With the bulk of the summer season now over once again we have got our heads down to some maintenance over the last week.
At Pentrefelin shed on the Llangollen Railway the team have been doing 'A-Exams' on both the Class 104 and the 108 sets. A faulty buzzer button was replaced on 51907, a local start button fixed on 50454 and various oil leaks investigated.
Major investigations took place into an AWS fault on 51907, which has caused the unit to run with this system isolated in recent weeks. At the moment the system won't cancel and changing both the receiver and the cable failed to cure the issue. The button was also checked over as was the 'dartboard' but no faults were found. Eventually this had to be left to another day.
At Butterley works at the Midland Railway the Class 141 has also been having some attention. A faulty water trap on the air system on 55533 has been replaced with a new component, the secondmanss side crew door has had its lock re-set on the same car while the cab door handle, which was near to falling off has also been fixed.
55513 has had its doorwell modified so that it is now fitted with the same non-slip surface material as has been fitted on one side of the other coach. At the same time the step was checked for corrosion. Work has also started to re-trim the seats in 55533.
There has been more progress on the restoration of both Gloucester vehicles. A great deal of the timber trim for the vehicles has now been prepared for fitting and is being varnished at one of our member's houses.
The rear area on the secondman's side of Gloucester Power car 51118 has now been stripped down ready for re-welding, revealing yet more corrosion. However the bottom of the vehicle is again in better condition than the trailer had been so repairs should be fairly easy to carry out.
The front section on the secondman's side of the Gloucester Power Car 51118 is now all back together and has been reskinned. Frame repairs in this area have not been quite as bad as in other locations but the skin has had to be replaced from the windows down to the bottom of the coach. Work is to progress now on the guard's van.
At Llangollen work has started on rubbing down Wickham Power Car 50416 prior to its repaint, the first since it was restored.
Over at Llangollen the fleet has been busy this week running an "A" timetable on Monday, a driver experience on Saturday, and a "B" timetable on Sunday. After Monday's service the class 108 and 104 where swapped around ready for Saturday, the two units are pictured here at Goods Junction during the swap over.
Efforts have been redoubled on the Wickham's 11-year overhaul over the weekend. The set was dragged out into the open and a number of jobs completed, this includes changing the engine oils, adjusting the tappets, lubricating the shafts and fan drives and examining electrical components such as relays, fuseboxes and lighting contactors. The interior lights were also all cleaned out. The redundant alternator was also removed together with its brackets.
Welding continues on the Gloucester Power Car. The framework for the body on the first compartment of the secondman's side is now all fully rebuilt, along with the lower solebar while some more of the wooden components have been removed for reconstruction.
Work has started on retrimming the seating in the Class 141, with a sample removed for a new batch of covers to be cut.
The Class 108 has covered the two diagrams at Llangollen this week, one for two-train running on Sunday and the other for single train running on Monday.
Now that the main summer season is over and the kids are going back to school life settles down to an easier pace in railway preservation, meaning that we don't need so many sets in traffic at the same time.
At Llangollen our Out of Season midweek duties have recommenced with the Class 108 being used on a Monday for the railway's normal three-train service. The set was placed in 'pole position' at the end of our siding ready for the duties when our cameraman, Mike Martin, captured it from a passing steam train during the weekend's steam gala.
Over at Butterley the Class 141 has completed its marathon run of 'trains to the seaside' , having run for a total of 29 days over the last six weeks, during which time it has taken about 6,000 passengers for a day at the artificial beach which has been set up at Swanwick Junction. It is now parked up but is available should there be any issues with the rostered trains.
In Pentrefelin workshops the Wickham trailer, 56171, has had its first coat of paint which is part of its 11-year overhaul. The body, which is aluminium, is in good condition but many rivets have had to be replaced as they had worked loose, something which affected the class in BR days.
In Butterley carriage shed work is ongoing to reassemble the first part of the side structure of Gloucester power car 51118. As with the other side the lower part of the structure is in fairly good condition, mainly due to the box sections being completely full of water thus preventing them from rusting! Currently the lower curved panels are being welded in and repairs are being made to parts of the support structure. The roof of the same coach has been scabbled down to bare metal while painting of the driver's side is ongoing.