This Saturday saw the 104 and the 127 coupled together and working the 'Peppa Pig' event at the Llangollen Railway.
Following this event the 104, 108 and 127 were all in a pretty dirty state following their appearance at the August children's events. Consequently all required a good wash and a serious internal clean, including all the windows. The condition of these units after such events has to be seen to be believed - we even get left 'presents' in the toilets from people who are too idle to flush!
The 127 also visited the workshop at Pentrefelin during the week so that it could be given a scheduled 'FP-Exam', and have all its fluids checked and topped up.
Over at Butterley the Gloucester Power car 51118 was taken out of the shed so that it could be moved into a different position to allow work to start on welding repairs on the secondman's side. We just couldn't resist coupling it to the trailer so that we could get a view as to what the completed and restored set might look like one day.
Once the move had been done we ripped into stripping down the bodywork and once again this revealed that there are repairs to be done to the body frame. Work has started on removing the paint from the roof and also there has been some touching up done on the roof of the trailer.
Pentrefelin yard was a hive of action on Sunday when a large working party turned up to progress the Major Exam of the Wickham.
The plan was to lift the power car, as we have decided that it is easier to remove the bogies when vehicles are due 'M Exams' so that they can be thoroughly inspected and lubricated. The coach was shunted out using the other three sets as traction and was placed on the jacks during the morning. Progress was swift and 47 of the 107 jobs on the exam sheet were completed during the day following which the car was put back down on its bogies and returned to the shed.
As the vehicles were being returned to their positions ready for next week's work the 108 made a call at the fuelling point for a top up.
Butterley carriage shed has seen work continue on the floor of Gloucester power car 51118. New steel sheeting has now been welded in over all the areas of floor that had previously been bodged. These will have corrugations welded over them at a later date and then the van will be fitted with a wooden floor so that it is suitable for use by wheelchairs and less able passengers. Repairs to the rest of the van floor are also now complete.
The 141 worked passenger services at the Midland Railway last Monday to Friday and is scheduled to work again all this week. Next weekend sees the 104 and the 127 work in multiple for Llangollen's 'Peppa Pig' event.
Phew - what a week! Four days of six-car operation for 'Thomas' at Llangollen and five days of 'trains to the seaside' for the 141 at the Midland Railway has kept all the crews very busy indeed.
There were a few minor incidents during operations this week. The 127 suffered from a detached window top rail that will need mending after Thomas while there was an issue with the lights on the 104 which was traced to a stuck 'off' button. The 141 declined to start without outside assistance on Monday but that was found to be down to one of the batteries that had given up the ghost. A replacement set was fitted the following day.
Although passenger numbers at Llangollen were not as great as they used to be for a Thomas event there were enough people to make use of the numerous doors on the 127!
Gloucester Power car 51118 progresses. The van floor area has been stripped down, the drag box repaired, the van floor repaired and a start has been made on welding in the replacement steel floor. Old wiring and the electrical junction box have also been removed. The latest job to be tackled is to move out some of the stored seats from this coach and to put them in a stores van.
We have had a busy week for operations this week with three of our units working as a six-car set at Llangollen for the weekend 'Thomas' event and with another working Monday to Friday at the Midland Railway.
The Class 108 was joined by the 104 and the 127 for Thomas duties and although passenger numbers were not as high as on previous occasions all three units worked well, with the only snag being one of the engines on 50454 which proved difficult to start.
The 141 was active at the Midland with the only issue being to one of the hinges on the folding doors which broke late on Friday. This was repaired on Saturday in time for the unit to go back out in service today.
Work has started on the overhaul of the Wickham unit which is receiving its first repaint since it was restored 11 years ago. Some rubbing down has now been done and some of the mechanical jobs are being tackled at the same time. The unit is having an 'M-Exam' as well as a bogie lift and repaint and is due to be back in service by March next year.
At Butterley concerns about the guard's van floor in Gloucester Power Car 51118 have proved justified. When the wooden floor was removed it was discovered that a previous high-quality repair, consisting of corrugated roofing sheets laid under the wood had given up. This mess has now all been removed and the floor stripped back to the frame which will now be repaired properly in a similar fashion as was done to the trailer.
Over the weekend the Class 141 has been very busy, ferrying visitors into the Midland Railway's 'IndieTracks' festival.
The unit worked continuously for 14 hours each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday providing shuttles from the car park at Butterley to the venue at Swanwick. A ten-minute frequency was worked in the evenings and many of the trains were full to standing with some having issues with opening the power doors due to the number of people being carried.
During the weekend a special headboard was carried and the unit was posed next to the visiting GWR 'Prairie' 2-6-2T, which was also being used along with a Class 20 locomotive. The 141 also worked all the service trains at Butterley from Wednesday to Friday and is being used for all midweek trains this week, too.
Although there were no duties at Llangollen the team were in the depot on Sunday to marshal three of the units into a six-car set for next weekend's Thomas event. This involved a mega shunt as everything was in the wrong order, including the 127 which was buried in the shed. During the day all the units were refuelled, and some of them were washed and had their windows cleaned.
A vacuum fault that has reappeared on the Wickham has also been looked into and has been found to be due to a leaking brake cylinder piston road seal. This will be dealt with as part of the current overhaul which the unit is now going through.
Back at Butterley there has been more work on the Gloucester two-car set. Power Car 51118 is having a first coat of gloss on the repaired panelwork. The floor of the guard's van has now been ripped out to reveal some pretty awful previous repairs, a lot of rust and a great deal of fresh air. A new floor will have to be fitted. Some of the remaining windows on the secondman's side have now been removed.
Work has started on pulling out the heater trunking for the trailer and laying it out in the positions where it will be fitted. The trunking is the original which should be able to be used again.