Sunday, 11 September 2016

September News Part 1

Unfortunately due to holidays and staff illness the blog has been disrupted in its usual weekly service, which may continue over the next week or two. Due to the same disruption, this update is not as fulsome as it should be as I have simply not been around the workshops to observe the excellent goings on of everybody. Alas, we can only offer the best service we can, so here is the cobbled together version:

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

No progress to report.

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129

The exterior perimeter of the chassis has been welded up and dressed sufficiently, to allow protective painting to be undertaken “all round”. It is now resplendent in black gloss. The chassis was also moved from the end of the shed into the centre, closer to its friend GER 853. This was achieved using some trolleys that are more commonly found next door supporting boilers.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

No progress to report. Preparation work on the exterior body, in readiness for painting, is due to start soon.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

Woodwork restoration has continued intensively, with the “window gripper bars” now reaching varnished completion. This will allow us to extract the glass soon and also to refit the windows.

The “completion” of the DMU has allowed 43041 to enter the staged area for an intensive session fitting doors. During the week, a big push was had and all the doors are now hung on their hinges. Whilst the doors will be taken off again briefly for the wooden door jambs to be fitted, the hinges are on permanently and all the complicated lining up and adjustment has been done, so it is a major step forwards.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51192

We simply ran out of time on the DMU car as it was urgently required back in service after the steam gala. However we did get the route indicator box back onto the front and also completed the top cream line and “whiskers” on the front end before it was removed from the shed. The bottom line was attempted but turned out unfinished. After a few days in traffic, we got a day back on it when a fair proportion of the bottom line was finished and the two “British Railways” crests applied to the bodysides. Some more finishing touches (such as “Guard” lettering and the vehicle's numbers) will now be applied as and when we can get at the vehicle on dry days to do painting! Despite the very limited time available to “freshen up” the vehicle, we have already received some favourable comments as to how much better it looks, and people are already calling for the other half (trailer car) to come in for a similar job! I think we need a rest first though!

M51192 after leaving the shed (Image (C) Steve Allen)

British Railways 1958 GWR Designed "Fruit D" W92097

This van has completed another hard season on the back of one of the main service rakes carrying bicycles and buggies. It broke a drawbar spring just at the end of August so was withdrawn immediately for repairs.

It has come into the shed and taken the place of the next Mark 1 which was due in for a quick repaint, to ensure the expediency of these running repairs. It has been lifted and another job which it has been requiring for a while, the turning of the tyres, has been started.

Wheel turning, first invented by...the Vikings?

The brakeblocks are also practically at the end of their lives so will be replaced along with the broken spring which took it out of service in the first place.

Metropolitan Cammell 1965 4 Wheel Petroleum Tank 53083

Team Pete & Pete were showing worrying signs that they wanted to return to us in the shed now that they had finished the LMS brakevan repaint down at Holt. This simply could not be allowed so under feeble calls of “we might have another Indian Summer this year” and “you've done such a good job, why don't you...” we greeted them into the shed from the Holt end and chivvied them through the doors at the other end and into the yard where....the Devil tank awaited them! The Devil Tank is so named due to the resistance and disapproval there was when the M&GN society preserved it and brought it onto the railway. A relatively modern looking vehicle, of 1965 vintage, it was felt out of place on our predominantly steam railway. However C&W think that is no real argument, this tank having a place here as it is of identical design (and therefore represents) the very local North Walsham flow which continues to operate (with more modern tanks) to this day. Originally just a static proposition, it has gained a real use recently after being converted to a water treatment carrier at Weybourne for the locos. Not being required in the freight train and based at Weybourne rather than Holt, it was deemed a perfect proposition of “Peaty Repaint Magic”, as it was looking fairly tired having never had any attention of not since entering preservation. Already a fair proportion of the tank's body (including one end) has been cleaned down and painted.

Cromer Trains

The fourth (spelt correctly this time!) and final day of mainline running to Cromer for the dining train has been operated this week, thankfully successfully. We now await feedback from the board of directors to inform us of the plans (if any) for 2017 concerning the dining train and mainline operations.


  1. Great to see the Tank Wagon getting some TLC. Unglamorous jobs like that are relative quick wins and add to the overall look of the railway. Any plans in the medium term for the three box vans at Weybourne? They're getting a bit battered looking.

    1. There are "loose" plans for not one, but two, of the box vans in the (as you say) medium term, by two separate factions. However neither plan has been approved, or indeed suggested, as the time is not yet quite right for them. They have not been totally forgotten though!

  2. As usual Chris is doing an excellent job with the Blog, and I know he won't mind me saying that the observant amongst you would have noticed that the Fruit D, wheel set was not fitted with Tyres, but had solid wheels. Eric Bloodaxe :-)

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