Back at home in the workshops, we would like the wish Brian and Sylvia a happy 50th wedding anniversary. Brian works with us in Carriage & Wagon and is engaged mainly in the restoration of GER 853, whilst Sylvia does valuable work assisting with the running of the Weybourne buffet. I don't know what either of them did to get a 50 year sentence, but as they're still going strong they must be doing something right!
Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853
Further progress has been made with the handbrake mechanism under the recently installed column. This has now been linked to the brake gear and test operated.
A nice new linkage has appeared underneath the centre of the vehicle to join up various parts of the brake system already installed. This was another recycled rod which was ably extended by The Axeman, who seems intent of continuing the come in despite the closing in nights...
A number of safety chains designed to "catch" the brakegear if it falls off(!) have also been fitted and painted. On the end of the frame, the buffer shanks are now back with us after some machining work, and the first one has been fitted to the chassis on the Sheringham end.
Moving onto the body of the vehicle, the end steps (for staff gaining access to the roof) have been trial fitted onto the brake (Holt) end. Further paint has also been applied to the interior walls in the compartments.
British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224
There has been great progress on the roof stripping, which has now been completed along both sides of the vehicle. There is now just a strip along the centre of the roof which still requires stripping.
Inside the vehicle, all of the interior bulkheads have received two coats of 50/50 varnish/white spirit which has brought out the colour of the wood and also protected the "raw" bulkheads from workshop hazards such as dirty fingers!
British Railways 1959 Tourist Second Open M4843
The bodywork repairs to the seaward side of the coach are now completed, and the side has been filled and sanded ready for repainting. The windows which have been removed have had their apertures protected with gloss paint so that the window frames can be refitted shortly.
The cleaning up of the nine removed window frames which were removed from the coach has now been completed, closing what was a mammoth task... The glass from these windows has also been cleaned and polished on the bench ready for refitting.
All of the renewed door cards for the six exterior doors have now been completed, test fitted and removed again so they can be varnished properly. The doors themselves, which are aluminium, are now in the process of being sanded down inside ready for a freshening coat of paint.
British Railways 1960 Covered Carriage Truck E94464
The Holt end set of end opening doors have been dismantled this week. These doors were designed to open to allow end loading of goods and even cars. However in preservation they are seldom used and being made of wood can allow water ingress so become a weak point in the vehicle's design. The doors are too rotten to ignore so to keep the water out of the vehicle once it is returned to the trains the doors are having to be removed, repaired where necessary and then rebuilt and refitted.
So far, the Holt end doors (there are four) have been removed and the steelwork left behind freed off, cleaned back to bare metal and repainted in primer. Hopefully it will not be too long before they are going back on!
On the interior of the vehicle, more of the interior walls have been sanded ready for a fresh coat of paint. The vehicle is now well over 3/4 sanded inside.
Some missing internal planking on several of the doors has been replaced to make them complete again and ready for sanding to match the rest of the inside of the vehicle.
Hurst Nelson 1942 4 Wheel Tank 1982
Repainting work on the tanker has now been completed and the team are pleased this has been able to be done before the weather turned. Due to the time of year, no more "outside work" will now be started up at Holt and the next freight wagons to receive a freshen up should start in 2018.
Not often reported in the Blog is the constant barrage of small maintenance tasks to keep all of the operating Mark 1's and other vehicles in (often daily) service, which often occupies two of the department on a very regular basis. This week has seen the dining set prepared for their run across the crossing and onto Network Rail on Wednesday, whilst preparations to ready the remaining coaches for the steam heat season are also underway. Some steam valves are being changed and hose and seals renewed etc to try and get the aged steam heat systems working again as reliably as we can before we actually need them in anger, such as on the Santa Specials!