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1st July 2024


Some information about the work that has been carried out on our railcars can be found in the 'Unit-specific work' section below.

Many of you will have seen the throttle control on a railcar that is operated by the driver's left hand...

DMU throttle control"

...but have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes or, in this case, under the desk? Here is the answer...

DMU throttle control"

The control provides two separate functions:-

(i) Pressing the handle operates the driver's safety device (aka deadman's handle) and it must, therefore, remain pressed while driving. Releasing it will result in the emergency brakes being applied on the train after a period of 5-7 seconds.

(ii) By rotating the handle the driver can select one of five (0, 1, 2, 3, 4) throttle positions.

Both of those functions result in electrical contacts being made and broken as appropriate within the equipment that can be seen in the picture. Those electrical signals are sent along wires that run the full length of the train to control all of the powered vehicles in unison.

Out and About

Our railcars were used to provide train services on sixteen days since the previous report and eighteen days during the whole of June. During the month there was plenty of variety with timetabled trains (with, and without, the company of other trains on the Railway), the Diesel & Industrial Heritage Gala, and some private charter trains.

Services were provided by classes 108, 109 and 127 - in some cases solo and in other cases as 4-car combinations.

The railcars were mostly well behaved although there was one occasion when the horn on the Wickham power car (50416) became stuck on and presumably frightened more than the sheep. When all else fails in that situation the emergency fix is the low-tech one of stuffing a rag into the horn trumpet!

The following picture shows the class 127 power car no. 51618 shortly after arrival at Corwen on Thursday 27 June. It had led the 14.45 service from Llangollen and was ready to bring up the rear of the 15.50 return service. Some passengers can be seen making their way from the train to their waiting road coach via the station's underpass.

Class 127 no. 51618 at Corwen on 27/06/24"

Unit-specific work

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

The end door, that had been recently cleaned and painted, was reunited with its various locks, handles and fittings. The next job will be to prepare the running gear for it.

Class 108 51933/54504

It was discovered that the drain valve for the header tank in the toilet compartment of 54504 was faulty because, even though it turned and gave the impression of working correctly, it didn't actually let the water out. That may explain why the toilet compartment was not properly 'winterised' in the autumn and why it subsequently suffered a burst pipe.

The valve has now been replaced.

Last weekend a start was made on the unit's annual 'B' exam. Some of the electrical tasks were dealt with, and a good selection of the underneath jobs as well. The air, fuel and oil filters were all dealt with, and the engines bled up and tested.

Wickham Class 109 50416/56171

As reported in Out-and-About (above) the horn in the power car (50416) became stuck on at one stage. The fault was traced to the control handle holding the valve open and needing adjustment although it was not obvious how it had got out of adjustment in the first place. The repair itself was not difficult but quite a lot of the driver's desk had to be dismantled in order to access the securing nuts.

Last weekend the Wickham was given a Fuel Point (FP) exam.

Hybrid Class 127/108 (51618/56223)

The new woodwork inside the guard's compartment of 51618 was given a coat of grey gloss - a significant improvement over the primer with which it was painted when fitted.

The faulty buffer on the front of 51618 was renewed - a job that turned out to be easier than expected thanks to the new engine crane and lifting strops.

The class 108 trailer car (56223) was given its annual 'A' exam with no significant issues arising.

Thanks to John Joyce and Martin Plumb for supplying the pictures that were used in this edition.