Productive day sees real progress made!

The LDG had a very productive working session today. As well as undertaking the laborious task of greasing well over a hundred different lubrication points on all 3 locos, real progress was made on D5310 and 37240.

We think we have sorted the niggling engine shutdown issue on the 26. Careful study of the electrical drawings and systematic testing of several components on the engine run circuit identified an intermittent fault on a circuit breaker mounted in the side of the electrical cubicle. With this breaker isolated, slamming the cubicle door no longer shuts the loco down! The breaker will now be replaced.

The BRCW Type 2 has also had a replacement AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) fitted, a job we had expected to do when we purchased the loco. We suspected that the locos original unit was overcharging the batteries and auxillary systems and voltage measurements taken today confirmed this. The replacement unit was fitted (causing a few hernias in the process as they’re rather heavy and are mounted on top of the cubicle!) and was tested at the correct charging voltage over a range of engine running conditions.

Meanwhile, the coolant system on the 37 has been checked, had a suspect valve closed off and then refilled to check for leaks, with only a couple of minor weeps being found. The gauge glass in the header tank has been cleaned and repaired so it now shows a true reading. The EE Type 3 was successfully started and ran happily for 2 hours.

Classic Vee Exhaust trails show that 37240 is back!

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LDG members pose with the fruits of their labours – two working locos. Poor Pete E missed out on the photo as he was still inside D5310, dutifully checking the new AVR was behaving itself!

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With static testing successfully completed, we decided to take both locos on a test run to Glyndyfrdwy and back to prove out the repairs. The run took place in the dark after the last service train and was rather fruity to say the least, with 37240 sounding awesome and putting on a characteristic Tractor firework display, complete with cones of flame from the exhaust ports as she cleared her lungs.

37240, ready to head for Glyn under a clear sky and bright moon (no sparks just yet).

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No shutdown problems were encountered, but she will need to complete a return trip of the whole line before she can get a clean bill of health. D5310 then worked back to Llangollen, passing over the rail joint on Berwyn Banks that has invoked an engine shutdown virtually every time she’s been out so far without incident.

D5310 is now likely to be used on a November ballast working when the railway will be visited by a Tamper.  A good day all in all, particularly as we were able to welcome a certain Mr Colin Cooper back into the chair to resume driver training after a very nasty dose of swine flu. Sorry Chief, but you struck the pose….

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Tez Pickthall

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