It's been a busy weekend at Llangollen as our old friend Thomas has been to see us, resulting in us having to turn out a six-car unit to cope with the demand.
Altogether we carried 1,319 passengers on return journeys from Llangollen to Carrog over the two days and on at least one occasion we could have done with some more coaches. The three units involved, the 127,104 and 108 carried out their duties without problems. On Sunday night there was a major shunt so that the Wickham could be ready for service this morning and for every day this week.
Over at Butterley with no running to contend with the work on the Gloucester trailer is proceeding well. The whole of the rear section is now primed, first filled and painted in undercoat.
More of the wooden blocks to secure the roof have been fitted as have some more of the wooden uprights that go round each window and to which the window surrounds screw. A start has also been made on fitting the refurbished aluminium pieces round the quarter lights.
While the units were out of the depot on Sunday some of the excess material in the four foot at the depot end of the siding has been dug out. This debris is an issue when servicing is taking place as it is difficult to get underneath the units.
The class 108 worked 3 driver experience turns at Llangollen, which meant another three happy customers who enjoyed there time with us.
Meanwhile at Pentrefelin some of members set about marshaling the units up in the correct order for the upcoming Thomas weekend. The 127 was washed after having a short stay inside the shed. The Wickham received a cleaning out, and top ups to some of the oil levels. Work was also progressed on welding up a set of steps to use in our siding.
Work continues on Gloucester trailer 56097 at the Midland Railway. The centre section of the body between the first and second vestibules is now completely stripped out and two of the replacement uprights have been welded into the body.
On the secondman’s side the final window frame was replaced in the body and a start was made on fitting the window frames with the studs which will eventually hold the glass top retaining strip in place. The window frames from the other side of the vehicle are now all being dismantled and the redundant bolts drilled out ready for refurbishment.
Welding has been completed at the rear with the roof sections being attached to the rear sheeting. The recently-completed parts of the body have been primed with paint and undercoated and first-filled.
While the Class 127 DMBS 51618 has been in Pentrefelin shed the opportunity has been taken to deal with one of the guard’s doors which has been dragging along the van floor. The chequerplate below the door was removed and rotted wood was found beneath. This area has been cleaned out and made good so that the door now works properly again.
The upper front part of Class 108 trailer 56223 has received a temporary coat of paint so that it can be made good for the forthcoming Thomas event.
Over at Butterley the final section of Gloucester Trailer 56097 has been stripped down revealing yet more rot. This time the box section at the bottom is badly damaged and will need replacing. Much of the side structure has been badly repaired in the past and will be replaced. Work continues to strip down and refurbish the window frames that have been recently removed.
A Board meeting this week has also made plans as to what work we will be undertaking in the next year. One particularly popular decision has been to vote the money to carry out the body restoration of Gloucester power car 51118.
We had two units out at Llangollen at the weekend. The Wickham was being used on service trains while the Class 108 was out doing one of our very popular Driver Experience Trains.
Unusually fully-restored Class 104 50454 was parked next to unrestored sister 50447, showing the difference between vehicles that have had restoration and those that have not.
The bodywork on the top of the cab front of Class 108 56223 has been sanded down ready for paint, a defective arm rest has been fixed on the same vehicle and a start has been made on the repairs of the guard ’s door on Class 127 51618, which is dragging along the floor.
At Butterley there ’s been a great deal of progress with Gloucester trailer 56097 which has had the majority of the body skin welded on towards the rear of the driver ’s side. This section is now reaching completion and we are about to move on to the middle section which is, as can be seen by the photograph, in very poor condition, and shows signs of some very poor quality repair work carried out in the past.
Provisional priming and filing work has been going on on the other side and at the rear to ensure that the body does not corrode.