Welcome to our new website, which has been kindly produced by Diesel Group member and IT whizz Gareth Evans. As many of you will already know from what has been reported elsewhere in the railway press, the Llangollen Diesel Group is in the process of going through some major changes to both our fleet and membership.
We hope you enjoy looking round our new site. Please note and bookmark the new address and come back to visit regularly. We have used new software which will allow the site to be updated much more regularly than in the past.
Tez Pickthall, Publicity Officer
Our recent press release explaining what’s going on is reproduced for you here, in full:
27th June 2009. LLANGOLLEN DIESEL GROUP FLEET CHANGES
Following the successful conclusion of discussions and negotiations with various parties, the Llangollen Diesel Group is now in a position to announce three significant changes to our fleet. These changes aim to leave the Group with a more manageable and fully operational fleet of three ex-BR mainline diesel locomotives.
The extensive corrosion discovered on both cabs when they were stripped meant the original timescale for overhaul was no longer feasible. The Llangollen Railway require the provision of a Type 2 standby locomotive in a timescale far shorter than it would take the Group to complete cab replacement and the other parts of the extensive bodywork and mechanical overhaul with our current resources and facilities.
This has led to the Group stopping the overhaul and reluctantly offering the Sulzer Type 2 for sale. This was a difficult decision given 25313 was one of the first diesel locomotives at Llangollen and a most appropriate machine to be seen at work on a North Wales branchline.
We are pleased to announce we have sold the locomotive to a professional railwayman. The new owner will perform a full overhaul of the locomotive’s bodywork and complete the turbo and other mechanical repairs. The LDG is retaining the opportunity to buy the locomotive back at a later date, if the opportunity were to present itself.
We wish her new owner every success with his new purchase and the overhaul. Following completion of her overhaul, we are also hopeful that the locomotive will return to Llangollen for a future diesel event.
To provide a replacement for 25313 and offer the Llangollen Railway an appropriate and reliable standby locomotive, the Group is delighted to announce the purchase BRCW Type 2 D5310 (26010) from Matt Stoddon. The locomotive received a high quality bodywork overhaul to original 1960’s condition in 2006 and is in full working order. The ability to provide a locomotive that can be put into traffic immediately is of vital importance to both the Group and Railway.
D5310 operated a farewell run at her current home of the SRPS at Bo’ness on Sunday 21st June and should move to Llangollen some time in July.
Although the Class 26’s never worked in North Wales, D5310’s immaculate as-built appearance is highly appropriate for the image of the Llangollen Railway. With the rugged scenery of the Dee Valley closely resembling parts of Scotland, we are sure she will look most at home, be an asset to both the Group and Railway and also attract plenty of enthusiasts to sample her at work on the challenging climb of Berwyn Bank.
It is hoped to launch the locomotive into traffic at the Railway on Saturday 26th September, although an earlier additional running day is subject to confirmation. Further details will be made available on the Group’s website in due course.
As previously reported elsewhere, the Board of the Llangollen Railway PLC served the Group notice to remove the locomotive from the railway by 30th June 2009. Following extensive discussions with the Board and within the Group, the locomotive will not be run again on the railway and will be leaving for pastures new.
Re-homing the locomotive was not something we would have chosen to do and has split the Group in half. However, putting personal feelings to one side, the Group has to move forward and offer the best future for the locomotive. To this end, we are pleased to announce that the ‘Peak’ will be leaving the Llangollen Railway sometime before the end of the summer. Her new home will be announced at the end of July.
Several long-established members of the Group will be leaving the LDG to form a dedicated new group that will provide care and support for the locomotive. Ownership will be transferred to this new group.
This decision has not been taken lightly and is not without a great deal of regret, as we see the departure of trusted friends who have invested a lot of time and effort in the fleet. The LDG hopes to retain close links with the new 46010 group and wish them every success with her new life.