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PostPosted: 11 May 2014, 22:44 
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Joined: 15 Dec 2010, 22:30
Posts: 286
Location: North Cambridgeshire, UK
Non-member Ron Newman has provided a most interesting account of his diagnosis and repair of a fault in a 45-ton Ransomes & Rapier crane in BR days. Between us we have identified the crane as either DS1560 or DS1561 (ADRR95209 or 95210); more likely the former when it was based at Hither Green. Ron's narrative follows:

I was working at the Bricklayer's Arms crane repair depot in the early 80's. A 45T R&R BDC was brought into the shop for investigation, which was strange as we generally only worked on P/way cranes, and BDC's were usually looked after by TMD's under Derby. I had just finished a major overhaul of a 10T Smith crane and got the job of finding out why the BDC kept wearing out its wheels. Apparently, two sets of wheels had been hollowed and they had also been re-profiled a number of times.

To cut a long story short, after checking the running gear and spring weights, I concentrated on the Stokes bogies and found that the pivot ball was badly worn on both bogies, which meant the crane wasn't being lifted by the Stokes to spread its weight over the crane and the bogies; the entire weight of the crane had been borne by just its own four axles instead of eight. The pivot balls had never been checked as I had to cut off the original beam rivets for access.

The pivot balls were sent away to be built up and machined (at Derby I think), and the axles were also sent away for re-profiling. The axles were refitted on their return, together with new springs, and when the pivot balls returned I completed the re-assembly. The chap from Derby who was responsible for all BDC's made quite a big thing about my discovery and was going to ensure that all Stokes bogies would be checked regularly thereafter.

I finished overhauling the 10-ton Smith crane around June 1981, so I must have worked on the BDC between then and into 1982. The crane repair depot relocated from Bricklayer's Arms to Ashford in 1982/3 and I transferred from the CMEE to RCE to work on track maintenance machines for the next 17 years or so, finally becoming the divisional plant manager based at Woking with two other depots at Three Bridges and Eastleigh. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my twenty years working on BR and wouldn't have changed one minute of it.


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