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Blog- The EMpire Project - Empire Mills - The CME's report 2 - the Class 22

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The plan was just to pull out the wheels and file away the backs of the bogies to provide clearance. A rather course file was introduced to the bogies and just over 1 mm removed from each side of the bogie. I used a (borrowed) GW Models wheel puller - I really must get one of these things - to deal with the wheels and with a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing between wheel puller and back to back gauge all was sorted. The wheel sets were tested through various point work and there appeared to be no problem with flange width or depth. The wheels were dropped back in the bogies, the decoder installed, body replaced and the loco placed back on the track and I sat back to bask in the glory of the class 22 as it growled around a china clay siding on the club's new (so new its still being built) EM layout.





Only it didn't quite work out like that....


Instead of growling to life the loco stayed silent and the short protection gubbins on the NCE system kicked in.


The loco was removed, heads were scratched; wires were checked, all possible metal to metal surfaces that might be causing a short were examined and covered in insulating tape - and still it wouldn't work and kept shorting out. Head scratching was upgraded to bad language and other dcc users consulted with, shoulders were cried on and electrical gods pleaded with over a period of days.


The problem was traced first to an short on the wheel sets, which resulted in them all being carefully checked for any signs of flaws, back to backs re-set, reassembled and for a brief glorious nano-second the loco crawled into life - and then shorted out again. The wheels were again removed and checked and this time it seemed that only one axle was shorting out. The axles are a split axle design and I wondered if the insulation between the stub axles was at fault. The stub axles were pulled out, reset in their respective wheels and then put back in the plastic insulation tube and the back to back reset: no short. The axles were put back in the loco: no short. The body was replaced: no short. The loud celebrations caused the domestic authorities to query what was going on in the loft.


What caused the problem? I can't be sure, however, I think that the wheel puller not only pulled the wheels, but also pushed a stub axle in, closing up the insulation gap - hence the short.


With the short fixed it was on to detailing, weathering and of course fitting the AJ couplings. Fortunately, renumbering wasn't needed as I found a picture of 6318 and Foxhound coming off the Newquay branch with a clay working.



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