Calder Valley DMU steals the show!

By George Jones

IT has been said that the best way to appreciate the scenery of the Llangollen Railway is to take a trip on a DMU. The spacious windows act like those in an observation car, allowing unparalleled views of the stupendous upland landscape.

For the line’s Railcar Gala on June 2/3, the star of the show was undoubtedly the imported Calder Valley Class 110 DMU from East Lancashire Railway.

It made an interesting contrast with its Class 104 compatriot, and was seen as an upmarket version of the earlier Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon type, with a revised cab design and raised bodyside window frames.

The Llangollen Railway’s now-unique Class 109 two-car Wickham railcar set Nos. 50416+56171 at Carrog, alongside the visiting Calder Valley Class 110 DMU comprising vehicles Nos. 51813+59701+51842 from the East Lancashire Railway. LR

The fact that they were primarily intended for services on the arduous Calder Valley route meant that Class 110s needed more power than other first generation DMUs, so they were fitted with 180hp Rolls-Royce C6NFLH engines, and when delivered they had the highest hp/ton ratio of any of the first generation DMUs

The 4x180hp Rolls-Royce engines gave the Class 110 a sprightly performance noticeable on the ascent of Berwyn Bank and easy running within the timetabled station stages. The set proved popular with visiting fans eager to sample the unit on its visit to Wales.

Class 127 back in action

The other star was the return of the line’s own Class 127 DMU fresh out of the Pentrefelin workshops after a major overhaul which has seen parts of the bodywork reclad and front end rebuilt. The green paint was barely dry after a hurried reassembly the previous Tuesday and the absence of whiskers or yellow warning panel on the front end shows a need for further work to complete the refurbishment.

Read more and view more images in Issue 243 of HR – on sale now!

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