It has been a busy week at both of our sites. The 108 was used over both days of the weekend at Llangollen, completing eight round trips of the line. The 141 was pressed into service at the Midland Railway Butterly at the last minute after a point became damager, preventing run round of locomotives at Hammersmith. The 141 took up duties from midday on Saturday and worked until Sunday evening.
Two of our members spent time fitting a replacement feed valve onto Wickham trailer car 56171. A job which sounds easier than it is, to get to the feed valve the front of the drivers desk needs to be dismantled, and even then the feed valve (black tube) isn’t in the most accessible place. Fortunately it was replaced without issue.
Time was also spent clearing up some issues with the doors on the 127 (51618). One of the drop lights was fitted with a replacement metal top strip, using a new rubber piece. One of the other passenger doors had the framework eased to allow the door to open more freely. The guards door on the secondmans side also received attention to stop it dragging on the guards van floor.
A fantastic weekend was had by everyone over at Llangollen for this years gala, which has become one of the most prominent events in the DMU preservation calendar. A big thank you from all of us at Llangollen Railcars to the Eccelsbourne Valley group who kindly allowed us to borrow 55006 for the event, and to everyone who attended, or supported the event. The class 108 went back into traffic fresly painted, and we received a lot of positive comments about its new finish over the weekend. This was the first DMU gala where we ran trains to Corwen East the temporary terminus of the railway. All that's left to do is begin planning for next years event!
The Gloucester trailer 56097 has come on leaps and bounds recently as we’ve finally got to the part where we fit the new outer skin at the rear end of the secondman’s side, thus covering up all the hard work which has gone on underneath to make the vehicle stable and suitable for use for many years to come.The new corner is now on, as is the body side below the window line, and some of the laser-cut upper panels are being fitted. Another week’s work or so should give us our first glimpse of what the completed side will look like. This work is being done at our second base, at the Midland Railway, Butterley.
Class 55006 was delivered by road this morning to Llangollen. Three of our staff where on hand to give the set an "A" exam, and prepare it for service over the weekend. No faults were found and it was taken for several runs along the back road between our depot at Pentrefelin and the loco shed.
Class 122 (55006) has been loaded safely onto a low loader this evening, and will make its way by road to Llangollen where it will arrive early tomorrow morning.
Preperations are well under way at Llangollen ready for our gala next weekend. Three of our members spent some time on Saturday getting the stock for our sales stall in position ready for delivery to Llangollen station.
Work has taken place inside the Cravens (56456) to fit the last of the new light boxes to the ceiling. Some work was also carried out to the timber work around the window frames.
Work has also taken place to ready the 108 for service next weekend after completion of its repaint. The lining has been added. A damaged coolant hose has been renewed which was discovered during the recent work on the fire detection systems. The exhaust silencers recieved a final coat of paint, and these will be refitted later in the week.
The Wickham was out on Saturday and worked four round trips to Corwen East and carried over 250 people during the day! The 104 was out on Sunday on the same diagram and carried over 220 people. The 104 was captured at Berwyn, from an unusual angle with the newly restored chain bridge in the foreground.
Over at the Midland another job which is being tackled on the Gloucester Trailer 56097 at the Butterley workshops of the Midland Railway is the repair of the roof edges. We have had some repair sections made up which are being welded into the roof as required. These are premade to the shape of the roof and are ready to fit. The picture shows one of the new sections in place and the roof cut out for the next section to be fitted. The new rolled external corners have arrived and work is ongoing to fit them also.
A busy weekend over at Llangollen with two units out, the Wickham covered 82 miles per day and carried over a 160 passengers on Saturday alone. It was joined out on the line on Saturday by the Class 104 taking part in driver experience trains.
In the depot one of our members finished off the work to the interior panelling inside the class 127 (51618). This has involved stripping out the old wood work, building a new framework, then attaching new panelling.
A start has been made on assembling the woodwork around the window frames in Gloucester Driving Trailer 56097 with the manufacture and fitting of the wooden members along the bottom of the window apertures.
These serve two purposes, firstly they support the glass of the windows and they also provide a foundation for the wooden window sections which will eventually surround the windows. The fabricator has been busy rolling the rear outside corners and these are due to be delivered to site this week.
At the Midland There’s excellent progress on the Gloucester trailer 56097 as the body framework on the secondman’s side is now complete. A number of cross tubes have been welded in recently and we are now at the stage of being able to trial fit the large panel that will form the rear of the body. This has been pre-bent to shape at the fabricators. We have a little more work to do to make a frame behind this new panel and then we will be able to start fitting more external bodywork.
Some work has been done on the brakes of the 141 in preparation for the changing of some of the brake blocks. Unfortunately the securing pins are stuck in and so the actual change will have to be done another day. The 141 was called into action on Friday following the failure of the Midland Railway’s rostered traction.
At Llangollen the 104 has received an A exam, with only a few minor issues arising, which have either been dealt with immediately; including a dripping fuel filter, and some damaged pieces of trim. A toilet seat that was damaged whilst the set was in service has also been replaced.
The fire detection system rewire on 51907 has been completed, the first coat of grey gloss has been applied to the driver’s side. Work was also begun on painting the silencers. Various numbers and lettering have been applied to it and partner 56490.
Some repairs to the woodwork inside 51618 were also carried out, and some metal work has been fabricated to go under the desk in 56456.
Stock has also been prepared for the sales stand ready for the gala in June.