Friday, 1 May 2015

May News Part 1

Sadly, no update on vintage restoration this time, normal service is to resume next week...

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

The naughty crash pillars at the Sheringham end of the carriage have been replaced at the bottom and welded securely to the brand new plate atop the chassis. The metalwork repairs at the top of the bodyside structural pillars, mentioned last week, have now begun. Meanwhile, the wood stripping army continues to rid the timber of old varnish, this week focusing on doorway surrounds recently removed from the Sheringham end.
Metal that doesn;'t resemble chocolate coloured Swiss cheese!

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Gangwayed Brake M81033

The maintenance work on this vehicle is now concluded, the coach departing the workshop today (Friday). Finishing off work during the week included refitting the disturbed interior panels and also fixing several previously loose tables to the walls permanently, which is a requirement for future operations on the main line. The buckeye couplings have also received new pins and a device which stops then “over-riding” their neighbours in the event of a collision, again for the Cromer aspirations. On the exterior, some unsightly areas of rust around the windows have been sanded down and treated, followed by a touched in coat of cream paint. This is not a permanent solution to its less-than-ideal appearance; however it will improve matters until the time when the coach comes in for the full quality job. Perhaps most importantly, the vacuum/handbrake valve (explained last week) was finished and test successfully. This will greatly reduce the risk of M81033 getting wheel flats in the future, and the decision has already been taken to similarly fit the Suburban Brake, E43357, before the latter is released back into the wild.
The ever faithful Weybourne pilot shunts coaches around the workshop

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357

Finishing jobs have progressed on the exterior. On the sides of the coach, all the windows are now scraped clean of paint/workshop dust and the door locks have also had the unsightly paint chipped off. The brass handles on the outside of the coach have all been removed, buffed to return them to their original 1950’s glory, and refitted. The ends of the carriage are now fully complete, with the data panels (which show the weight etc of the carriage) picked out in white and the lighting connector jumpers reconnected and the covers fitted. Finally for the outside, the second periscope has been fitted to the roof; completing this interesting return to original configuration (it is the first coach on the NNR to have these reinstated).
Nico Atkins, extremely impressed with Chris Moxon's white lettering on the data panel

On the interior, some ceiling repairs (damaged whilst resurrecting the compartment lighting) have been completed and a couple of disturbed seats refitted into their rightful place. Now only the picture frames are required to complete the passenger compartments. In the guards van, we are still waiting for yellow paint to finish the walls; however the luggage doors have been painted red (we don’t know why they aren’t cream to match the rest of the interior but that’s how they were originally...) and some more miscellaneous handles have been fitted. An emergency coupling, one of which is fitted to all guards brake areas, has been sourced/cleaned/primed as the original in E43357 seems to have gone missing.

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139

E46139 has been temporarily brought back into the shed, taking the place of M81033, where progress has recommenced after a week’s pause. All nine ceilings this week have been gloss painted, just one sentence but one that represents days of work!

Also of note is the work progressed by our upholsterers, Martin and Keith. These volunteers haven’t featured thus far in these writings as they operate in a separate portacabin in a corner of the yard and it is all too easy to miss what they are doing week-by week! However efforts will be made to address this oversight, and for starters they are pictured this week working on the armrests which will be fitted to E46139. There are 36 of these to repair and recover with new (Lottery funded) material, and the armrests are the smallest of all the seat components. For some time Martin & Keith have been beavering away and the reupholstery of E46139, and there is still some way to go. However the results are extremely important and visible to the passenger environment, and some images of the seats themselves will be included in the future, the before and afters for which can be quite remarkable.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Second Lavatory Open E48001

Rubbing down and varnishing (building up the coats) the Sheringham seat ends is ongoing.

New Staff

A belated mention is due to our two new staff. Daniel Broughton and Martin Collins have both been ensnared recently to join our merry department, Daniel full time and Martin three days a week. No doubt they will feature at some point in the blog.

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