Hall Royd Junction Signal Box Nameboard
Bachmann B1 restoration on a budget

2 May 2018:

The New Year's Resolution was simple: any loco that wasn't built or needed fixing on 1 January 2018 that wasn't built or fixed by 31 December 2018 would go on eBay.

The building of the last of the Sea Pigs has already been told. A loco that had been relegated to my grandson's carpet railway due to its very poor running was the Bachmann B1 split-frame 61354.

The tragedy of this loco is that it is a really nice model but the combination of split plastic axle centres and motor of questionable power has resulted in really laboured running, such that it can just about crawl round the carpet railway's fourth radius circle. Normally this would have been disposed of, but the grandson has 'adopted' it, and it simple irritates every time it is dug out and put on the track.

B1s of either later Hornby or Bachmann builds are relatively rare on eBay, and very few chassis' or 'repair or spares' turn-up, as I fancied a low-cost restoration.

However, a couple of weeks ago a suitable Hornby item turned up, and was acquired for the princely sum of £15. Bearing in mind that a new model would now be circa £180, this was either a bargain or a dead duck!

The white glupe in the coal space is actually holding in place a job lot of screws and nuts to provide some weight.

On opening the box it was apparent that the loco had been horribly abused.

In summary:

1. pick-ups removed from the loco although both keeper-plate elements and screws were present and correct 
2. the tender had lost its outer frame, and had extra weight added in the coal space. Pick-ups only worked on the rear wheelset
3. the return crank and eccentric rod were missing from the driver's side
4. the valve guides were missing from the rear of the cylinders on both sides

Placed on the track, it initially didn't run, but further playing around established that there was Gaugemaster decoder in the tender, which was wired directly to the tender pick-ups, and remarkably it ran, if not particularly smoothly. Close examination on the bench found that there were blobs of glue on the tyres of the driving wheels, and also on the backs of the driving wheels. This was carefully removed with a scalpel.

Oddly, it is item 4 that seems to be the most difficult to replace, as B1 cylinder blocks appear to be readily available but not with the value stem guides. Curiously, they are not shown on the Service Sheet either (see extract below). The photo illustrates the item being sought.