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15th April 2024


Information about some of the work that has taken place on our units at Pentrefelin (Llangollen) and Butterley (Midland Railway) since the previous report can be found in the 'Unit-specific work' section below.

The group recently acquired a new item of rolling stock in the shape of this trolley that makes it much easier to transport tools, oils, coolant etc. up the yard at Pentrefelin...


I wonder what the driver training will entail? :-)

A start was made on painting the refurbished buffers that were recently returned to us and, at the time of the following photograph, the shank of one of the three had been painted red...

Painted buffer shank

If there is such a thing as stealth trainspotting it is clearly possible to practise it while working on/under/between our railcars at Pentrefelin Depot...

Class 47 D1566 passing Pentrefelin on 06/04/24

Class 26 D5310 and Class 47 D1566 passing Pentrefelin on 06/04/24

Out and About

The class 108 has been very busy since the previous report because it has done a number of Berwyn Shuttle services, some 'A' timetable Corwen services, and it also got to play out with various other locomotives during the Branch Line Gala that took place on 12-14 April. The following picture shows it at Berwyn Station with a Berwyn Shuttle service on Saturday 30/03/24...

Class 108: At Berwyn Station with a Berwyn Shuttle service on 30/03/24

The following pictures show it passing Pentrefelin Depot with a returning Berwyn Shuttle service on Sunday 24/03/24...

Class 108: Passing Pentrefelin with a Berwyn Shuttle service on 24/03/24

Class 108: Passing Pentrefelin with a Berwyn Shuttle service on 24/03/24

The following pictures were all taken on the Friday of the Branch Line Gala and they show the unit rubbing shoulders with 0-6-0 Pannier Tank 7754 at Llangollen Station...

Class 108: With Pannier Tank no. 7754 at Llangollen Station on 12/04/24

...and with Austerity 0-6-0ST "Robert" masquerading as J94 no. 68067 at Glyndyfrdwy Station...

Class 108: With Austerity/J94 no. 68067 at Glyndyfrdwy Station on 12/04/24

On the Friday and Saturday of the gala the class 108 returned to the depot after finishing its daytime services...

Class 108: Returning to Pentrefelin Depot between the daytime and evening services on 12/04/24

...and later ventured out again to provide some evening services to/from Glyndyfrdwy...

Class 108: At Glyndyfrdwy Station during the evening of 12/04/24

Unit-specific work

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

The rear wall now has all the timber pieces needed for the wall panels and is nearly full of insulation...

Class 105: Rear wall

The last panel of plywood for the floor at the rear had to be removed because it had been fitted on a slope, the same as the rest of the floor, but needed to be flat so that the bottom sliding door rail could fasten to it. Its removal provided an opportunity to take some measurements and make a template for the heater ducting...

Class 105: Creating a template for the heater ducting

At the front of the unit the timber ceiling support over the driver's door was fitted and the metal cover attached to it...

Class 105: Installing the timber ceiling support over the driver's door

Class 105: Timber ceiling support and metal cover installed over the driver's door

On the outside of the vehicle the external passenger communication (passcom) system was installed and the associated chain was installed along the driver's side. The 'passcom' is the system that is used by passengers in an emergency and it works by making a brake application.

Class 105: Installing the passcom system on the outside of the vehicle

Class 105: Installing the passcom system on the outside of the vehicle

Class 108 51933/54504

During the weekend of 6/7 April the unit was given an 'A' exam, most of which went according to plan although there were one or two things that required extra attention including this sliding quarterlight in the first class section...

Class 108: Repairing a sliding quarterlight

...and the plumbing in the toilet compartment...

Class 108: Repairs to the pipework in the toilet compartment

Despite our efforts to 'winterise' the fleet, water had found some places in which to hide in this pipework with the result that a couple of pipes under the sink had burst. They posed a bit of a challenge to sort out but eventually a new pipe section was produced in plastic to replace a couple of copper sections.

Wickham Class 109 50416/56171

The 'M' exam progressed with a number of jobs including a detailed examination of the final drives. The following picture shows the innards of the no.2 final drive...

Class 109: The innards of the no.2 final drive

The device that has "LL20" written on it can be ignored because it is a torch (an essential item in the gloomy confines of the bogie!). To the left of it can be seen the selector fork which, when driven sideways by a piston under the influence of air pressure, moves a sliding dog and connects the drive from the gearbox with either the bevel gear on the left or the one on the right. Those gears are in constant mesh with a larger gear wheel, part of which can just be seen behind the bevel gear on the left, so the choice of the left or right bevel gear determines the rotational direction of that larger gear wheel and hence the direction in which the vehicle will travel.

As shown in the picture the sliding dog is in the central (neutral) position so neither direction is selected.

Work also progressed on the cleaning/servicing/painting of the various items of brakegear that have been removed...

Class 109: Cleaning/servicing/painting items of brakegear

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

The newly stained and varnished beading was fitted in the first class section...

Class 100: Stained/varnished beading fitted in the first class section

In the middle compartment some more window frames were fitted and the horizontal beading was fitted thereby allowing the vertical beading to be cut and drilled. The following picture shows the horizontal beading fitted and the vertical beading in the process of fitting...

Class 100: Fitting the vertical beading in the middle compartment

Some electrical work was also carried out, both in terms of wiring the jumpers on the front of the vehicle and determining the positions of the required junction boxes and conduit.

Thanks to Allen Chatwood, Andy Lowe, Mike Martin and John Joyce for supplying the pictures that were used in this edition.