London North Eastern Railway 1950 Brake Corridor Third E1866 (GOLD)
Works on the doors and end corridor "bellows" continues to progress on an ongoing basis. Further attention is being given to the underside of the coach, with the new vacuum pipework which will "feed" the Direct Admission valves being the latest addition. These haven't been fitted yet but are in the process of being made, along with the required brackets to hold the new pipe to the chassis.
British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224 (GOLD)
The increasingly famous "trouser buster" heater (see previous updates) is now complete following the grill being screwed onto the wall, meaning there is no way we can set fire to any guards.
Also on the steam heat system, the remaining pair of brackets for the relocated steam pipe have been fitted making the system complete and self supporting again. The pipe now awaits a steam test using a locomotive before we can sign off the whole system and consider lagging it with insulation.
Given E21224's intention to run to Cromer, mainline suitable tyre slippage markers have been applied to all of the wheels. There are 24 stripes in all so they are now well covered!
British Railways 1956 Brake Corridor Composite E21103 (SILVER)
Again we have been very busy pushing forwards with the bodywork overhaul. On the body itself, the focus has been more on stripping down than renewal at present, so the landward side window bottoms remain to be welded up. However several of the doorways, which are going to be a challenge, are now being dismantled. This consists of removing an outer aluminium finishing strip along with any furniture such as brass handles or steel handrails, followed by the wooden door jamb and any surrounding interior woodwork. There are eight doorways in all and only one is in good enough condition to leave alone entirely!
Also stripped off have been the ends of the gutters at the Sheringham end and a small section of body skin behind. These often let water in and was in a terrible state on a previous coach we undertook work on, but thankfully only around six inches of water damage is apparent in the framework on E21103.
Also on the ends, more stripping of the furniture has been achieved (at both ends) with the wooden sections that bolt onto the steel mostly removed. Some of these have been taken onto the bench and all the old sealant scraped off with the wood then having a light sand to prepare it for repainting.
Other items from the end including the lighting jumper cable mounts and the coach data panel have also been removed for similar treatment. All of the items on the ends have to some degree corrosion behind them where water has become trapped over the years. The largest item(s) is the metal "hoop" that forms a tunnel for people to walk through. Both of these have had any loose paint removed and a sand to ready them for repaint.
Lastly, the final aluminium window frame which was removed (from the landward side of the coach) has been cleaned back to bare metal, primed inside and out and gloss painted on the inside. This means we almost have a full set of windows to refit back into the vehicle (the two windows for the wheelchair accessible saloon are currently under review as they may be changed).
We also have a full set of glass fully cleaned following sterling efforts by several volunteers to get us ahead of the game and ready for a swift refitting process.
British Railways (SR Design) 1948 25 Ton Brakevan 55167 (SILVER)
The vehicle is currently awaiting movement under the awning at Holt for its repaint/overhaul to be completed.
"A Exams" are now in progress at Sheringham, with all of the various running coaches having come through the busy summer "red service" unscathed. These exams are fairly light so are progressing without issue. Trains continue to be busy with extra coaches being added to some services, a happy situation indeed!
New moquette (upholstery) has arrived, and will be used to reupholster TSO M4958 over this winter. This is currently the worst vehicle in the fleet for seating degradation and has been a source of frustration as it is a very good coach overall which is spoilt by the seating appearance. We're looking forward to upholstering it in a red material (a colour we are currently short of in the fleet) and transforming it's appearance.
We continue to offer our services to the rest of the railway for non carriage work. Three projects are currently underway: the first is a station bench which is having its wooden components replaced with new.
The metal ends have been cleaned right back and repainted ready for the new wood.
The second project is a casting off steam loco Wissington, which is being turned into a pattern for a new casting after the original was damaged. All of the bolt holes and ports are being blocked up and imperfections smoothed out with filler, which will create a nice smooth shape to form a pattern from.
The last item is a wooden headboard, which has been produced, painted and signwritten in preparation for a special train later this month.