Given that D6948 has now been fitted with a steam generator (for the first time in its history), the owners have taken the decision to fit an on-board pre-heater to allow heating of the engine block and cooling system prior to starting the locomotive when the temperature is cold. English Electric engines are notoriously difficult to start in cold weather, and whilst the effect is spectacular, it causes substantial engine wear and problems down the line. Put simply, every cold start takes hours of the life of the power unit. Given steam heat capability will increase the likelihood of the loco being started in cold conditions, pre-heating the engine was therefore considered essential for the well being of the power unit.
The pictures below, show the 9kW three phase electric preheater successfully fitted in the loco and plumbed in to the coolant circuit, meaning the loco can now be ‘plugged in’ to a 415v shore supply several hours before start up and brought up to temperature ensuring nice clean start up.