Friday, 6 January 2017

January News Part 1

The New Year is in and with it brings a fresh batch of Blog updates. coalface news brought straight to your door!

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Not so much a New Year's resolution but more an Old Year's resolution continuing, that is the long and steady task of door restoration. Several of these are moving around the workshop, losing or gaining weight depending on what rot is being removed and which bits are being replaced with new.


The Axeman, having lost the underframe for M&GN 129, is now producing bracketry to support the long footboards that will run along the edge of 853.

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


The vacuum cylinder has been attached to the main vacuum pipe by means of a new flexible hose. The safety chains for hanging around the brakegear (pictured & explained last month) have also now all been fitted to the underframe. Finally, some small spring linking brackets have been fitted to the frame, which brings the time that the leaf springs themselves can be fitted that bit closer.

Unfortunately towards the end of the week, due to space constraints the underframe had to be moved outside for the foreseeable future. Obviously with the weather conditions being the way they are at present, work on 853 inside the shed is now somewhat preferable than 129 is outside!

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969


Now that the Mince Pie Special trains are concluded, and with the Suburban 4 project approaching its end, we are embarking on a new project: the dining train refresh project. With some of the 4 vehicles in this flagship train now having been outside and in service for over 10 years, their external appearance is starting to suffer. It is planned therefore for three of the vehicles, starting with E1969, to enter the workshops for any external repairs required followed by a full repaint to return them to pristine exterior condition. The forth vehicle in the set is in significantly poorer external condition, and will require more thorough attention in the future once the other three have been treated.

As already mentioned, E1969 is "phase 1" of the project and has been moved into the workshops this week for the work to commence.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Work on this vehicle has calmed down somewhat and has been mainly consisting of finishing works to focus on a few smaller details that are required before the coach is finally declared ready for passengers, The underframe and mechanical side of things is now fully complete and ready for service, including the last of the underframe lettering, odd electrical covers and battery charging.


The exterior is nearly ready as well. The door handles and handrails have had a final clean so that they look their best, and the door locks and other ironwork have had the paint that has splashed onto them removed. About three quarters of the exterior glass has also had the paint splashes removed. The gutter has been touched in in black where the red had, again, splashed onto it.

The interior has had a sweep out and "snagging" has now been completed throughout all of the compartments, leaving only the toilets to do. The snagging involves hoovering up (metaphorically) all the little bits and pieces that have been left behind by other jobs, such as catches not quite in the correct place, unsightly gaps in woodwork and missing screws etc. This is remarkably time consuming but does help turn a good coach into a great one!


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


This has been the main focus for the week. The roof has come on very well, and has now been scraped of all its old paint all the way around its perimeter, basically the bits that can be reached from a ladder. Next week will see the upper section completed using a harness on the roof itself. Also on the roof, the 1980's radio pod has been successfully removed by a keen volunteer who normally resides next door in the machine shop, but spent the day with us instead.


Moving downwards onto the body, the old routine of paintwork preparation has reared its ugly head again! Sand and fill and sand and fill and sand and fill and.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Phil is undertaking this thankless task once again and has completed the front end and is motoring down the seaward side of the vehicle. With our welder on holiday for an extra week, a few holey bits have had to be missed out and will be finished off once the new metal has been added back in, which should be happening before too long.


One of the doors, which is extremely rotten, has been earmarked for swapping with a spare example from a scrapped Class 101. The spare door has been fully dismantled this week right down to its component parts so that it can be repaired and reassembled in top condition. The door skin has already been stripped back to metal and primed.


Maintenance


A small team has been down at Sheringham undertaking the routine inspections and exams that are required during the closed season before the coaching stock is required again for the year ahead. There has been an interesting backdrop this year as while we work the contractors are busy ripping up the track formation outside the station as part of the annual renewal works. Never a dull day...

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