Saturday, 2 March 2019

March News Part 1

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

This week has been a "more of the same" affair with existing tasks progressing, with a strong painting theme. The interior ceiling painting using eggshell has now been completed in the guards compartment and is now progressing through the two passenger compartments. Meanwhile, the exterior painting continues and the whole coach has now been brought up to its first coat of Crimson gloss successfully.

Red is a poor colour for coverage so further coats (at least one) will be required.

London North Eastern Railway 1950 Brake Corridor Third E1866E

The work described last week involving packing up the new floor supporting timbers to the correct height has continued. About half of the passenger saloon has been completed (the half nearest the brake compartment) and treated to a coat of primer to seal it all in together.

More of the exterior passenger communication apparatus at the Holt end has been worked on also.

Plastic tubing is now in stock which will be run along the length of the passenger saloon behind the paneling, to create a conduit for the wiring which will serve the wall lights.

British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224

The final miscellaneous bits and bobs for the Sheringham end bogie have received their final coats of paint so this bogie is now ready to be reassembled and returned to the vehicle.

I have included a photograph of the steel-work lower "skirt" fitted which was reported on last week but with no illustration:

Said steel-work has continued at a good pace, with new steel window corners being added the length of the corridor opposite the passenger compartments.

Areas of rotten panelwork around the doorways are now also being renewed where required, and where it had to be chopped away to replace the doorway steel structure.

British Railways 1959 Tourist Second Open M4843

This coach is currently in exile in the Locomotive shed (to make room for RBR E1969 - see below) but work has still been able to continue. The landward side store cupboard (ex toilet) has had its lower skirting board fitted which concludes the woodwork required in here. This, in turn, has allowed it to be painted inside into primer.

Meanwhile across the way in the seaward side store cupboard, the floor has had replacement supports fitted below it so we now have a secure floor on which to build upwards from. The next task is refitting the framework for the walls and ceiling which is now in progress. A start has also been made on producing some replacement wall paneling out of hardboard, in an exact copy of the process we went through a few months ago with the landward side store.

On the outside of the vehicle, all of the bearing caps have been removed from the wheelsets and cleaned up, with half of them having been shot blasted ready for repainting.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51188

Repainting work continues, with the vehicle now brought up to the undercoat stage.

Other tasks have also been completed, including the second coat of roof paint which means the roof is now finished.

Inside the vehicle, the two damaged ceiling panels have now had their finial coat of white gloss. Their final finish is not perfect, but it is a great improvement on the flaking bare wood that they were before.


The bogies have been returned back from Ilford.

The vehicle was raised up again on the jacks in order for the bogies to be refitted to the vehicle.

Unfortunately due to metal being removed from the wheels, the vehicle is now out of tolerance and is sitting too low. The suspension has been packed out on the bogies in order to raise the vehicle up back to the correct height, which is the prescribed method for raising the coach's height when fitted with this design of bogie. Having the correct "ride height" is very important so that the corridor connections line up without a big step in the floor, and so that the buckeye couplings mate together properly when coupling up. Quite some time has been spent this week ensuring this has been attended to.

Whilst the vehicle has been in the workshops several rotten footboards have been removed, and new ones produced to take their place. They are currently in the process of being painted up and have reached the undercoat stage.

We finish will a view that shows it isn't all work and no play!

Saturday, 23 February 2019

February News Part 4

With viruses over, normal service can resume!

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

Painting has continued to be the main focus at present. The landward side has received its second coat of undercoat and an initial gloss coat of BR Crimson has been applied to the same side. As the correct crimson for the coach has not yet been ordered, a different shade is being used on the first coat to build up the layers.

Meanwhile, the ceilings inside the guards brake area have received a coat of eggshell - more painting!

London North Eastern Railway 1950 Brake Corridor Third E1866E

Getting a solid floor back into the vehicle is the current theme. More supporting bracketry has been fitted to the renewed structure, which is now having a filling piece added to the top. This is because the timber available to build the new floor structure was not quite as thick as the original, so to get the finished floor level correct it needs raising up slightly.

Externally, parts of the passenger communication apparatus are being installed, over a new plate which has been added above the corridor connection to repair a rotten area that was discovered in that region.

British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224

The bogie which has had its suspension components dismantled (described last update) has taken up most peoples' time in an effort to get everything painted up ready for reassembly. With a lot of manpower all the items are now starting to reach the gloss black stage, although some items such as the coil springs are going into more exciting colours like red!

Metalwork on the landward side continues to progress well. The lower six inch "skirt" on the body has now been fully replaced along the length of the passenger compartments.

British Railways 1959 Tourist Second Open M4843

The Holt end vestibule is being reassembled now that there is some labour available for the tasks. A troublesome section of rotten veneer in the corner, has been replaced with a much cheaper plywood version of itself. However, with careful application of varnishes, stains etc we have managed to get away with blending it in successfully with its neighboring woodwork which remains original. The images shows how you can't really tell which bit is the new section, which is a sign of a good repair.

The section of ceiling which was removed to allow for the end steel-work repairs has also been returned to its rightful position and the lighting reconnected.

Inside the landward side store cupboard, the last outstanding woodwork task, that of making some skirting board, is now progressing. The skirting is now cut and finished roughly to size, and is now ready for fitting.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51188

Repainting continues, with the whole vehicle now completed in primer, making it all one colour once again.


RBR E1969 has briefly entered the workshop for some heavy maintenance. This coach seems to be like a boomerang, constantly returning to Weybourne as fast as we try to hurl it back to Sheringham! The latest cause for concern for this "problem child" has been the wheelsets which have gained high flanges meaning they require turning back to the correct profile. It wasn't long before the vehicle's bogies were disconnected and the body lifted off them.

The bogies were removed as whole units and positioned outside for collection by road transport.

They were duly collected by Reid Freight and dispatched to Ilford depot for turning.

This was done incredibly quickly with success, but unfortunately large defects in the tyres were discovered lurking below when the lathe operators were doing their work. In the end good metal was not found until the wheel was just 2mm above the lowest size permissible. What this means is that luckily the wheels are acceptable for their next turn of service, however we have lost several "turns" worth of metal in one go so a set of wheels which we thought would be good for many years are now on their last hurrah so to speak. We shall now all hope that this coach does not suffer any mistakes that lead to severe wheel flats - as that will condemn this particular set of wheels to the dreaded retyring (a much more expensive process that involves replacement of the outer steel tyre). For now however they are good to go once again, the wheel profile (as expected) now being perfect.

The bogies arrived back at Weybourne two days after collection and now await refitting to the coach.

In other "maintenance news" we admire the Loco Department's latest paint job, to "Charger" which is their new mobile tool station and battery charging trolley. Network SouthEast lives again in Norfolk!

Friday, 15 February 2019

February News Part 3

There is no update this week unfortunately, due to illness. We hope to be back online as soon as possible!

Friday, 8 February 2019

February News Part 2

A bit of a quieter week this time, but still progress on all fronts!

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

With the first coat of undercoat now applied, it was found some of the marks left behind by the resin below were showing through. This week has therefore been spent carefully rubbing down once again to gain a smoother surface to which to apply the next coat of undercoat.

London North Eastern Railway 1950 Brake Corridor Third E1866E

The vintage corner brackets, mentioned last week, which were salvaged from Great Eastern and Great Northern Railway grounded carriage bodies, have now mostly been attached to the new floor framework which has been fitted to the passenger saloon. This will create one large rigid floor structure onto which the top floor panels can be affixed.

Meanwhile, further cleaning of the brass window frames for the upper sliding lights continues. One of these sets, in a dismantled form, has also been dispatched to a casting company for two more to be manufactured. This is so that the window arrangement can be converted fully from the coach's original corridor configuration, into a fully open salooned vehicle. This will mean all the main bodyside windows will be fitted with opening lights, as at present there are two which are not so fitted, on the original corridor side.

There has also been continued work on the passenger communication chord modifications.

British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224

This week has been focused on the wheelset swap on the Sheringham end bogie. On Monday the bogie was extracted and the bogie frame lifted off the old wheelsets, which were then returned to our spare wheel rack. This done, we split open all of the various drop links, springs, packing rings and dampers which form the suspension on this design of bogie (B4). This created a pile of roughly 120 individual parts to clean up and repaint. We have been working through these with several metal parts being shotblasted, others being cleaned down with a wire wheel and others being needle gunned. I won't bore readers with photos of each individual parts, however here is a view of some of the largest individual components, the coil springs, after cleaning and painting in a coat of rust inhibiting primer. Several of these were gunned down by Mike, our newest volunteer, who had bravely volunteered himself for this loud and dirty job early on in his volunteering career!

Meanwhile, metalwork also continues on the coach, with the final rotten floor support from the passenger components now replaced. This will allow flooring to be reinstated in due course.

The refitting of the air brake pipework has also progressed well, with the run of pipes now extending from the end of the coach, under the guards van and almost through to where it can reconnect with the existing pipework which didn't need to be disturbed.

British Railways 1959 Tourist Second Open M4843

Some more tasks which were were not able to finish last time we had a big push on this coach are now started to be attended to. The final doorway to be disturbed during the metalwork repairs now has a full compliment of door jambs again, after a lower section was replaced with a new example below where the lock catch is.

Some more covers from the electrical boxes underneath the vehicle, which were in extremely tatty ex-BR condition, have been cleaned back to metal and painted in primer.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51188

The ceiling repairs mentioned in the last two weeks, have now progressed into the gloss white stage, however more coats are required as white paint gives such a weak cover...

With the roof stripping completed, this has now received its first coat of roof paint, which firmly kicked off the repainting transformation.

Salmon pink primer is now being applied along the landward (drivers) side of the vehicle, which reached the drivers door by the close of play on Friday. More primer will be applied next week no doubt followed by undercoat. The primer will be a good base for the M&GN Saddle Brown top coat!


C Exams continue on the running stock this week at Sheringham, in all weathers!

Sunday, 3 February 2019

February News Part 1

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

The general outward appearance of the coach has changed dramatically with the application of the first undercoat, which has been applied to the landward side and both ends.

This have transformed it into a plum coloured creature, and is the next step towards its final crimson colour scheme.

London North Eastern Railway 1950 Brake Corridor Third E1866E

Focus has continued to be on the flooring, which is being replaced my much more substantial timber than before. The main beams are now all in place along the length of the passenger saloon, so it will not be long before the floor panels themselves are able to be attached on top.

A series of corner brackets, salvaged from Great Eastern Railway grounded bodies and other similar vehicles, have also been prepared for fitting to the framework.

There has also been continued work on the passenger communication chord modifications.

British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224

We are now ready for the wheelset swap to take place, as the fourth axle has been cleaned up and is now finished in gloss black paint.

Metalwork continues to progress, with an incorrect floor support located under the Holt end toilet cut out and replaced with a correct profiled example.

We welcomed back stalwart volunteer Roger Ison after some time away, who has got stuck in to sanding and repainting the vestibule ceiling that is located between the guards compartment and the passenger compartments. These are now in white undercoat as they didn't require much restoration due to their good condition.

Work to relocate the air brake pipework under the vehicle continues, and this has now led us up through the floor into the guards compartment where the emergency valve and gauge is located. So far there has been plenty of trail fitting to work out what will go where, as the air pipes will follow a more neater pattern than BR achieved. The picture shows the vacuum pipe and gauge roughly in position, as an aide to where the air pipes must sit.

British Railways 1959 Tourist Second Open M4843

There has been good progress on the interior refreshment works, which have been ongoing over the winter. The hidden areas of flooring beneath the seats have received a coat of floor paint in the Sheringham end of the saloon. Also repainted have been the various grills and heaters which all carry an aluminium silver paint.

Various items of beading and trim are also in the process of being sorted out and refitted where possible. In the Holt end saloon, spot re-varnishing continues where areas have been found to be thin.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51188

One last push this week on the sanding, filling and bodywork preparation has seen this major task reach completion, with the seaward side guards van being the last area to be treated.

Whilst sanding this area, the original 1950's lettering dictating how much could be loaded into the guards van was revealed:

It would have said "Load 30 CWT's evenly distributed" and this will be traced and returned to its exact position once repainted.

The route indicator box for the front end is currently having wooden frames made for it, so that the glass can be clamped into position against the steel box.

The painting of the corridor connection is now complete, after the faceplate was gloss blacked to match the rest of the scissor arrangement at the sides.

The ceiling repairs mentioned last week have now been sealed with PVA and painted in primer. Further coats are to follow next week.

Finally, the rather large task of chipping the old paint off the roof is now substantially complete, which coupled with the completion of the bodywork should see the main painting commence next week.


The main rake of coaches (A set) have all been parked rather oddly on the main line at Sheringham this week, with gaps in between them so that each can be fully examined prior to the season ahead.

These are now completed but the maintenance continues with the B set and dining train still to examine.

Several failures of equipment have already been identified, the first being a broken spring on TSO E4667. This has been immediately tripped to Weybourne for the spring to be swapped for a good one, making for a Crimson & Cream combination outside the shed alongside E1866E.