Information about the services that our railcars have provided can be found under 'Out and About' below and work that has taken place on the railcars at Llangollen and Butterley can be found under 'Unit-specific work' below.
We have now completed our scheduled services for the 2023 season, the statistics for which are as follows:-
In all we carried somewhere over 36,000 passengers (counting each single journey separately), 677 being the highest recorded for one day.
The fleet covered 122 diagrams, 44 of which were 4-car, across 115 days; a total of 8,878 miles.
One round trip was cancelled due to a failure of an engine to start on 51618, and three days had to be short formed pending repairs.
Twelve exams of varying sizes plus the usual assortment of repairs kept the wheels turning.
Now that we have finished running, the time has come for us to knuckle down and tackle the many jobs that need to be done between now and the start of the next season.
One job that crops up at the end of every season is the 'winterising' of the fleet to minimise the risk of problems occurring during sub-zero temperatures. That involves draining the water tanks for the toilets and ensuring that the engine coolant systems have sufficient anti-freeze to cope with the anticipated temperatures.
The concentration of the anti-freeze in each engine was determined on Sunday 5 November...
... but, at that stage, there was insufficient neat anti-freeze in stock to carry out the required top-ups so that will be done at the next working meeting.
Since the previous report all of the services have involved the 2-car hybrid class 127/108 unit in order to give the newly-refurbished class 127 a chance to 'stretch its legs' after four years in captivity.
On Saturday 21 October, the unit was assisted by the Wickham class 109 in order to provide additional seating capacity. To begin with, the class 127/108 worked solo for a non-passenger special train to Corwen and back to check that no damage had been caused to the infrastructure as a result of the massive amount of rain that fell during the previous day. Fortunately, all was well so it met its friend at Llangollen Goods Junction and formed the 4-car that was then used to provide the passenger service for the rest of the day...
On all of the other days, the hybrid class 127/108 worked the services by itself. Given that it spent four years out of use, while being subjected to extensive bodywork repairs, it was hardly surprising that there were a number of teething troubles but most of them were niggling faults that could be dealt with relatively easily and quickly. There was just one 'refusal' when the no. 1 engine decided that it didn't want to work for the final trip to Corwen and back on Friday 27 October and the service had to be cancelled.
The seat covers that came with the unit when it moved from Swanage to Llangollen in 2019 had become rather threadbare in places...
... so they have been sent away to be reupholstered.
Step 1 was to remove them all and place them in the guard's compartment...
Step 2 was to transfer them to a road vehicle and step 3 was for said vehicle to take them to the premises of the company that will carry out the reupholstery.
While the seat covers are away we will take advantage of the fact that we can easily gain access to sections of wall, floor, heater ducting etc. that are normally hidden and give them a good clean.
Gloucester class 100 51118/56097 (undergoing restoration at the Midland Railway, Butterley)
The most recent working meeting saw the completion of the project to raise the floor by a few millimetres so that the seats can fasten to their wall mountings, and a start was made on the window frames.
Thanks to George Fletcher and John Joyce for supplying the pictures.