Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853
With the assistance in the overhaul of the WD locomotive concluded, work has been able to recommence on 853. In preparation for lifting the body from its current "accommodation chassis", the body has been lifted about four inches from the frame and is now standing on temporary blocks. This gap will allow the proper lifting gear to be used when the body is lifted fully from the current underframe. Meanwhile, wooden repair works have continued on the passenger compartment doors. These doors are real old ladies so are being treated to a fair bit of work to return them to their Victorian (just!) prime...
Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129
The chassis is currently standing outside as there isn't enough room to accommodate this, 129 and the construction site that is the new mezzanine floor. However a few hardy souls ventured outside and fitted several brake hangars, links and brake blocks to the chassis. These "trimmings" are certainly making the chassis look less bare underneath and more complete.
British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641
The door interiors, mentioned last week, have now been completed in brown gloss and the doors have been finished off with their "do not lean out of the window" period signage. Whilst the transfers were out, other examples throughout the carriage such as the alarm chain warning signs and various labels inside the toilet compartment, were also applied. This done, the interior is now getting its final cleaning prior to entry into service. So far, the insides of the windows and the tables have been cleaned.
On the exterior, lining has continued and the coach now sports both of its lines along the whole coach, concluding this aspect. Lettering is now in progress. The numbers have already been applied, and underframe and end data will soon be added.
The underframe is seeing some final parts cleaned and painted black, and a new set of batteries have arrived ready for fitting to the battery boxes. The coach will be needing these as the lights will be very much in use during the Santa trains that this coach will hopefully be operating next month.
British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041
All of the tasks featured last week have progressed well. The glass fitting is now complete so the coach is now a seal-able item for the first time in many months. The entry of the carriage into the staging area has allowed roof work to pick up where it left off. The main central section of the roof has now been scraped of all its old paint, and this work is now proceeding along the two edges, which are attacked from ground level rather than from on top of the roof. A few roof vents are loose so will have to be resealed. The other major exterior change is the commencement of the bodyside preparation and filling work, which is (as usual) giving the coach its patchwork quilt appearance, temporarily of course.
On the interior, woodwork restoration and fitting continues apace and several areas are now starting to look very advanced in terms of fitting out. The areas which we haven't had chance to varnish yet will be returned to later on.
Lots of Formica has also been refitted where appropriate and the toilets in particular (which are very Formica heavy) are progressing well. The tedious process of correctly modifying and fitting door woodwork, along with brand new lower panels, has started with several doors now dry fitted.
British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357
The brake vehicle from the suburban set has been temporarily returned inside the workshop for a modification to be made to the guard's step arrangement, as the original BR arrangement has proved problematic for some of the guards. Rather than see anybody struggle, it had been requested an extra step be fitted, which after careful inspection of the bogie, was deemed possible whilst maintaining access to the spring and axlebox. So far, the start of some mounting brackets and steps have been designed, cut and welded/bolted into place on to the bogie.
Metropolitan Cammell 1965 4 Wheel Petroleum Tank 53083
No progress to report.
The mezzanine floor level has now been completed by the contractors. It has now been handed over to the NNR's in-house team for some final finishing touches such as provision of handrails and moving of lighting. Elsewhere in the workshop, the M&GN Society's tool cupboards have been rebuilt to suit the new configuration of the tool stores (brought about by the clearance of the area for the mezzanine) which will hopefully help everyone in locating tools and keeping the area nice and presentable.