Saturday, 12 March 2016

March News Part 2

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

Progress abounds of the vintage variety – both inside and outside of the most elderly of our restoration projects (the coach that is, not the staff!). Many of the ceiling and wall areas covered last week have now been caulked with decorators filler and built up with a white undercoat which is fast giving the interior of the coach the appearance of a padded cell. I shall leave readers to determine for themselves how appropriate this may or may not be for the inmates who have been duped into working in our department...

Some interesting patterns have also been appearing, created out of an eclectic mix of paper, wood, steel, rubber and glue. These fine creations are for re-casting the missing supports for the luggage nets inside the two passenger compartments. An approximation of their design using drawings, photos and similar surviving items is contributing to the design and aesthetics of the replicas.

On the exterior, the wood splicing continues with a major piece added to the Holt end/landward side corner to compliment the major work going on with the seaward side corner.

Meanwhile, after quietly taking the Axeman aside, we suggested that it was perhaps best for his colleagues and indeed himself if he were to spend some time away. Sadly he interpreted these gentle hints as permission to stick around elsewhere on the site, and set to modifying four buffer shanks (reclaimed off a Southern Railway “PMV” van) to Great Eastern Railway style inside the machine shop next door. They look impressive so far, as changing their shape slightly makes them look older than they are so they will not look out of place on the 1899 built vehicle.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

The Holt end corridor connection has had its first components returned into position following the repairs. These include several large timbers which act as a buffer between the gangway and the end of the coach. The mechanism which operates the passenger alarm, which passes through these timbers, has also been oiled and refitted.

Moving onto the interior, it has been all about the three vestibule areas. The Holt end vestibule has had its ceiling installed, and now beading is being produced and painted to complete the ceiling. In the centre vestibule, the bulkheads were fully stripped of their old varnish and had to be bleached because the wooden veneer was badly discoloured with scratches and water damage. Surprisingly however they have come out quite well, and half of the vestibule has been fine-sanded ready for varnish.

An interior bulkhead ready for varnishing

Monkey tries his hand at being a Toilet Attendant!

Finally, the Sheringham end vestibule has had several fittings restored and returned to their rightful places on the two sliding doors, and a discrete panel has been added containing sockets for the audio equipment that will be required when this carriage is used for Murder Mystery events.

Sheringham end vestibule approaching completion

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

One of the new window surrounds, pressed out of steel, has arrived and been accepted for use on the re-skinning of the carriage. This single item has been welded onto the new framework at the Sheringham end of the coach on the seaward side, giving a sneak preview of what the re-panelled vehicle will look like.

Meanwhile, the team solely responsible for the interior woodwork restoration of E48001 have switched their efforts to E43041. Malcolm was to be found at a solitary bench and has broken new ground by stripping old varnish of the first sections from E43041. This is a very long and arduous task which has, appropriately, started with compartment number one, the woodwork surrounding the windows being the items in question. The highly polished interior woodwork inside suburbans W46139 and E48001 hopefully provides the inspiration to do it all again!

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001

The process of scraping down the old rust and flaking paint from the chassis ready for repainting has continued all week and is now approximately 75% complete. There’s no two ways about it, this is an awful and thankless job!

Graham cleaning up the underframe

The second bogie has also been wheeled out and dismantled of all its brake gear in a similar way to the first bogie. Both were rolled outside and jet washed before being brought back inside to dry off so we can contemplate how much detritus needs cleaning off these!

E48001 on jacks for underframe cleaning

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