OTPPG - 68706 - The Arrival
11 December 2004
DX68706 has finally arrived at it's new preservation base, the Colne Valley Railway.
However the day didn't get off to a brilliant start - I got a phone call from Vince at 8am saying he had had a small accident and one of his back wheels had been smashed... so there I was stranded in Sudbury without a lift to the Colne Valley and no taxis for miles! However I did eventually get a taxi and arrived at the CVR late but not that late - and still before the FE lorry luckily!
Santa was on his way (as well as 1000 visitors apparently) so the race was on to get it unloaded and the articulated lorry off site before too many cars arrived.
About 9.30 the lorry turns up and it is manoeuvred into position ready for unloading. One of the FE drivers told me the machine didn't have any lifting points on it which I thought was odd. So they had to put straps underneath and attach chains to the corners. All went to plan and in no time it was sitting on its new siding (which at the present time is isolated from the main railway so no danger of any heavy shunts crushing it!) We were very lucky as the sun came out just at the right moment as it was being unloaded so the photos have come out very well!
Afterwards I took a more detailed look over the machine with Mark. The glass in the front windows that was already smashed by a rock had been taken out to attach the straps for loading and to be honest it looks better now without any glass in! We checked the batteries and surprisingly there was still some juice in them! It is generally sound in bodywork apart from a few rusty patches and the top section where the lights are is currently loose. All parts now need a general clean and lubrication - the roller shutter doors at the back and side are seized up at the moment as are a lot of the buttons and switches.
It has been crudely painted white by FE and the original yellow is showing underneath where this is peeling. Of interest is that under the white paint can be seen in large letters the branding "ENGINEERING SERVICES SCOTLAND" as well as a small panel underneath that reveals it did indeed carry 98706 for a while!
We also found a bird's nest in one of the racks at the back! Long neglected but must have been a nice home for a family of blackbirds in amongst the track bolts at one time (I kid you not!) Another thing I didnt realise this thing had at the back under the roller door was a small water heater! I'd also forgotten the front of these things opens up like the doors on a Lamborghini - as seen in the photos below!
There was a very damp fault log book in the front compartment which as far as we could see only had one page filled in at the front - dated 1989. There were also some Train Speed Reminder Charts for Scotland SE sub zone and E sub zone!
So there we have it - our first machine successfully delivered to its new home! There is quite a lot of work to be done on it but its not impossible I don't think and should prove useful to the railway once we get it running - as an inspection trolley and materials carrier etc. Of course you are all welcome to come down to the CVR to see it - if you want to help us work on it then you will have to join the society (£15 a year) but if not its just the standard entry to get in (it can be seen from the main entry road quite easily so you don't even have to go into the yard really.) I attached an OTPPG info sheet to the side for anyone passing that wonders what it is doing there so maybe we will get some "passing trade" from that!
We'd like to thank ETI again at this point for their kind donation of this machine and FE for transporting it down at extremely reasonable cost considering the distance and unloading with precision and a smile!