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23rd February 2023


Work that has taken place on our railcars at Llangollen and Butterley since the previous report can be found in the 'Unit-specific work' section below.

At Llangollen our attention now turns to the start of the 2023 running season on Saturday 4 March. With the two halves of the class 104 in the wrong order following the replacement of a buffer at the rear of 50528...

Class 104: The two vehicles in the wrong order

...a shunt-a-thon was carried out last Sunday to reassemble said unit and then put the class 108 in pole position and the class 104 in a state of readiness behind it...

Classes 108 and 104 ready for action

The shunt had the added bonus of the Cravens class 105 trailer car no. 56456 finishing up next to the shed which makes life much easier for the team of people working on its restoration.

We then washed the outsides of classes 104 and 108, filled their toilet header tanks with water, and swept/mopped the floor of the class 108.

Class 108: Washing the exterior

Classes 108 and 104: Washing the exterior

Out on the main line Austerity "68067" worked the half-term Berwyn Shuttle service and is seen here passing Pentrefelin Yard on its way back to Llangollen...

Steam-hauled Berwyn Shuttle passing Pentrefelin Yard

Unit-specific work

Class 104 (50528/50454)

The work to replace the seals around the axle on the no. 1 final drive of 50454 was completed and it is to be hoped that it will reduce the oil consumption. It turned out that it had previously been fitted with two inner seals of different sizes (one of which was correct) instead of inner and outer seals as shown by the following picture...

Class 104: Old and new seals for the no. 1 final drive

Time will tell if that has put a stop to the final drive's "drinking habit". The no. 2 final drive is also quite thirsty so that will be given a dose of looking at at some stage.

The unit was split so that the dead buffer at the rear of 50528 could be replaced...

Class 104: Vehicles separated

Class 104: 50528 minus a buffer

Class 104: 50528 ready to receive a replacement buffer

Class 104: 50528 having a replacement buffer fitted

Cravens class 105 trailer car no. 56456 (undergoing restoration at Llangollen)

Members of the class 105 restoration team continue to see green as they crack on with the installation of the wall panels...

Class 105: Installing wall panels

but they occasionally provide more exercise for the other colour receptors in their eyes by doing things such as fitting the associated brown beading...

Class 105: Installing beading

...and, as a complete change from panels and beads, installing the track for the sliding door that leads to the first class section (as shown by the following before and after pictures)...

Class 105: Awaiting a runner for the first class sliding door

Class 105: Runner for the first class sliding door

Wickham Class 109 (50416/56171)

Some handles have been constructed, and painted, for the guard's doors in order to make it safer for guards and other train-crew personnel to board and alight from/to track level. They will be fitted at a later date.

Class 127 vehicle no. 51618 (undergoing bodywork repairs at Llangollen)

Work has continued in the guard's van with the manufacturing of metal panels to fit between the floor and the wall panels. Some woodwork was also generated to support the interior panels in there.

A 'works order' has been generated for the carpentry department to produce some new interior door panels from the leftover formica that is being used for the restoration of the Cravens trailer no. 56456, it having been decided that the supplied sample looks very smart.

Gloucester class 100 51118/56097 (undergoing restoration at the Midland Railway, Butterley)

A start was made on making good the damage caused by recent vandalism. The broken quarter light was removed...

Class 100: Removing a damaged quarter light

...and a new one was installed although screwing it back together turned out to be problematic and will need to be completed another day...

Class 100: Fitting a replacement quarter light

Turning from unexpected work to expected work the first part of one of the window frames was installed and looks very good...

Class 100: The first part of a window frame in place

Thanks to Allen Chatwood, John Joyce, Mike Martin and Martin Plumb for supplying the pictures.