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27th July 2020


The Pentrefelin depot was a hive of activity at the weekend with work taking place both days and a number of projects being progressed.

On the Class 127 vehicle 51618 that is currently undergoing bodywork repairs inside the shed...

After a delay of several months since its needle gunning due to events documented elsewhere, the front buffer beam finally received a coat of primer and then top coat and now looks very bright red!


Class 127 buffer beam

The battery box that was attacked last time was completely removed, after putting up a bit of a fight, and the woodwork could then be separated from the steel. The steelwork has been cleaned down in preparation for priming and the woodwork may be going away as a homework project for one of the joinery department. The numerous bits and pieces of hardware that held up the battery box, along with the connection boxes, were dismantled and cleaned up ready for the box to be refitted. The doors for said battery box were also wire-brushed to remove loose crud, and then a coat of chassis black went on the front.

Class 127 battery connection box

The guard's inward-opening door on the driver's side was repaired with a rotten section replaced by a new section that was cut to size and welded in...


Class 127 guard's door

Class 127 guard's door

and woodwork to support the varnished interior frame around a passenger window was fitted...

Class 127 window frame

The bodyside areas primed some time ago were rubbed down and received some green undercoat.

On the Class 108 the ceiling of 54504's toilet compartment was removed to investigate a water leak that turned out to be the result of frost damage to a pipe. A repair was carried out...

Class 108 toilet water supply repair

... and the ceiling refitted. A problem with the flush tank was also diagnosed and that will be tackled at a later date.

A few jobs were carried out on the power car 51933, including resetting the throttle arm length to work properly with the recently-replaced no.1 fuel pump. The low oil pressure shutdown switches, shorted out in BR days, were un-shorted - something that will hopefully not result in any 'false positive' shutdowns of the engines!

Classes 108 and 104 were refuelled in readiness for their forthcoming duties...


Classes 108 and 104

At the Midland Railway, Butterley some work had taken place on the Gloucester Class 100 unit during the week when the studs for the rear jumper boxes were welded on to the unit and the new jumper boxes fitted albeit temporarily.
The Gloucester trailer will eventually become the proud recipient of this vacuum + air gauge binnacle that has been refurbished as a homework project and features LED illumination instead of the traditional bulbs.

Air and vacuum gauge binnacle

20th July 2020


At the Midland Railway Butterley work continued on the restoration of Gloucester class 100 trailer car. Using a temporary addition of some "hot wiring" to provide the electrical supply, the test button for the air/axle and engine lights was proved to work ....



and a battery box was removed once it had been relieved of "a good three shovelfuls of crud" (unlike the one that was recently removed from the class 127 at Llangollen which looks as though it may well have produced three shovelfuls of wood). A start was then made on rebuilding and painting it ....


Class 100 battery box

Class 100 battery box

On the class 141, a job that had been started before the Covid-19 lockdown to refit some incorrectly-fitted seat tops in 55533 was completed and an assessment was made of the state of the unit following several months of inactivity during the lockdown. It started fine but the engine would not rev on 55513 - something that was eventually traced to a stuck relay in the throttle control box.


13th July 2020


We were delighted to be able to return to Pentrefelin and be re-united with our railcars after the four-month 'lockdown' absence caused by the Covid-19 pandemic although the wasps that had commandeered our stores vehicle in the meantime seemed less than delighted to see us!


Although it was good to be back, normality had not been resumed and so we had to get used to the new normal which involved working in a socially-distanced manner and enjoying a semi-outdoor lunch break - something that was helped by the excellent weather. Not only that but there was a choice of sunny and shady seating areas....


Socially-distanced lunch break


Socially-distanced lunch break

In readiness for playing our part in getting the Railway operational again, we conducted 'A' exams on all three units that are currently operational (classes 104, 108 and 109). The 'A' exam involves a thorough check of the mechanical and electrical components and provides the necessary assurance that a unit is fit to run. As is often the case the exams revealed the need for some additional work including the replacement of a battery in 51933 and the dismantling/cleaning/reassembling of the throttle controller in its cab. The opportunity was also taken to replace a fuel pump that has been mis-behaving for a while on the same vehicle....


Class 108 fuel pump replacement

The class 127 vehicle (51618) that is currently undergoing extensive bodywork repairs in the shed was not forgotten and its battery box was dismantled with a view to replacement....


Class 127 battery box dismantling

Despite the long absence the job had not stopped completely because some of our members were able to work on their homework projects including the repair/refurbishment of wooden panels and formica inserts that fit behind the luggage racks in the Gloucester class 100 (currently undergoing restoration at the Midland Railway, Butterley)....


Refurbishment of class 100 wooden panels

the refurbishment of the emergency brake valve known as a setter for the cab of the Cravens class 105 trailer 56454....


Refurbished setter

and the refurbishment of some Automatic Warning System (A.W.S.) indicators that appear to be referred to as either 'sunflowers' or 'dart boards' depending on one's upbringing....


Refurbished AWS indicators