Friday, 15 May 2015

May News Part 3

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

A modest level of visible progress this week, with many of the larger jobs progressing nicely. On the ends of the coach the black beading, already painted, has been given a neater straight edge by our sign writer, who has also had time to progress the red lining on the chassis of the landward side of the coach. The step irons for the full-length foot boards are now painted in shiny black gloss.

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

Like parasites, the M&GN Coach Fund team have been crawling over the wooden framed donor chassis, relieving it of all sorts of metalwork that will be instrumental in creating a proper six wheeled underframe for M&GN No129. Sparks, flames and sweat have been exuding from the process and large parts of the wooden frame are starting to collapse (sorry, “professionally removed”) leaving the ironwork behind for retrieval.
Gas-axe Murderer Collier tackles the stubborn donor underframe. Going...


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

Welding work continues apace, with more metal going into the Sheringham corridor end. Efforts are now being made to remove the window frames along the seaward side of the carriage so that re-panelling in this area can start. Also on the seaward side, but at the other end of the vehicle, volunteers Peter and Peter have made a good start on stripping off the remaining maroon/BR blue paint in the areas that haven’t been replaced with new metal. This is to get the coach ready for its body finishing in these areas.
Paint stripping

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357

This coach has again been the main focus for the paid staff this week. Finishing work continues. The door adjustments, painting of the footboards, and the sign writing is now complete which concludes the exterior of the coach. The vacuum valve to protect the handbrake (explained in April News Part 4 in the M81033 section) has also been installed in its greasy crevice under the carriage where it will now quietly do our bidding... The coach is still on jacks however as the next job, started this week, has been the rewiring for the lighting and battery circuits. The battery boxes have been measured up to determine the type of batteries to order for the vehicle.
Nico & Dan joining the handbrake valve into the coach's vacuum system

Moving onto the interior, a frustrating lack of yellow paint has again prevented us from completing the repaint of the interior, which is also stopping the fitting of a lot of wall-mounted equipment. This equipment is now starting to queue up, restored and awaiting fitting. The guard’s ladder, spare coupling, vacuum hose and fire extinguishers are all in this category. The emergency equipment cupboard, the contents of which we weren’t sure about, now has a “game plan” for it following advice from the railway’s Operating Superintendant. We are now in the process of ordering all the items which have gone missing so the restored coach enters service with a full set of equipment available. Finally, the passenger compartments which are 99% completed, will soon receive possibly their most defining feature: the picture frames that house scenes of interest from around the British Railways network to visit, an early form of advertising for BR’s excursion traffic. The railway’s Carriage & Wagon director has taken a wide selection of original posters (salvaged from various coaches/sources) and digitally reversed the effects of age such as rips and water staining, effectively restoring them to their former glory in virtual form. Several of these have been viewed on the computer and we are most impressed with them. They will be printed shortly so that the originals can be preserved safely, while E43357 can be fitted with these reproductions. The backing card and plastic frames for these pictures have already been restored and are awaiting the prints so they can be fitted to the walls of the compartments.
Chris caught working hard on E43357. An yes, that is a Hawaiian welding cap, such cool items DO exist! 

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Second Lavatory Open E48001

Varnishing has continued apace with several “racks” of components from around the windows being varnished. Large sections of the coach have seen the window surrounds “dry fitted” to ensure a good fit. A review of the Formica panelling to identify which sections are either damaged or missing is also being undertaken.

British Railways 1957 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory E56062

One third of the landward side has had all of the paint defects and rust bubbles chipped off to reveal any damage beneath for treatment. So far, only one hole has been found in the bodyside, but there’s still plenty to chip at!

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory M56352

Last Sunday this vehicle was reported with a defective vacuum cylinder. Whilst Railcar mechanical maintenance is in the hands of the Locomotive department, C&W provide all vacuum cylinders for the Railcars. Consequently after the failure we extracted a cylinder from stock and tested it prior to fitting. Sadly, it badly failed the test, so was stripped down immediately and rebuilt following which a successful test was undertaken. The Railcar was then withdrawn for half a day whilst the rebuilt cylinder was swapped for the defective example by the Loco staff.


A request was made to provide some small, folding information boards for the three stations and also one for the M&GN Society’s Gresley Buffet car. These are designed to have adverts and/or information chalked onto them for the consumption of the passer by. Presumably Man’s sixth sense to detect the presence of real ale is not currently strong enough to direct them all the way into the Gresley Buffet, so these boards will hopefully drum up extra business...

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