Friday, 16 October 2015

October News Part 3

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


This vehicle has been temporarily removed from the workshops and put into temporary storage at Holt to create the space required for the Quad-Art set. However the vacuum cylinder for the chassis has had its overhaul completed and also a successful test on the vacuum rig. It has also been painted gloss black.

Vacuum cylinder on test

London North Eastern Railway 1924 Quad Articulated Set 74


The Quads, the Quads, my kingdom for the Quads! The infamous re-varnishing of this delightful four-coach set is now upon us and half of the workshop has been cleared of restoration projects to accommodate this work. As I’m sure most readers will know, the Gresley Quad-Art set is an articulated set of coaches i.e. they share bogies between vehicles. Of course this means the individual carriages can never be split apart in ordinary circumstances so when the valuable teak panelled exterior requires re-varnishing (every 1-2 years) the entire set has to be brought indoors and done in one go.

48864 on day one of the rubbing down

It is safe to say that the job is a foul one, few relishing the task of rubbing down the rows and rows of intricate side panels and window surrounds. It is the finest presented rake of coaches the railway has (along with the vintage set), however this comes at a cost of making sure they are well looked after. For this reason an admirable team of volunteers from all corners of the workshops have stepped forward to undertake this inglorious task. This week two days of rubbing down has been completed and an excellent start has been made, with about one and a half coaches now rubbed down on the landward side. This work will be continuing for the next couple of weeks, and work on other carriages slows right down until the Quad-Arts are completed.

The first side of the first coach fully rubbed down
Chris shows what a tight squeeze it is between the permanently coupled coaches!


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


This vehicle has been temporarily removed from the workshops and put into temporary storage at Holt to create the space required for the Quad-Art set.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Gangwayed Brake M81269


Due to the requirement to have as many steps in the workshop as possible for the Quad-Art re-varnishing, we have been trying to complete the replacement set of access steps for this carriage (described in full last week) as soon as possible. All the welding repairs to the original parts of the steps are now complete and the new handrails and top step added. Only painting is now required.

Nico welding the new handrails onto the steps

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Another major setback threatens to delay this project. Discovery of further corrosion in the floor has meant we are now faced with having to remove all the ceilings and corridor bulkheads to allow the floor to be replaced entirely. This work was originally not anticipated and the bulkheads and ceilings were to remain in position as they were in excellent condition. So far three (out of the eight) compartments have been dismantled at the Sheringham end.

The floor and bulkheads being removed from the Sheringham end

Sadly, the ceilings cannot be removed without damaging them so a great deal of work to replace them and reassemble the compartments will be required before we can even return to the point we are at now once the welding repairs are completed. This was quite a disappointing revelation but we shall forge ahead, and indeed the exterior steelwork is now complete at the extreme Sheringham end of the carriage, with new panelwork being attached and painted this week.

Work on the steam heating elements has also continued.

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139


The seaward side door woodwork is now complete having had its four coats of varnish. Whilst we are waiting for more materials to be delivered to allow us to progress further with the interior, a start has been made on rubbing down the outside prior to repainting. All steelwork and some filling has already been completed and the coach was painted in maroon gloss to protect it from the elements whilst it was outside, however final body prep, including sanding and filling, is required before the coach is ready for the “proper” final BR crimson colours to be applied.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001


Work continues on the toilet reconstruction, in similar vain to previous weeks.

Maintenance


A glut of maintenance at Sheringham has seen between one and two people there most days this week. Three coaches that were planned to be in use decided to have their brakes fail, so several adjustments, changes of “direct admission” (vacuum) valves and tests have been required to see these returned to service.

A steam heat test was also undertaken on the dining train so we can see how much work we have to do to get them in a fit state to heat our diners over the winter period!

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