Saturday, 28 November 2015

November News Part 4

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

The largest visual progress this week has been that the smaller of the two fireplaces (known recently as the “cat flap”) has now been plugged up with a section of reclaimed coach framework from a donor body which was found many years ago in Docking. This has been cut and spliced into the coach’s original framework adjacent to where the fireplace was installed.

The paint stripping mentioned in previous weeks has also progressed further, with the seaward side now finished and the Holt end and Landward side both being started this week. Some roof vents and gas lamp apertures in the ceiling have also been revealed, after they had been covered over with biscuit tin lids by the previous owners! Work to renew the section of wood at the bottom of the luggage double doorway has now also started, this piece having been sacrificed to make way for the hearth of the larger fireplace. Finally, many of the bolts which hold the metal reinforcing brackets (in the corners of the framework and in the doorways) have been removed as they require replacement having rotted inside the frame over the last 100 years or so...

Nigel uses his booster seat and invisibility cloak whilst shotblasting parts for GER 853

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

This vehicle has been moved into the staging area this week for a short stay, easier access to the interior and windows being one advantage.

E4641 seen outside during the shunt

Work to refit the window frames long the seaward side is now progressing, with two installed fully and a third receiving its upper section and glass.

The interior also continues to progress, the steam heat pipes have been fitted to the Holt end saloon which finishes this task. Now the wood supports that go below the main saloon windows are being cut to size and fitted.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

Welding has continued and the framework repairs to the landward side have now been completed along roughly one half of the coach’s length. Some more flooring has also been removed to allow further access for more floor supports to be replaced.

E43041 outside during the shunt

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139

This coach has been moved into the lifting area so that the remaining tasks on the chassis can be completed.

W46139 during the shunt

First the remaining sections of underframe steel need cleaning up and rust-protecting, which is already one third complete. Also accessible whilst on the jacks have been the vacuum “Direct Admission” valves, which have now been overhauled and fitted into the system. These work in conjunction with the brake cylinders so are important components in the mechanical makeup of the vehicle.

On the interior, the lighting shades had gotten damaged lightly so were all removed and cleaned/repainted where required. They now await refitting.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001

A few more heaters have been overhauled for eventual use on this coach.


As hinted last update, dining car E4372 came up to Weybourne for two days during the week to have its vacuum cylinders swapped. This was completed successfully and the vehicle is now back in traffic.

Future Works

A great deal of thought has been going on behind the scenes this week regarding the strategy of the department and its activities over the next 12 months. It is good to review these matters to keep well in touch with the railway’s needs and to identify priorities and which direction we need to be pulling in to. These plans include which of the vehicles currently in works get the most attention and also which coaches replace them for future restoration/maintenance. Whilst it is not appropriate to state the content of such a plan here, readers may appreciate the knowledge that these matters are being reviewed regularly and that the strategy for the next 12 months will soon be agreed and later implemented (hopefully!).

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