Bogie and underbody restoration of D5705

This the story of the restoration of the bogies and underbody of D5705, the sole remaining Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2 locomotive. Firstly, let me take you back to how the Class 15 Preservation Society become involved in this unique machine. Back in 2008, this loco was languishing in the dilapidated Castlecroft Good shed, which was to become Bury Transport Museum. Our group was busy with all things D8233 related but we felt we could assist with stalled restoration.

We approached the owners and they agreed to move it out of the Goods shed and down to our workshop at Baron Street works. From there, a full assessment was made of the interior and work started on the scraping of grime from the engine room floor and giving the inside a repaint.

Knowing that we were going to run out of jobs as the list we needed to tackle the big bits: The engine and the bogies. The V8 Crossley had been moved to Baron Street Works with the Bury Transport Museum project in full swing and a start was made to create an area so a team could work on it. This coincided with lifting the loco so the bogies, with Traction Motors could be moved undercover to be restored. This took place at in September 2011, utilising the ELR crane and Mortimer Crane Hire as a tandem lift. With the bogies out they were moved to Castlecroft shed in spring 2012 for the scraping, needle-gunning, angle-grinding work to begin.

We started with the Bo bogie first. The traction motors were liberated and subsequently sent off for assessment and light overhaul. The small team, as we had two teams working on both locomotives simultaneously, we split the bogie down into its components and started the muck removal: This seemed to take forever, needle gunning the 60 year old paint from the frame but in the end it was worth it. The motors had returned with no issues and we quickly reassembled the freshly painted Bo back together.

Our attention then turned to the Co bogie. This was the biggy. There are three motors, the middle one was sporting a blanking plate over the blower vent. Rumours about this motor and why it was blanked off have occupied the platform end for many decades. We were about to find out if it had flashed over, caught fire or when in RTC allocation it was due to an experiment. More on that later, these 3 were loaded on to a wagon bound for Bowers, Chesterfield. The rest of the team carried on with scraping, needle-gunning and painting all over again. However, we learnt from the Bo bogie that there was little need to strip it down.

Part way through the renovation of the Co bogie, we had a report from Bowers regarding the current progress of these 3 motors. Initial findings were excellent, with the centre motor, the one that had been blanked off in the early 1970’s has been given the all clear. D5705, under the guise S15705 was used on the Tribology test train, to understand the principles of friction and lubrication between the locomotive wheels and railhead. To make the test equal between both bogies, middle traction motor on the Co was disconnected.

With all the work concentrated on the bogies it would be easy to forget the underneath of the loco. The myriad of pipework and rust is just as much of a challenge as the bogies themselves. We had negotiated with the owners that the underneath should be protected from further decay and that shot blasting would be an effective way to remove the crud. Ian Riley & Sons quoted the messy and laborious task of shot blasting and work commenced in April 2016. It took 3 days, to blast the 56’7” of loco and another 2 months of adding layers of anti-corrosive primers and black gloss paint to fully protect this loco for another 60 years.

As the painting process neared the end at the Baron Street site, the traction motors returned with a full bill of health. These were duly palletised and put under cover until the Co bogie was ready to receive them.

Soon though, a team was assembled for the lifting session at Castlecroft and these motors were reunited with the axles they vacated the year previous. Still plenty of work still to be done, including reassembly of the brake rigging, renovation of the brake cylinders including new seals and installing all of the pipework removed from the loco shortly before the shot blasting took place.

Once the final brake cylinder was put back, the final air pipe fixed in to place, the time had come to hoist this relic of a bygone era back to where it belongs. Preparations had been ongoing for months, to make sure that we had a safe and successful lift. We hired in Mortimers Crane Hire again, and in tandem with the East Lancs Railway crane we set aside a weekend in the middle of May to make this possible. The lift went without any problems and shortly after being reunited with its wheelsets it had working handbrake too.

There are too many to thank individually here but to all those who have helped on this part of the restoration, the volunteers and paid staff at the East Lancs Railway, thank you. Without you none of this would be possible. However, a special thanks to Adam Booth who has led this team of volunteers and has organised, not only the working weekends but the lift itself, he is a credit to diesel locomotive preservation. Now on to the next part of this mammoth restoration, overhauling the Crossley power unit.

If you wish to lend a hand please contact David Jenkins

Above : The bogies after arrival at Castlecroft. © C15PS
Above : Chris Baily watches whilst the Bo bogie is split. © C15PS
Above : Volunteer Phil lends a hand with priming the bare metal on the bogie frame. © C15PS
Above : The Bo bogie reunited with its recently overhauled traction motors. © C15PS
Above : The Co bogie having its traction motors removed for assessment and renovation. © C15PS
Above : The Co bogie part way through its renovation. © C15PS
Above : One of the traction motors in the process of being stripped down. © C15PS
Above : Andy Walton utilises a pallet of shot to make short work of the painting. © C15PS
Above : Fresh from Bowers, Chesterfield. The traction motors bask in the sun at Castlecroft July 2015. © C15PS
Above : Traction motors and air pipework back in place on the Co bogie. © C15PS
Above : Carl Holt readies a brake cylinder for the piston which has a new seal. © C15PS
Above : Team photo with the loco back on its wheels. © C15PS


Fancy Getting Involved? click on the You Can Help page