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New RRRG website is launched!

After much hard work and development we are proud to announce the launch of the brand new RRRG website at

We are now able to launch a proper new on-line presence and wanted to launch now so that our online shop is made available to you in time for the Christmas market!  You can get as much as an additional 10% discount if you are a member of RRRG.

The site contains lots of information and photographs of the project.  It will be constantly updated and grown as a site so please do check back regularly for updates, new pictures and more online shopping opportunities!

We will be happy to receive your feedback and comments on the new site and we will gladly incorporate the best suggestions into the design of the site. We look forward to your visit!  Thank you to all RRRG fans for your support.

Activity here has now ceased

As the new RRRG website is now almost fully up and running we have transferred the content of this site and our previous restoration diary to a new restoration diary/blog on the new RRRG site.  As a result, blogging activity and updates here have ceased.  All the latest RRRG updates, news and discussion can be found at and we encourage all our friends and followers to keep checking our new website as it is constantly being updated with new stories, news, opinions and even better our online shop where you can support our project.

Thanks for checking out our interim WordPress site; it has kept us going whilst we redeveloped our main site.  Its function has been served and through no fault of its own we don’t need this site any more.  It will remain in place for as long as WordPress choose to host us but won’t be updated.  The main RRRG site at will now be the central focus of our online activities.  Thanks for watching, you may wish to stand for the National Anthem, the GLITS tones will follow shortly, don’t forget to switch off your set.

Booths raid

A small RRRG party consisting of Chris Thorn, Sarah McCall and Steve Tripp visited Booths today to pick the remains of 47829 and 37428.  The pickings were unfortunately a bit thin as not much was left on these locomotives by the time they arrived at Booths.  The RRRG volunteers recovered a number of resistors (these are needed for Renown and we’re getting closer to completing a full set), some insulators, turbo gauges and two dismantled arc chutes (complete ones were missing but these parts will help us repair our damaged examples) which made the day excursion worth it.  Well done to those who took the time to go along to Rotherham today.

All quiet on the western front?

No, RRRG has not dissolved and ceased to exist!  Yes, things have been a bit quiet regarding posts here.  The main reason is that we are working frantically behind the scenes on a brand new website which will eventually supplant this WordPress site as our window to the world.  Much effort is being devoted to this; in fact so much that we haven’t had much time to update things here.  A number of RRRG Committee members attended a meeting at Peak Rail on October 14th where we decided on various strategies for the future of the project and the way ahead.  The fruits of this will become apparent in due course.  I can also report a successful sales operation during the recent diesel gala season where thanks to a number of railways kindly inviting us we made some good money.  I can also confirm that RRRG members will receive the next issue of the Group newsletter in early December.

So, yes, from the outside it looks very quiet in RRRG land.  But there’s a lot going on behind the scenes and in the words of Shaw Taylor: “Keep ’em peeled!” – there will be some exciting announcements in the near future.

Nene Valley diesel gala 29-30 September

The RRRG sales stand will be out at Wansford station on the Nene Valley Railway this weekend (29-30 September) selling our usual wide variety of books, toys and models. In particular we will have some brand new Hornby Class 56 models at highly competitive prices. We hope to see you there and help us match our takings from the NVR steam gala which provided valuable revenue to progress the restoration of 50029 and 50030. Thanks to the Nene Valley Railway for the invitation to their event where we are pleased to note the effort put in to give a good show.

Nene Valley steam gala sales report

We were at the Nene Valley steam gala this weekend. Saturday was excellent: warm and sunny with crowds aplenty. Sales-wise we cleared about £310 profit. Today was always looking more risky, the weather forecast was for steady and persistent rain in the afternoon. This duly arrived about half past one and we decided to shut up shop rather than risk getting soaked for the sake of no punters anyway. A bunch of last minute sales took us up to a respectable £90 profit. Worth doing and with £400 profit for the weekend and disposed of some “long term inmates” from the sales stock. We will be back at Wansford next weekend for the diesel gala – thanks go to the Nene Valley Railway for the invitation to both events and for putting on a good show this weekend.

Workparty report for 2nd September 2012.

Today I are be mostly…sorry been watching too many episodes of the Fast Show. Dave had spent the week on site as he’s still off work following his operation & he’s cleaned & painted most of the water & air inlet piping for the ex-008 power unit. Mark B dug out of the stores the two sections of protective shields for the A side generator conduits & cleaned and undercoated them; one each for 29 & 30. He also sorted a third section of the gen conduits, loosened off the joints and began removing years of layers of paint. I and my girlfriend Julie belled out and marked both sets of wiring from the cab AWS sunflowers to the AWS relay box, though removing the lid of the relay box proved difficult as two of the fixing bolt heads had been broken off some time ago, and I had to put an angle-grinder through the one stud to release the lid. I brought away the shaped mounting bracket from No.2 cab and the sunflower dial from No.1 cab to clean the contacts.

Workparty report 12th August 2012.

Ian & Pete cleared various debris out of the sump of the power unit, and started cleaning & painting sections of inlet air piping. Dave…supervised, as he is still recovering from being under the knife for a hernia and is excused duties for the moment. Mark cleaned & sorted another section of conduit for the generators, to go with the two sections he had previously done, so three down, 13 to go. This is not as easy as it sounds, as most of the lengths of conduits had been separated from each other for easier storage, so it was a case of multiple visits inside Repulse & our stores to find the right sections.

I test-fitted one of the new Z70 resistors, and found it fits the existing brackets perfectly. I just need to properly space the tapping bands, then it can be fitted permanently.

Never a truer word…

Sharp-eyed Mechanical Officer spotted an interesting addition to the livery of 66030 at Hereford on 11th August.


Collecting gas bottles

Gas bottles on trolley

Our gas bottles on the trolley used to collect them; oxygen (black) and acetylene (maroon).

One of those “must get round to doing that sometime” tasks hanging over RRRG has been to collect a couple of cylinders of oxygen and acetylene with which to power our cutting and welding equipment. Although there is a BOC distributor just across the A6 from Peak Rail’s Rowsley South site they have limited opening hours which are somewhat inconvenient for the regular on site RRRG volunteers.  Tim and I decided we would head up to Rowsley last Friday night in order to be on site in the morning ready to collect the gas. So, shortly after 4 o’clock on Friday afternoon I hit the road to drive the 170 miles or so from Reading to deepest Derbyshire whilst Tim got a train from Peterborough to Matlock, where I would meet him. I got delayed by the usual Friday traffic whilst Tim got delayed when 66008 decided to investigate the ballast on the Midland main line near Duffield. (I did however make it through Bletchingdon on the A34 without incident after my two year anniversary earlier this month, and once on site, Dave was as helpful and complimentary as ever that my latest car was retaining its factory-fitted styling so well).

The cylinders are now in situ at RRRG headquarters. One of the main uses we will have for them is to heat up some bolts and pins on our spare bogies which are absolutely stuck fast and won’t shift any other way.  In particular there are some arms secured by pins and bolts which prevent the traction motors being removed from the bogies and we want to either free these off, or if necessary, cut them off (we have plenty of spares) in order to free the motors for removal to Bowers for overhaul.

Intake manifolds

Aluminium air intake manifolds destined for the ex-50008 power unit. The foreground example awaits the removal by wire brushing of years of dirt and grime to reach the standard of the background pair, which Dave Rolfe described as “Rolls Royce quality”!

Air intake manifolds with red oxide primer

After treatment with the wire brush, Tim and I set about red oxide primer coating of the manifolds we treated that day, as well as returning to some that other RRRG volunteers had already treated, just to ensure that “Rolls Royce finish”!

With the main excitement of the morning over, and after a few steadying cups of tea and brunch at the Peak Rail cafe, Tim and I set to work on wire brushing and red oxide painting of a number of air intake manifolds destined for the ex-50008 power unit. Chris Bodell’s nascent music career meant he was playing a gig in Bakewell on Saturday night so he went home to practice and took his leave of us. Tim was diagrammed for transporting teenagers to a roller disco in Peterborough that evening and so, despite building up some momentum on the inlet manifolds, we reluctantly packed up and I drove us the 100 or so miles back to Peterborough, where the teenagers were transported and Tim and I undertook a mutual debriefing session in The Moorhen at Hampton Vale (Tim’s local). Sunday was spent doing more work on the soon-to-be-launched new RRRG website (of which more in due course) and I then hit the road for the final time back to Reading, which was covered in a personal best time of 1 hour 50 minutes and brought my mileage for the weekend to a touch short of 400. But it’s all good fun (allegedly!).