A long overdue update from Llangollen! We hope all our supporters are safe and well following such a challenging few months. The good headline news is that services on the LR should resume on Saturday 1st August, with diesel-hauled trains playing a significant part of the operation. Diesel-haulage is currently scheduled for the 3rd, 8th, 12th & 16th, 19th, 22nd, 26th, 30th & 31st of August.
Taking things a step at at time, 31271 is planned traction for the 3rd and 8th of August. Please visit the LR website or Facebook page for details on travel arrangements and bookings.
After a lengthy lockdown hiatus, 5310 returned from the GWSR on Monday 6th July and with volunteers now allowed back on site, work to complete the final stages of her traction motor overhaul has continued apace. The loco was successfully started and moved under her own power for the first time in over 2 years yesterday, July 23rd.
There are still some jobs to attend to, along with some further careful running-in. Provided all is well, we hope 5310 should be able to work a public train before the end of the summer.
The Llangollen Diesel Group are extremely grateful to all who have assisted us through a challenging job. We’ll start with the John Pepper and Ant Philp at the Northampton Type 2 Group for loan of their lifting beams. Next we haveall at the GWSR (especially Kev Jarvis and Steve Madge) for allowing us to use their lifting jacks and help us do the work. The Cotswold Mainline Diesel Group at the GWSR are next. Thank you to Simon Townsend, who got in touch shortly after the first motor failed with the offer to help us. The CMDG have allowed us to use their 2 spare motors and provided much advice, encouragement and graft along the way. Andy Durham has done much behind the scenes to help us at Toddington and also fitted the brackets with me for the second lift of the loco). We hope to be able to return the favour to Simon and Andy and assist them in getting D5343 back into traffic following its power unit problems. Dave Hesketh of EAMP has done a cracking job of overhauling all 4 motors and finally we have Ken Joy, Stuart Sellar and Ant Philp, who have all provided expert Sulzer Type 2 advice, encouragement and support with the numerous challenges we have dealt with along the way. The spirit of preservation is truly alive and well!
The dedicated team from A1A Locomotives were also with us on July 23rd, conducting an annual exam on 31271. The loco was started, moved under her own power and pronounced fit for traffic. Public trains are expected to recommence on the LR from Saturday 1st August. The loco seems to have suffered no real issues over the prolonged storage period other than some deterioration of the paintwork around the nameplates, which the A1A chaps were hoping to attend to before heading home. It goes without saying that their support is very much appreciated – they travel a long way to support us in far and now in far-from ideal circumstances