Saturday saw the first Peppa Pig event taking place at Llangollen. We where asked to provide two units for the day. After running as a four car set to Carrog in the morning; one unit did round trips between Llangollen and Carrog, whilst the other ran a shuttle service between Carrog and Corwen East. At the end of the day the two units coupled together and ran back to Llangollen as a four car. Over both sets we carried just shy of 600 people over the day!
The Class 104 ran the usual weekend diagram on the Sunday. It then ran the first round trip of the same diagram on bank holiday Monday. The set developed a minor fault during the trip and was swapped with the Class 108 when it returned to Llangollen. It was then attended to at Pentrefelin and is now fit for service again.
At the depot three of our members attended to an A exam on the Wickham, and also assessed the work required to the set over the closed season to allow us to begin planning our winter work list. Work was begun on attending to the cab front of 56223. A common problem with Class 108 vehicles is the front end of the vehicle suffering from rot. Something we have already dealt with on our other two vehicles.
Work is now progressing well on fitting the new body uprights to the driver’s side rear section of Gloucester trailer 56097. These have had to be replaced in their entirety as the originals have corroded to the point that they would no longer be strong enough to act as structural members. New uprights have been fabricated, as has part of the lower frame panel and these are currently being fitted. It means that we will be using none of the original body side or frame in this area. The square tube framework for the rear end from the corner pillar to the corridor connection has also been made and fitted.
Inside the same vehicle work is continuing to fit the new light boxes and the missing pieces which support the roof and the wiring conduit. The work is complete to the half way point of the trailer.
The Class 141 successfully completed its final two rostered turns of the season last Monday and Tuesday and therefore work has commenced on its summer service. New air filters were fitted, as were new water filters on both engines while the fuel filter was changed on 55533. An engine water leak on 55513 was dealt with by fitting replacement clips and one wiper blade was replaced. Repairs to the auxiliary heating have been completed as the new parts arrived for the Eberspacher on 55513 and have now been fitted and tested.
The Wickham completed another two days fault free running over the weekend clocking up over 160 miles. It is seen below taking a brief pause at Corwen East before returning towards Llangollen.
With some room to spare at Pentrefelin whilst the Wickham was out on the line the 104 and 108 where coupled up and fueled in preparation for next Saturdays Peppa Pig event. The pair will work as a four car up to Carrog before splitting. The Class 108 will then work shuttles between Carrog and Corwen East. Whilst the Class 104 works trips between Llangollen and Carrog. The pair will join up at the end of the day to form the last train to Llangollen. The pair can be seen on the back road at Goods Junction waiting for the Wickham to return to the depot to get the sets in the correct order.
Bet you ’re glad you aren’t paying that fuel bill!
On both Saturday and Sunday our members where on hand at Pentrefelin to carry out maintenace work on the fleet. On Saturday the Class 104 received an FP exam, and some damaged hockey sticks where replaced in 50528. Class 108 power car 51907 recieved a new set of alternator and exhauster belts on No 1 engine, two drop lights on the same vehicle also received some attention. At the other end of the same set Class 108 trailer car 54490 got fitted with a new toilet seat.
On Sunday Class 104 50454 had some attention to the fire detection circuits. The Class 104 and Class 108 where washed on the outside, and work began inside on the post Thomas clean to make the sets ready for service again.
The Wickham completed two more days of running out on the line over the weeknd. On Sunday the driver was surprised to find a rather busy platform at Carrog, it transpired that a coach party from a cruise ship had come for the 3PM train... Only they had gone to Carrog instead of Llangollen. Right time, but wrong place. Instead of missing there trip, they filled every seat and the Wickham duly set of to Llangollen with 136 people on board!
Over at the Midland one of our members has spent time running wiring througout the Gloucester vehicle in preperation for the ceiling panels being fitted. Rigged up to a temporary power supply the lights in the first section of the vehicle can now be used as and when required.
It’s been non-stop with Thomas trains at Llangollen this week and on four days we have had a six-car set out and working.
All the sets got through the week alright but the 108 power car has lost a set of belts and as usual with Thomas there is a lot of minor damage. Nevertheless we carried more than 2,000 people over the period and the sets were much appreciated by those travelling. On Sunday there was again the unusual shunt move at Carrog to put the 127 at the rear of the six car so that it could go inside the shed once back at Pentrefelin. Work is due to start this week on tidying up the bodywork of 56223. The Wickham was put out in pole position ready for work next weekend as all the other sets need a good clear out before we can use them again.
The Midland saw the 141 working on Monday and Tuesday last week as well as on Thursday evening for a special charter. Investigations took place into reports of smoking on both engines and some work will shortly be required to cure this. Both coaches were washed externally and the windows cleaned ready for more work this week.
The Goucester trailer 56097 continues to progress. A new rear pillar has been welded in on the secondman’s side and work progresses to fit the outer body on this corner. A complete set of new body upright members has been fabricated for the rear section on this side and were delivered to site last week.
More stripping down has been done on Gloucester trailer 56097, leaving the back end ready for insertion of new metal.
The new rear corner pillar has been welded together from components prepared by the fabricator some time ago and work is now ongoing on bending up some new body side members to replace some that are extensively corroded. Hopefully these will be delivered this week.
There was a little chink of light in first class when the first of the saloon lights was ceremoniously illuminated, although with temporary wiring. More cables have been run through the new ducting which is being fitted into the ceiling.
The 141 has continued in passenger service but this week has only done two days (Monday and Tuesday) on the normal timetable.
Over at Llangollen most of us have been involved in running a six car unit formed of the Class 108 Class 104 and Class 127 for the railways Day Out With Thomas event, which continues on Thursday through till Sunday. Four round trips each day between Llangollen and Carrog with some trips carrying over 200 people.
In preperation for running one of our popular Driver Experience days on Wednesday the Class 104 needed to be shunted to the Llangollen end of the formation at the end of the day. A congested yard at Pentrefelin was going to make this difficult to do, so the decision was made to run the Class 127 round the rest of the train at Carrog. Much to the amusement of the younger passengers. The 104 is pictured at the Llangollen end of the train shortly before returning to Pentrefelin at the end of the day.