Home > Latest News
Sale of 86101 and 87002
Posted on 5th November 2019 10:32
Electric Traction Limited today announces the sale of 86101 and 87002 to Locomotive Services Limited (LSL).
86101 and 87002 have, until early October, been engaged a contract with GB Railfreight working services on behalf of Serco Caledonian Sleeper. With the Caledonian Sleeper moving to new stock there is no longer a requirement for ETL’s locomotives.
A number of avenues were explored across the UK industry in hope that further contracted work could be found for the fleet. As this became increasingly unlikely alternate options were considered. The priority was continued operation in the UK.
We would like to thank GBRf for their support over the last eleven years. ETL supported the Royal Mail contract, numerous charter operations and most recently the Caledonian Sleeper.
The sale to LSL allows both the 86 and 87 to remain on the UK mainline as part of LSLs’ heritage rail operations. ETL will refocus its’ resources away from mainline operations on to its’ fleet of locomotives at Barrow Hill.
A decision on 86401, which was also used on Caledonian Sleeper work, will be made in due course.
ACLines 65 Ready to Download
Posted on 5th June 2019 08:35The latest edition of the AC Locomotive Group's magazine, ACLines, is now available for download by members.
Please log on to the forum and member's download area via https://www.aclocogroup.co.uk/memberdownload.php
Class 89: Update on overhaul
Posted on 6th May 2019 04:22
Following the completion of the overhaul of the Class 89’s bogies by HNRC work on the 89 passed on to ACLG volunteers for the completion of connections between the bogies and the locomotive body; AWS, TPWS, Tachogenerator and Traction earth returns were all re-connected and tested.
Inside the locomotive a variety of tasks have been undertaken:
· Current Transformer of the new High Voltage cable assembly was connected into the locomotive wiring and the Primary Overload relay tested. Covers and internal panels around the HV cable assembly re-instated on completion of the wiring work
· Armature Convertor thermostats tested for ‘hot’ operation off the locomotive, refitted on to Armature Convertor and then functionally tested with the Input Interface Boards on the main control electronics.
· Blower duct access panels fitted with new seals and fixings repaired prior to refitting
· Choke covers (corridor side) fitted with new seals, inspection windows and new fixings prior to refitting
· #2 Choke top cover drilled (approximately 3000 holes) to rectify improve ventilation of the choke (ensuring the air flow is identical to #1 choke)
· TDM rack re-commissioned
· Wiring modifications and re-terminating of control wiring in preparation for installation of Field Convertors
· Fitting of new door seals to equipment room doors and refitting of doors
Testing of the locomotive control electronics identified a fault with the 15V power supplies and a subsequent related fault on individual control boards. The power supply fault has been repaired.
Rebuilding of the Field Convertors is underway, individual sub-assemblies of a convertor have been bench tested separately, complete convertor will be assembled and tested shortly. On satisfactory completion of testing of the first Field Convertor the remaining five convertors will then go through the same process.
A set of new capacitors (a new design being required to meet increased network voltages) for the locomotive surge suppression network have been obtained and are in the process of being fitted to surge suppression boards which will be refitted when the locomotive roof is next removed.
New brake blocks have been trial fitted and a full set of new blocks will now be manufactured. Whilst the brake blocks are unique to the 89 their cast ‘blank’ is similar to blocks still in use on other vehicles still in service.
Repairs to the locomotive bodywork have been undertaken with volunteers preparing the locomotive (removing cab interior trim, fixing, fittings and reinstating under body valances) prior to HNRC staff undertaking heavier repairs:
· Removal of both cab roof GRP domes, filling and repair of the former NRN Antenna mounting holes
· Repair/filling of the NRN Antenna mounting holes in the cab roof substructure
· Welding new steel into the body, particularly to repair identified corrosion to the leading edge of the rain strip sections above the cab doors and water traps around the lower cab handrail fixings
· Corrosion repairs around the cab step pockets
Following refitting of the cab roof domes, sealing of various body joints and filling of some areas of bodywork (notably the section above the cab windscreens) the body has been primed and will be painted in a top coat to make the paint finish impervious to water. Painting of the locomotive into a complete livery is not a priority at this stage and will be addressed later.
Planning is underway for testing of the locomotive during 2019.
Picture; (Clockwise from Top Left) HV Cable Assembly during refitting, TDM Rack Testing, #1 Cab with dome removed, 89001 in primer coat, Brake Block Blanks, Windscreen Wipers removed for overhaul, modifying, #2 choke cover being modified, fitting new seals to equipment room doors, (Centre) Cab Roof Dome prior to repair.
Class 89 Restoration and 86401 Visit to Barrow Hill
Posted on 8th December 2018 06:18
The Class 89 has now been lowered back on to its’ bogies. The bogies have been fitted with overhauled traction motors, dampers, new axle bearings and inspected springs. Work on the electrical equipment within the locomotive has been significant, with overhauled items being reinstalled and a new HV cable assembly installed. During re-connection of the traction motors an unexpected problem was encountered with a damaged cable being found, this cable has now been replaced. A replacement TDM rack for the 89 has been obtained, the rack has tested and re-commissioned off the locomotive and now awaits testing aboard the locomotive.
86401 has visited Barrow Hill to have repairs to an ETS cable box undertaken by HNRC.
Picture; (Clockwise from Top Left) 86401 at Barrow Hill, 89001 #2 Bogie Lateral Dampers and Primary Vertical Springs.89001 #5 Traction Motor Installed in #2 bogie, 89001 #2 Bogie after re-assembly with locomotive body.
Class 89: Update on Bogie Overhaul
Posted on 23rd September 2018 02:13
Work on the Class 89s’ bogies has continued with the bogies reaching the stage at which components can start going back together. The locomotive and bogie frames were lifted from the wheelsets and the axle boxes were dismantled to allow the axle bearings to be replaced. With the bogies stripped down the opportunity has been taken to inspect major components, the springs were subject to specialist ‘off site’ tests and the axles received an Ultrasonic inspection.
The six traction motors, the four Pre-Load Units and the Secondary Dampers have been overhauled and will be refitted during the next phase of bogie work.
The return of overhauled equipment into the locomotive has begun with the Auxiliary Transformer and associated chokes, Vacuum Circuit Breaker and a new HV Cable Assembly being installed.
Our thanks to our volunteers for their work and to our industry partners at Applied Inspection, Bowers Electrical, Bralesford Engineering Services, HNRC, Mike Kerry Consulting, Sabre Rail, Sheaf Engineering and Wabtec without whose help the restoration of the 89 would not be possible.
Picture; (Clockwise From Top Left) 89001 being lifted in the HNRC Workshop, Overhauled Auxiliary Transformer, #2 Bogie Lifted from Axles #3-6 and new bearings installed, Fitting a new axle bearing, Overhauled Auxiliary Chokes and a dismantled old bearing. All pictures courtesy HNRC.
Class 89 Restoration: Bogie Overhaul
Posted on 28th August 2018 06:58
The overhaul of the Class 89s’ bogies has commenced today. The locomotive body has been lifted from the bogies and dismantling of the bogies has commenced. In addition to the inspection of several components the major work to be undertaken once the bogies are dismantled will be the removal of the wheelsets to enable replacement of the axle bearings.
Update on 89 restoration
Posted on 8th July 2018 09:35
The collection of overhauled components awaiting refitting to the locomotive is gradually growing and preparations are being made for the re-assembly of overhaul of the 89’s bogies.
ACLG volunteers have completed the inspection and testing of the earth bonding cables on the locomotive, a time-consuming task that was not aided by some bonding cables being hidden behind other components. While testing the earth bonding cables we also found further motor starting capacitors, which were also tested.
The body of the 89 is predominantly steel with the cab front and side skins (and under-cab trim panels) being made from aluminium. There are several joints between the cab skin and main body, these have been stripped out, cleaned of corrosion and primed ready for resealing with a modern sealant.
Our thanks to our volunteers for their work and to our industry partners without whose help the restoration of the 89 would not be possible.
Picture; (Left) #1 Tacho-generator removed, (Centre Top) Under-cab trim area before cleaning and painting (Right) Cab Skin to Main Body joint primed awaiting sealing and (Centre Bottom) Start Capacitors hiding awaiting testing.
Update on Class 89 Restoration
Posted on 18th March 2018 08:05
Work on major components high voltage components has started, with both the Vacuum Circuit Breaker and the High Voltage Cable assembly that connects the roof mounted equipment to the transformer being removed for overhaul by Alstom and Mekufa respectively.
Synthetic electrical testing of the locomotive’s traction circuits has been completed with the functions the Armature Convertors, Power-Brake Thyristors and various contactors having been fully tested. Once testing was completed the Auxiliary Transformers and chokes used to power the locomotive’s control systems were removed for overhaul at Bowers.
Oil sampling has been undertaken on the main Transformer and the Armatures Convertors; in all cases the results indicate that the oil is in good condition.
A considerable amount of time is being spent on inspecting and testing the Earth Bonding and Traction Return cables on the 89; the resistance and mechanical joints of each cable needing to be tested. The six Traction Return Units fitted to the axle box ends have been inspected and cleaned, with re-machining being necessary for two of the axle end ‘spiders’.
The replacement/overhaul of some electronic components is requiring considerable amounts of specialist knowledge, the Field Convertors being the principle area of concern. Some devices are being replaced as they have been identified as being either unreliable or are no longer compatible with variations in the transmission voltage of the railway network; the armature Voltage Measuring Devices are an example of the former and some capacitors in the Surge Suppression Network the latter.
The rebuilding of the rheostatic brake stacks is advancing well with trials of a mechanical mock-up being recently completed. New mountings will now be designed and installed into the locomotive body and the assembly of the two rheostatic brake stacks completed. Replacements for the damaged resistor elements in brake stack #2 have been obtained from Cressall.
On the bogies preparations are being made to replace the axle bearings; specialist tooling has been designed and manufactured to enable the old bearings to be removed and the new bearings installed. The dampers are in the process of being overhauled by Sabre Rail, some of the dampers are unusual and an amount of research has had to be made to determine some of the damper sub-components. The preload units that ‘steer’ axles #1, #3, #4 and #6 have been removed from their respective motors and are in the process of cleaned and refurbished prior to reinstallation on to the overhauled Traction Motors.
The overhaul of Traction Motors #4-6 is nearing completion. The Traction Motors will be reinstalled once the locomotive is lifted for other bogie overhaul work.
Our thanks to our volunteers for their work and to our industry partners at Bowers Electrical, Bralesford Engineering Services and HNRC without whose help the restoration of the 89 would not be possible.
86101 returns to service
Posted on 23rd June 2017 12:54
The ETS repairs to 86101 have been completed and the locomotive has been released from HNRC Barrow Hill.
86101 is currently en route to Willesden/Wembley to resume Caledonian Sleeper ECS duties alongside 87002.
Update on Class 89 Restoration
Posted on 22nd April 2017 07:34
AC Locomotive Group Volunteers are continuing the restoration of the Class 89. The testing and investigation phase of the restoration work is nearly complete, with all the locomotive’s systems having been inspected and tested.
Preparations are underway for the overhaul of the bogies with the removal of the Primary Suspension Dampers having recently been removed. The Secondary Suspension Dampers were removed when the locomotive was lifted in 2016.
Testing of the Rheostatic Brake Stacks has shown that both units have failed. Following removal from the locomotive, Brake Stack #2 was stripped down and inspected, the inspection has shown that there had been a catastrophic failure of the Fan Motor which in turn caused serious damage to several resistor elements. The Fan Motor on Brake Stack #1 has also been found to be badly damaged. We have reviewed the service history of the 89 and have found that there were persistent problems with the Fan Motors throughout the locomotive’s life, so the decision has been taken to rebuild the Brake Stacks with ‘new’ motor and fan assemblies of the type used in Classes 86 and 87. CAD work is in hand for the redesigned Brake Stacks and a mock-up will be produced to check the mechanical fit of the revised Brake Stack into the locomotive.
A number of obsolete components have been identified for replacement; the Voltage Transducers for each Traction Motor are in the process of being replaced – access to the Voltage Transducers can only be achieved by dismantling the Motor Contactor Cubicles so this is a time-consuming job. The ACLG Engineering Team has identified several areas where reliability improvements can be made by replacing and modernising components and sub-systems.
Repairs to various items of cab equipment have been completed; the brake controllers and the switch panels on both desks have been worked on, most of the equipment is in good condition. Some cosmetic work remains to be undertaken on repairing various interior trim panels before they can be reinstated.
Cleaning of various items of electrical equipment and equipment ventilation systems has been undertaken by ACLG volunteers. Small amounts of corrosions on the interior of the cab roof framing, under the cab floor and in the Brake Stack areas has been cleaned up and prepared for repainting.
Our thanks to our volunteers for their work over the last year and to our industry partners at Bowers Electrical, Bralesford Engineering Services, Fletcher Moorland and HNRC without whose help the work on the 89 would not be possible.
Picture: (Top Left) ACLG Volunteers removing Primary Dampers, (Bottom Left) Primary Dampers removed for refurbishment, (Centre, Top) Rheostatic Brake location, (Centre Bottom) CAD Model of new Rheostatic Brake Stack, (Right Top) Overhauled Brake Controller and (Bottom Right) One of our younger Volunteer’s Homework – preparing cab interior panelling.
Testing of Class 89 Armature Converters
Posted on 12th March 2017 09:54
The 11th March represented a milestone in the preservation history of 89001 with its’ Armature Converters being energised to test that they were operating correctly. Testing the Armature Converters without a 25kV supply and no traction motors to load the converters has required several months of preparation work. Arrangements were made to permit the injection of 240V AC into individual bridges on the Armature Converters, the bridge DC outputs were loaded by connecting them to the Load Bank (which is usually testing Diesel Electric Locomotives) at HNRC Barrow Hill. Control of the Armature Converters was via the 89’s microcontroller, with a hand-held control device being used instead of the locomotive’s master controller.
The testing proved successful with the Microcontroller and of the devices in both Armature Converters operating correctly.
Our thanks to Bralesford Engineering Services and HNRC for their assistance with this work.
Picture (clockwise from left); ACLG Volunteers installing power connection on to Armature Converter #2, Installation above Armature Converter #1, Hand-held control device connected to Microcontroller, Microprocessor Thyristor Firing Card sending signal Armature Converter #1 and DC current being recorded flowing to the Load Bank resistors.
Brush Traction provide technical support to Class 89 restoration
Posted on 20th October 2016 09:04
After several months of negotiations, we have completed an agreement to obtain technical assistance from Brush Traction to help with our overhaul of 89001.
We are in the very rare position of being granted access the Brush Traction design archives. We have been loaned the design file for the locomotive and a considerable amount of supporting correspondance relating to its' service with both BR and GNER.
We gratefully acknowledge the considerable contribution that Brush Traction and Wabtec have made to the Class 89 restoration project.
87002 to work Paralympic Special
Posted on 17th October 2016 07:41
As part of the Olympic and Paralympic celebrations 87002 will operate a special service, being provided by Caledonian Sleeper, from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston on 18 October. The service is scheduled to leave Manchester at 07:10, further information on timings can be obtained from Real Time Trains.
ACLG Youtube Channel
Posted on 11th September 2016 10:51
We have launched our own Youtube Channel to give deeper coverage of our restoration of some of the locomotives. In the first video, the 89 starts to wake up at Barrow Hill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVwkkm2r_88
Class 89 Lifted
Posted on 2nd August 2016 08:15
There has been further progress on the Class 89 today with the locomotive being moved into the HNRC workshops at Barrow Hill to allow the locomotive body to be lifted from its’ bogies and the removal of traction motors #4-6. The traction motors will be sent to Bowers Electrical for an overhaul.
The components removed from 89001; the Field Converters and Rheostatic Brake Stacks are already with Fletcher Moorland and Bowers Electrical for assessment. Assessment of the Rheostatic Brake Stacks has focussed on the brake stack from #2 end, this stack has been found to have sustained serious damage in service which will necessitate a rebuild of both the resistor and fan motor sections of the stack. Bralesford Engineering Services and ACLG Electrical Engineers are investigating a number of design improvements to be incorporated into both of the Rheo Brake Stacks to remove the failure modes that lead to #2 brake stack being damaged.
An extensive survey of the locomotive’s running gear is underway, with both axles and bearings being subject to an thorough inspection. With the locomotive in a partially dismantled condition the opportunity will be taken to assess the condition of the various power smoothing and surge suppression circuits to ensure that their capacitors are in good condition; a number of the circuits are only accessible by removing the roof or lifting their equipment frames from the locomotive.
Above Left: #2 End Rheo Brake Stack being removed (Courtesy Bralesford Engineering Services)
Above Right: 89001 body lifted from the bogies inside HNRC workshop (Courtesy Bralesford Engineering Services)
Update on Class 89 Restoration
Posted on 25th July 2016 10:51
The overhaul of 89001 took a major step forward today with the locomotive moving on to the lifting pad outside the HNRC workshops at Barrow Hill to have its’ Field Convertors and Rheostatic Brake Stacks removed. The complete Field Convertor cubicles will be moved to Fletcher Moorland for a specialist electronics overhaul and testing to ensure that will ensure that each convertor is performing correctly before being returned to the locomotive. The Rheo Brake Stacks will be moved to Bowers Electrical for overhaul and repair; recent assessment work undertaken by ACLG volunteers has highlighted that there is likely to be damage to the #2 end brake stack – the resistances of a number of stages are outside of expected values.
A considerable amount of other work has also been undertaken by staff from Bralesford Engineering Services, HNRC and volunteers from the ACLG. Testing and inspection of the air brake systems has shown that it is operating correctly and the system is close to tolerance on air leakage. Specialist equipment is being developed to test the electronic ‘brake blending’ control that ensure correct operation of the friction and rheostatic braking systems.
The locomotive has been attached to various shore supplies to allow various 240V equipment to be tested; both battery chargers work and a number of the cooling fans have been test run. Last weekend, following the tracing and rectification of a short circuit on #2 end air conditioning unit it has been possible to test the air conditioning units for both cabs, achieving a cab temperature of 21C when the external temperature was 28C with air conditioning units that have stood idle for 16 years was a pleasant surprise.
The Microprocessor Control and its’ associated electronics has been surveyed, with considerable time being taken to assess the condition of individual cards and to investigate/understand the operation of the cards and the entire control system. A defect that was preventing the Microprocessor from ‘booting up’ has been repaired by the ACLG’s electronics specialist and the Microprocessor is now operating normally. The 1980s vintage Oyster terminal that is used to interrogate the Microprocessor has been replaced with modern software that is run on a laptop. Considerable efforts are being made to develop an ‘electronics strategy’ for the 89 to ensure good reliability and component resilience.
In addition to the major works and investigations there are various more general works underway including cleaning various filters, removing obsolete equipment, etc with a mixture of contractor and volunteer labour being used.
The unique and significantly ‘prototype’ nature of the 89 means in addition to the usual collection of spurious faults inherent in any locomotive under restoration there can be a number of puzzling and unusual problems, more learning for all involved – even for ex Brush staff. Whilst we have developed an extensive list of ‘areas of concern’ relating to the 89 we are pleased that in many areas the locomotive appears to work as intended.
Above Left: #1 End Rheo Brake Stack being removed (Courtesy Bralesford Engineering Services)
Above Right: #2 End Field Convertor being removed (Courtesy Bralesford Engineering Services)
89001 Microprocessor Control Investigations
Posted on 11th June 2016 06:09
Work on recommisioning 89001 continues with a number of exam and inspections having been completed. One area of the 89 that has been identified as a risk to the locomotive's overhaul is the Microprocessor control system. Whilst the Microprocessor has been powered up and partially tested in the past it represents a significant 'unknown quantitity' in respect to its' current condition and function. In recent weeks the 89 has been powered up several times and on each of these the Microprocessor has failed to sucessfully 'boot up' and indicated an error somewhere in the locomotive's traction control system.
Following an inspection of the various cards that comprise the Microprocessor Control Rack (in addition to a card containing the Motorola 68000 microprocessor there are a number of buffer and input/output translator cards) it was concluded that the fault could not be resolved on the locomotive and the decision was taken to remove the entire Microprocessor Rack for assessment and fault finding off site; the picture shows the Microprocessor Control Rack removed from the locomotive prior to dispatch to the ACLG's electronics specialist.
89001 Control Circuits Energised
Posted on 15th May 2016 02:59
Following recent work by volunteers and staff from both Bralesford Engineering Services and HNRC we have successfully re-commissioned the Control and Field Convertor Batteries on 89001. Having the batteries in an operational condition is an important step in that it enables the locomotives' battery chargers and a number of other control systems on the locomotive to be energised and tested.The picture shows the control desk at #1 end energised on 14th May while the locomotive microprocessor controls were undergoing testing. Work on the bogies and brake systems on the 89 is also progressing.
As items are serviced and inspected the considerable number of documents relating to the design and maintenance of the locomotive in the ACLG’s possession are being reviewed to ensure that they reflect the condition the locomotive is now in and to establish a thorough understanding of the locomotive for maintenance and fault finding.
Class 89 Restoration
Posted on 28th April 2016 10:50
The AC Locomotive Group (ACLG) is pleased to announce progress on the restoration of locomotive 89001 and the imminent commencement of major repair work.
Over the last few months ACLG volunteers have completed an assessment of the condition the locomotive, reconditioned the battery systems, removed the obsolete NRN radio system from the cabs and commenced refurbishment of the cab interiors.
The locomotive will shortly be moved to the workshops of Harry Needle Railroad Company (HNRC) for the first stage in heavy overhaul works to be undertaken. The overhaul work will concentrate on two key areas; bogies and traction power equipment. Bogie work will comprise of an ultrasonic inspection of the locomotive axles and the locomotive being lifted to allow the removal of traction motors 4-6 for overhaul (traction motors 1-3 have already been removed and overhauled). The traction power equipment overhaul work will require the removal of the locomotive roof after which the field convertor cubicles, rheostatic brake stacks additionally the cab air conditioning units will both be removed. Removal of the field convertor cubicles will enable the repair of field convertors 1, 3, 4 and 6 to be completed; ACLG volunteers having already removed field convertors 2 & 5 by hand and both of these units have already been overhauled. Overhaul of the traction motors will be undertaken by Bowers Electrical and the overhaul of the field convertors will be undertaken by Fletcher Moorland.
In addition to the volunteer technical and project management team from within the ACLG Tim Bralesford (Bralesford Engineering Services) will be providing project management and technical services. Tim has unrivalled knowledge of the 89 as he worked on its design, construction and commissioning in the 1980s and its overhaul and re-commissioning in the 1990s.
The restoration of the Class 89 is a major project with considerable complexity and as such a date cannot be set when the locomotive will be returned to operational condition.
A technical ‘walk through’ of the locomotive (including some of the equipment to be repaired) is on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxbv_-QCa6A
Funding for the repairs to 89001 is being provided from funds generated by the mainline operations of locomotives 86101, 86401 and 87002, the sale of locomotive 86213 and from donations to the AC Locomotive Group.
© 1998-2019, The AC Locomotive Group