South Devon Diesel Traction, SDDT

These are the stories of whats going on and what we've been up to!

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news archive

5th June 09

Our engines are now back from Eastleigh open days, which were a great success. They travelled faultlessly, to our relief. The weather was beautiful, the open days were a sellout, there was some excellant machinery on display and it was great to catch up with old friends and meet lots of new preservationists and enthusiasts. I will put up a gallery of pictures from it as soon as I can, though right now we're concentrating on testing 33 002 for our forthcoming gala. For details of this, see the home page. 33 002 has run three test runs so far , the last two it performed very well, we'll do a final one tomorrow morning.

4th May 09

33 002 Update:

Last Sunday (3rd May) The two suspect injectors that Neil had checked out during the week by Cowick Injection were put back and their connections double checked. Brand new rubber delivery hoses were fitted to all eight injector pumps and Hey presto! we have eight working cylinders! We now need to set up another test run. Also some more work was carried out on tidying up the cabs.

26th April 09

33 002.

33 002 and D7612 near Riverford Bridge. Courtesy & © Rob Sherwood

33 002.

33 002 aproaches Staverton. Courtesy & © Rob Sherwood .

33 002.

33 002 Near Hood Farm Courtesy & © Rob Sherwood.

33 002.

33 002 runs aroud the 25 at Staverton
Courtesy & © Phil Seymour.

33 002.

33 002 and D7612 stand at Bishops Bridge Loop, waiting to cross a passenger train.

33 002.

D7612 & 33002 recess at Bishops Bridge to allow 5786 & a passenger train past.

33 002.

just To prove 33 002 did make it to Totnes!.

33 002.

To remind ourselves where we came from: Before & After! 33 002 at Carlisle Nov 2004.

33 002:

Sunday 26th was a big day for us, we took 33 002 on a test run for the first time. We went down to Staverton and back and then to Totnes and back. To start with she was very sluggish picking up, but after a few hours she improved no end. Sticky engine accelerator valve, no doubt. The runs were very succesful, we had no nasty surprises with generators or traction motors etc. except two problems we found. The first was fairly minor, we found some wires had broken off the load regulator resistors, causing the regulator to spark quite a lot. This was soon rectified. The other problem, which we are still working on, is that no.2 and no.5 cylinders are not firing. We have checked the tappets, then did a compression test and found nothing wrong. Therefore we suspect a fuel problem. We tried changing the two injectors, but this made no difference. Next on the list is the flexible fuel delivery pipes, could they be letting in air? and to get the injectors tested that we swapped out, as we can't be certain we didn't swap in two duff injectors? watch this space!

15th April 09

33 002.

33 002 shunts for the first time at Buckfastleigh 29-3-09. Courtesy & © John May

33 002.

More 33 002 shunt Shots. Courtesy & © John May .

33 002.

33 002's furthest powered trip in preservation so far! Courtesy & © Baz Hambly.

33 002.

                              and it even made it back again!
Courtesy & © Baz Hambly.

33 002:

Over the last couple of months we've been hard at work getting 33 002 ready for traffic. John and Malcolm have been hard at work on electrical gremlins, the rest of the gang have been tidying up bits and pieces, notably resealing the intercooler that leaked from various joints, we've had a few brake system gremlins, including three different triple valves giving three different symptons. This was later traced to a stuck Air Vacuuum Isolating Valve. We are very grateful to Rod Cox who very kindly sponsored and arranged for some new wooden cab door frames to be made and fitted.

The 29th March saw our first test shunts and all appears to be well. Now we need to get the cabs back together, some test runs under our belt to iron out gremlins then, if all's well, it's into traffic!

16th February 09


55000 at Caddaford 15-2-09.

55000: Ran the Sunday service yesterday, we even got the heaters to work! with the help of Chris's plumbing and cleaning some glow plugs.)

33 002: We had a good session on Sunday, we got it to take power from number 1 cab, thanks to John's wonderful electrical fault finding skills we found the sticky controller contactors that caused it. We made up the neccesary adaptor plate to fit the DSD valve that was missing, we worked out that the shiny new dsd valve we had didn't work, but the incredibly shabby old one we found in the bottom of our stores worked beautifully! Thanks to John and Malcolm for finding and replacing the cracked braided hose that was causing the oil priming pump to need priming itself everytime we used it. We now know we only have to run it in, free up a dsd valve, sort out the triple valve, kick out numerous gremlins and she's ready for traffic! We should have this done by this space to find out which Sunday!

10th February 09


55000 at Buckfastleigh 8-2-09 © Peter Burrow


55000 at Totnes 8-2-09 © Peter Burrow.

55000: We have just signed a long lease for this vehicle from the SDRT, the prototype 'bubble' railcar, or single car class 122 DMU to use it's proper name.
With some help from the trust, We operate and maintain it to be available as required on South Devon Railway timetabled services, local hirings and special evnts such as Diesel Galas. Subject to availabilty we can hire out this unit to other Heritage railways for limited periods. Please enquire. (See the contacts and links page)

55000 completed it's first duty this season, operating the Sunday service successfully on the 8th Feb.

33 002: Moved under her own power for the first time in years on Sunday 1st Feb, this was a great step forward for us, and a credit to all involved, though we've still got a lot of brake and air systems to sort out before she can enter traffic!

19th January 2009


The Leyland Compressor from W55000.

W55000: We have been getting on with our bubble car ready for it's February operating week. We have managed to aquire a second hand compressor, thanks to everyone who helped. We fitted it yesterday and it works beautifully, inevitably though we now find the unloader valve needs a good cleanout as it's the first time it's worked for years! We've also done the final drive air seals and tidied up the cabs a bit. We started to get the heaters back together, but were rather shocked to find some of the saloon heaters didn't even have tee connections off the main heater water supply pipe. This meant that It was running around on British Rail in latter days with not much heat, no matter what the depot staff tried to do!

33 002: Thanks to John Cook and Alan for having a go at the electrical cubicle, lots of bits now work properly that didn't before, most notably the start circuits. We have changed the dodgy cylinder head and the engine is now working properly. We hope to test for power next weekend!

Chris, Ian, Phil, Keith and Baz have made very good progress on replacing the wooden cab floors. We still have the door frames and the air brake system to deal with, which will keep us out of mischief for a while!