Friday, 8 May 2015

May News Part 2

Midland Railway (later M&GN) 1886 6 Wheel Picnic Saloon 3

Mirror, mirror on the wall... Well, not really on the wall just yet and not a completed mirror either. Anyway, what will become the mirror on the wall has been on the bench this week and it having its wooden frame manufactured. As will all fittings in the Picnic Saloon, there is an air of elegance to the mirror, quite a contrast to the rectangular utilitarian mirrors to be found in the NNR owned Mark 1 coaching stock. Sticking to the interior, the shiny toilet door lock complete with “Vacant/Engaged” indicator has been installed in the toilet door, and interestingly a guard operated emergency override has also been incorporated into the design, so if anyone is planning on keeling over inside a locked toilet then I can highly recommend this one as the best option. Perhaps this sell-out feature could be incorporated into the railway’s next edition of its guide book? Moving on to the luggage area a battery box, which will house the leisure battery to supply the carriage lighting, has been made and is currently painted in undercoat.
The fitted toilet door lock

Attention on the outside has also not been overlooked. On the seaward side of the carriage, the moulded beading on the panels has been painted in gloss black, having made it this far staying in undercoat. Meanwhile the intricate lining on the landward side has been completed on the body itself, and a start has now been made on the lining which is on the underframe. This in itself is an unusual feature, and No3 is the only carriage on the railway to have a lined out underframe. Also on the chassis, the step irons (large brackets which hang downwards and will support the full-length footboards) have been trial fitted successfully but are now off again to allow further work to be undertaken to the chassis.

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129

Those who know the railway well will realise that M&GN No129 has been restored already and features occasionally in the vintage train. However the coach has never exactly thrilled passengers with its comfort, this is directly due to the original decision to mount the body (which was all that had survived) onto a four wheeled freight wagon underframe. Subsequent running has proved the ride to be unsatisfactory, so there has always been a plan to re-mount the body onto a passenger chassis and also take the opportunity to make the vehicle more historically accurate by creating a six wheeled underframe such as that that M&GN No3 is carried on. The past fortnight has seen this plan spring into action, and a flat wagon (containing a wooden donor six wheel chassis) was brought out of storage along with another chassis from an ex Southern Railway parcel van (PMV) which was carrying a cattle wagon body.
The donor six wheel underframe that is in the process of being stripped

Firstly the wooden donor six wheel chassis was craned off the flat wagon and deposited in front of the carriage works door. Next, the cattle wagon was transferred from the PMV chassis to the flat wagon and then returned to storage. This left an empty PMV chassis and the donor six wheeled chassis in the yard. Still with us? A rapid few days has already seen most of the salvageable parts of the donor chassis removed for re-use on this project and there is now a healthy pile of components ready for refurbishment. The plan is to mount some of these parts onto the PMV chassis and also shorten it by 18 inches which will create a suitable six wheel passenger chassis for 129 to be transferred to. The donor chassis will be broken down and slip into history once it has released all its parts.
The "PMV" parcel chassis that is to be modified to take M&GN 129

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

Welding work continues on the Sheringham end, with the landward side platework now attached and a corner fabricated and welded in. Efforts have been made to strip out the interior of the Sheringham end saloon ready for the metalwork to start in this area. So far seats, side panelling and window panes have all been extracted with some window frames, pipework and heaters still to follow.
Sheringham end saloon during stripping out

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357

Finishing work continues, and it will not be long before this coach is released all being well. Various door ailments which had slipped through the net have been attended to, with particular focus on the guards doors, which have seen retaining chains refitted along with window catches and other miscellaneous items. A missing steam heat pipe has been refitted to the Holt end. The sign writing of the numbers and bodyside notices/lettering is now also in progress which will complete the exterior of the coach. A missing section of footboard has also been bolted into position. The vehicle is now up on jacks so that a vacuum valve to protect the handbrake (explained in April News Part 4 in the M81033 section) can be installed. The emergency coupling mentioned last week is now also in gloss red.
E43357 on jacks - note the sign writing (still to be completed)

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139

With the ceilings completed and the coach still outside, about half the compartments have had the bare metal protected in floor paint which will allow the interior to be installed when the coach returns to the shed.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Second Lavatory Open E48001

With varnishing still in full swing, the Sheringham end seat ends have been the main focus. Some other, smaller, seat ends which are currently off site are also reported to have received a great deal of preparation and varnishing work. Parts of the interior are now also being fitted and the wooden components adjusted where required, notably around the windows. Some of the doors have been left out for now, as it has been noted that several of them have a different (non suburban) style of door lock fitted. This will be rectified before the woodwork is fitted around them. Other pieces of interior have received a 50/50 varnish & white spirit mix to ready them for fitting. Efforts to install the Formica side panels have had to be temporarily halted as some plastic “cups” which house the passenger alarm chains are proving difficult to remanufacture, as many of the originals had snapped beyond repair.

British Railways 1957 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory E56062

This railcar has been loitering outside the shed for months awaiting a space in the workshop for a repaint to be undertaken. Whilst the vehicle is not really at the stage where we would normally demand a repaint, the railcars on the NNR run in pairs and the “partner” to this vehicle was freshly out-shopped last October and has been locked away inside a shed awaiting mechanical repairs so is obviously still looking very good. E56062 is therefore being brought in for a quick treatment of the body and then painting in order to match its partner. With luck the 2-car set can then return to traffic together later this year. Work has yet to start of E56062 due to E43357 taking priority of the paid staff labour; however it has been shunted into the staging bay ready for work to begin. The interior is fully restored (fairly recently) and there are no issues underneath or on the roof so the work on this railcar is going to be purely on the external body.


  1. Hi. Hope you dont mind a query
    Is that donor 6 wheel chassis, the u/f from GNR 46?
    I gather from the above that you're converting the u/f from PMV 1216 into a six wheeler using one of the axles from 46?
    Have I got that correct?
    Finally, according to the VCT,, the body of GER 853 was at one stage sitting on the uff of 46. i presume it's sitting on somrthing else now?

    Great blog btw, one of the best C&W ones on the net. The volume of work carried out weekly is really impressive

    1. Hi there, thank you for your kind comments. We don't mind queries at all! You are correct it is GNR 46 being dismantled and that the centre wheelset will go onto 1216. I think the GNR axleboxes from the other two wheelsets are also going across... For some time GNR 46 has not had anything on top of it, it was itself placed on top of a Lowmac wagon until recently (It may well have had 853 on it previously though, as I have only been working on the railway 2 years). 853 is now placed on a 4-wheel chassis (it is the chassis of an ex private owner wagon whose original identity has been lost).