The Llangollen Diesel Group held our Annual General Meeting on Sunday November 25th.
6940 Offered for Sale
Following a comprehensive review of our operations and resources carried out ahead of our AGM, the difficult decision was made to reduce our fleet size. Based on a careful appraisal of locomotive condition, we are reluctantly offering Class 37 6940 for immediate sale where seen lying to any interested party.
After initial announcement of this news via social media last week, there has been considerable interest in the locomotive and we are currently hopeful of concluding a sale by Friday 7th December. Any serious further expressions of interest should therefore be made ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate this will be disappointing news to a great many folk who have supported 6940 over the years and can assure you that it is not a decision we are taking lightly. Continued problems with the loco’s reliability throughout 2018, culminating in a failure of the vacuum system at our September diesel gala have shown us that 6940 is now in need of comprehensive mechanical overhaul. This work needs to include a full power unit and bodywork overhaul. With D5310 also facing an expensive and complex traction motor repair and arguably a more suitable machine for the group and the railway, tackling such an overhaul is beyond our funds, manpower and facilities. We are hopeful of giving 6940 a better future under new ownership but bringing the “Beast of Berwyn’s” legendary reign in the Dee Valley to an end is a very sad moment for us. Unfortunately it is not expected to be able to use her again on the railway as repairs to the vacuum system will be expensive and therefore not in the best interests of the Group with her likely to be leaving us imminently. With well over 1000 miles run in 2018, at least 6940 will leave us after providing many happy public miles to her followers.
The LDG also wishes to stress that this decision is in no way based on our relationship with the Llangollen Railway, which remains very strong. Indeed 2019 will see increased diesel running and another reason for making this decision is to allow us to concentrate our resources on providing two reliable Sulzer locomotives with a number of common parts and systems, rather than struggling to provide 3 unreliable ones.
Visiting Diesel Locomotive for 2018 & 2019
With D5310 and 6940 unavailable for traffic and 1566’s reliability still comparatively unproven, discussions were already underway with the LR’s Management about arranging for a visiting locomotive for the 2019 season before we made the decision to sell 6940. We are delighted to announce that support for a visiting locomotive has now been confirmed and would be delighted to hear from any interested locomotive owners that can consider a visit to the Llangollen Railway. This would ideally be for two seasons and with at least 10 operating days on offer covering running days, special events, driver experiences and out-of-season works trains. Any interested parties should contact email@example.com. Our line is extremely scenic and previous owners of visiting locomotives have enjoyed themselves – with 33102’s recent stay being no exception.
D5310 – Repairs to be Actioned
The Group are in the process of discussing an opportunity to get D5310 lifted for traction motor repairs. This will be a large and complex job and will most likely need to take place away from the railway, as suitable lifting facilities are not available at Llangollen.
2019 Diesel Operating Days
Dates for your diary:
11 3 trip Running Days:
May 5th & 6th, 11th & 18th
June 2nd, 8th, 16th, 22nd. 29th
July 13th, 21st,
3 Weekend Events:
6th & 7th of July, Classic Transport Weekend,
3rd & 4th of August, 1960’s Weekend
28th & 29th September, Diesel Weekend
3 Driver Experiences: (please contact the LR direct to book a place)
Traction is expected to be Class 47 1566 and our visiting locomotive, to be confirmed. It is hoped that D5310 will be repaired in time for our September Diesel Weekend, but this is very much subject to progress on repairs and hire by the railway we may be visiting to support us with repairs.