Belated Seasons Greetings!

Apologies for the long delay in updating the website. Some IT issues have made this more difficult and the site did go down for a few weeks. Our Facebook page (search for Llangollen Diesel Group) is however updated regularly. We would like to wish all our supporters a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2020. As another interesting year for our Group draws to a close we’re looking forward to the start of another. 2020 should see an increase in the number of running days (see below), 5310 return to traffic, 1566 receive repairs to engine water leaks and A1A Locomotives Ltd’s superb 31271 continue to be a most welcome member of the fleet. We are also hopeful of seeing Corwen Central open for business – offering a new destination for diesel-electric traction. Although much remains to be done to commission the station, it is expected to open to the public some time towards the middle of the 2020 season.

Diesel Weekend

A successful event with visiting Class 25 D7535 seeming very popular, along with out mixed train where passengers could ride in brake vans for the first time in a number of years. The timetable largely ran to time, with the only issue being a damaged fuse on 1566 causing a delay to the final train on the Sunday evening.  This was repaired by the crew and the loco was able to get home under her own power. 31271 also performed faultlessly as usual. Thanks to all those who came out to support the event – both in tickets sales and in donations towards D7535’s transport costs. We were delighted to raise funds to cover the near-£3000 haulage costs. D7535 looked absolutely superb sat at Glyndyfrdwy whilst working the Saturday evening trains, it was proper shades of the last Cambrian stopper.

And both D7535 and 1566 made for a pleasing Sulzer 70’s timewarp at Llangollen on the Sunday morning

Photo Charter

We were delighted to host the East Midlands Railway Photographic Society (EMRPS) on Saturday 12th October for another of their floodlit photo charters. This sold out event raised a significant contribution to the transport costs of D7535, which was joined by both 1566 and 31271. The locos were posed with two trains – a rake of ballast hoppers and a mixed freight. Thanks to Jason Cross for the photo.

2020 Running Days

We’re delighted to announce an increased number of B timetable running days in 2020, including 3 in August. Loco rosters will be confirmed next year but we hope to see both 5310 and 1566 running alongside 31271 and are working towards a further visiting locomotive for our diesel weekend.

B Timetable Running Days: May: 16th, 24th & 30th May. June: 6th, 14th, 20th & 28th. July: 11th, 19th & 25th. August: 16th, 22nd & 30th

Special Events: Classic Transport: 3rd & 4th July. 1960’s Weekend: 1st & 2nd August. DIESEL WEEKEND: 26th & 27th September

5310 Update

We are pleased to announce that the repair of 5310 is progressing steadily, with 4 traction motors now overhauled and ready to refit. A second lift of the loco is planned for February at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway, to whom we are extremely grateful for all their support and understanding during the loco’s extended stay. A traction motor suspension bearing has also required remetalling and machining. This work has been completed by Statfold Engineering Ltd. We are hopeful of having the loco ready for testing in early Spring and returning her to North Wales in time for the running season. It will be great to have her back

5310 is seen on the Matheson jacks at Toddington during its first lift to remove all 4 traction motors back in August. Photo by Mike Pember.


The loco has proved to be a godsend – working 14 days in service faultlessly. The team at A1A Locomotives Ltd have been extremely supportive and helpful, attending to perform routine maintenance and examinations but largely allowing us to operate the locomotive using 6 specially-trained drivers. Now sheeted over for winter, 31271 was used as late as mid-November for a guards training day. Due to stay for us for at least the 2020 season, we will be in no hurry to see this excellent locomotive leave us and are in discussion with A1A about the possibility of her staying on the LR for longer.

31271 drifts into Llangollen station with a ballast train during the EMRPS Photo Charter, 13th October 2019. Photo by Alistair Grieve. This loco was used to work the last ballast train from Blodwel Quarry, making for a rather nostalgic sight.


Water leaks from 3 cylinders on A bank have continued to provide troublesome through the season. These appeared to have worsened at the Diesel Weekend, so the decision has been taken to renew the liner seals on all 6 A Bank pistons. This is a big job, but not beyond us and work is already well under way, with the A side of the power unit stripped and big end nuts undone, ready for lifting. Liner seals and new transition rubbers are on order. We are hopeful of having the work completed in time for 1566 to operate in the 2020 season. Repairs to corrosion of the floor and conduit around the Battery Isolation Switch (BIS) have also been carried out, really smartening this area of the engine room up.

A Bank being prepared for all 6 pistons to be removed for liner seal renewal. Photo by Mark Smales.
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