Saturday, 18 March 2017

March News Part 3

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

Somewhat sooner than expected, the next phase of 853's overhaul was unlocked this week after the exciting task of separating the body from it's chassis was executed successfully. The creation of more space within the workshop (due to the mezzanine floor) allowed the accommodation chassis to be moved along and the body then lifted upwards allowing the chassis to be rolled back out from whence it came.

The body was then carefully lowered to the ground. The new position of the body will allow principally woodwork to continue at a much more easier level, and importantly allows access to the roof for restoration and replacement of the canvas covering.

Additionally, the original Great Eastern Railway chassis, what remains of it, is now fully accessible so a start can also be made on the restoration of this item. The frames will be cleaned and extensive repairs undertaken where wastage of the metal has occurred. This will then make it ready for the reclaimed components such as springs, wheelsets and brakegear, to be fitted back to these frames. Important times ahead!

More mundane tasks have included progression of the current crop of tasks mentioned many time before, namely the door rebuilds, painting of the guards handbrake mechanisms and wheels into gloss.

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

No progress to report.

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969

As painting requires a clean area with no other work close by, it is perhaps unsurprising that the progress on this coach this week has been...painting! The gloss paintwork is now fully completed, which included two coats of the red and cream on the bodysides as well as the two black ends. A start has now been made on lining the carriage. This is halfway there with the top line completed and the bottom line still to do.

Now that the major painting is complete, some of the final reassembly has been able to be started, such as refitting the horrid but sadly necessary three-phase shore supply sockets to the coach end!

British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224

The paint stripping of the bodysides introduced last week has continued and the lower half of the landward side is now stripped. The upper half of the same side, and the lower half of the seaward side, has now been started.

Interior deconstruction has also progressed apace, with concentration on the five compartments. These are now practically stripped out of all woodwork panels, beading and fittings (i.e. mirrors, luggage racks, lamps etc). Although it looks rather depressing, restoration of the components will be far easier and more pleasant on a bench in the workshop than struggling with them in-situ. The initial reason for the work is to remove the woodwork from the sides of the coach so that in due course, all welding repairs can be safely undertaken.

For the same reason as above, a fair amount of interior planking and ceiling panels have been removed from the Guard's luggage area, as corrosion has been identified at this end of the coach, particularly around where the roof meets the bodysides. Where the planking has been hidden by other panels in the corner of the carriage, the original brown colour scheme has been revealed. The current "livery" of Blue & Cream is a preservation era invention. The original luggage cage, still in position, has had its mesh removed in the past and replaced with plywood, so this non-authentic addition has been removed leaving the (original) framework behind. The cage will (hopefully) not have to be removed for repairs to be made, we do intend on leaving at lease some of the stuff in this area in position!

A healthy stack of components ready for "treatment" has accumulated both outside the coach on pallets and inside the compartments. A start has already been made on the refurbishment process. The first items to be tackled are the exterior doors, of which there are 10. They are a mixed bag with some in very good condition and others requiring full replacement. These will all be stripped down (regardless of their condition) for cleaning, painting, repairing and eventual reassembly. So far about half of them have been dismantled.

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Third W46139

Restringing of the luggage racks has been completed and two days at Holt has seen them all bolted into position inside the compartments, which certainly fills an odd gap.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352

We decided this week to tie up all of the "loose ends" so that the coach was ready for removing from the works. This has been successfully completed, with the cab blinds and windscreen wiper refitted, and the final small painting tasks attended to on the exterior. It is now ready for service, with the exception of refitting the corridor connection, which must be done outside.

British Railways 1959 Class 03 Diesel Shunter D2063

Works complete. Currently awaiting the availability of shunter drivers to remove it from the workshop.


  1. Interesting to see the underframe from 853 now its been separated from the body. You must be one of the first to try rewheeling the steel underframe that survived with a grounded body, what is the condition like?
    Keep up the good work, the blog is always an encouraging read!
    Mark (Knotty Coach Trust)

    1. Condition seems good at this stage, two end plates are wasted and will be replaced, but the main frames themselves look like they will only need minimal attention.