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29th February 2016

At Llangollen a second lift has taken place of Class 108 Driving Trailer 54490 so that new air pipes could be fitted in the area under the cab. The originals, which were removed last week, were very rotted and so they have been discarded completely and have been replaced with new hydraulic style flexible pipes. Following the fitting the coach was attached to an external air supply which revealed that the leakage rate had been substantially improved, in fact almost to the point of elimination.

Class 108
Class 108
Class 108

Following the completion of these repairs a start was made on a B-Exam on this coach and its power car 51907. The battery straps were found to be badly corroded and so were sorted out. Several minor electrical repairs were also completed.

Work is ongoing to sort out issues with the doors on the Wickham which began sticking after it was left outside in the damp weather late last year.

At Butterley work has started in earnest on the restoration of Gloucester Power car 51118 which went into the workshop on Tuesday. Already a large chunk of the bodyside has been removed, revealing yet more corrosion. Some of the body pillars are capable of further use on this car and so are being repaired while others will need replacing completely. Our fabricator is now making all the new steel we need for this part of the vehicle while we weld up and plate some other areas.

Class 100
Class 100
Class 100

As can be seen by these pictures there is a great deal of corrosion at the ends of this coach, but at first inspection we do not think it is quite as bad as the trailer, which we recently completed.

24th February 2016

Today marked a huge step forward in the long project to restore the only remaining Gloucester 100 set.

Class 100

Driving Trailer 56097 was rolled out of the shed at Butterley following two years of work to replace and repair corroded bodywork. This is the first time that anyone has been able to see what the complete vehicle looks like now that it has been externally completed. Around 60% of the vehicle's outer skin and 40% of the framework has had to be replaced, along with all the glass which has changed for a more modern and safe variant. Work will now continue to begin the interior fit out but finance dictates that this will be restricted to the ceilings and floor for the moment.

Power car 51118 is now in the workshop and we have begun the long task of rebuilding this car to mater the trailer.

In six years this two-car set will have been in preservation for 50 years. We will need more money to bring it back to working order for then. If you can support us then please click on the donation button below and donate as much or as little as you can afford.

Donate to the Gloucester Restoration

22nd February 2016

The running season has begun properly at both our sites. At Llangollen the 108 completed five days of midweek services covering over 300 miles and carrying just shy of 1000 passengers. At the Midland Railway Butterley the 141 completed four days running, complete with on board circus skill displays for the children, all fault free!

The big job at Llangollen this week was to lift Class 108 trailer car 54490 to investigate and hopefully cure an air leak that is impossible to access normally. Our regular readers will remember a similar operation being carried out on the Class 104 in January. The roles of the two sets where reversed and the 104 was used to shunt 54490 onto the carriage lifting jacks.

Class 108 + 104

The air pipes under the vehicle was found to be leaking in two places, and the relevant sections of pipe where removed in order for replacement ones to be obtained. As has become routine when we carry out a vehicle lift, parts of the bogie, and brake gear where given a "good dose" of lubrication whilst more easily accessible.

Class 108 + bogie

Later on in the day the inside of 50528 received some attention with the interior wood work being sanded down and a light coat of varnish applied. One of our members then took to the roof of the 108 in order to seal a leak caused by the ventilators. Strangely the power car vents are aluminium, but the trailer car vents are steel, despite the set having been kept as a pair since new. A repair was also made to a sticking door in 56171.

Class 108 roof vents

On the Gloucester front the trailer car had the final sliding lights fitted, and the sliding corridor end door refitted after refurbishment. Meaning the vehicle is now water tight again. Check back in the middle of the week for a special News Feed update on the Gloucester Project.

15th February 2016

There is now a concerted effort at Butterley to get the Gloucester trailer watertight as soon as possible as we need to get it outside so that we can start work on the power car.

Class 100

During this week work has continued to fit the rest of the new quarter lights to the side windows and to fit the refurbished sliding lights. The water tank filler has been refitted and this has enabled the rear filler pipes to be bolted back to their correct place on the body.

Class 100

As can be seen by the photograph the rewiring of the saloon lights has been progressed, the conduit has been installed between the rest of the new lamp mountings and more lights now can be used - although with the aid of a temporary power supply, rather than from the vehicle's wiring directly.

Class 100

The parts needed to refit the rear sliding door have also been located and a start has been made on making the wooden parts required to enable fitting to take place.

8th February 2016

It has been a very busy week at both sites this week.

At Llangollen there were working parties on Saturday and Sunday. The main job was to prepare the Class 108 for next week's half term service requirements. Both this and the class 127 set were thoroughly cleaned out and all sets had the gutters cleared of the winter's debris. An external wash of the fleet completed the housekeeping tasks.

Class 108

On the mechanical side the work to reconnect the bogies on the Class 104 was completed, and the remaining jobs on the C Exam were also boxed off. One job which remained from the 127's A-Exam was also done. Inside Class 104 trailer 50528 upgrade work continues. The woodwork in the rear section was rubbed down and then revarnished in preparation for the refurbished seating which is due back soon.

Class 104

Over at Butterley the exciting news is that Gloucester trailer 56097 has had most of its glass refitted. The work was done by contractors who bonded in the new panes, a method which is more reliable at keeping out the water than the original arrangement. Some of the quarter lights have also been fitted and some more of the decorative wooden inner parts of the windows have now been fitted.

Class 100

The repairs to the toilet floor have now been completed and box section has been welded into the floor to act as seat mountings. Originally these were wood but due to the increased weight of individual passengers since this vehicle was designed we have decided to increase the strength of the mountings while the wooden floor is out.

The first of the new door jambs was also tried out for size and works well, this will be properly fitted at a later date. Work is also ongoing to machine up the pins for the new corridor connection scissors.

Class 100

With the bulk of the interior work now completed one of our electricians has visited site to assess the next stage of the wiring work.

1st February 2016

It's been the turn of the Class 127/108 unit for some maintenance this week at Llangollen. It has had its annual exam, which this year was an A, a small exam which only takes a few hours to complete. Nothing of any note was found and the unit has been cleared to go back into service for 2016.

Class 127

We have also had to repair our oil shed, the roof of which has been damaged by the high winds.

Although there has been no running at Llangollen the 141 has been active at Butterley over the weekend. The problem that sidelined it last week was traced to a faulty relay during a midweek working meeting and this was replaced for a new one. Despite the poor weather there were a few people about and the recently-refurbished heating proved a hit with the passengers.

Class 141

The repairs to the rear floor of Gloucester trailer 56097 are now almost completed. All the corroded material has been cut out, the supporting rails underneath have been repaired and new flooring has been welded in. A start has been made on fitting the new seat mountings which are made of box section steel, rather than wood and which fit under the wooden floor and to which the seat legs are bolted.

Class 127

Work is ongoing to complete the windows. The trim pieces are being sorted out and fitted, this is not as easy as it sounds as each one is different and has to be matched to the window from which it originally came. The new upper toilet windows and their trim have been fitted and more new wood has been made and delivered for the small windows.

Class 127