Friday, 28 April 2017

April News Part 5

The Steam Gala last week went very well by all accounts, with very little disruption and most things behaving. The Suburban set received positive comments and apart from a minor vacuum conundrum (possibly caused by the guard's emergency brake valve not seating correctly) ran the three days without trouble.

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

Back in the workshops, a great deal of effort has been put into the underframe of 853. Many victims, or volunteers, have been crawling over the inside steel sections building them up with the correct layers of paint.

The inside of the frame is now fully primed and a fair amount of it has also been brought up to top coat black.

Some focus is now turning to the "dangly bits" that will be required to be attached to the frame once it is lifted off the Navy wagon. The Axeman is never far away from talk of dangly bits, so it was therefore no surprise to find him busy fabricating some of the first bracketry that will be used for the underframe in due course.

Woodwork on the doors also continues to progress. It is thought that these are now over 3/4 of the way there, and will soon be finished to the stage where they can't be continued until they are fitted onto the carriage, which has to be done once the body is lifted on the chassis in order to guard against the possibility of the door apertures changing shape during the lift.

British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224

Compartment woodwork is progressing well, there has been less varnish stripping this week and more sanding of the stripped items to clean them right up and bring a rich wood grain back to the surface ready for new varnish. A steady pile of sanded components has been growing, and another row of larger, veneered panels have been receiving their first 50/50 coats of varnish/white spirit.

Welding work has been progressing well. By the end of the week, the framework repairs had been completed to the first compartment and this same area skinned with new metal. The areas further along the coach around the brakevan still to receive the skin and lower "skirt" were also treated, so the whole Sheringham half of the seaward side is now fully completed from a metalwork point of view. 25% of the way there!

British Railways 1956 Tourist Second Open E4236

All of the doors have now been removed from the coach and have been worked on intensively over the week. They have all had their component parts removed and repaired where required. Several of them have also had rotten sections of wooden framework remade and repaired, returning them to full strength. The steel skins had bubbled through with corrosion holes in several places, so these have been welded up again good as new. A few have even been partially reassembled.

On the coach itself some of the large saloon windows have been removed where corrosion has dictated they require to come out. We are not anticipating on taking too many out, as the interior gets damaged in the process unfortunately.

All of the sliding windows have been removed from the coach so that the runners and windows can have a thorough clean. These can become troublesome in service so its worth giving them some attention whilst the coach is in the works.

The interior woodwork is also receiving a rub down ready for re-varnishing. This is not a full strip down (which takes a very long time) but is a relatively quick way of giving any tired sections a glossy boost to improve its appearance. A few minor items have had to be removed to allow full access for this rubbing down to be done easily.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352

No progress to report. Currently parked outside the boiler works of all places!

Royal Navy 4 Wheel Flat 269

The new oil pads have arrived for the axleboxes this week, which is one of the items required to turn this vehicle from a "works only" wagon into a fully maintained one i.e. one which can run regularly in the demonstration freight set. These pads will hopefully be fitted next week, which will complete the mechanical work on this project. I have included a picture of the outside of the wagon showing the lettering and Navy blue colour, as I didn't take one last week.

War Department 1943 Austerity 90775

Still awaiting emblems to be fitted.


The green stores coach remains in the heart of the workshop (the staged area) where it is slowly being emptied, sorted, and re-stacked on the new mezzanine floor. This week a milestone was reached, after the ex-luggage area of the coach was fully cleared. This is just over 1/3rd of the length of the whole vehicle, however it represents more like 1/2 of the clearance because this area was the most densely packed with "stuff"!

The doubters didn't think the contents of the carriage would fit on the new mezzanine, well we shall see!

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