It's been a busy week as the 2017 running season draws to a close at both the sites on which we operate.
The Class 104 unit worked all trains at Llangollen on Monday to Thursday with a pleasing number of people travelling whilst the 141 worked at the Midland Railway on Monday to Friday and carried up to 300 people every day.
The weekend at Llangollen saw a great deal of work in progress, some of which was general maintenance but some was also to prepare the Wickham unit for its visit to Bury for the East Lancashire Railway's DMU Gala next weekend. The antifreeze checks were completed on the fleet with only a few engines needing the antifreeze bringing back up to strength which was also done. The 108 and 56223 were thoroughly swept out to remove the remaining debris from Thomas. The toilet tanks were drained on the 104 and 108 but left on the Wickham as it will be operating the next couple of weekends.
Last weekend's wiring fault on the Wickham was temporarily sorted by running new cables between one of the bogies and the bodywork above and changing the detection switch. The heaters and rocker covers were cleaned down and painted up and the unit was washed and its windows cleaned.
While all this was going on a start was made on the B Exam of the Class 104 and the sales team were loading up ready to take the fund-raising stall to Bury next week. Some vegetation work was also tackled behind the mess coach.
Well it's been a busy week all round with both sites working hard to keep up with maintenance and operational requirements.
At Llangollen investigations have been going on into a major issue with wiring on the Wickham after it blew some fuses last week and had to be failed. One fault has been found in the plug that connects the wiring to the final drive but not before a load of cable had been pulled out of a conduit in the search. New wires have since been drawn into the conduit but the team tackling this ran out of time and the job will have to be finished this week.
After a full week of daytime services the weekend saw a five-car set used for the Thomas event and when these vehicles came back into depot there was the usual problem with dirt in the interiors, on the seats, up the windows and in fact anywhere where dirt and rubbish could accumulate. Only five cars were used due to 51618 being in the workshop, and work on this job has in fact also continued during the week. The 104 was cleaned out on Monday morning before it went back out on an A service but the others are still to do.
At Butterley a fault on the 141 which meant that it could not be reversed has been fixed. The problem was the EP valve which supplies air to the gearbox standstill valve on 55533 which had given up the ghost. After a delay of some weeks a replacement part was obtained and was fitted on Friday afternoon, thus curing this fault. This unit is out all week for a Halloween event and good use is being made of the new destination blinds which have had suitable 'destinations' added for just such an occasion.
More of the floor has been laid in the guard's van of Gloucester Class 100 51118 and this job is now about two-thirds complete. It is amazing how this work makes the vehicle look much more complete than before.
There has been progress on several of our projects this week. The repairs to Class 127 51618 have been moving on with the upper sheet being added to the bodywork and a rough cut made of where the window is going to be. The cab dome has been lowered to the ground and is being rubbed down ready to receive a new gell coat.
Inside Cravens Class 105 56456 work to paint all the interior timber has been completed, as have the seat brackets. One of the vestibule partitions has been removed to allow the fitting of timber strips which go behind it. One of these has now been fitted and a second has been made but requires a bit more work. More woodwork has been fitted around the windows.
A shunt of the depot left the Wickham in the right place to carry out this week's duties with the Class 108 stood down for a while.
At Llangollen there has been much progress with the repairs to the bodywork of Class 127 51618. Two roof hoops have been repaired and have been welded to the new cantrail, more work has been done to the body frame and the first of the new exterior panels has been welded on.
Over the weekend the Class 104 was given an A Exam while the Class 108 was washed and refuelled ready for its duties this week. A detached droplight top strip was also refitted. A repair was also made to the end door of Class 108 56223 as this will be required for the forthcoming Thomas event as a single additional car and thus the end door will need to be locked off. Investigations into an intermittent light fault on the Wickham set found a loose fuse and the bogies and heaters of trailer 56171 were steam cleaned so that they can be painted before the unit goes off to the East Lancs Gala at the beginning of November.
At Butterley a start has been made on laying the new ply floor in the guard's van area of Gloucester Power car 51118. This is made up of two sheets of wood to obtain the correc height, with the first four pieces fitted, including the difficult ones at the back which requir the most cutting.
A start has been made on replacing the corroded structure of Class 127 Driving Motor Brake 51618, now that all the parts have been delivered from the fabricators. The main area of work is towards the top of the vehicle but there has also been extensive replacement to the door pillars and the lower body rail.
Over at the Midland work has continued on the floor of Gloucester Driving Motor Brake 51118, the brake van area of which is being painted. The plywood which will form the floor has also been delivered and we have almost finished painting the new steelwork in the van. The retrimmed seats for Class 108 Driving Trailer 54490 have also been delivered and these have been placed in store until we have time to fit them. The final job this week has been the addition of some West Yorkshire 'Metro' stickers onto the 141 unit.