Friday, 10 July 2015

July News Part 2

I shall start this week with a shameless plug for some railway themed fun. Members of the Carriage & Wagon department have spent the past few weeks constructing a masterpiece of design: a soapbox for the upcoming Cromer Carnival Soapbox Derby this Sunday. We are to officially represent the North Norfolk Railway in the races. The “loco” has been created from scrap, donated and surplus materials from around the Weybourne site and is currently (Friday) receiving its paintwork, the mechanical work having been completed earlier this week. The soapbox has been named “Snowy” in recognition of the recent passing of Mike Sprules (see last week) as the soapbox would have certainly have raised a smile and had his support. The image shows the (at the time unpainted) vehicle ready for a successful test run at Weybourne. The races start at 1pm this Sunday (12th July) at Beach Road (A149) in Cromer, come and see us in action!

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

Getting back on to more relevant matters, the eye of progress has once again turned to this old girl. The ends of the coach have received a further coat of varnish which has increased its shine even further, whilst the signwriting on the landward side is now complete, with the addition of the “M&GN” and “3” symbols, which have very elaborate and attractive shading to them.

The chassis on the landward side has also had its red and yellow lining completed, leaving only the black still to complete. An effort is being made to complete all lining/signwriting on the landward side so that the varnishing can progress. On the mechanical side, the completed spring and axlebox arrangements have now been painted in black gloss giving them a most pleasing shine.

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

The brand new headstocks mentioned last week have now been permanently fitted at both ends of the chassis. Other components have also progressed rapidly as Mr Shot-blasting Man has been for a visit and transformed the three axleboxes, three wheelsets, the vacuum piping and all the various spring hangars. The latter three have all been coated in primer as well.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

We welcome Steve back to us after surgery on his knee, who has quickly returned to varnish stripping and sanding items from the interior of the coach. This week, two doors have had the magic treatment: one that separates the Sheringham end saloon from the vestibule, and also the sliding door that lives at the extreme Sheringham end.

Welding work on the Sheringham/seaward quarter of the carriage is also progressing nicely.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

The Bogie Men continue to work their magic: the Holt end bogie has now been lifted onto stands and the two wheelsets extracted. One wheelset has already been needle gunned and looks very nice indeed.

Meanwhile the axleboxes off the wheelsets have been scraped down and cleaned by volunteers Ray & Lee. Paid staff have joined in on the fun and have been cleaning, rust treating and painting the underside of the bogie itself, along with all the areas which were impossible to access before the bogie was lifted.

Underneath the carriage itself, three quarters of the underframe has been glossed in black, and work is also being undertaken to renew the two extreme ends of the steam heat piping, which was found to be badly corroded.

Work has now started on the interior, with the first job being the dismantling of the wooden parts and removal of the windows. This is currently in the early stages with a few windows on the corridor side of the first class end being completed.

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139

Upholstery work has been the sole progress on this project, with work concentrating this week on the side cards which also incorporate the arm rests for the seating. The upholstery shop is due to be cleared out of freshly upholstered bench seats for W46139 and old rancid examples put in their place so progress can continue!

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001

The luggage rack cleaning described last week marches on, with the first five racks now completed. Keep going Roger! More varnishing work has also been done on the inside components.

British Railways 1958 GWR Designed "Fruit D" W92097

The vacuum braking reinstatement has now been completed following a successful vacuum test. Whilst the cylinder passed the brake gear was found to be slightly out of adjustment, so a morning was spend putting this right. The vehicle is now mechanically fit and safe to put into service, so all that remains now is cosmetic work. The two ends of the van have now been fully repainted into black and have a shine once more.

The sides are now to follow, with the landward side already patch painted in brown ready for revarnishing.

ICI 1968 Tube 4228

This wagon is currently a wreck stored at Holt, and amongst other ailments has failed “Oleo” buffers. Some years ago, four conventional (spring) buffers were obtained from the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre and sent up to us at the same time as the AF Container (from the same place) was transported, and said buffers have been in store since. As a prelude to an official start of restoration of this wagon, the buffers were shot-blasted this week (along with the other items for M&GN 129) and one has had a crack in the head ground out and re-welded.


Lastly, a “small” miscellaneous job has seen a huge number of wagon components (mainly from scrapped vehicles of old) brought out of deep store from the corner of the shed and laid out for inspection by a member of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway who may be interested in taking them off our hands. These have now been gathered up again, post viewing, and palleted up ready for further action!

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