The Class 15 Preservation Society, in its current incarnation, was established in 2005 to ensure that the sole remaining Class 15, number D8233, is restored to working order and preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
What we have achieved so far:
In February 2006, D8233 moved back to the East Lancashire Railway for what has turned out to be a comprehensive and lengthy restoration. In 2007, a surviving ex-Class 15 Paxman 16YHXL power unit, in use as a standby generator, was purchased to replace the stripped down one in the loco.
Initial work saw the stripping of the cooler group and no.1 end nose compartments for internal renovation with the associated parts being overhauled ready for refitting. The middle of the loco was stripped, down to the bedplate, and the pipework and cooling system completely renovated. In late 2008 the generator was sent away for overhaul.
The new power unit was installed into the loco and mated to its overhauled generator and, in June 2010, the power unit was finally started and the sound of a Paxman 16YHXL was heard for the first time in many years.
Further work saw the refitting of the side frames and
repairs to all of the doors. Sourced Traction Motor Blowers (ex-Brush) and
exhausters were overhauled in-house. The cab and small nose end were removed,
shot-blasted and repaired, before being refitted to the loco. An electrical
control frame was designed and built, sourced relays, contactors and a reverser
to go in to it.
Work has progressed, albeit slowly at times, and in February 2019, the loco was lifted and the bogies removed for overhaul (the loco being placed on accommodation bogies). The bogies have since been stripped down to the frames, shot-blasted to back bare metal (when the axles were removed) and many layers of paint applied, and the brake linkages have been overhauled.
However, much work remains to be done....
The next part of the plan is to send the replacement traction motors (sourced from the Irish Traction Group), off to be overhauled. We also need to reverse engineer new pinions for them (as the original drawings are unavailable) and manufacture new linkages to hold the traction motors in place. The axle journals are to be polished and the roller bearings in the axle boxes are to be inspected, cleaned and replaced if necessary. Once completed, we can then reassemble the bogies.
The underneath of the loco will be shot-blasted, pipework and conduit repaired, then painted. Once the loco has been reunited with its bogies, attention turn to above the solebar again. The air tanks need replacing, wiring installed and the cab fitted out.
We’ve still got a long way to go but we have come so far that the loco now must be finished. The society is a charity, run by volunteers that have come from all walks of life, bringing an array of different skills. If you can help, please contact the committee.
Here are the current committee members along with contact details. Click on the names to send an e-mail.