6940 Back in Business

2015 Seminar It’s been quite a week for the Group, culminating in a very successful first running day of 2015 on March 28th. As well as another flawless performance from D5310, 6940 made a welcome return to traffic after bogie repairs, hauling her first train for 18 months and breaking new ground for the class in the process by working back from Corwen on the last train of the day. Thanks to Joe Wellsteed for snapping a lot of happy faces with the “Beast of Berwyn” after safe arrival back at Llangollen. She is also seen below at Carrog, with the Class 104 DMU in the background on a driver experience.2015-03-28 16.18.30 (2)                                                   Much work has been undertaken over the Winter to repair the damaged liner plates on number 2 end bogie, culminating in a working day on Wednesday 25th March where the 37 was started after a deep battery charge and careful preparation. D5310 also received some maintenance and preparation for the year ahead this week, with oil, battery water and grease levels attended to along with a clean and some much-needed new windscreen wipers. Tom Shilliam is seen below attending to the driver’s windscreen wiper on No 2 end.2015-03-25 13.38.28

And smoke from 6940’s exhausts was a most welcome sight after a long absence:                2015-03-25 15.12.12 A fault with a sticking Oil Pressure Switch (OPS) contactor on the 37 prevented the loco from running for a sustained period, but this was resolved early on the 28th March running day, allowing the rest of the locomotive and it’s systems to be thoroughly examined. Heroic efforts by Mark Smales, Pete Edwards, Iain Ross and Paul Williams saw a number of issues associated with a lengthy period out of use resolved to the point where 6490 was able to double-head the last train of the day with D5310. This was the view to be had from D5310 at Llangollen on the 15:10 – windows full of nose! 2015-03-28 14.58.24                                      6940 successfully completed a return trip, running round at Carrog to haul the train back from Corwen. In doing this she made history for the class, being the first EE Type 3 to work West of Bonwm and haul a train away from Cowen. Although this is very encouraging news and better progress than we could have hoped for after such a long time out of traffic, there are still some issues to sort. An earth fault required 2 traction motors to be isolated, which will require further investigation and there were also several other minor problems which require attention. Nevertheless, the Group are hopeful that 6940 will be able to run again this year. We would like to thank everyone who supported our running day and will provide a further on 6940 in due course. In the meantime here’s a very retro-themed view of our TWO operational locomotives (that feels great to say!) at Llangollen in 2015. File 29-03-2015 00 35 27

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Spring Preparations

A working day was held on Saturday 21st February in readiness for our first timetabled running day of the year on Saturday 28th March. This will see D5310 in use alongside a DMU.

Bogie repairs have been completed on 6940 but these require testing by operating the loco under its own power light engine. The type 3 has been de-winterised and prepared for starting.  Thanks to Pete Coole for the photo below showing this work in progress on the 21st of February.

6940 21st Feb - P Coole

An attempt to start the loco is planned as soon as possible when the weather is a little warmer and the batteries can receive a thorough, deep charge. Once the loco is started it is likely there will be one or two other little niggles to attend to after a year out of traffic. With a little more to do and the repairs still to be fully tested, we are not yet in a position to confirm whether 6940 will be able to run this year. Materials have also been obtained in readiness to replace the roof panels in No.2 end cab.

D5310 worked a special engineers train at 15:00 on the 24th of February, to deliver the 80 tonne crane in readiness for track laying for the narrow gauge demonstration line as part of the upcoming “Steel, Steam & Stars IV” mega steam gala in early March. After delivering the crane, the type 2 worked a 16:30 return unfitted freight from Glyndyfrdwy Engineers Siding – River Sidings with engineers wagons and 2 guards vans. She likes to be kept busy!

Finally, D1566 was inspected on the 21st and its protective tarpaulins checked and re-secured. Although stored, the locomotive has not been forgotten about and the overhaul will be resumed as soon as time and resources allow. Photo by Pete Coole.

D1566 21s Feb - P Coole

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Happy New Year

A very happy new year to all our supporters and a big thank you to all those who supported an excellent Winter Warmer Gala – the turn out was very impressive despite the cold and, at times, wet weather. D5310 performed impeccably all weekend on a range of workings and proudly worked the first diesel-hauled passengers train from Corwen, working top-and-tail with steam locos. She is seen below on Saturday 3rd January with a short train including the two superb suburban coaches and GWR 2-6-2T N 5199 on the down end of the train.

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The 26 also looked superb at work on the impressively long parcels train:

2015-01-03 13.15.41

D5310 then worked a special volunteer’s train into Corwen for the first time on the following weekend – another historic first for both the loco and diesel traction in the Dee Valley.

We are now just 8 weeks away from our first running day of 2015 on Saturday 28th March. We hope to be able to announce some positive news about 6940 before this, but need to carry out further work and testing once the risk of frost has subsided and we can run the Type 3 up. For now, assume another fine day out with D5310 and a DMU.

Finally, please note our 23rd of May running day has been changed to the 2nd of May – please update your “diary of thrash”.

 

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Seasons Greetings & Winter Warmer Gala

The LDG would like to wish all our supporters a very merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you again in 2015 – our Running Dates page is now updated with everything going on next year. Here’s our own little Christmas Card scene back in March 2013 when the Dee Valley was cut off and our Spring (yes, Spring!) Diesel Day had to be cancelled.

Snowy 6940

Seeing as the image features 6940, it’s reminded me to mentioned that, as I type, a small team are working on 6940’s bogie at Pentrefelin Carriage Works. We hope to provide some good news about getting the “Beast O’Berwyn” back doing what we all know and love in the new year. Finger’s crossed!

Winter Warmer
The timetable for the Winter Warmer Gala is now confirmed and available to download here. It’s looking like another belter, with D5310 in use alongside the steam and DMU fleet. Train will be running to Corwen, including D5310 working some services back from the new station top-and-tailed with a steam locomotive. A parcels train will also be running, which the 26 will take a turn at hauling. Running will go on into the night with a real ale bar available. The event will offer some welcome action at this usually quiet time of year in the heritage railway calendar.

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November Working Day

A most productive working day was completed on Saturday 29th of November, with 5 Group members turning out. A warm welcome to recent recruits Chris and Ian too, who enjoyed a change from the signal box and Corwen extension!

Stripping of the steps and horn ties on 6940’s errant bogie is well underway. Two of the wheelsets are now ready for dropping, one to go. It is hoped to be able to lift the bogie, drop the wheelsets and repair the liners in-situ, with the aim of completing this work early in the new year. With a bit of luck this could see 6940 back in traffic for the springtime but this is very much provisional. Further updates will follow.
2014-11-29 10.38.52

Pete and Ian can be seen watching Mark gently persuading the horn tie bolts off with a little heat from the gas axe. We were tempted to keep going but it soon passed!
2014-11-29 10.40.38

D5310 was also carefully examined and successfully started. With an FTR exam complete, a quick to run to Pentrefelin goods dock and back was completed with no problems. With a wagon already in the dock for unloading, a nice little works-train cameo presented itself, complete with a crew appearing desperate to escape for a brew!
2014-11-29 13.00.08

The Type 2 was then screwed down in River sidings and left to run for an hour to warm everything through and put some charge into the batteries, which are starting to get a little tired but did not stop the engine starting despite the loco being sat idle for a few weeks with no trickle charge.
2014-11-29 13.18.11

All ready for the Winter Warmer on 2nd & 3rd January – wrap up warm and see you there! Watch this space for updates on the timetable.

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Looking back and ahead

A big thank you to everyone who has supported the LDG this year, especially those who have travelled to North Wales to sample D5310 on her numerous running days. All have run smoothly and met advertised commitments, with just one or two minor niggles with the DSD brake feed cut off valve at No 1 end, which thankfully did not result in any delay to services. The Type 2 celebrated her 5th anniversary of arriving at Llangollen on 26th September – and what a superb and dependable addition to our fleet she has been.

2014-05-26 11.12.49 The Group are pleased to confirm our running dates for 2015 as follows:

Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of January – Winter Warmer Gala. Anything goes – sample limited haulage with D5310 (due to no train heat) and see the loco working a parcels train into the night. Should be very atmospheric and provide some great photo opportunities – like this: 20140204-213420.jpg

STOP PRESS – this event may offer the first chance to sample diesel haulage to the new Corwen station! Bring your red pen!

4 Trip Running Days + DMU. All expected to be D5310, but watch this space! Saturday 28th March, 23rd May, 14th June &  26th September. STOP PRESS – Trains should also be running to Corwen – new track for diesel haulage!

1960’s Weekend – 25th & 26th July. Diesel diagram on both days, likely to include Saturday night campers train and real ale train. Steam, DMU, vintage vehicle rally, bus rides, live music and real ale festival – the usual excellent and popular mix!

Classic Transport Weekend – 4th & 5th of July Diesel diagram on both days, superb vintage bus and car display and bus rides. Further dates may be added. Driver experiences also available in June & September. Please contact the Railway’s General Office for details – 01978 860979 / llangollen.railway@btinternet.com

6940 The power unit and coolant circuit have been drained with neat antifreeze added to the oil cooler and water pumps in readiness for winter. After careful examination of the number 2 end bogie, the Group hope to lift 6940 using jacks in the new year with a view to dropping the wheelsets and attempting to repair the defective liner plates in-situ. We are hopeful this may allow the locomotive to return to traffic – further updates will follow in due course. We are determined to get the Beast o’ Berwyn back doing what she does best! 2014-03-02 14.57.00

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03162 – CANCELLATION

Regrettably we have to announce that 03162 will not now be running at our Autumn Diesel Day later this month due to operational reasons. Apologies for this extremely disappointing news and for any inconvenience caused.

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August News – Along Western Lines & 60’s Weekend

WATCH THIS SPACE FOR NEWS ABOUT OUR 27TH SEPTEMBER DIESEL DAY. ALONGSIDE D5310 AND A DMU WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO OFFER A RARE ADDITIONAL ATTRACTION!

Along Western Lines
D5310 will continue her most intensive year of operation yet at the LR, seeing 3 days of operation at Llangollen from tomorrow to Sunday at the “Along Western Lines” gala, deputising for unavailable GWR 2-6-2T No 5199. This will include a trip or two top-and-tailed with a steam loco to Bonwm – only the second time the Type 2 has worked a public train over these metals. A full timetable is available on the LR website here:http://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Friday-timetable-29th-August.pdf

60’s Weekend – A Record Success!
A belated but massive thank you to all who supported our 1960’s weekend last month. The event continues to go from strength to strength, with a modest increase in takings but nevertheless a new revenue record. We never thought we would deliver 5 successful events.

Everyone seemed to get into the spirit of things even more than before this year. We even had a visit from the man himself in Dr Beeching’s Bar……

2014-07-27 10.43.42

 

…….and a suitably adorned and equipped driver on D5310:

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Dates for the next event are already confirmed as July 25th & 26th 2015. Get them in your diary now! Entrants for the classic car rally are welcome to confirm their attendance as soon as they wish. We now also have a regularly updated Facebook event page.

D5310 News
The loco performed well over 60’s weekend, despite suffering from an ongoing issue with the AWS brake feed cut-off valve at number 1 end that has proved difficult to sort. An overhauled valve was fitted just before the event, along with a replacement driver’s combined brake valve. Unfortunately the replacement brake valve was faulty when tested so the original was refitted very hastily on a very hot afternoon. Much colourful language aided rapid completion. The cut-off valve then decided to fail again on the Sunday afternoon, but fortunately only when the loco had arrived at Carrog on the last working of the day with the opposite end cab then needed to get back to Llangollen, which was working perfectly. A replacement cut-off valve has now been fitted and all appears well.

Investigations into persistently flat batteries between periods of use led us to discovering that little charging was taking place when the power unit was off load. After some research this was found to be due to a low idle speed, so the governor was adjusted in June to try and combat this problem. This appears to have done the trick, with no further issues experienced during starting since the adjustment.

A specialist glazier has also done a fantastic job of cutting and fitting a new droplight glass after a certain heavy-handed secondman (who shall remain nameless) managed to smash one at No 2 end in June.

6940
Many have been keen to find out what is happening with the 37 and her unfortunate bogie defect. Although no visible progress has been made we can assure 6940’s fans that we are working very hard behind the scenes to source another bogie to allow us to repair the one underneath the loco and hope to be able to provide some good news soon. The timing of a return to traffic is difficult to predict and needs to be balanced against the less difficult and probably much cheaper job or returning D1566 to traffic to return us to having two operational locomotives at our disposal.

D1566
Work on the power unit overhaul will continue over the Winter and bits and pieces of bodywork have progressed as time allows. Progress should liven up once our 2014 operational commitments have concluded.

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60’s Weekend

D5310 will be working the 09:25, 12;00 and 14:30 trains from Llangollen on both days (Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July) of 1960’s Weekend, alongside 80072, 3802 and 2 DMUs. Full TT available at: http://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1960s-Weekend-Public-Timetable-2014-jpeg.jpg.

D5310 will also work two evening trains on Saturday 26th – departing Llangollen at 21:00 and 22:30. Real ale is available on this train and also from Dr Beeching’s Bar all weekend, where there will be 7 local draught real ales on sale along with lager, wine and soft drinks. There will be live music on Llangollen station from 7:30pm.

FREE vintage bus rides are on offer between Llangollen and Carrog, calling at Berwyn and the superb classic car rally at Glyndyfrdwy. D5310 will work the 09:25, 12;00 and 14:30 trains from Llangollen.

60’s weekend is now a firm favourite amongst our visitors – why not come along and experience the retro, friendly atmosphere for yourself?

1960s

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Classic Transport Weekend

D5310 will be working the 09:25, 12;00 and 14:30 trains from Llangollen on both days (Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July) of Classic Transport Weekend, alongside 80072, 3802 and 2 DMUs.

FREE vintage bus rides are on offer, along with the superb classic car rally at Glyndyfrdwy. The photo below was taken at Glyndyfrdwy during last year’s event, where rides were available in a freshly restored Crossville Bristol VR and a rather noisy Leyland National amongst other superb old buses.

D5310 will work the 09:25, 12;00 and 14:30 trains from Llangollen. Full TT available at https://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk/event.php?id=81Full TT available at https://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk/event.php?id=81.

2013-07-06 11.17.59

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