Saturday, 19 December 2015

December News Part 3

The department held its annual Christmas meal on Friday at the Dunstable Arms in Sheringham and a good time was had by all. This is the only time when many of the staff and volunteers who come in on all different days can actually be seen together in one place at one time! It is also the only time the C&W manager offers free drinks! Unfortunately due to illness and other commitments we were a few short, but the picture gives an idea of the size of our team.


Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Not a terribly exciting update this week – the mammoth paint stripping task continues as described in previous weeks, with a good deal of progress on the interior stripping, including some of the insides of the doors.

Paint stripping the interior of a door

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


With the underframe painting of W46139 completed, several volunteers have been working on preparing the ceilings in this coach for repainting. These ceilings were in reasonable but not perfect condition. The decision has been made therefore to leave them alone and repair any loose beading before repainting them to freshen their appearance. Almost half of the carriage has now been sanded to key up the surface (and also remove any old stickers etc) ready for paint.

On the exterior, several of the aluminium surrounds for the sliding windows have been cleaned back and repainted in primer to match the bodysides which have already been so treated.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


The “announcement” last week that the last three doors were complete was slightly premature. In fact they were only painted and partly assembled, so this week the various mechanisms and fittings have been added into the three doors, bringing them to (true) completion. Welding work continues to progress and a delivery of more steel framing will allow this work to continue into the New Year. The end steps have also been fabricated out of steel angle. These steps fit to the end of the coach and allowed staff to climb onto the roof to attend to the toilet pipework. They were however removed in the 1960’s when lines received over head electric wires, but we have decided to reinstate them for historical accuracy.

Nico TIG welding the end steps

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139


As hinted last week, the underframe gloss black painting continued this week and was completed on Wednesday, which heralds the end of the underframe repainting project on this coach. With everything painted, vacuum and steam pipes were fitted to the bufferbeams and the steam heaters were connected to the main steam pipe which runs under the coach from end-to-end. The battery boxes have also had their covers and “interiors” painted (black/white) and these are now fitted.

Dan painting the inside of a battery box cover

The only underframe components outstanding now are two fuse box covers which are slighting lagging behind but will be finished shortly.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001


Progress on fitting the wooden window surrounds has continued with one end now almost completed. Also in progress is the restoration and polishing of the various alloy fittings that go in the toilets, on the interior doors and on the ends of the seats. These items are being worked on off-site currently. A set of door cards (which hide the scissor mechanisms that operate the windows within the doors) for the Holt end saloon (a total of 8) has also been selected and varnished ready for fitting. These will all require individual tailoring in due course to match each door which is slightly different!

Gloucester RC&W 1955 Ballast Hopper HW426


Our thanks are with the Locomotive department who very kindly have accommodated the ballast hopper inside their shed this week, allowing us to access the centre set of doors from below using their inspection pit.

The ballast hopper, behind Ring Haw, shortly before entering the shed

This centre door was found to be very stiff and the problem was being caused by a rotating pin which wasn’t rotating as easily as it should. The whole assembly had to be cut of the wagon so the pin could be removed using a press in the workshop. The cut-off bracket, with pin, now awaits welding back into the wagon.

HW426 inside the Loco shed

Maintenance


The Santa coaching stock continues to absorb our time and effort, batteries requiring topping up this week with deionised water.

Happy Christmas


On a final note, a very Merry Christmas to all the blog readers. There should be one more update before the year is out, in that lazy week between Christmas and New Year; however as the works is shut down during this period, this will consist of a review of 2015.

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