50042 Restoration 1992-93

Restoration of 50042 'Triumph' 1992-93


D442 (50042) entered Traffic on 5th October 1968, having been built at the Vulcan Foundry at Newton-le Willows. Almost to the day and after only 22 years of service, 50042 was withdrawn from traffic and laid up awaiting disposal at Laira Plymouth depot.

The group placed a bid for 50042 after learning that internally the loco was in excellent condition having only recently received a refurbished main generator 3 months previous! The bodywork and bogies were in poor condition, with the wheelsets being well worn.

However in the time 50042 was laid up in Tavistock Jct and awaiting the disposal process, vandals / thieves had done the loco no favours. Significant damage and parts stolen occurred during that time namely, cabs wrecked including windows and main ETH & Traction motor cabling all stolen.

Arrangements were made for transfer of 50042 to Bodmin & Wenford Railway together with purchased spares in March 1992 to begin the restoration.

Tasks for restoration were drawn up in a logically order:-

Power unit attention.

Electrical systems restoration and test.

Brakes overhaul and check.

Restoration of bodywork, cabs and complete a full repaint.

The power unit had deteriorated whilst laid up at Laria and was now seized together with the turbo's, these faults were put right after a few weeks work and the power unit was now ready for the next stage, electrical systems.

With all the pre-tests complete, 50042 start button was pressed on the 13th Aug 1992 and fired up again for the first time, on the first attempt in preservation! With clouds of clag 50042 ran for an hour whilst Mike Woodhouse, a Laira fitter who volunteered to inspect the engine running gave his thumbs up of approval.

With power unit and ancillaries up and running the tasks moved on to traction motors and brakes. Visits to the inspection pit (far from ideal since its the steam loco pit!) saw the task of the traction motors cleaned, inspected, tested and then connected.

Three months post power unit first start saw 50042 moving under its own power for the first time in preservation on 25th Nov 1992, 9 months after its arrival!

By far the largest task here was putting right the traction motor / EHT cabling and associated damage to cable trunking together with ancillary wiring looms. Whilst this work was under way the batteries were charged after a bespoke charger had been homemade (Still in service now 2014!) and soon had enough power to start bringing alive the various circuits beginning with lighting.

Main/Aux and EHT generators were inspected, cleaned, brushes replaced and insulation tested. Followed by ancillary motors (Compressors, exhausters, blower motors etc) receiving similar attention and treatment.

In February the following year 50042 went on its first 'test' runs to Bodmin Parkway and back without any problems experienced.

The last repaint 50042 had received was seven years previous and luckily most of the bodywork was found in a relatively sound condition. The exceptions being parts of the roof and under the cab windows a known class issue.

Plenty of rubbing down, filler, and preparation meant 50042 was ready for its top coat in September 1993. Kindly Fitzgerald lightning lent its undercover facility for this at 'Walker Lines' and 50042 was given its top coat in just one weekend!

On the 25th September 1993 50042 entered traffic with Bodmin & Wenford Railway for the Autumn Diesel Gala and has since become a favourite resident of B&WR.