Friday, 9 October 2015

October News Part 2

As with all projects a few forgotten items always appear to be addressed once a vehicle has entered traffic. The M&GN Picnic Saloon is no exception, and this week a start has been made on machining a paper towel rack and litter bin from hardwood, as it was found that the toilet area was lacking these essential items.

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

Another good week on the underframe project. As mentioned last week, the W irons are being built up with weld where they are visibly worn after a long hard life. I was personally hoping that Axeman Collier would go out of the workshops with the Picnic Saloon, and maybe even be moved into Bridge Road Carriage Sheds over the winter as well – however to my mild dismay he has returned to us looking for more work! As such, he has been making good progress with welding the W irons which will be ongoing for a few weeks.

John Collier welding W irons

The buffer shanks have also had all the filler that they require and have now been painted in primer and black undercoat.

The two large C section beams that will be fixed to the outside of the chassis have had the inside (which will be hidden) have been painted (also in primer and undercoat) to protect them.

Peter painting the C sections

Finally, the vacuum cylinder for the chassis has been dismantled to assess its condition. It is very rusty on the outside and previously offered little hope on the condition of the internal, important, bits. However most pleasingly, the insides are in far better condition than the outside and are ripe for refurbishing and reassembly. This process has now started and both the inside cylinder and the outside metal bowl have now been cleaned up.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

A quieter week this time. Lone victim Steve continues to varnish strip the interior single handedly with more seat and window components emerging as fresh timber.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Gangwayed Brake M81269

This coach, in static use only at Sheringham for the Commercial department, has to be accessed by staff from a set of steps from floor level in the car park. These have lived outside for many years and had gotten to the stage where they were dangerous. They have been temporarily swapped with a similar set indoors and the original examples have been brought into the workshops for repair. They will also be modified to make them easier to use whilst we are at it. Dan has already chopped off the top two steps (as they were too tall originally) and handrails. The feet and other corroded areas will be repaired and the handrails reattached on one side only as time and resources allow.

Dan modifies the steps

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

The metalwork on the Sheringham end has spread around the two corners from the end and towards the first door pillars. These have been replaced on both sides of the carriage and the intervening framework (between these pillars and the corner of the carriage) has been replaced.

The removed floor will have to wait a while for attention until some more steel of the correct size can be ordered in. Door reconstruction continues, with both welders and carpenters alike now working on the steel skins and wooden frames respectively.

Carpenter Biss attaching a door skin to a repaired frame

Whilst all 13 of the doors are now “in progress” it is quite hard to judge progress on the task as a fraction, however five examples have been fully rebuilt (inside and out) and are now set aside (in primer) ready to be refitted to the carriage once the steelwork repairs are completed this winter.

A completed door

A start has also been made on overhauling the steam heat elements (which were removed from underneath the seats).

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139

After the garnish rails and door cards had been trial fitted, these were built up with varnish all week with a rub down and additional coat each day where possible. The landward side of the vehicle is now complete and the door woodwork has been assembled permanently. The seaward side is only one day behind (they require their final coat of varnish) so will be following shortly.

Door woodwork - now completed

Inside the compartments, several volunteers have been busy scraping paint off the insides of the windows and also applying filler into the gaps and dips in the floor to achieve a smooth surface ready for the fitting of the lino flooring at some point. A meeting concerning this carriage has also been undertaken where progress to date has been reviewed and decisions/priorities made so that the coach can be completed as soon as is practically possible. This coach will be the next example to enter service from the workshops and will become the second of the “Suburban 4” vehicles to reach completion.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001

Trial fitting of the window woodwork in the Holt end saloon has been completed and so these components now require final varnishing before they are fitted permanently. Some other fittings to the saloons including air ventilator covers and lighting shades have also been fitted to the ceiling areas.


The steel sheet trolley (pictured last week) has been completed and is now painted in a fetching off-white colour. It is substantially stronger than its predecessor so perhaps it will be the wheels rather than the frame that gives up this time?!?

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