33102 Safely Arrived & 1566 Update

33102 has safely arrived for her Welsh holiday at the Llangollen Railway and is seen at Berwyn on Tuesday evening during a successful light engine test and crew training run.

A shame the weather was pants – a “warm” welcome to Dee Valley! A little bit of Crompton history will be made this Saturday 22nd when 33102 works her first public trains in preservation away from the Churnet Valley Railway and be the first Class 33 to work west of Carrog. 33102 will haul the 10, 12:15 & 14:30 trains from Llangollen. Normal fares apply

The Saturday PLEG/BLS charter for the 12:15 shunter shuttle on Saturday 29th September has sold out. We hope to have a list at the ticket office/shop where those wanting a shunter ride on the other two Saturday trips (and all 3 on Sunday) can reserve their place as they purchase their ticket. We appreciate this is likely to end up with folk being disappointed so our apologies that capacity is limited.

Unfortunately 1566 remains unfit. We have fitted 12 refurbished injectors (done last week by Colchester Diesels), changed the fuel filters and fuel pump and gear but can still only get 6 cylinders firing (3 on each bank). We’re at a bit of a loss as to what’s left to fettle – thanks to those who are already providing technical advice, but if anyone has any suggestions we’re all ears.

In the event that 1566 isn’t fit, the times of workings won’t change but locos will stay with their diagrams and workings back from Corwen will be a controlled propel, as per normal current working arrangements until the run-round loop and station at Corwen Central is commissioned some time next year.

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September Diesel Weekend featuring 33102

We are delighted to announce the visit of Class 33/1 33102 to the Llangollen Railway for our Diesel Weekend on 29th & 30th of September. The North Staffordshire Railway Company’s BRCW Type 3 has been based at the Churnet Valley Railway for nearly 25 years and has never worked a train in preservation away from the CVR. The loco should arrive with us in Mid-September for around a month’s stay. We are hoping to get 33102 out and about on some additional days to maximise the opportunity to sample a “Crompton” at work in the Dee Valley. This should include our September 22nd B timetable running day with others TBC. This will be only the second Class 33 to visit the Llangollen Railway, the previous one coincidentally being consecutively-numbered 33103 way back in 1997. We are very grateful to the CVR for making 102 available to us. Photo by Martin Pyrzyna.

13/9 UPDATE.  We are delighted to confirm plans for our Diesel Weekend. We are hopeful 1566 should be joining 6940 and 33102, but this is dependent on receiving fitting and testing overhauled injectors in time along with reassembly and test. Friday 28th will see 33102 on the scheduled 3 trip A timetable in place of the rostered DMU to extend the event (thanks to the LR Railcar Group for supporting this).

The DMU for the weekend should be the Class 104 (currently running as a 104/127 hybrid). 08195 will work 3 rare track shunter brake van shuttles each day taking in the line to Pentrefelin and part of Llangollen yard, following the same successful pattern used at last year’s diesel weekend. Places are first-come, first-served and limited to 12 people per trip. The BLS/PLEG are taking reservations via their website for those who wish to guarantee a place on the 12:15 – https://www.branchline.uk/current-fixtures.php. You can upgrade your BLS ticket to a full day rover.  Apologies for the limited capacity, but we only have two fitted vans available and one must carry a guard without passengers present.

33102 will haul two evening workings to Glyndyfrdwy on Saturday 29th. Bottled real ale will be available and we will also offer mini-driver experiences during the layover at Glyndyfrdwy for £15 per person (again, limited availability and subject to crew’s discretion).

Suitable embellishments are being prepared for 33102 to recreate the atmosphere of the Weymouth Tramway in the 80’s, including a special headboard and the light & bell box the locos used to carry on their buffing plates whilst working on the tramway.

The timetable and the event poster are displayed for your information. A pdf version of the timetable for printing can be downloaded here.

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August Update

Thanks to all those who came along to support 6940 running over the 60’s weekend. Another 150 miles or so in the bag with the old girl soldiering on. One trip was completed to Friday 6th to support a wedding train as steam working was suspended and then 3 trip diagrams were completed for 60’s weekend each day. The weekend saw two new traincrew to our roster, me passing out as driver and George Walker as second man. Well done to George and thanks to everyone who has supported me over the 12 years I have been involved with the Group.

6940 continues to be rostered for all future running as our only loco in traffic.

D5310 unfortunately appears to have sustained a failed No 2 traction motor bearing after developing bogie problems on 7th July. We need to conduct some more investigation work, but the nature of the damage to the commutator would suggest the armature has dropped onto the bottom set of brush gear. If this is indeed the case, the loco will require a lift, bogie strip and motor repair. We are looking at all options for this but if you can assist with technical advice, have a spare motor to sell or can assist with portable lifting jacks we would love to hear from you!

We will be looking at 1566 in the next couple of weeks with the aim of trying to tighten the cylinder heads to see if that cures the leaks. If this is successful then the 47 may be back in traffic before the end of the season.

We are also looking for a visiting loco for our diesel weekend on 29th/30th September and our “Along Cambrian Lines” gala on 12th & 14th of October. If you’re a loco owner or owning group member reading this and are interested please get in touch. We’ve got an amazing line to sample!

Finally, here’s a photo of 6940 at Carrog on Sunday afternoon under the continuously blue sky we are becoming increasingly used to. Some rain would however be very much welcomed, with the wild fire on the Llantysilio mountain above the valley still flaring up after over two weeks of burning. Our thoughts are with the local fire crews who continue to work around the clock to keep it under control.

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Classic Transport Weekend

Classic Transport Weekend on 30th June and 1st July will see 6940 working 3 return trips on both days – 10, 12:15 and 14:30 ex-Llan trains.


Over 100 vintage cars, buses and lorries on display at Glyndyfrdwy, with free bus rides. One steam loco and a DMU also in use each day. Lots to see along with the usual array of superb cakes, pies and ales at the line’s eateries. Cambrian Real Ale Bar should be open at Glyndyfrdwy too.

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Sunday 17th June – D5310

This Sunday’s running day will be handled by D5310 in place of 1566, which has unfortunately been declared unfit for traffic due to injector problems and the development of new water leaks on the power unit.

D5310 should then (finally!) head undercover later this month for repainting.

Looking ahead to Classic Transport Weekend on 30th June and 1st of July it is expected that 6940 will work the 3 Llan-Corwen return trip diesel diagram on both days. The 37 performed well on the 9th of June running day following replacement of the fan clutch and repairs to a blocked and leaking air pipe under No 2 end cab. She is seen below at Carrog carrying a well-travelled charity memorial headboard brought along by one of our passengers.

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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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