Ellon pump specialist saves historic diesel engine pump for vintage rail charity

An Aberdeenshire North-east pump design and repair specialist has helped a heritage railway get back on track.

LFH Engineering, which is based in Ellon, was approached by charity Caledonian Railway to ask for help with 56-year old diesel engine pumps. The company specialises in diesel engine pump design and repair and its inspection team of designers and engineers have a vast knowledge of pump performance.

Caledonian Railway is a non-profit organisation which operates heritage steam and diesel hauled trains along a four-mile branch line between Brechin and Bridge of Dun. For the last nine years, volunteers have been restoring a 1962 English Electric Class 37 locomotive and the team wanted to use the original two 56-year-old cooling pumps.

LFH Engineering was tasked with identifying the pumps, in order to search for spare parts lists and general arrangement drawings. Documentation on the 1960s pumps could not be located, however the LFH technicians were able to use their knowledge and skills to strip down, clean and visually inspect both pumps.

Although there were had no drawings or dimensional tolerances for the original components, the experts at LFH Engineering were able to determine the degree of component wear. The pumps were found to be in reasonably good condition, although several parts such as seals, bearings, gaskets and fasteners did not survive the ravages of time. After many hours spent identifying replacement parts, all were eventually identified and replaced before rebuilding the pumps to their former glory. The complete pumps were hydrostatically and performance tested, ensuring they were fit for purpose.

Les Hill, managing director for LFH Engineering, said: “As designers of pumps, we relished the chance to take a good look at these old masters. It was interesting to see how well the pump components were actually in good working order, and the team enjoyed getting the pumps fit for the 21st century.

“Our inspection team is experienced in not only LFH designed and manufactured pumps but also many third party manufactured centrifugal pumps used in a variety of industries.

“Returning pumps to as new condition is what we do every day, so we were delighted to be able to help Caledonian Railway ensure that the diesel engines run just as well today as they did in the 1950s”.

LFH Engineering also offers a full range of pump tooling and service kits along with repair and refurbishment services.

For more information about the business, please visit: www.lfhengineering.com.