Friday, 8 January 2016

January News Part 1

2016 has now started properly for the department, with the workshops reopening and good progress being made already.

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The paint stripping continues on the interior, with two (of 14) of the ceiling sections now treated. Two walls, one at the Sheringham end and the landward side of the guard’s area, have also been stripped. It is interesting to see the layers of scumbling-effect paintwork and other colours emerge.


Three and a half exterior doors have also been stripped of old paint to the stage where they can be further dismantled for the inevitable woodwork repairs. The repairs are also being further prepared with three steel strengthening bars extracted out of stores and an identical forth example made from new. These attach to the sides of the wooden door frames and help keep them in profile after the wood has been weakened or has rotted slightly.

A great number of grab handles have also been made by Axeman Collier. Four have been produced to go each side of the two guard’s doors on the exterior with a further two fitted on the inside of each doorway. These are made by cutting salvaged handles from other vehicles in half and welding an extension piece of the correct length into the middle. Two large curved handles have also been made from an old Great Northern Railway coach which will go on the brake end of the vehicle and were used to climb up the steps to access the roof.


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


The New Year has brought a new opportunity to make progress on this vehicle, mainly due to Suburban W46139 taking a backseat whilst we wait for materials to be delivered. All six of the exterior doors have been hung into place. Whilst there are some minor adjustments to make to one or two of them, they are practically now in position which has allowed the “bump stops” (rubbers on the vehicle which prevent the door hitting the side of the coach when it is opened fully) to be bolted into place and the captive nuts for the grab handles welded to the inside of the body. Most of the door catches have also been fitted into the doorways so that the doors have something to latch into. The next task in this area will be the fitting of the wooden door jambs into the steel frame of the vehicle in each doorway. Also on the exterior, a concerted effort is being made to sand and fill the exterior window frames, hiding the rivets used to attach them in place to the body. Three quarters of the windows have been completed.


Moving onto the interior, varnish stripping of the woodwork continues, with bulkhead veneered panels being the focus this week, three of which were completed. There are still plenty more of these to be tackled however, as only the Holt end vestibule has been fully stripped so far. Several days have also been spent preparing the ceiling in the two passenger saloons for a repaint. A lot of flatting back has been done and various holes and cracks plugged to bring the ceiling to a presentable level for repainting. Also inside the saloons, all of the sliding windows have been removed and are in the process of being stripped back to aluminium and super-cleaned. The frames in which these windows fit will also have to be treated. In order to refit the main glass to the windows, the supporting timber (which screws to the window frames and hold the glass in) has had a final sand and been varnished ready for fitting when the filling on the window frames in complete.


At the Holt end of the vehicle, the interior of the store cupboard (ex toilet) is beginning to be reconstructed. So far, the bulkhead which was removed for welding work has been refitted, and the other five sides of the “cupboard” has had its framework reinstated ready to take new panelling. This process has just started, with the ceiling being the first panel to be installed.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Good progress continues to be made with the welding repairs. On the seaward side, the framing replacement has well and truly passed the half way mark and progress is now in the sixth and seventh compartments (out of eight) so the Holt end of the coach is certainly within sight.


British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139


Little progress to report due to the coach being in limbo until ordered materials arrive on site. However we did manage to refit the compartment lights back into position, after they had been removed and repainted last month.


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001


No progress to report, with the weather taking a cooler turn there is currently little point in working outside if there with lots to do on the vehicles inside the shed.

Gloucester RC&W 1955 Ballast Hopper HW426


The bracket for the centre ballast door was welded in over the Christmas period completing the initial work required on the wagon. It has now been shunted back into the yard where it will remain until it is required to spread some ballast as part of the winter shut-down task of relaying the two platform roads here at Weybourne. Plans have been submitted to undertake further (cosmetic) work on the wagon, but a decision on whether this is viable or not within the 2016 work programme remains to be made.


Maintenance


A rather posh buckeye coupling basket has been made from steel, to facilitate the swapping of these extremely heavy couplings using a jack and trolley at Sheringham away from the workshop. Several of these buckeyes need changing on the coaching stock which is being upgraded for use on Network Rail infrastructure as far as Cromer. So far, two have successfully been changed.

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