D5310 – 25 & 26th May

Owing to continued unavailability of steam locomotives at Llangollen, D5310 will work over the bank holiday weekend, covering the 09:50, 12:10 and 14:40 departures from Llangollen on both Sunday 25th and Monday 26th of May.


Thanks to George Jones for the superb photo, taken at last September’s Autumn Diesel Day.

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D5310 – Sunday 18th May

Due to the failure of BR standard class 4 tank 80072, D5310 will be working tomorrow’s steam diagram at Llangollen, working the 10:50, 13:00 and 15:10 departures from Llan – full timetable on LR website.

Subject to final confirmation and crew availability, the Type 2 may also be working over the Bank Holiday on both Sunday 25th and Monday 26th May – a further announcement will be made to confirm in due course.


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D5310 – Saturday 3rd May Running Day

This Saturday, 3rd May sees D5310 out and about in the Dee Valley working 3 trips, departing Llangollen at 09:50, 12:10 and 14:40. A full timetable is available on the LR website. Our ‘Welsh Scotsman’ has now been at the railway for nearly 5 years and become the backbone of our small fleet. We look forward to welcoming a few Type 2 fans along for some Sulzer 6LDA noise!


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Spring Diesel Day

A big thank you to everyone who supported our Spring Diesel Day yesterday, either as a volunteer or passenger. The weather wasn’t great, with a cold breeze, rain, sleet and snow showers, but it was a lot better than this time last year when there was over a foot of snow! There were also a few sunny spells that allowed us to enjoy views of the Dee Valley like this:

2014-03-22 10.10.26

D5310 performed well and the Class 127/108 hybrid unit provided something a little different for passengers to sample.

Several LDG members were present on Friday 21st so as well as fuelling, checking and testing D5310 ready for the following day………….

2014-03-21 11.40.49

…………work on refurbishing the cylinder heads of D1566 could also be progressed. All 12 heads have now been throughly cleaned, de-greased and undercoated, with gloss applied to 6 of them. Mark, Matt and Tom are seen getting stuck in.

2014-03-22 14.28.29

Although not able to take part in the event, 03162 was on display at Carrog, where it is currently based for supporting the final stages of the Corwen extension. The 03 is seen stabled next to Derek Foster’s superb Ruston Bucyrus dragline excavator, which is being used to load ballast.

2014-03-22 10.45.36

D5310’s next public outing will be a further 4 trip running day on 3rd May.

In the meantime the Group will be looking at options for repair of 6940’s bogie, which is proving to be a difficult, expensive and complex problem. We are also looking into the possibility of a visiting locomotive to cover our motive power shortfall for the busier summer period.

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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.

2014-03-02 14.56.48

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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