While the main focus of the Strathspey Railway is running steam trains for the paying public, a small but dedicated group of volunteers has been restoring other items of heritage interest in spare moments between working on the loco fleet and improving locoshed infrastructure and facilities.

The current project is a Ruston Hornsby 48DS diesel shunter of 1948 which worked at Longmorn distillery until 1980 (even though Dr Beeching had closed the adjacent main line in 1967). Because it was presented to the Strathspey Railway repainted with advertisements for Queen Anne blended scotch whisky, it is known to most people as “Queen Anne”.

To find out more about our aims, follow this link or click the [About] button above.

This Blog was started over 5 years after the project began, so most of the initial blog entries are retrospective.

Monday 24 April 2023

Chain Oiler and Diesel Gala

The Chain Oilers

The chain oilers have finally been completed.  A drip-type oil pot is attached to a solenoid valve which is energised while the engine is running.  A pipe feeds the oil to a special brush which is mounted on an adjustable arm to spread the oil over the chain.  There are two separate oilers, one for each chain.

The brushes need to be mounted close to the sprocket on the reversing gearbox.  In any other position they would be vulnerable to the chain whipping or movement of the suspension.  There is not much room near the sprockets so mounting them is tricky.

The following photographs show the setup.
An oil pot with its solenoid valve

The LH brush. A very cramped location.

RH brush showing the adjustable mounting arm

Excess Fuel Device

In order for the engine to start (especially when the engine is cold), it is usually necessary to squirt more fuel than normal through the injectors to get it running.  To do this a device is fitted to the control rod that regulates the fuel injection pump.  This device is a brass casting with lugs that is lifted up to allow the control rod to move forward and inject more fuel.  Once the engine is up to speed, the governor pulls the control rod back and the device drops down to its working position, limiting the maximum amount of fuel delivered.
Often the engine will start to fire and pick up speed causing the device to drop back, but the engine still needs to warm up a bit more and so the engine stalls.  If the device is lifted up again the engine will pick up speed and eventually run on its own.  Except in very warm weather it needs to be lifted two or three times before the engine will run on its own.

The problem with the original arrangement is that the device is not visible unless you peer inside the engine compartment, so you have to feel for it.  The device is close to the fan belt and other moving parts, so you need to know exactly where the device is.  For this reason it was decided to make an accessible lever to operate the device.  A bracket bolted to the engine block was modified to take the new lever and a flexible steel wire was used to pull up the lug on the excess fuel device.

So to start, all you have to do now is to open the right-hand bonnel door and pull down the lever before starting, and possibly pull it down once or twice more until the engine runs freely on its own.

The new excess fuel lever on the front of the engine

The brass casting and its lug is shown in the circle

Diesel (mixed traffic) Gala 2023

This year's Diesel Gala (7th to 10th April 2023) had Queen Anne offering footplate rides in Aviemore yard.  Things were a lot quieter than the 2022 Gala but those that came on board seemed to enjoy the experience.

Queen Anne also did a couple of "taxi rides" to Aviemore station - a first for the loco.  Here are some photos of the event :-

Queen Anne and the Class 31

Class 37 approaching

In the loop at Aviemore Station

And a video on Youtube :-

Queen Anne also features in some other Youtube videos of the Gala.  See the "Queen Anne Videos" page above for links to these.


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