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The Western Locomotive Association (WLA) is finding a Megger MIT420 insulation and continuity tester to be the ideal tool for checking the condition of the electrical equipment in locomotives.

The tester is used for two Class 52 diesel-hydraulic locomotives – the D1013 Western Ranger and D1062 Western Courier.

Built in the 1960s and retired by British Rail in 1977, Class 52 locomotives with their diesel-hydraulic transmission are recognised as an important milestone in locomotive development.

They have a strong following among enthusiasts and the WLA is dedicated to keeping its own examples in full operational order.

In ageing electrical equipment, however, insulation deterioration is inevitable.

The situation is particularly severe with preserved locomotives as their relatively intermittent use means that the equipment is rarely warm enough to disperse condensation and moisture.

For these reasons, the WLA’s engineers need to perform insulation tests on a regular basis, a task that is made all the more challenging by the amount of wiring in each locomotive – a full 7 km.

Until recently, the tests were carried out using borrowed equipment but, when the opportunity came for the engineers to acquire an insulation tester of their own, Megger’s MIT420 was their choice.

‘The MIT420 is compact and easy to operate with one hand, which is particularly important given the cramped conditions we often have to work in on the locomotives,’ said Ian Jackson of the WLA.

‘A big benefit is its 1,000V test range.

‘Testing at this voltage allows our engineers to find many potential faults that might otherwise have been missed.’ The MIT420 is now in regular use, and has played an important role in the 10-year overhaul that the D1062 has recently undergone prior to its return to service.

The tester will continue to be in great demand, however, as the WLA’s other locomotive, D1013, is about to be retired pending its own refurbishment.

Megger

For 100 year Megger has been committed to making electrical measurement of low and high voltage systems more accurate and simple-to-use. It has a reputation for tough, reliable, high quality equipment.

For 100 year Megger has been committed to making electrical measurement of low and high voltage systems more accurate and simple-to-use. It has a reputation for tough, reliable, high quality equipment.

Megger offers equipment for testing breakers, protection relays and CTs, as well as transformers, earthing systems and standby batteries to the electrical generation, transmission and distribution industries. In the LV sector Megger is the market leader for the testing of building wiring to the 17th Edition of the Wiring Regulations and portable appliances.

They have recently acquired a range of water leak detectors

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