Zebedee' springs as well as the lateral and yaw dampers leaving only the twenty four secondary dampers to be wrestled from their mounts. As a Christmas present to ourselves we crated up all the dampers and sent them to Sabre Rail to be overhauled.

Cosmetic work on the 89 was started with the removal of the NRN antenna at #2 end and investigations into how the joints between the cab body, roof dome and main locomotive body were sealed (or not as was found to be the case) and to work out how to take the roof domes off.

Late on in the year the Roarers returned to the Roundhouse and we were able to reorganise our tools and store cupboards and gradually set about checking and recharging the batteries on the locomotives.