Spring Update – 6940 for June 9th

Sorry it’s continued to be a bit quiet on here of late. A big thanks to those who came along to support our running at the Western Changeover Gala last month. The event proved a challenge for us, with both 6940 and 1566 suffering failures. 1566 was quickly remedied thanks to a late night repair of a coolant hose and back in traffic for the Saturday and Sunday of the 3 day event. 6940 was also repaired with a suspect control circuit breaker but unfortunately failed again on the Saturday, so was replaced with D5310 making for a rather pleasant “Sulzer Sunday”.

6940’s failures were traced to the breakdown of the coil in the electromagnetic fan clutch. A replacement was sourced, fitted and successfully tested last week. This wasn’t the easiest or cheapest of jobs but Mark Smales managed to fashion an excellent tool for removal of the clutch and Unipart Rail remarkably still had a clutch on the shelf! 6940 should now be fit for our 9th of June running day and 10th June driver experience, pending a test run in the next week or so.

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1566 completed her 22nd April running day successfully but there were a few issues that came to light that require attention. We will confirm if she is fit for her 16th June running day in due course.

D5310 continues to be available but we plan to withdraw her for repainting as a matter of priority and as soon as we can get her under cover in order to replace cab window seals and attend to some minor bodywork corrosion.

Loco allocations for Classic Transport weekend in July and 1960’s weekend in August will be confirmed in due course.

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Western Changeover Gala & 22nd April Running Day

The timetable for the upcoming mixed-traffic gala is below. 6940 will work the D1 diagram and 1566 D2 on all 3 days.
 Both locos work a freight trip between Goods Junction and Carrog each day.

Traction for our 22nd April running day will be 1566.

There has been plenty going on in the Group over the last few months. D5310 has seen regular use on lineside clearance trains and also worked during the Easter weekend, drawing back trains from Carrog which utilised the suburban rake, which has had a beautifully restored 4th coach added. The 26 has benefitted from a coolant change, which proved a wise move given the repeated cold spells.

A more detailed news update will be provided soon but in the meantime our Facebook page is well worth a look for those with FB accounts. It’s updated regularly and packed with photos.

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Seasons Greetings, Winter Warmer Event & 2018 Running Dates

A belated very merry Christmas and happy new year to all who have supported our Group and diesel running at Llangollen in 2017.

Traction for the Winter Warmer event on 30th & 31st of December will be D5310, timetable available on the LR website. The below photo shows D5310 at Pentrefelin on 19th December being tested and fuelled ready for the event. The loco also received a much-needed coolant change to refresh the antifreeze.



2018 Running

The 2018 LR timetable will again see regular diesel running days and events as follows (more details can be found on our 2018 running dates page available via the menu bar at the top or by clicking here:

Events
30th June & 1st of July – Classic Transport Weekend (one diesel loco each day + DMU)
4th & 5th August – 1960’s Weekend (one diesel loco each day + DMU)
29th & 30th of September – DIESEL WEEKEND (1566, D5310, 6940, DMU, 08195 & maybe more!)
30th & 31st December Winter Warmer

Running Dates:
22nd April – B Timetable – 10:00, 12:15 & 14:30. Traction – 1566.
9th June – B Timetable – 10:00, 12:15 & 14:30. Traction – 6940
17th June – B Timetable – 1566.
7th July – B Timetable – D5310 (subject to progress of repaint).
28th July – B Timetable – 6940
1st Sept – B Timetable. 1566.
22nd Sept – B Timetable. D5310

Driver experiences are also available, with D5310, 6940 and 1566 all hopefully available. Our full calendar of running dates will be confirmed on our running dates page very soon, along with the main LR website and our popular Facebook page (search for Llangollen Diesel Group and ask to join).

Thanks again to all those who have helped make 2017 a successful year of diesel running at Llangollen and us welcome 1566 back into the operational fleet. Here’s to a great 2018!

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A successful Diesel Weekend and a big thank you!

A massive thanks to everyone who supported our Diesel Weekend. We were so pleased to see so many visitors give there were large events on elsewhere. Thanks also go to the staff and volunteers who were involved in making it happen. In particular we all appreciate the effort that Pete Edwards put into planning and organising the event and the thousand odd hours that Mark Smales has invested in getting 1566 (and 6940) fit for the event.

BR blue timewarp at Carrog on 23rd of September with a stunning 1566 next to 6940.

A rare sight of all 3 of our locos running at Carrog on Sunday 24th.

A fine sight of two Sulzer locomotives sat together at Carrog on 23rd of September

1566 unfortunately failed at Berwyn on Saturday evening due to an oil leak. This was a big disappointment for us all and we’re sorry she held the last trains up. She was rescued by 08195, delaying the train by an about an hour, but getting everyone home and offering some rare mainline rod haulage! D5310 worked the evening trains in place of the 47 and this was also not without incident, when acrid-smelling smoke started to pour out from under No 1 end as the train approached Glyndyfrdwy. We feared the worst and suspected a traction motor problem but, after a thorough inspection and motor isolation, nothing untoward could be found. She then went on to run flawlessly for the rest of the evening and on Sunday. We’re at a bit of a loss as to what happened but wonder if a plastic bag blew up and became stuck against the warm brake blocks – one also got stuck to the front end of 1566 on Sunday (without the smoke though thankfully).

08195 to the rescue of a temporarily stricken 1566 on Saturday evening.

In true LDG spirit, Mark pulled us all together early on Sunday morning to get 1566 sorted and she then ran well on Sunday, completing her first full day in traffic for over 5 years. This was also the first time we have fielded 3 of our own locos for 6 nearly years. The oil leak was simply a lose union on a pipe that fed the rocker gear on top of the block, but was a difficult one to see and fix whilst the loco was warm and running. By the time we’d found and staunched it we had lost so much oil that the low pressure sensor kicked in and this was made worse at Berwyn due to the gradient causing the oil to run away from the pick up pipe. A repair was also made to another leak that developed from a corroded pipe on the hydrostatic oil system that feeds the coolant louvres and fans. 1566 still needs some other issues attending to. This includes an outstanding minor water leak on the block which we can’t quite see the origin of and, as a number of people commented on over the weekend, still being low on power. Although the turbo seems to be working OK, the engine is not receiving much charge air pressure, so is not loading up fully. This will be investigated over winter but the loco can still work trains at Llangollen with more than enough power in reserve!

D5310 looked the part with her new full yellow ends, especially when hauling or lined up with her BRCW stablemate Class 104 DMU, which looked and sounded superb all weekend.

The brake van trips were a big hit. Matt Davies and Pete Edwards put a lot of careful planning into these behind the scenes, meaning they could offer some pretty impressive rare track for travellers, including river sidings, the diesel road in the yard and the headshunt at Llangollen. We appreciate the support of Kev Adlam and the members of the Branch Line Society/PLEG for getting together a large number of advanced bookings that made putting these trains on all the more worthwhile.

Here’s hoping this lays the foundations for another successful diesel weekend next year. The provisional date set is the 29th & 30th of September 2018. Thanks again Folks!

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DIESEL WEEKEND TIMETABLE

Here is the timetable for this weekend’s event.  Sorry it’s so late, we’ve had some challenges around crew availability that threw us a very tightly curved ball at the end of last week. Not an easy job!

 

The DMU will be the Class 104. 08195 will haul the brakevan trips to the throat of Pentrefelin yard. All 3 locos are ready for the weekend and final preparations begun last night -the photo below shows all 3 locos at River Sidings. D5310 and 1566 were run up and tested, 6940 has received repairs to some corrosion-related air leaks and a new section of cab floor.

Some BR-era nostalgia and might-have-beens will be gracing coach droplights and the evening trains will see Travellers Fare partially dug-up from the corporate branding graveyard.

The group are very much looking forward to our first full diesel event for 3 years and look forward to seeing you there.

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SEPTEMBER RUNNING DAY & DIESEL WEEKEND!

With a busy July of running now complete, it’s time to start looking forward to our season finale in September.

We will have a B timetable running day on Saturday 9th of September, traction will be D5310.

It’s then all hands to the fuel pump for our Diesel Weekend on Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th September. This will include the full public debut of Class 47 1566 in BR Blue, working her first full day in traffic for over 5 years.

We are busy putting the final touches to the timetable but can confirm planned attractions are:

Traction: D5310, 6940 & the return of a very shiny BR blue 1566. 08195 is pencilled-in for shunter shuttles and a Sunday morning PLEG charter.
DMU: The ever-loud Class 104

5″ gauge miniature railway on platform 2 at Llangollen courtesy of WDSME. Traction should be a 27 and 47. New track and traction red pens at the ready!

A beer train should run on Saturday evening.

The timetable should be available soon and will hopefully include some proper length trains and a DMU drag. Please note all locos, workings and attractions are subject to the usual caveats of availability, operational constraints and b*sterd bad luck. Your understanding is much appreciated as it’s a while since we’ve done an event like this!

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1960’s Weekend – Two Locos Out

Thanks to all who came along for a ride-out at our 8th (and currently final in its current guise with Diesel Group members as organisers) 1960’s Weekend. Due to a shortage of steam locos, we ended up with a request for both D5310 and 6940 to be in use on both days. Although confident, this would be OK, as usual it ended up being a challenge!

2 of 6940’s bogie brake cylinder seals needed urgent replacement before the event. They had been passing air for a while but failed completely when the loco was used for shunting just over a week before the event. Hasty enquiries resulted in a supplier in Sheffield being able to assist us, although it was a close run thing – they arrived at 15:30 on the day before the event. Fortunately they fitted like a dream and did the job perfectly. We just gained a few less/grey/both hairs in the process! She is seen below running round at Llangollen on Sunday 23rd.

D5310 had air problems of her own when she was used on the Tuesday before the event to shunt at Glyndyfrdwy. Both the brake feed cut off and train brake valve at No 1 end began passing air badly. Both were removed, stripped and cleaned on the Friday before the event. Fortunately we had a good turn out of working members for this day and, despite it being very last minute and working in the most awful rainy conditions, both locos passed FTR at around 4pm and then headed straight into shunting work to prepare stock for the event. She is seen below getting the ECS to River Sidings underway on the evening of Sunday 23rd July. Doesn’t she look the part on those subs!

After all this very damp drama, the weekend itself went largely without a hitch. This was the first time we have fielded two fleet members on the same day for nearly 4 years – the last time being the September 2013 Diesel Day. It was a great sight to see our locos crossing one another on service trains, as George Walker’s photo below shows occurring at Glyndyfrdwy, also on Sunday 23rd:

After a busy July, it’s now time to look forward to our Diesel Weekend on September 23rd & 24th. We are confident of being able to field D5310, 6940 & 1566 and a railcar. We are planning interesting workings, a miniature railway and an evening beer train. More details will be provided soon – keep checking back.

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1566 – a Vision in Blue & 6940 – Classic Transport Weekend

We are delighted to announce that 1566’s paintwork is complete, including numbers and logos. She moved out of Llangollen shed under her own power on Friday 16th June and is seen here at Pentrefelin for her first outdoor photo in her new colours and 1970’s pre-TOPs guise. Whilst we are aware of a few minor details being not quite 70’s (like the NRN aerials), we are sure you will agree that the end result is pretty spot on!

1566 is truly resplendent and the Group are delighted with the results. Great care was taken to achieve a good paint finish. The final two coats of BR blue were mixed with varnish and light flatting of the paint was carried out before the application of the final coat. This has a resulted in a mirror-like finish.


Photo by Mark Smales, who has invested many hundreds of hours into the locomotive’s overhaul and done the lion’s share of the work. He is quite rightly proud of what has been achieved.

Whilst undercover a number of mechanical issues that came to light on the 7th May test run have been repaired and fettled, including refurbishing a hydraulic roof vent actuator, adjustment to the speeder valve at number 1 end and fixing a large air leak. All being well, 1566 should now be ready to undertake a further loaded test run on the 8th July, working with D5310. This should pave the way for her formal relaunch to traffic at our Diesel Weekend on September 23rd & 24th.

6940 – Classic Transport Weekend

6940 worked another successful 3 trip running day on June 17th in spectacularly hot weather. She is seen here at Llangollen station with Pete Edwards in the chair. Yes, she is looking a bit tatty – the river side of our fleet all take a proper beating from the weather, so attention to her bodywork is planned as soon as we can – but D5310 is next in the queue.


 

6940 also experienced a shut-down in Berwyn tunnel on her last trip, but was checked, re-started and soon on her way without any of the drama encountered a few years ago when she was failed in the tunnel after developing a fuel leak. We suspect either a water or oil pressure sensor cut in due to the combination of the 1 in 80 gradient and high temperatures, but will check her over carefully before her next workings. She does use a fair bit of oil these days, another thing that will need attention soon.

Nevertheless, 6940 is due to work BOTH days of Classic Transport Weekend on 1st & 2nd of July, the timetable is here:

6940 should work 3 full trips – 2 to Corwen, inclyding a short layover at Carrog to allow top-and-tail working to Corwen and one trip to Glynyfrdwy. With over 150 classic cars, vintage buses (the latter of which you can ride on) and lorries it looks set to be another excellent event.

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Summer Running Day Traction Allocation

Traction diagrams for D5310 & 6940 in June & July are as follows:

6940
Saturday 17th June, B timetable.
Classic Transport Weekend, 1st & 2nd July –  Timetable TBC but usually a Llan-Glyn shuttle service, where there is a large classic car and bus display.
1960’s Weekend, 22nd or 23rd July – TBC dependent on crew roster.

Photo by Tez Pickthall at Carrog on May 7th 2017.

D5310 
Sunday 8th July, B timetable.
1960’s Weekend, 22nd or 23rd July – TBC dependent on crew roster.

Thanks to George Walker for the photo of D5310 after a clean on 9th June 2017.

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Saturday 10th June Running Day – D5310 & Paint Progressing on 47

Class 26 D5310 will handle our Saturday June 10th running day, working the 10 12:15 and 14:30 trains from Llangollen. This is a B timetable. The Type 2 recently worked a successful 3 trip driver experience day on May 20th and all appeared well.


Excellent progress continues to be made with 1566’s paint job, with the bodysides now nearly finished. It won’t be too long until we are ready for logos and numbers! But will it be 1566 or 47449 – keep coming back for a look!


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