Friday, 27 May 2016

May News Part 4

Important news has come through regarding Monkey. Sadly he appears to have been chimp-napped, possibly by highly organised criminals. Monkey was sighted on Friday so may be operating under duress on behalf of the criminal gang. He had been missing for over a week but given Monkey's "previous" we initially thought he may be on a self inflicted leave of absence. This is one reason he has been unable to appear in any images for a while. We will endeavor to report his return whenever that may be.

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

The interior wall painting inside the guard's compartment has now been completed, the whole area now coated in cream gloss. As one of the North Norfolk Engineering employees commented earlier this week: "I'm getting a bit worried... they seem to be getting on with this coach"!

Elsewhere on the interior the frames for the compartment seats, which are being created from scratch, have progressed well this week and the areas of wall underneath the seats has been painted maroon, which stripping revealed was the original colour in this discrete area. The rear gas lamp tail light casing, pictured last week, is now complete, with the final parts being attached by the Axeman. NNR stalwart Nick Johnson deserves a mention for making the outer bezel and lens, very fine work which has been done to a great standard. The lamp casing is now in primer, but doesn't have to be heat resistant as I believe the light source inside this lamp will be electrical this time around.

Moving onto the exterior, the seaward side guard's "ducket" window has been refitted, which is a milestone for those who have been working on it for several weeks.

Great Eastern Railway 1884 Wisbech & Upwell Tramcar 7

The work to strengthen the bufferbeams has been completed in good time and they have been "boxed in" so they cannot be seen. A second task which was completed was the replacement of the failed battery which has also been moved inside the coach, and now resides behind the bar rather than in an external box. GER 7 has now returned to Sheringham where it joins the rest of the Vintage Train which is in service next week.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

The march towards interior completion continues. The luggage racking has been fitted throughout the whole coach now which concludes this particular task.

All of the studs on the walls which will hold the seat frames in position have been re-threaded or replaced as required. The floor has had a second coat of floor paint throughout the carriage which will be drying over the bank holiday weekend.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

The re-panelling work along the seaward side of the carriage has now been completed, a major milestone for the coach.

This also signals the departure of Steve Slough who has been employed for many years by the railway primarily for welding our increasingly corroded coaches! We all wish Steve the best for the future. The clean lines and fresh metalwork of coaches such as Suburbans W46139/E43041 and TSO E4641 (the most recent in a long line) are testament to the fine work Steve has undertaken.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001

The mammoth task of the bogie rebuilds has finally ended! This week, braking components have been added, split pins fitted and the coach lowered back onto its bogies for connection and testing. The repainted underframe and bogies are now together and they look suburb. It certainly shows that if the time is available, it is certainly the way to do it.

Currently lots of small tasks are being attended to to finish the underneath; including the attachment of the steam heat and vacuum pipes onto the ends, painting of detail parts such as electrical box covers etc. A faulty vacuum cylinder has also been exchanged for a working example, as the seaward side one had failed before it had even seen service!

Who you gonna call? COACHBUSTERS!

The interior has also progressed dramatically, with the repainted floor allowing more components to be bolted into position. In the Holt end saloon, the large varnished seat ends have all been fitted, closely followed by the heater grills which sit on the floor.

The upholstered side cards have also been fitted to the sides of the coach which effectively completes the two sides.

The two toilets continue to progress modestly although this wasn't helped by a member of staff locking himself inside the toilet after fitting the door catch inside the door and testing it before he had fitted the door handle! He might have been trapped in there forever had it not been for his savior: the mobile telephone. Restoration can certainly be a dangerous game... The two communication chains have been repainted and fitted back into the coach, via laborious re-threading through the pipes that span from doorway to doorway at head height. The only question now is which coach will win the race for (interior) completion, this one or E4641?

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