There have been some long hours out on the tracks this week at the Midland the 141 notched up three consecutive 14 hour days shuttling customers to the ’IndieTracks’ pop festival while the Wickham worked late into the night on Saturday at Llangollen taking passengers back to their campsites.
The Wickham also worked all day Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with Llangollen’s 60s weekend while the 141 has gone on to work two normal service days today and tomorrow. Sam Bythway took this picture at Butterley on Saturday night.
At the workshops at Llangollen the Class 108 was in for an ’A Exam’ and matters arising. One problem discovered was that one of the angle drives that drive the radiator fans was leaking oil and so this was swapped for a refurbished one. The no 1 end air seals on the final drive piston were renewed as they had begun to blow by and all the brakes were adjusted. Also tightened up were all the steps as a number of bolts had dropped off. The day finished with refuelling all the sets and marshalling up a six-car rake for next week’s Thomas event. These pictures give you a flavour of what maintenance involves.
At Butterley work has continued on Gloucester trailer 56097. The coach is now in the other bay at the workshop so that repairs can continue on the other side of the body. The badly corroded body sheeting had been removed at the rear revealing that the frame members have in some cases corroded so badly that they are no longer safe to use. One has been removed so that new ones can be fabricated.
The new lamp mountings have been delivered from the joinery contractor and we’ve started to fit them to the carriage. The wiring and trunking is also going in to the ceiling.
Finally the 141 has been having some attention to the heating system. The auxiliary Webasto unit on 55533 has been fully rebuilt this week with a replacement heater can and head. Some rewiring has also been carried out. The heater on 55513 has been examined but will require some parts before it is fully operational once again.
It has been another very busy week for operations this week and we have also been busy around the depot in Wales and in the workshop at Butterley.
The 108 was used on both Saturday and Sunday to provide the second train at the Llangollen Railway, with Saturday being the busier day for passengers. The unit operated without problems and was well received. With power car 51907 leading it is seen approaching Berwyn on on Saturday.
At the Midland Railway the Class 141 was called on to operate all services over the weekend due to engineering work being carried out on the run round loop at the Hammersmith end of the line. Apart from a small water leak to one engine there were no problems, and many passengers took a trip to the ’beach’ which has been constructed adjacent to Swanwick Junction station.
The engineering team at Llangollen have been busy. On Sunday the Wickham had an FP Exam and some more work was done on the brakes. A further vacuum leak was found at the base of the number one end vacuum cylinder and so the piston rod seal was changed and all the brake blocks were adjusted up. Some damaged ’hockey sticks’ in the interior were replaced. Both the Wickham and the 104 were washed and the inside of the Wickham was cleaned out ready for further service.Behind the mess coach an attack was made on some of the vegetation and trees which grown between our vehicles and the fence and which has been getting out of hand recently.
A major shunt has taken place at Butterley to move the Gloucester trailer over to the other side of the shed so that work can commence on the body repairs on the driver’s side. This presented the first opportunity to photograph the fully-restored secondman’s side of the vehicle, which now presents a completely different appearance from how it looked only a couple of years ago.
With heavy running commitments at Llangollen again we’ve not been able to progress much in the workshop but three of the four home-based units have been in action. The service train on Saturday was worked by the Wickham but loadings this weekend have been modest, perhaps because of the competing Eisteddfod and also the Wimbledon tennis final.
On Saturday evening the Wickham was shunted into position ready for a forthcoming exam and so the 108 took over the service diagram on Sunday. The 104 was also in action with three driver experience candidates enjoying their day with us.
The picture shows the 104 and the 108 side by side in Llangollen Station.
Over at Butterley there has been further significant progress with the bodywork on Gloucester Trailer 56097. The side sheeting to the upper part of the body is now complete, as is most of the work to the roof. This means that the body on the secondman’s side is now almost complete and attention will therefore turn to the restoration of the driver’s side.
Work has started on the installation of the electrics for the new lighting and PA system, we are imminently expecting the return of the mountings for the new lights and there has been a session of measuring up for parts required for the next phase of this vehicle’s restoration.
It has been a quiet week for us in terms of maintenace and restorations. With our members taking a well earned break after the busy month of June. But that isn’t to say we haven’t been busy operationally. The Wickham spent two days out on an unusual diagram for the Classic Transport event at Llangollen. Involving full trips of the line from Llangollen to Corwen East, as well as shuttles between the hub of the event at Glyndyfrdwy and Corwen East. At one point 110 passegners were on board! The Wickham is seen at Glyndyfrdwy unusually departing towards Corwen from the usual Llangollen bound platform.
Over at the Midland the 141 was in use both days due to lack of run round facilities. The unit is seen sat at Butterly waiting for departure