No April fool – 1566 is back!

We are very pleased to report that 1566 made a successful test run to Corwen and back on Tuesday 11th April, breaking new ground for the class in the process. 6940 came along too as insurance and for a post-winter storage test, drawing the 47 back from Corwen to Carrog. All appears well with the 37 after de-winterising on the 1st of April.

1566 isn’t quite 100% water-tight, with an annoying but minor water leak coming from somewhere on top of the engine that we can’t quite pinpoint as yet. A couple of minor fuel leaks also require rectification – but that’s what a test run is all about. Otherwise, all appeared well and the exhaust was pretty clear once the turbo had cleared its lungs.

Ian Macerwright captured this photo of 1566 and delighted group members at Berwyn. We all enjoyed listening to the Dee Valley reverberate to the sound of a Sulzer 12LDA28C for the first time in nearly 5 years.

The next stage is to get 1566 under cover for a few weeks so we can complete the bodywork and painting. We are still on target for a re-launch to traffic at our diesel gala on 23rd and 24th of September.

6940’s No2 end interior cab roof repairs are now also completed, which has considerably improved the appearance and hopefully got the cab watertight again.  The two contrasting front end designs are seen nose-to-nose at Goods Junction with air brake pipes connected awaiting the test run.

Loco Condition & Repaints
The Group are all too aware of the increasingly poor external condition of both 6940 and D5310 and a repainting plan for both locos after 1566’s completion has been submitted to the Llangollen Railway management. This is very much dependent on being granted undercover access, something at a considerable premium on the railway at the moment. Hopefully space can be made to accommodate us and allow the appearance of both locos to be improved and their bodywork protected. The plan is for D5310 to retain BR green livery and for 6940 to join her in these colours. For the latter part of the 2017 season we plan to give D5310 full yellow ends to both temporarily tidy her up and also provide some photographic interest.

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