Friday, 8 April 2016

April News Part 2

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

Progress is picking up again now that the future generations are thinking about returning to school. The two partitions within the carriage (one separating the two passenger compartments and another separating the compartments with the guards van area) have now been assembled up to waist height using the reclaimed Great Eastern Railway planking as a base. This dividing up of the carriage is one of the most important changes to make when converting it from its previous "open plan" layout used when it was part of a bungalow.

In the Sheringham end compartment, a framework is flourishing that will at some point support the first bench seat.

British Railways 1962 Mark 1 First Open M3116

A fairly dramatic transformation has occurred this week after the new carpet was fitted by contractors. You could say we were on a roll...! The carpet is a blue pattern which I am informed is a railway spec design. It should match the Blue/Gold seat upholstery used within the dining train beautifully. Soon after the carpet was laid, the heater grills were all screwed back down onto the floor so the carriage is now ready for the seating to be re-installed once they return from contract upholstery.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

Re-varnishing of interior woodwork has continued steadily but is still ongoing. The ceilings in the vestibules have all been sanded again and painted up to the undercoat stage to match the main passenger saloons which were tackled last week. The first section of ceiling, the Holt end vestibule, has now been gloss painted heralding its completion.

Extra wiring designed for future table lamps has also been fitted along the sides of the vehicle, so that we can fit the discrete sockets into the walls as and when we are able to fit the paneling to the interior.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

Progress has centered on the attachment of the steel outer skin to the bodysides. We now have two members of staff on this task once again, working down each side simultaneously.

The landward side is starting to move along with the end window inside the first compartment now welded up and painted in primer.

The seaward side is more advanced, with the windows around compartment 3/4 currently being tackled.

One of the metalworkers (subsequently identified by witnesses as "Milkman Atkins") also kidnapped Monkey and felt it necessary to imprison the poor creature for no reason other than his own amusement. Monkey was later rescued and encouraged to stand against Atkins in court, but Monkey bottled it...

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001

The Sheringham end bogie has now been completed from a painting point of view, with the bogie frame undercoated and gloss painted this week.

Another important and very large task has been started this week, with the bodywork preparation being started. This carriage was the subject of a failed restoration attempt at its previous home, and consequently the bodysides are incredibly uneven and patched. This means a great deal of sanding and bodyfilling will be required to achieve an even average finish. We aim to do the best we can and see how we end up. Our newest member of staff Phil, who started this week, has been given a baptism of fire and put onto this task. So far he has taken to it like a duck to water and is motoring down the seaward side of the coach sanding and filling.

The interior has also been looked at, with the process of final woodwork fitting commencing. This is to happen from the Holt end towards the Sheringham end, and approximately 1/8th of the coach (two doors worth) has been treated so far. A lot of woodwork has been completed and dry fitted to the coach already, but the final fitting still requires a great deal of modification and adjustment to achieve the best result.

Midland & Great Northern Railway 1881 4 Wheel Tool Van 12

The repainting and re-varnishing work is 90% complete now, with all of the areas that were repaired gloss painted and all those which were not simply re-varnished.

This has brought the entire vehicle up to a consistent glossed appearance and it looks a great deal healthier than when it came in a short while ago. A small wood splice repair has also been made to the end window which had suffered a little rot.

Meanwhile the Axeman has continued with the process of building up the "W irons" with weld to bring them back to an acceptable width. One of the axles has had its flats taken out of it after a trip on the railway's wheel lathe and the second one is currently in the lathe being similarly treated.


The opportunity of the Loco Dept. bringing the National Railway Museum's DMU into their shed for a gearbox change lead to us doing some maintenance work on the vehicle, which is not in the best of health. After some exhaustive testing, one of the vehicle's door handles came off in somebody's hand, so a major repair was subsequently undertaken! A sliding door was also repaired by replacing the ball bearings that live inside the sliding runner mechanism.

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