Another successful working day was held on Saturday 2nd March. The main focus was to de-winterise Class 37 6940. First on the list was to reconnect and charge the batteries followed by reassembling and filling the stripped down and drained coolant system. The photo below shows the main engine coolant pipe that runs around the base of the power unit after being put back together with new gaskets. Having wrestled with the heavy and cumbersome cast sections myself in previous years, I can confirm it’s not as easy as it has been made to look here!
Next on the list was a power unit oil level check and top-up followed by a thorough examination of the electrical cubicle to ensure all relays and contactors were free to close. Finally both the main generator commutator and brushes were carefully examined. With all well, it was time to put the batteries in, run the oil pump and press engine start. The 1,750hp 12CSVT power unit started at the first attempt.
With air pressure built up, the refurbished bogie brake cylinders were checked for leaks. Whilst all was well with these, a leak was found in the air supply pipe from the compressors just under the A side No.1 end cab door. The corroded pipe has been removed for repair, a fairly minor issue which will be fixed well before the 23rd March running day. The loco took power successfully, indicating the electrical systems were all in order as we thought.
D5310 was also started and used for shunting 6940 down the ramp to Goods Junction, where we start the 37 to avoid cold-start smoke causing a nuisance to local residents.
Thanks are due to the healthy turn out of volunteers who turned up to get the job done and to Pete Edwards for organising the work and taking the photos.We are now seeing such numbers that two members of the Group were able to tackle some overhanging branches and remove litter from the back of the diesel road, a rather unglamorous but long overdue job.
The timetable for the March 23rd Diesel Day will soon be available. Trains are still expected to run between Llangollen and Glyndyfrdwy only with D5310 and 6940 both now expected to be available. We look forward to seeing you there!
Details for our first running day of 2013 on March 23rd are now confirmed. BRCW Type 2 D5310 and EE Type 3 6940 will work a B Timetable with 7 trips in total - 4 for D5310 and 3 for 6940.
We had hoped to hold a more ambitious event and include some shunter haulage and a DMU diagram, but the problem is the recent embankment landslip just West of Glyndyfrdwy station, where the railway is very close to the River Dee, which has curtailed services to Carrog and use of the extension to Bonwm. The Railway are working very hard to get the damage repaired but progress is dependent on an insurance claim and the river level staying low enough to allow work to begin. It is likely that repairs will not be complete until the end of March. If the work is ongoing at the time of the event, there will be a line possession around the worksite so there is no chance of even moving a loco or stock to Carrog, were we to lay on a bus to link up the two halves of the line.
We hope that people are still able to support the event – the LR really needs the support at this difficult time and remember that the line’s major gradient of Berwyn Bank, including the legendary thrash factor of climbing at 1 in 80 through the single bore Berwyn tunnel will still be available on the current operating line between Llangollen and Glyndyfrdwy.
Day rover fares will be: Adult £14, Senior £12, Child £7, Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children) £36. Standard return tickets are also available Adult £12, Senior £10, Child £6, Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children) £30.
We have not let the awful recent weather put a stop to two working weekends to prepare D5130 and 6940 for the 2013 season. Saturday 2nd and 9th February saw a team of LDG volunteers tackle a much-needed brake block change on 6940. With 10 people present on the 2nd of Feb, much progress was made with 12 new blocks fitted to No.1 bogie and 2 spare bogie brake cylinders refurbished to an airtight
The No 2 bogie was tackled to complete the job on the 9th of Feb.
A start was also made on a good clean up of the area around the 37′s power unit. Next on the list will be to reassemble and refill the cooling circuit, then reattach and charge
D1566 was also fully sheeted over prevent to prevent water ingress at No.2 end. Later in the year we plan to carry out a detailed inspection of the power unit and price up the top end overhaul.
D5310 was also started and checked for further investigation of the radiator fan problem, which appears to be incorrect adjustment on the cut-in temperature switch. The engine didn’t get above 120 degrees when shunting and idling, so adjusting to the correct cut-in point will probably have to wait until the loco’s next run up the line on 23rd March,
when she will be working harder.
Thanks go to all that supported the weekends – our most intense for some time and to Pete Edwards for organising them and providing the phots – nice one Chief!
One of those non-essential but deeply satisfying jobs was completed on D5310 earlier this month – we finally finished off the excellent work completed by D5310′s previous owner and supporters by reinstating working lights behind the upper and lower centre train describer lights. The photos below, provided by Group Chairman Mark Smales, show light shining from the lenses for the first time since they were reinstated during the loco’s bodywork overhaul by John Robinson at the GCR in 2006. They also show the full functional connecting nose doors in a rare open position, demonstrating the excellent job done by John in returning the front end of D5310 to as-built condition. As far as I know this is the only BRCW Type 2 with a fully authentic original front ends. Nice one Mark!
Happy New Year!
We are delighted to announce that the 2013 LR timetable has now been confirmed. There is good news for haulage fans as the two diesel running days on 4th May (D5310) and 15th June (6940) will now see 4 trips operated on each day, as has been the case in previous seasons and offering the haulage enthusiast good value per mile for a £12 adult rover ticket. See our Running Dates page for more information.
Preparations are now well underway for our Spring Diesel Day, with an oil change planned for D5310 and a new set of brake blocks on order for 6940. These jobs may sound minor, but these days involve a four figure sum of money, demonstrating the expense and challenges of keeping our locos in traffic.
Here’s looking forward to a good year of diesel operation in the Dee Valley!
The Llangollen Diesel Group would like to wish all our followers and supporters a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2013. Our sincere thanks go to everyone who has supported us this year, be it at the sharp, dirty and cramped end or on the cushions and ticket office.
It’s been a tough year for us at times, with the continued problems experienced with 6940. There’s also been some real highs with 4 locos in use at our March Diesel Day and getting 5580 and D5310 to christen the Bonwm extension in September.
Our next running day will be our Spring Diesel Day on Saturday 23rd March and should feature D5310 and 6940 both working four trips each and hopefully include some shunter haulage – watch this space for more details in the New Year.
D5310 was available as standby loco on the first weekend of Santa trains back on 8th December, but was not required due to the ever-dependable 7822 and 44806 handling the day’s trains. The 26 started successfully and undertook some yard shunting. 6940 was also fitted with new gaskets on A Bank crankcase and cambox covers. B Bank will follow in the new year. The photos below were taken by Paul Williams and show the new gaskets being fitted by Pete Coole.
These should help keep the power unit a bit cleaner:
What can be found behind the crankcase inspection cover of a 12CSVT. This is A6 cylinder’s big ends, cylinder liner and, to the left, the timing gear.
A challenging day was spent at Llangollen in very cold conditions yesterday, trying to steam clean the engine room walkways of D5310 and bedplate of 6940. Various problems were encountered, not least the steam cleaner proving to be very shy of well, steam! Clearly this is not our forte and why we stick to diesels!
The photos below show D5310 sat on the pit with its centre inspection door open and then Pete Coole attacking the grimy floor.
Thanks to Paul Williams for the photos.
6940 is now ready for the cold weather. The coolant circuit has been drained and the water pumps and oil cooler primed with 50/50 antifreeze. The battery terminals have also been disconnected and bagged. The rad room and the fan grill is protected by a tarpaulin. The loco will needs a good steam-clean of the bedplate and and a general clean of the walkways, engine and pipework at the free end before reactivating in the Spring. Thanks to Pete Edwards for the photo below, which shows the disconnected oil cooler.
D5310 was started with no problems and some diagnosis done on the problem of the intermittent fault with the radiator fan. The temperature sensor switches were all found to be working, the next step will be to check the thermostats are set right when the coolant is is warm enough to calibrate them.
We are pleased to be able to provide provisional 2013 diesel running dates as follows:
- 23rd March & 21st September 2013: Spring & Autumn Diesel Days
- 2 Diesel Running Days (2 round trips – first and last of the day only on B timetable – 10:30 ex 15:50 Llan departures)
- Classic Transport Weekend – 6th & 7th July 2013
- 1960’s Weekend: 27th & 28th July 2013
With 2012 running complete, the fleet will be prepared for winter this coming weekend. D5310 will remain available for traffic for works trains. D1566 and 6940 will be drained down and stored.
Class 31 5580 left the railway on 27th September for the GCR(N) at Ruddington, arriving safely and continuing her impressive 100% reliability record for her stay at Llangollen by taking part in the GCR(N) Autumn Diesel Gala on the 6th and 7th of October. We would like to thank A1A Locomotives Ltd for their unwavering support during their stay at Llangollen. The photo below shows 5580′s last trip on the Railway – an historic working for as the first diesel locomotive to haul a passenger West of Carrog.
A big thank you to everyone that came along to support us yesterday.
We are sorry about 6940′s failure – one of the valves in the brake application unit seized. We believe this was caused by a nasty combination of a very wet day on Friday with a cold night, complete with frost. Fortunately we had a spare so it could be repaired in time to get the loco back out on the 2pm service. We apologise that the failure meant the first run to Bonwm had to be stopped at Carrog, along with the 12pm train. We’re glad she was able to perform for the last two trips.
We would like to say a final massive thank you to A1A Locos Ltd, whose support throughout 5580′s stay at Llangollen has been fantastic. It’s been great to have them with us.
That’s it for diesel running at Llan for 2012 – the 2013 timetable is currently in print and details for our next diesel event in March 2013 will be released soon.
A couple of my photos from the day, 5580 waits at Carrog to take the first ever diesel-hauled passenger train west to Bonwm.
And then D5310 is glimpsed through the windows of Glyndyfrdwy signal box with the returning working as the sun sets. Not a bad view whilst waiting for the Goods Junction token!