News from the 71A Locomotive Group

January 2022

Welcome to this special news update covering the next stage of the cab overhaul on 33012 (D6515). This issue is out a couple of weeks later than planned due to work and family commitments combining with Christmas and New Year, along with all the work related to 33012's cab overhaul (both on and off the loco). Alas there are only so many hours in a day. This is one of the reasons why the committee URGENTLY needs to fill the presently vacant role of the group's Secretary.

Talking of meetings and AGM's, the Group's 2022 AGM will be taking place on Saturday 19th February 2022 in one of the meeting rooms in Eastleigh Works. Due to all the COVID restrictions in place during early 2021, it wasn't possible to stage a 2021 AGM, so this is the first AGM in two years, since the 2020 AGM that took place on Saturday 15th February 2020 in Eastleigh Works.

All the following photos are copyright Alan R. Hawkins.

Before and After - The left-hand photo above shows 33012 inside the Paint Prep Area inside Eastleigh Works on Saturday 6th November 2021, being prepared for the next coat of paint after the yellow warning panel had been applied and then masked-up. The right-hand photo above shows 33012 inside one of the Paintshop Spray Booths on Saturday 13th November 2021. What a massive difference a week can make !!!

Cab Numbers One and Two:

With the repaint of 33012 complete, bar a small amount of painting of the handrail ends, etc, and the odd bit of touching up here and there, all of the remaining work on 33012 is now centred on refitting all of the bits and pieces back into both of 33012's cabs.

The fitting of the supporting hardwood structure that all the internal fibreglass window surrounds, internal roof lining etc. are screwed to is now almost complete apart from an odd bit of wood here and there. Now the job of refitting all the many internal items such as the fibreglass window surrounds, internal roof lining, cab partitions, etc. has started in earnest. At the present moment in time 33012's No 2 Cab is just slightly ahead of 33012's No 1 Cab.

Another important job that has been carried out, is the complete rewiring of all the upper electrical wiring in both of 33012's cabs, which has been carried out by the 71A Locomotive Group Lead Technical Officer and electrical guru James Cox. While the bulk of the electrical wiring in both of 33012's cabs was replaced during the mainline overhaul between 2009 and 2011, the electrical wiring hidden in the cab roofs and cab partitions wasn't replaced, as it could not be easily reached. Now with both cabs stripped down, this was the ideal time to replace the remaining original electrical wiring in both of 33012's cabs.

The following series of photos show examples of the work carried out in the last two and a half months.

Cab Droplight Windows - In the left-hand photo above, the refitted driver's cab droplight window, and in the right-hand photo above, the refitted secondman's cab droplight window (both in 33012's No 1 Cab), are shown on Saturday 1st January 2022 (New Year's Day). This was all recently instilled by 71A Locomotive Group volunteer Kevin Hare during December 2021, along with the driver's and secondman's droplight windows in 33012's No 2 Cab.

Driver's Instrument Consoles - In the left-hand photo above, 71A Locomotive Group volunteer Dave Gravell is seen busy putting the finishing touches to the repainting of one of the driver's instrument consoles on Sunday 5th September 2021. While in the right-hand photo above, one of the driver's instrument consoles is seen on Saturday 11th December 2021, after refitting to 33012's No 2 Cab.

Brand New Electric Windscreen Wiper Motors Part 1 - In the left-hand photo above, 71A Locomotive Group Lead Technical Officer James Cox is seen installing one of the mounting plates for the brand new electric windscreen wiper motors to 33012's No 2 Cab on Sunday 5th September 2021. While in the right-hand photo above, shows one of these mounting plates with the new wiper arm pivot and wiper arm driveshaft fitted to 33012's No 1 Cab on Sunday 9th January 2022 (the first anniversary of the start of 33012's cab overhaul in January 2021). This is a good example of the improvements that are being made to 33012.

Brand New Electric Windscreen Wiper Motors Part 2 - In the photo above, one of the recently fitted brand new electric windscreen wiper motors assemblies is seen inside 33012's No 2 Cab on Sunday 9th January 2022 (the first anniversary of the start of 33012's cab overhaul in January 2021).

The photo above shows the headcode blinds assembly, its fibreglass surround, and the change end switch refitted to 33012's No 1 Cab on Saturday 1st January 2022 (New Year's Day).

The photo above shows some of the internal items such as the fibreglass driver's windscreen surround, internal roof lining and driver's cab partition, refitted to 33012's No 2 Cab on Saturday 1st January 2022.

Funding for the Cab Overhaul Work - Donations URGENTLY Still Needed

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has already made a donation to the Group's appeal for funding to cover the cab overhaul work. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

The 71A Locomotive Group committee calculates that we require £12,400 to cover all the final costs. If we can raise this money by donations from the Group's shareholders and support group members, then we will be able to fully cover the costs of the cab overhaul, and we won't have to borrow any money.

For instance, if every single one of the 71A Locomotive Group's shareholder and support group member where to send in £40, which only equates to the cost of 10 pints of beer (or 20 pints if you happen to drink in Wetherspoons !!!), then the Group would raise £3,400 straight away. If we were to receive £146 from everyone, then the final costs of the cab overhaul would be totally covered !!!

That said, we know that not everyone can afford to make such a donation, but we are at that point in time that every pound counts, so even a £5 or £10 donation will make a difference. So any further donations, however large or small, will be most gratefully received by the Group.

Full details of how you can help with this appeal for funds can be found on the Donate page.


October 2021

Welcome to this special news update covering the next stage of the cab overhaul on 33012 (D6515). By the time you read this, 33012 will be in the paint prep area in Eastleigh Works, being readied for her trip into the paint shop. This issue was delayed a week or so, in case 33012 made it into the paint shop itself, but the paint prep has suffered a slight delay, due to the need to swap the No 1 cab driver's doors with one of the Group's spare ones, due to the present one on 33012 starting to delaminate. The cab door that was removed can itself be repaired in slower time, and then placed in the spares pool, so all is not lost. All the information in this issue is correct to Saturday 30th October 2021.

So with the cab overhaul starting to enter its final phase, the committee of the 71A Locomotive Group has recently reviewed the Group's fundraising activities and work out how much extra effort is required. While the repainting costs have been covered thanks to one very generous 71A Locomotive Group shareholder, there are still a large number of bills to be paid, which means we need one final large push to cover all the final bills, etc, if possible. The committee calculates that we require £13,300 to cover all the final costs.

All the following photos are copyright Alan R. Hawkins.

33012 inside Eastleigh Works on Saturday 9th October 2021, after the fitting of items such as the aluminium beading and electric windscreen wiper mounts, along with some final filling and sanding.

Cab Numbers One and Two:

With all the work to refit the fibreglass cab roofs now complete, the work has now turned to refitting the cab interiors. The first jobs being done are the fitting of the mounting brackets for the brand new electric windscreen wipers, and the fitting of the supporting hardwood structure that all the internal fibreglass window surrounds are screwed to. All the old hardwood structure was beyond repair, after being inside 33012's cabs since BR days. The old air powered windscreen wipers were also replaced, as they are now an obsolete system and spares are no longer available.

The two photos above show the fitting of the supporting hardwood structure that all the internal fibreglass window surrounds are screwed to, inside 33012's No 1 Cab on Saturday 16th October.

Bodywork Overall:

Prior to 33012 going into the paint prep area, both buffer beams were fully repainted by 71A Locomotive Group volunteer Kevin Hare. This part of the locomotive is too complicated for spray painting, so brush painting is more cost effective, plus by doing it ourselves, it saves the Group a bit of money.

A close-up of the repainted buffer beam for No 1 Cab on Saturday 9th October 2021.

Cab Partitions:

Work on all four of the cab partitions has now been finished, with the last job being the pop riveting of the four aluminium skins into place. Each partition needed 123 pop rivets, so that was nearly 500 pop rivets in total, which was made a lot easier by borrowing an electric pop rivet gun from one of the guys in the wheel shop at Eastleigh Works. Work on the cab partitions is therefore now fully complete, apart from the bolting the partitions into both of 33012's cabs, and a final coat of paint when the cabs are complete.

Cab Roof Related Items:

Another item that is now complete, is the repairs to the items that are mounted onto the cab roofs, such as the four cab roof vents. Two of these cab roof vents had some serious deterioration of the aluminium tubes that hold the internal closure mechanism inside the cabs, to the point the aluminium was oxidising and crumbling. This required the crumbling aluminium tubing being cut away and new aluminium tubing pop riveting in its place, with an aluminium transition piece between the old and new tubing. Also, one of the closure mechanisms needed dismantling and rebuilding with parts from a spare mechanism.

A close-up of the re-cutting of the handle thread on one of the internal closure mechanisms on Saturday 4th September 2021, ready for re-fitting into one of 33012's rebuilt cab roof vents.

A view of two of the cab roof vents, the one on the left before repair (with part of the crumbling oxidised aluminium visible), and the one on the right after being repaired. As seen on Sunday 5th September 2021.

A view of the No 1 end of 33012's roof, with the repainted radiator fan unit on the left of the photo, and the two cab roof vents refitted to No 1 Cab on the right. As seen on Saturday 18th September 2021.

33012 inside Eastleigh Works on Sunday 19th September 2021.


August 2021

Updates for August on the cab overhaul work on 33012 at Eastleigh Works. We have reach a milestone in the cab overhaul of 33012, where we have now stopped cutting out rusty and corroded metalwork (apart from a few minor patches here and there), and we have now started to put items back onto 33012. The biggest of these items is the test fitting of both cab roofs, which still require a lot of fettling to both the refurbished roofs and all the new supporting metalwork, before we can go for final fitting, but it really is great to have 33012 looking like a Class 33 again. All the following photos are copyright Alan R. Hawkins.

33012 inside Eastleigh Works on Saturday 31st July 2021, during the first test fitting of the refurbished No 1 Cab roof. At this stage the roof isn't bolted down, it's just resting on the new supporting metalwork.

Cab Numbers One and Two:

Following on from having all the new metal sections manufactured to the original BRCW drawings, so that 33012 is being rebuilt to the original spec as far as possible, we have continued this policy with some of the most recent work. James Cox (the Group's Lead Technical Officer) has been hard at work refitting the original aluminium quarter light window frames to the new cab structure on both sides of both cabs. This is a really fiddly and difficult job, which needs a great deal of skill and effort to get right, so it is really great to see this original feature retained on 33012.

The top two photos above show the trial fitting of the glass to the Driver's side aluminium quarter light window frame, in 33012's No 2 Cab on Sunday 8th August 2021. The bottom two photos show the Secondman's side aluminium quarter light window frame, after refitting to 33012's No 1 Cab on Sunday 15th August 2021.

Cab Partitions:

All four of the cab partitions have now had all of their replacement supporting structure and steel skin welded into place, and the aluminium skins have had new aluminium sheet welded to their lower edges. The cab partitions just need the conduit for the cab heaters wiring welded into place at the bottom edge, the missing holes drilled into the supporting structure and the aluminium skins, and then the aluminium skin pop riveted into place. Each partition has 123 pop rivets, so that is nearly 500 in total, which is going to take a bit of time to fit !!! Work on the cab partitions is therefore now about 90% complete.

Fibreglass Cab Roofs:

The refurbishment of both cab roofs is now complete, with only the final fettling to both the refurbished roofs and all the new supporting metalwork, before we can go for final fitting. Work on the fibreglass cab roofs is therefore now about 90% complete.

33012's No 2 Cab roof sitting on the ground at Eastleigh Works on Sunday 1st August 2021, ready for test fitting onto 33012's rebuilt No 2 Cab structure.

Cab Roof Related Items:

Work has now started on all the items that are mounted onto the cab roofs, such as the four cab roof vents. These cab roof vents need all the old paint stripping off them, a full clean of all the opening and closing mechanism, the metalwork straightening, and a repaint with special metals primer. Then they are ready for refitting to the cab roofs.

The cab roof vent on the left is prior to stripping and cleaning. The cab roof vent in the middle has been fully striped and cleaned. The cab roof vent on the right has been painted with special metals primer. As seen on Sunday 15th August 2021.

Cantrail Grilles and Aluminium Retaining Strip:

While the work on the cantrail grilles, the new aluminium retaining strips and new aluminium beading is now 100% complete, below is a photo that wasn't available previously, due to just forgetting to take this particular photo before the last issue of "Spitfire" went out, due to all the other work that was going on at the time !!! The amount of riveting, bolting and filling required to complete this job was phenomenal.

A close-up of the refitted cantrail grilles, along with the new aluminium retaining strips and new aluminium beading on the 'B' side bodyside on Saturday 10th July 2021. This photo shows just a fraction of the work done to complete this part of the overhaul on 33012, and the same was done on the 'A' side bodyside.

Bodywork Overall:

The whole of the locomotive has had more imperfections filled with body filler, which need rubbing down and smoothed over.  Also, work has started on refitting all the detailing items, such as the aluminium beading (including the fitting of brand new aluminium sections), and the re-drilling of the fittings for the cab front handrails, etc. This work is probably one of the worst jobs on 33012, as all of this work is very labour intensive and time consuming, but will never be noticed by anyone looking at 33012, as people will only be interesting in the glossy paint finish, not realising that all this prep work is critical to 33012's final gleaming finish.

A close-up of the refitted aluminium beading on the Secondman's side and front corner of the No 1 Cab on Sunday 15th August 2021.

Bodysides:

The work on the engine room doorways, and on the engine room doors themselves is now completed. The structural work on the bodysides is therefore now about 95% complete, with just the odd small pieces of patching to be dealt with.

The photo on the left shows the 'B' side engine room door after all the corrosion had been cut out. The photo in the middle shows the same with the 'A' side engine room door. The photo on the right shows the 'B' side engine room door after all the repairs, welding and repainting have been completed.


June 2021

Updates for June on the cab overhaul work on 33012 at Eastleigh Works. All the following photos are copyright Alan R. Hawkins.

Number One Cab:

After the "little" job of completely stripping the cab, the other "little" job of cutting out all of the rusted and heavily corroded steel bodywork and supporting structures has been completed. At the front of the cab, everything north of the central handrail has been replaced with new metalwork, and with both cab sides, about 60% to 70% of the whole sides has been replaced with new metalwork.  Also with Cab No 1, the cab door sills in both doorways and under both cab sides were heavily corroded as well, so these needed cutting out and completely replacing with new metalwork as well. A small amount of the cab floor structure was replaced with new metalwork as well. The welding of all of the replacement new metalwork is about 90% complete. Once this is completed, the cab roof can be refitted once it is ready. All the new metal sections were manufactured to the original BRCW drawings, and were cut to fit and welded in place by either Arlington Fleet Services staff or 71A Locomotive Group volunteers. So 33012 / D6515 is being rebuilt to the original spec as far as possible.

An external view of No 1 Cab of 33012 on Saturday 26th June 2021. All the bodywork in green primer or covered with filler is brand new metalwork.

The rebuilt No 1 Cab of 33012 on Saturday 26th June 2021 (before the window corners have been rounded and shaped).

Most of the metal painted black is brand new metalwork.

Cab Number Two:

The work on Cab No 2 is not as advanced as Cab No 1, but the level of work being done is broadly the same, minus the cab door sills in both doorways and under both cab sides, which didn't need replacing. Also, only one piece of floor structure needed replacing. The welding of all of the replacement new metalwork is about 70% complete. Again, once this is completed, the cab roof can be refitted once it is ready.

The lower part of the Secondman's side of 33012's No 2 Cab on Saturday 15th May 2021, after the outer skin has just been removed, so the heavily corroded areas behind could be worked on.

The same area of the Secondman's side of 33012's No 2 Cab on Sunday 6th June 2021, after the corroded metalwork shown in the photos above had all been cut out, and new metalwork had been welded in its place. By the end of June 2021, the new lower part of the outer skin had also been welded in place.

Cab Partitions:

All four of the cab partitions needed a lot of rusted and heavily corroded steel skin and supporting structures cutting out. Bearing in mind that these cab partitions form a structural part of the cab, as well as being the mounting points for the Driver's and Secondmen's seats, they are an important part of 33012. One partition needed only a small amount of remedial work, but the other three needed major surgery, with both the lower supporting structure and the side supporting structure that bolts to the cab sides, needing completely replacing. Again, all the new metal sections were manufactured by an engineering company to the original BRCW drawings, and were cut to fit and welded in place by 71A Locomotive Group volunteers. One cab partition is complete, two just need the replacement parts of steel skin welding into place, and the final one is having the new supporting structure fettled to fit and welded into place at this moment in time, before the replacement parts of steel skin are welded into place. The only other parts needing to be repaired, are the aluminium covering skin that face the cab doors, which all need the lower corroded sections cut-out and new aluminium welded into place. Then these repaired aluminium skins will need riveting to their original cab partitions. Work on the cab partitions is about 70% to 80% complete.

The Secondman's side cab partition from 33012's No 2 Cab on Sunday 6th June 2021, showing the new supporting structure that has just been welded into place, and then the welds smoothed down with an angle grinder flap disc. These partitions need a lot of work.

Fibreglass Cab Roofs:

This was one area on 33012, that the 71A Locomotive Group has had to contract out to a specialist repair contractor, and this contractor (Danny Armon) has been very busy recently. Both cab roofs have been fully cleaned, the corroded horn mounted plates removed, all the damaged and loose fibreglass sections removed, then all the damaged sections have been repaired, strengthened and built up with new glass fibre, and now the new sections are in the process of being trimmed to the correct size and profile on both roofs. These cab roofs look great and are vastly stronger now, which will mean they will last for many many more years before any further remedial work is required. Work on the fibreglass cab roofs is about 70% to 80% complete.

The two photos above show both of 33012's cab roofs on Saturday 26th June 2021, after the bulk of the repair work has been completed, but before the final trimming of the edges to the correct size and profile has taken place.


May 2021

Further updates on the work on 33012 at Eastleigh Works. All the following photos are copyright Alan R. Hawkins.

71A Loco Group Volunteer Kevin Hare busy welding 33012 on Saturday 3rd April

New structural support above one of 33012's cab doors for the No 1 cab - Saturday 10th April 2021

Making replacement patch plates for 33012's cab skin - Saturday 10th April 2021

Corrosion repairs to the Change End Switch Mountings - Sunday 18th April 2021

33012's No 2 Cab being rebuilt - Sunday 2nd May 2021


April 2021

Work continues on 33012 at Eastleigh Works. All the following photos are copyright Alan R. Hawkins.

33012 with both cab roofs removed on Saturday 6th March 2021

The extensive corrosion that was found hiding within the right hand cab door step for No. 1 Cab,
on Saturday 20th February 2021

An external view of the re-welding of No. 1 Cab, on Saturday 10th April 2021

The re-welding inside of No 1 Cab of 33012 on Saturday 10th April 2021

January 2021

Work on 33012 has started at Eastleigh Works. All the following photos are copyright Alan R. Hawkins.

Inside Eastleigh Works - Saturday 23rd Jamuary 2021

Nameplates before removal - Sunday 24th January 2021

Nameplates after removal - Saturday 30th January 2021

Numbers being removed - Saturday 30th January 2021

Cantrail Grilles on 33012 with the Grille Covers Removed - Saturday 23rd January 2021

Corrosion above the Driver's side window in No 1 Cab - Saturday 30th January 2021

Corrosion on the inner part of the Driver's pillar in No 1 Cab - Saturday 30th January 2021

Corrosion underneath where the AWS Switch Base is mounted - Saturday 23rd January 2021

Driver's console ready to be removed from No 1 Cab - Saturday 23rd January 2021

Driver's side of No 1 Cab during stripping - Saturday 23rd January 2021

Driver's side of No 1 Cab during stripping - Saturday 30th January 2021

Example of the corrosion of some of the screws on 33012 - Saturday 30th January 2021


January 2021

33012 travelled light engine from Swanage to Eastleigh Works as 1Z33 on Monday 4th January. 33012 is at Eastleigh Works, to undergo corrosion repairs to the upper cab structures and fibreglass repairs to the cab roofs, on both of 33012's cabs.


August 2020

The Swanage Railway is now operating a two train service, one steam, the other diesel, between Swanage and Norden. 33012 and 33111 are sharing the diesel turns.


July 2020

On 8th July 33012 celebrated it's birthday, it was 60 years ago that D6515 entered service at Hither Green depot.

Following the Covid-19 lockdown, 33012 and 33111 alternately worked the diesel only service between Swanage and Norden.


March 2020

The webite has now been resurected on the new domain name 71locogroup.co.uk. Initially it will appear much as the old site, but in time it will be completly revamped.

On Friday 6th March, 33012 travelled light from Swanage to Southall WCRC. On Saturday 7th March, 33029 headed the BL railtour from Lancaster to Paddington. On Sunday 8th March, 33207 and 33012 hauled the BLS Devonian Crompton railtour from London Victoria to Coleford Junction in Devon, and back to London Waterloo. On Monday 9th March, 33012 travelled light engine back from Southall to Swanage.


February 2020

The 71A Locomotive Group held it's AGM in Eastleigh Works. Among the items discussed was the need for someone to take over the website. In addition, the domain name 71A.co.uk had been allowed to lapse, and was now in use by another company. Jon Biglowe volunteered for this role.


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