The recent GCR Spring Diesel Gala featured the rather rare 37714, as well as both our class 20 and class 31, as we would expect both gave very creditable performances in line with our long established reputation.
As the saying goes "a week is a long time in preservation", so after basking in glory one week, the following week we had the unfortunate news of both of our locos in difficulty.
On the Sunday, the class 20 was involved in an incident whilst working the 1300 passenger service, which the GCR are currently investigating. The broad outline is that the loco suffered a small bogie fire, caused by the handbrake having been left on between its two passenger trips. Fortunately the crew reacted swiftly and extinguished the blaze before it could take hold.
After this incident at Rothley, the locomotive was inspected by a representative of the T1LC as well as 2 members of the GCR's locomotive engineering department and was deemed fit to travel back to Loughborough light engine at reduced speed. A full inspection and repair was carried out 4 days later. The good news was that the affected tyre had not shifted on the wheel, as luckily it appeared not to have got hot enough. However, the tyre surface had suffered damage caused by the heat resulting in areas of raised spots and also pitting. In addition, two items of brake rigging were found to have been bent and had to be replaced - luckily we had some spares of these parts in stock.
A blessing in disguise in a way is that on a class 20 the handbrake only actually applies the brakes on one wheel, so any damage was limited to just that one wheel. Obviously the brake blocks on the wheel were also replaced. There appears not to be any damage from the minor underframe fire that occurred due to sparks from the brake blocks.
The loco has re-entered traffic on the GCR, however it is under careful monitoring to see how the damaged tyre surface beds-in again, as we want to avoid having to have the tyres turned if possible. Initial signs are encouraging.
Big thanks are due to Steve Rowston, as well as Hayden Bolton of the GCR's carriage and wagon department for their efforts to inspect and replace parts, enabling the work all to be done in one day.
On a happier note the class 20 played a supporting role on Friday 22 April, as 37714 stretched its legs, with a 6 trip running day - the latter 3 trips were top 'n tailed with the class 20.
Also, we're pleased to announce that the class 20 has a little working holiday planned, this time to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway in Derbyshire. It will meet its old friend D7629 which is currently on-loan from Ruddington. Operating dates are provisionally set for: Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th (Diesel Gala), Tuesday 9th, Saturday 13th, Sunday 14th, Tuesday 16th, Wednesday 17th, Thursday 18th, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August 2016