1960′s Weekend

This weekend, Saturday 27th & 28th July sees our 4th 1960′s weekend, which is organised by two LDG members.

Both D5310 and 6940 will be on use on both days, with the 26 working an evening Beerex and campers train on Saturday. The loco’s diagrams have also been revised slightly as of today (26th July). The Type 2 will work the 09:40, 12:05, 14:35, 21:00 (Saturday only) and 22:30 (Saturday only) trains.

A revised time table will be uploaded to the event page on the LR website later today. 6940′s diagrams remain unchanged and please note that the 37 will lead the first train of the day to Bonwm – making it count for haulage on new track much better than being on the back! This will be the first ever 37 working west of Carrog.

The event should be a good one! Llangollen will host trade stands, a real ale bar with 7 local brews and live music from 4pm on Saturday. The vintage vehicle rally at Glyndyfrdwy has nearly 100 vehicles booked to attend over the weekend.

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D5310 and 6940 Repaired

We are pleased to report that we have two operational machines again thanks to a great effort last night by four Group members. D5310 was found to have a broken wire on the resistor bank above the AVR, which was preventing the generator from receiving excitation current. As soon as the wire was replaced the locomotive took power.

6940 had partially blocked compressor air intake filters which we suspect was causing the compressor to overheat and blow the fuse, exacerbated by the hot weather.

Both locomotives undertook a successful test run to Deeside and back with no further problems. Thanks to Iain Ross for the photo.


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A Challenging Weekend

The Classic Transport Weekend was blessed with incredibly hot weather, a superb line up of buses and classic cars and plenty of visitors, however it also proved a serious operational challenge for both the LDG and Llangollen Railway.

A power failure in Llangollen saw Goods Junction signal box without electricity for both days, meaning pilotman working had to be introduced between Llangollen and Glyndyfrdwy.

Regrettably problems were also experienced with both 6940 and D5310. The 37 completed two round trips without incident but then blew two compressor fuses whilst being made ready for the third and final trip. Whilst the loco could have completed the run on one compressor (the loco has two), it was felt too much of a risk to operate the train without the back up of both being available. With little time available to investigate why the fault was occuring, the difficult decision was taken to fail the locomotive. We suspect one compressor had overheated, exacerbated by the very hot weather, and will be checking the compressor thoroughly and ensuring the air filters etc are all fully clear before using 6940 again.

7822 “Foxcote Manor” covered the 37′s delayed final diagram and we were then asked if D5310 could then take the final service of the day. The 26 had already been prepped and FTR’d as back up and in readiness for use the followin day, so we were happy to do this. Unfortunately the Type 2 then failed on arrival at Glyndyfrdwy to drop off the pilotman, with loss of power. Despite various attempts to restore power, she wouldn’t budge, a most frustrating and worrying end to an already difficult day. We will be carrying out a thorough investigation on the loco’s power circuit this week and hope that the problem is not serious.

Two pieces of positive news can also be reported. First was that we have added a new driver to our ranks. Pete Coole was passed out successfully on Saturday – many congratulations to Pete. With a major signalling failure, timetable changes and two locomotive failures to deal with on his first turn, Pete’s skills really couldn’t have been tested any more rigorously! Thanks to Bryn Jones for the photo.

Second was that we had our sales stand in action on the platform at Glyndyfrdwy. Tom, Paul, Chris and Bryn did a sterling job despite being baked in the sun all day. Thanks to Paul Williams for the photo.

Further updates about the availability of both D5310 and 6940 for 60′s weekend on the 27th and 28th July will be provided as soon as possible.

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Classic Transport Weekend

The roster for Classic Transport Weekend is confirmed as Class 37 6940 on Saturday 6th July and Class 26 D5310 on Sunday 7th.

The diesel diagram will see 3 round trips, with departure times are as follows:
Llangollen: 09:25, 12:00 & 14:30
Carrog: 10:15, 13:10, 15:35.

A DMU shuttle will also work between Carrog and the Corwen extension to Bonwm.

The full timetable will be available via the Llangollen Railway website later this week – click here.

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A Busy Weekend

The weekend of June 15th and 16th saw two LDG locos in use on the same weekend for the first time since September 2012 – but on different railways!

On Saturday 15th June 6940 worked the scheduled 4 trip B diagram at Llangollen, again performing faultlessly as she had done for the driver’s experience day on the 25th of May. The day also saw Group stalwart Iain Ross put down his firing shovel long enough to pass out as a diesel driver. Well done Iain! Terry Briggs sent us the superb shot below of 6940 arriving at Llangollen, passing 44806 on a driver experience. Iain and his mane of hair (I’m only jealous) can be seen in the chair.

Meanwhile, D5310 was involved in the Great Central Railway Type 2 Weekend with D7612 and D5401. The 26 did what she normally does – performed superbly. The link between the two locos was again Iain Ross who, fresh from passing out as a driver at Llangollen on Saturday, then drove D5310 at Loughborough on the Sunday!

D5310 did not hang round for long at the GCR, working light engine to Rothley after services had finished on Sunday 16th ready for collection the next morning. By 6pm on the following day she was back on LR metals. Phew! An oil change will take place very soon.

Thanks to Mav for the photo – who had nothing else better to do at this point, seeing as the low loader had blocked his car in! Sincere thanks also go to all at the GCR who supported our visit and made us so welcome. We are also very grateful to Ant Philp from the Northampton Type 2 Group for providing a heater, desk cowl and spare speedo for D5310. 3 very useful bits!

Attention now turns to summer running in North Wales with diesel running taking place at both the Classic Transport Weekend on 6th/7th July (one loco per day, roster tbc asap!) and the 60′s Weekend on 27th & 28th July (both 6940 and D5310 in use on both days – TT available in a couple of weeks).

And we’ve not forgotten about D1566 either. An intensive working week is planned later this summer to begin stripping the top end of the power unit in readiness for changing the transition joints. A repaint is on the cards as well, but will remain a secret until unveiling. Obviously it’s going Load Haul then!

And finally tonight (as John Craven used to say), here’s one from the archives. Bruce Galloway shared this superb and very evocative image of a work-stained BR blue 37240 drifting through Cardiff with a coke working in July 1982 on the Railway Photography Facebook Group. This Group is well worth “liking” if you do Facebook!

Give it another couple of harsh Welsh winters and 6940 will be looking like this – no bad thing!

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Going Great on the Great Central

D5310 made a successful debut at the Great Central Railway Diesel Gala on 18th and 19th May, joining Class 25 D7612 visting from the South Devon Railway and resident Class 27 D5401 to provide a superb trio of Sulzer Type 2s as part of an impressive and varied 8 locomotive line up. The highlight was being able to sample all 3 Type 2s on the Saturday evening Beerex, with D5310 double heading with both D7612 and D5401. Unfortunately D7612 was suffering from electrical problems which resulted in her failure on Sunday morning – an awful piece of luck for the SDR team after they had put in a massive amount of work to get the 25 repainted and ready for the event

D5310 behaved impeccably and was crewed by LDG members all weekend. A minor leak on the instrument pipe to the gauge for the vacuum chamber at No 2 end caused a slight headache on Saturday morning, but was switfly repaired by Group Chairman and CME Mark Smales, with the more time being spent removing the driver’s seat in order to get to it and then finding a replacement washer (amazing what you can find on the floor of the clean air room)! An intermittent speedometer fault, also at Number 2 end, became more frequent on Saturday afternoon, but use of GPS apps on the crew’s phones got round this. We suspect one of the components in the gauge itself has failed, so it will need to be removed for inspection.

Jim Mosley’s superb and timeless photo below shows D5310 cruising towards Quorn and Woodhouse in both an idyllic setting and (unusually!) weather on Sunday 18th May.

We would like to extend a massive thank you to all at the GCR who have been involved in looking after us so far, particularly Steven Chappell, GCR Operations Manager, who has masterminded the visit.

Thanks also go to everyone in the LDG who has helped make the visit happen, with considerable preparations being made in a short timescale. Tom Shilliam and Paul Williams manned our sales stand on Loughborough station on Sunday and took over £150 – an excellent result for the Group’s funds.

D5310 is scheduled to take part in a GCR Sulzer Type 2 running day on June 15th and 16th, but this will be subject to repairs on D7612. Watch this space!

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GCR Diesel Gala Timetable

A big thank you to those who supported D5310′s running day last weekend. All went well and the adjustments made to the electric radiator fan thermostat appear to have been successful with the fan cutting in as expected.

D5310 is due to travel to the GCR one day next week. The timetable and loco roster for the event is now confirmed via the links below:

Passenger timetable Diesel Gala May 2013 – Saturday 18th May
Passenger timetable Diesel Gala May 2013 – Sunday 19th May

The 26 will be working the late turns on both days, including the evening working on Saturday, where we will double head with our green Type 2 Cousins Class 27 D5401 and Class 25 D7612. This should be fruity to say the least!

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D5310 – Great Central Railway

We are delighted to announce that Class 26 D5310 will be joining D7612 and D5401 to give an impressive Sulzer Type 2 trio at the GCR’s Diesel Gala on May 18th/19th. The 26 will work a 4 trip running day at Llangollen on Saturday 4th May and then depart for Loughborough soon afterwards for a month’s visit.

As many will remember, D5310′s superb bodywork overhaul was carried out by John Robinson at the GCR in 2005/6, but the locomotive did not work on the line as there was outstanding mechanical restoration to be done. This visit will set that right!

The locomotive clearly remains very popular with enthusiasts and is already well travelled, having visited the Wensleydale and Severn Valley Railways in 2011 and the Keighley & Worth Valley, East Lancs and WCRC open day at Carnforth before the LDG acquired her in 2009.

The Type 2 will return to North Wales in readiness for the summer gala season, where it is expected to take part in both the Classic Transport and 1960′s Weekends.


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May 4th Running Day

With the incredible (and frustrating) March snow now (hopefully) a fading memory and the Llangollen Railway very much back in business, we are looking forward to our first running day of the year after the disappointment of having to cancel our Spring Diesel Day due to the severe weather.

Although the Spring Diesel Day will unfortunately not now rescheduled, a 4 trip diagram will run with Class 26 D5310 next Saturday, 4th May. Class 37 6940 will then work a similar 4 trip diagram on June 15th.

The timetable is available here: http://www.llangollen-railway.co.uk/times.php?year=2013&month=May. Day rover tickets are available at £14.

We look forward to seeing some of our usual faithful next Saturday!

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Spring in Denbighshire?

The cancellation of yesterdays Diesel Day was a very bitter pill to swallow but was clearly a very sensible decision as the heaviest snowfall in around 30 years hit the Dee Valley through Friday and Saturday, making many roads impassable and causing power cuts. The snow is even worse higher up the Valley heading towards Carrog.  Group member Iain Ross is still snowed in at Llangollen and sent me this rather other wordly looking photo of 6940 next to unrestored GWR 2-8-0 2859 in the yard at Llangollen yesterday.

The Llangollen Railway unfortunately remains closed until further notice and until such a time as the weather improves.

Snowy 6940

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