The Class 56 Group

Update 56006 & 56301 June 2024

With the welcome addition of around 6 new volunteers work on 56006 has been able to progress at a much better rate than previously. Several work parties have taken place during April and May with the power unit started up and the process of checking both brake and electrical systems could begin.

Several issues arose and are in the process of being investigated. Some have been resolved already and others remain outstanding. A work party yesterday saw the loco running up and down the yard at Baron Street but a power earth fault kept occurring when amps rose past 750A.

Running the loco up and down to try and warm and dry the traction motors was underway when unfortunately a small fire occured on No 2 end Traction Motor Blower. This was detected quickly and the loco shut down and the Battery switch opened to remove the electrical supply. No one was harmed and apart from the blower motor itself there was no damage to the loco itself.

A test run had been planned for Friday 21st June , but that day will now be used to remove the roof section and remove the blower motor. Saturday morning should see a replacement motor delivered and this should be craned into the loco during Saturday. Whilst this is going on other issues need to be investigated and resolved before a test run could be contemplated.

The loco is already inside the shed under a crane ready for the work, but given we will be less than a week away from the gala start by the time the replacement motor arrives, to say we are up against it would be a major understatement.

If the loco does make it for the gala it will be thanks to the hard work of both our long standing technical team , our colleagues in the ELR Diesel Department and our newer volunteer team who have really helped move things along over the last couple of months.

If the loco doesn’t make it – it won’t be for lack of trying. Yesterdays fire was the last thing we needed or expected but the main thing is everyone was safe and the loco itself suffered no other damage.

Keep checking here for updates- I’ll post updates on Friday and Saturday evenings to give reports on progress.