Spring Diesel Day Timetable & 6940 News

Saturday 22nd’s Diesel Running Day will feature D5310 working 4 trips and the Class 127/108 hybrid DMU working 3 trips as follows: Screenshot 2014-03-14 14.24.38



We can now unfortunately confirm that 6940 has suffered a fractured liner plate on the A side of No 2 end bogie. These thin plates are welded inbetween the horn guide and bearing sides to provide a wear surface and are made from a manganese alloy. They are designed to wear in preference to the neighbouring surfaces and are prone to failure from corrosion and fatigue as they wear and age. Detailed inspection has found in cracks of 5 of the 11 other plates on this bogie, which was replaced when the loco was first returned to traffic back in 2003, so is not one of the original pair. The locomotive is therefore stopped until further notice.

This is another major setback for 6940, which has now been dogged by a series of frustrating and unrelated failures over the last 5 years. Repair of the bogie will require it to be removed and fully stripped, meaning the locomotive must be lifted – a major operation. The Group are currently giving careful consideration to how we can deal with this complex, difficult and expensive problem. Although no timescale for repair is available at present, we can confirm that 6940 is likely to be out of traffic for some time unless a replacement or loan operational bogie can be sourced for swapping with the defective one when the locomotive is lifted.

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Spring Diesel Day – 6940 Not Available

A very productive working day was held on Sunday 2nd March, with 6 people including two new members turning up. Welcome Rich and Ian!

D5310 received battery maintenance, a new windscreen wiper and was started and checked over, all appeared well.

6940 was de-winterised, filled with water and thoroughly examined. She was started successfully as the photo shows and all systems found to be operational. However subsequent further examination has revealed a fault with the number 2 end bogie which unfortunately means the loco will not be able to take part in the March Diesel Day. We will provide further information on this when we can.

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The Spring Diesel day will now therefore feature D5310 and a DMU, thanks to the Llangollen Railcar Group for stepping in to help us. Departures will be to the standard C timetable, 3 trips for each train, first departure 09:50 ex Llan, second 10:50 (full standard TT on LR website). We will confirm the running order and the DMU to be used in due course.

We are extremely sorry to disappoint those looking forward to haulage from 6940 but hope folk will still join us for some mileage with D5310 and a DMU trip or two.

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EMRPS 6940 Charter

Saturday’s East Midland Railway Photographic Society charter was a well attended and successful event, despite truly hideous weather with heavy rain extant for much of the day and night. It was great to welcome the EMRPS and their impressive floodlighting team back to Llangollen for their 4th event, their creativity and enthusiasm always leads to some excellent shots of our locos at the railway.

The charter used 6940 and a short mixed freight in Llangollen station, largely consisting of bauxite coloured vans and open wagons. The interlopers were the superbly restored Presflo cement wagon and a toad brake van, the latter undesirable for a BR blue-era freight, but all that was available with the BR standard van being used on the Corwen extension.

Preparing the freight was a lengthy and challenging exercise given the stock was stabled at Pentrefelin, nearly a mile from the station. 08195 and ‘Pilkington’ were used to shunt and assemble the train, with D5310 then working it from Goods Junction into the station and handling stock movements for the charter.

We would like to thank Jason Cross from the EMRPS for organising the event and also for taking the below shot of the LDG charter crew. Left to right is Chris Owen (Signaller), Iain Ross, Pete Edwards, Matt Davies and Tez Pickthall. Tom Shilliam and Paul Williams were also on hand to help all day. Thanks to all involved. We had to keep very still!


Finally, a big thanks to all those from the EMRPS who supported the event, many travelling long distances in awful conditions to support the railway. We are delighted to have already seen some brilliant photos with 6940 looking the part in the wonderfully atmospheric environs of Llangollen station. My shots below give a flavour of what was on offer.





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The Dee Valley by Night

The year has seen a busier than usual start for us. D5310 has been used on several works trains on the Corwen extension, the first being on Friday 3rd January.

The loco then took part in a successful Winter Warmer gala on 4th and 5th of January, working alongside steam and a DMU, but with passenger miles restricted due to lack of train heat. This did however mean we got to work a demonstration freight train, including at night on the Saturday of the event.

The below photo shows D5310 crossing 44806 at Goods Junction on Saturday 4th Jan. A privileged site for the crew of the 26, with the 5MT working one of her last trains in the Dee Valley before sadly leaving Llangollen for the NYMR.


On the subject of night photography, do you fancy a go at at Llangollen station this weekend? The EMRPS are holding one of their superb floodlit night photo charters on Saturday 8th Feb. This will feature 6940 on a short freight, posed in Llangollen station. The shoot will run between approximately 17:30 and 21:30. Places are strictly limited and cost £25, with takings shared between the Llangollen Railway & Llangollen Diesel Group. Interested? Then mail jason.cross@15c.co.uk.

We are now getting closer to our Spring Diesel Day. Details will follow shortly – watch this space.

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Winter Warmer Gala

Happy new year to all our supporters and we hope you have had a good Christmas.

D5310 will be taking part at this weekend’s Winter Warmer Gala at Llangollen on both Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th January 2014. Although haulage miles are restricted to a couple of trips each day due to us not being able to heat the stock, the good news is that the 26 will be working a freight train for the first time in a few years including in the dark on Saturday evening. A public timetable is here (click Download pdf).

The Saturday evening D5310-hauled freight is not shown on the public TT, but will be in Llan station at 18:20 for half an hour for photographs before working a full trip along the line. Arrival at Carrog will be at 19:21 and departure at 19:45, crossing a steam-hauled train at Glyndyfrdwy in both directions. Here’s hoping the rain and gales naff off for the evening!

Although D5310 has hauled passenger and works trains in the dark at Llangollen it is interesting to ponder when was the last time a Class 26 worked a scheduled freight train?

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News & 2014 Operating Dates – Including January Action!

We are very pleased to be able to confirm our 2014 operating days at the Llangollen Railway. We look forward to being part of a very historic year for the Railway when we run our first trains to Corwen, although this is clearly subject to completion of extension work.

  • Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th January. The Winter Warmer Gala. Featuring D5310 double-headed with resident steam fleet. Type 2 action with heated stock.
  • Saturday 22nd March. Spring Diesel Day. Featuring D5310, 6940 & 08195. It is hoped that 08195 will work a full trip along the line in the morning. Although trains may run to Bonwm the Corwen extension will NOT be open at this point.
  • Saturday 3rd May. Diesel Running Day. Traction TBC. First diesel-hauled train expected to run to Corwen!
  • Saturday 14th June. Diesel Running Day. Traction TBC. Corwen running.
  • Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July. Classic Transport Weekend. Featuring D5310 & 6940. Corwen running.
  • Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th July. 1960’s Weekend. Featuring D5310 & 6940. Corwen running.
  • Saturday 27th September. Autumn Diesel Day. Featuring D5310, 6940, 08195 and possibly the return to traffic D1566 (subject to overhaul work and funds). Corwen running.

Fleet Update

Work on the fleet at Llangollen has seen the much-needed oil change on D5310 completed earlier this month. The loco then took part in a tunnel evacuation exercise on 16th November for crew training purposes and was crewed by Iain Ross and Matt Davies. Thanks to Charles Allen for the photo. All went well.

D5310 rescue

6940 has now been prepared for winter, with the coolant circuit drained and partially dismantled. The oil cooler and water pumps have been filled with antifreeze and the rad room has been sheeted over with a tarpaulin to protect it from the elements. This is identical preparation to last year – which saw us through some pretty harsh weather with no damage.

D1566 is also sheeted over for the winter, although activities for preparing to continue with the overhaul continue. A full set of transition joints and gaskets are on order from a specialist supplier, as is new steelwork to repair the corroded areas of the roof.

The Group would like to thank everyone who has supported us this year and wish everyone a very happy Christmas. Here’s to a great 2014!

What better way to finish the year than by turning back the clock and looking at 3 superb images of our locos when they were still at work on the “big railway”.

First we have a very historic seasonal image of D1556 steaming away in the February 1970 cold under the 1500VDC catenary at Penistone, having just worked over the legendary and greatly missed Woodhead route. Many thanks to Keith Partlow for allowing us to reproduce it here.


And then we delve back into 37240’s past. Still in Yorkshire, but the slightly warmer climes of the 25th May 1989 and the Doncaster avoiding line, working between the scenic locations of Grimsby and Wolverhampton with a steel train. Thanks to Jon Gibbons (who was crewing her!) for the phot – a name many will be familiar with after 5580’s rather rateable visit to Llangollen between 2011 and 2012.

37240 Doncaster

And finally, we’ll set the time machine to jump back 3 years to 1986 and land North of the border at Edinburgh Waverley, where we find a Railfreight-liveried 26010 ready for departure on the 1805 Edinburgh – Cardenden on Friday 12 September 1986.

D5310 Waverley

Thanks to Bob Shands for sharing this evocative shot on Flickr. If only you could turn up at Waverley for a spin like that now eh?

Tez Pickthall

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Autumn Diesel Day Thanks!

A big thank you to everyone who supported Saturday’s Autumn Diesel Day. Both D5310 and 6940 performed well and driver experiences with 08195 proved popular.

The weather was kind, with a dull start giving way to a warm and bright Autumn afternoon in the Dee Valley. LR Press Officer George Jones was on hand to capture the two superb images below of 6940 and D5310 leaving Berwyn (he did well to get off the train, run up the A5 and get to this popular vantage point looking back at the Chain Bridge before the RA indicator lit for departure!).

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Thanks are due to George for sending us these images.

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The evening’s Beerex working with 6940 was well attended with both working volunteers and enthusiasts, with the draft real ale selling out. A massive thank you to Paul Bailey for making this happen. My photo below shows the evening crew, Messr’s Ross and Jones with Group Members Edwards and Shilliam enjoying their fish supper before departure.

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And coming out of the dark at Glyn it’s………..

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This was the culmination of a very successful week for the Group, with significant progress made on D1566’s power unit overhaul. The 47’s engine top end is now completely dismantled and all components safely stored. A major clean up of the block has been performed, with over 25 years worth of accumulated grime being removed. 4 broken and loose head studs have been found, which will require remedial action, but two new studs are already in our stores. The exhaust manifold has also seen attention, as shown in the photo below. The bolts broke when removed, so these have been ground out and re-drilled and tapped by Mark Smales. Thanks to Bryn Jones for the photo – I can be seen up to my neck in power unit, while Iain attends to the top of the block. Each day saw at least 4 Group members in attendance, allowing us to get ahead of where we wanted to be by Friday.

47 Overhaul 2

The removeable section of the roof has also received attention but will need removal again to deal with a nasty dose of ironworm. New sections will be made to replace the corroded areas. The photo below shows Iain Ross removing the rain strip in preparation for cutting away the corroded sections. A small section has been cut out to act as a pattern to allow a new profile to be formed.

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And here’s the problem – nearly 50 years out in the elements. Note the previous crude repair of pop-rivetting thin aluminium section over the holes. The plate had a roll date of 1992, so we suspect this is preservation era, but we’re not sure! Either way, the butting up of aluminium to unprotected steel in an area regularly doused in water will have set up a tidy galvanic cell and accelerated the rot.

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So, here we are again at the end of another running season. Attention will soon be turned to preparing 6940 for Winter. Further work will continue on D1566 with new transition joints soon to be ordered. D5310 will also finally get her long-awaited oil change.

Thanks again to all who have supported us – both as volunteers and passengers throughout 2013.

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Autumn Diesel Day

The event timetable is now confirmed. A copy can be downloaded here: Diesel Day Public Timetable Sept 2013.

Depatures ex-Llan D5310: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00. 16:00. 6940: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00
Departures ex Carrog D5310: 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00. 6940: 12:00. 14:00, 16:00
Adult day rover £14.

Llan-Glyndyfrdwy Beerex – 6940. £5 LR Members and day-rover holders. £10 for non-LR members or those without a day rover. Llan: 18:30, 19:50, 21:15 Glyn: 19:10, 20:30, 21:55. Many thanks to Paul Bailey for organising this. All proceeds to the LDG.

08195 is confirmed as drive for £10 in Llangollen station limits between 10:30 and 17:00. Get your hand on a rare power controller!

See you there!

In the meantime the week ahead sees an intensive working week planned on D1566 to kick the top end overhaul of the power unit off.

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Latest News. Autumn Diesel Day – Saturday 21st September & 60’s Success

Plans are now coming together for our Autumn Diesel Day on Saturday 21st September. The event will feature 6940, D5310 and provisionally 08195 on a driver-for-a-fiver working, location tbc but the Bonwm extension has been requested!

A beerex evening working is likely to be included and we hope to be able to issue a timetable soon.

More updates to follow shortly!

A belated big thank you to all those who supported our 1960’s weekend at the end of last month. The weekend sees the whole Diesel Group involved in delivering this popular event for the Railway, with us getting involved in tasks rather different from our usual activites – from weathering a visiting Black 5………

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……to setting up and manning Dr Beeching’s Bar, which was besieged on Saturday night, sold out of real ale and made a record profit!

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The event was busy and went well, with both D5310 and 6940 working on both days. Both locos put in some sterling and intensive service, with D5310 working 11 return trips flawlessly, including a storming night run on the Saturday to return campers back to Carrog after the well-attended music concert on Llangollen station. She is seen below in the sylvan setting of Deeside Halt while a minor signalling problem was being dealt with at Glyndyfrdwy on Sunday 28th July.

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6940 worked 7 trips, performing perfectly until a loss of power on Sunday afternoon saw the decision made to remove her from the last train of the day as a precaution and put D5310 out in her place, right time. 6940’s issue thankfully looks to be nothing serious, an inspection plug had worked loose on one of the A bank cylinders. This has been refitted and loco will be started and tested shortly to confirm all is well. She is seen below arriving at Glyndyfrdwy on Sunday 28th, glimpsed from the secondman’s windscreen of D5310 displaying a suitable headcode, as usual!

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Out of the news for over a year, D1566 was inspected on Saturday 17th August in readiness for her overhaul. This will see work on the power unit to change the transition joints, some bodywork and a repaint. Watch this space! Thanks to Tom Shilliam for the photo, which shows the “Spoon” on the inspection pit at Llangollen.



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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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