After a break enforced by the corona pandemic, members of the society resumed the restoration works on the societie's own SKL (also see our article "On The Way To Revitalisation") in May 2020. In doing so, the team obtained help from two new co-workers that are not yet members of the society. This will certainly help the restoration to pick up speed.
Subsequent to the funding assurance by the Ministry of Homeland, Municipal, Construction and Equality of North Rhine-Westphalia (also see our article "State-Funding For SKL") the works started in August 2019. Since then, the hours of volunteer labour already add up to roughly 500 hours and has lead to the current situation:
- The braking system (consisting of pressure valves, brake cylinders, brake disks and many more) has been removed according to the guidelines of the maintenance management of the Rhine-Sieg Railway (RSE) and the maintenance directives for non-federally owned railways. Dirt and deep-seated rust from numerous years of operation have been removed laboriously. The parts are now newly painted. They look nearly brand-new and now just have to be checked for dimensional accuracy before re-assembly.
- A detailed inspection of the driver's cab revealed obvious damage, rusty spots and other deficiencies.
An low cost refurbishing appeared more than questionable.
Coincidentally, the society's longstanding co-operation partner, the Rhine-Sieg Railway (RSE), could help out with a repairable replacement driver's cab. This is currently being refurbished by a specialist company, whereby diverse parts of the old cab an be re-utilised.
- To be able to be put to use also on DB-lines, three technical upgrades to the SKL are required according to §28 railway construction- and work regulations: a dead-man's vigilance device (Sifa), an intermittent automatic train running control (PZB), as well as a train radio-communication equipment (GSMR). From this, considerable technical planning for the pending works arise as a result, such as the fitting of additional devices as e.g. an engine speed sensor, signal magnets or control systems. Some of the respective parts have already been delivered. Some delivery dates are still unknown for already ordered articles, as the companies have reduced their staff in times of Corona. As a consequence there are delivery delays.
- The time-consuming and sweat-inducing works on the body are going like clockwork. This is of course just an interim stage, as the anti-rust protection will be covered by the final paintwork (standard colour black).
- A modified time schedule was agreed with the district government Cologne, the responsible authority for the administrative aspects of the funding. By that, the funding of the restoration works in due consideration of the Corona impacts is still safe.
This interim result makes clear that the project 'SKL restoration' has overcome the corona pandemic quite well so far.
But some 'dark clouds' are apparent:
In the near future, the lifting platform of the Rhine-Sieg Railway (RSE) will be required for pending works. However, this is occupied by work for third parties due to the coronavirus until further notice as only now can orders delayed by the pandemic be dealt with. Similar circumstances exist for works that cannot be managed by the preservation society itself.
Weak-spiritedness, however, would be out of place.
Follow-up (Nov 20th, 2020):
On Friday 13th, November 2020, Rainer Gries, Günter Röling and Gerhard Mansel made a trial fitting of the refurbished driver's cab onto the chassis.
Result: They fit together perfectly.
The next step will be that the driver's cab is returned to the bodyshop where it will be brought to completion. It will get another coat of primer and then the finishing coat.
There is progress, even if it is slow...