Friday, 7 August 2015

August News Part 2

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

The all important varnishing work continues with the landward side of the carriage receiving its second coat. Three out of the four sides have now had two coats, with the seaward side next on the horizon. Inside the coach, following a delivery last week, the battery to power the LED lighting has been installed in a suitably unobtrusive place. Our thanks must go to the budding historians within the restoration team, who were able to research exactly what type of leisure battery the Midland & Great Northern used for their own LEDs!

Pete second coating the landward side

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

More heavy work has been completed on the underframe project. A eclectic team, of varied strength and age(!), moved two huge C shaped beams from the yard where they were being stored to the side of the underframe in the shed so that various holes could be drilled to eventually attach the springing gear to. This is currently a main source of attention as more work and holes are yet required. A great deal of painting also continues to be done, with various parts including the brakeshoes/brakegear, axleboxes, drawgear and wood packers (that hold the body) progressing to the gloss or undercoat stages where appropriate. The chassis will be a fine vessel underneath indeed if all this black gloss is anything to go by.

Brian paints the drawgear into black gloss

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

As hinted last week, the final quarter has been found to be in much, much better condition than some of the areas we’ve bulldozed through previously, and as such the framework repairs (which arguably are the most time consuming aspect) are already concluded. Nearly half of the sheet metal has now been tack welded into position, having been cut to size, and now awaits further (full) welding.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

Whilst the DMU remains in the workshop, E43041 continues to receive the most labour out of the three suburbans on site. A great deal of time-consuming stripping down work is being undertaken, to reduce the coach to a set to components to restore. The doors (removed last week) are now being more thoroughly stripped down with all the mechanisms and internal gubbins being stacked up away from the metal door skin and wood frame itself. The latter is being treated where it is starting to rot but can still be saved, whilst a few metal skins are getting welding repairs to rotten areas as required. On the outside of the carriage, the Holt end electrical equipment and toilet pipework has been taken off for inspection, where it was discovered that to stop the out-of-use toilet tanks being filled up mistakenly, someone before us had squirted up the pipe with expanding foam! We are currently head scratching to find the best way to remove this blockage, as the toilets will hopefully be reinstated during the coach’s restoration as part of a special volunteer-led project. The seaward side gutter also been removed along the full length of the coach to facilitate welding repairs to the top edge of the vehicle’s sides.

Guttering in the process of being removed

Meanwhile inside E43041, a very thorough stripping out of components has taken place in the three first class compartments, involving everything except the corridor wall than runs parallel to the side of the vehicle. Only the ceilings and dividing bulkheads now remain in situ in these areas. This is necessary both to thoroughly restore all the components (particularly woodwork) and to allow full access for the welding team who will be starting on this coach soon.

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139

Inside the coach, some of the “fire breaks” that sit between each seating compartment have been painted in green floor paint to protect them from the general damp. Volunteer Peter did very well by single handedly painting five out of the nine compartments himself in one day. We all know what he will be doing next week!

Peter let loose on the fire guards

Down in the woods, equally impressive progress has been made on the seat reupholstery, which has been quietly being done each week without fuss. A current count up reveals that nine out of the 18 seat backs, 15 of the 18 seat bases and all of the 36 side cards/arm rests are now recovered and are awaiting fitting.

This week's reuphostery has included this seat back from W46139

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001

Toilet reinstatement work this week centres on the plumbing, and a great deal of pipes and fittings were spread over the workshop bench, all part of the plan I am told... Some fiddling has also been done with the tiled-lino toilet floors with the potential for floor laying possibly in the near future.

On the luggage racks, the cleaning stage has now been passed and they look excellent, a far cry from the stained and corroded look they had before. Seven of them have also received string repairs and the washed nets have been returned to them, which gives us a cheeky glance at the first overhauled luggage racks for the vehicle.

Luggage rack ready or refitting

British Railways 1957 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Composite Lavatory E56062

The DMU is starting to look very nice indeed. Lining continues apace, and the bodyside lettering and numbers are now complete, as are the distinctive “speed whiskers” on the cab end. The waist height bodyside line and underframe lettering have been applied but require a second coat. Not many tasks are outstanding before this vehicle reaches completion.

Nearly there!

A Warning

Finally, have you seen this man? He is wanted by C&W management for gross misconduct (dressing up in non-NNR colours), however do not approach him as he is known to be extremely dangerous and good-hearted. If he offers you a jelly baby, under no circumstances accept!

Approach at your own risk

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