Workshop February 2020

1st February

A recent project that’s been underway in the workshop for a few weeks now, is the renewal of the GE floor compressor out of D scrubber car 134s. Years of oil and dirt build up inside the compressor motor has taken its toll, leaving the compressor unable to pump air into the car’s brakes, and therefore rendering the car unsafe to operate.

With works finished on K scrubber car 11 (ex-139s), as well as the motor overhauls on the first bogie for O 1111, the opportunity has been taken to lift the compressor out of 134s, and into the workshop for a general cleanup and overhaul. When completed, this will allow the tram to be once again fully operational, and available for driving during special events.

Progress so far has seen dirt on the compressor casing scraped off, the motor field coils sprayed with electrical solvent, and the motor armature left in a bath of turpentine for a week, before both it and the field coils were left to dry in the sun.

Work also begins on the second bogie for O 1111, with the motors from the car removed, and the truck lifted onto the recently re-gauged jig that arrived with the Variotram spares. This will allow the truck to be given a further cleanup, as well as a repaint.

19th February

For the past few weeks, the armature and field coils from 134s’ compressor motor have been given a further round of cleaning and baking. The end result has seen the armature test satisfactorily and a new coat of electrical varnish has been applied to it for added insulation.

The field coils however, have produced less than successful results. So Workshop Manager Bill Parkinson intends to give them the same treatment that the GE247 motors from 141s’ former bogies have received. This entails removing each individual field coil, varnishing them, and then adding a layer of insulating paper underneath each coil upon reapplying them to the motor casing.

Once this is complete, the motor components will be reattached to the main compressor unit, which will be followed by general testing in order to ensure the unit operates satisfactorily.

Bill Parkinson undoes the field coils from the compressor motor casing.
Photo by Michael Hatton.

In addition to the air compressor overhaul, the decision has been made to attend to other matters needed on 134s. Not the least of which repairs to its scrubbing equipment, as well as general body work. Good progress has been made so far in removing components from inside the tram, whilst it is in its current position in the display hall. However, as the work is becoming to large for the current situation, it is intended to bring this car into the workshop within the next week or two; replacing Scrubber 11 (ex-139s).

An overview of the workshop as of mid-February. Photo by Michael Hatton.

22nd February

A great has been made in removing the pistons out of 134s and bringing them into the workshop for repair and overhaul. With the car soon expected to be brought into the workshop, re-installation is expected to be much easier for our workshop crew.