Saturday, 17 June 2017

June News Part 2

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


After last week's "dramatic" report involving the chassis this week holds all of the excitement of Grandma's net curtains. The tasks of steadily progressing the long jobs already in motion have continued as usual.

British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224


The bulkhead at the Holt end of the carriage has been sanded down, after having its varnish stripped off last week. More wooden interior parts have been stripped, sanded and repaired.


Work has now also started on the ten main passenger windows. The sliding parts have been removed and are in the process of being cleaned up to a fine aluminium shine. These had been painted gold by their previous owner, but we do not require the 1970's restaurant look so will be returning them to their original state. Any repairs to the catches and springs etc are being done as we go along.


The windows themselves are having all their old sealant and paint removed so that they can be refitted in due course once the bodywork is completed.


Now that work on E4236 is reaching completion, some resources have become available to return to the exterior doors for E21224. These are currently dismantled and more repairs to the steel skins have been completed.


These doors should be able to be built back up before too long.


A start has also been made on machining some new hardwood floor supports to replace those which had to be cut out when the bodywork was being undertaken on the seaward side. It is nice to be producing new parts for the coach rather than chopping out old parts!

British Railways 1956 Tourist Second Open E4236


The interior refresh continues. A great deal of the wooden varnished interior has been rubbed down and a new coat of varnish applied to freshen it up. This task is about 2/3rds completed.

On the exterior, the remaining corridor end woodwork has been fitted to the Holt end, completing this task.


Two rotten lighting jumper cables have been removed from the ends and the surrounding metal repaired, to prevent any further water ingress. All of the removed fittings, springs and buffing gear from the corridor connections have been painted into black undercoat to help get them ready for refitting the corridor connections once the repaint is completed.


Speaking of repaints, now that E4236's repairs are sufficiently advanced, the vehicle has now been handed over for paintwork preparation. So far the entire landward side has been rubbed down, filled and made ready for the painters. The seaward side is due to follow next week.


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51192


The space in the shed that M51192 left vacant was not in that state for long, with the same vehicle returning into our midst for more repairs after the diesel gala. This involved it being lifted again for a couple of days. It has now been put back on its bogies, again, and departed the shed once more on Friday.


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


Before entering service a small contingent from Sheringham were available to give the vehicle a good clean, so it now looks much better.


Royal Navy 4 Wheel Flat 269


The wagon has had the wooden deck protected with creosote this week. The wagon itself is now completed and just awaits a suitable load adding to it...


M&GN Dray


Work on repairing the Dray at Holt continues.

Workshop


As part of the Mezzanine storage area project, the shed requires a super-sort out and tidy up with each section having bits that require storing on the mezzanine removing, and what remains stacking and storing properly. The first 1/4 of the shed, the staging area, is now completed and hopefully the new tidy set up can be maintained!

Friday, 9 June 2017

June News Part 1

The nations favorite Norfolk Carriage News is back once again, like a reassuring cup of tea at the end of a long journey home...

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Dramatic progress was made when the chassis was lifted off the accommodation flat wagon which was pulled out from underneath. Whilst in mid air the opportunity was taken to extract the two wheelsets (already restored some time ago) from storage and roll them roughly into position so that they are close to hand when they are required. The underframe was then gently lowered onto stands where it will reside whilst the four "W irons" are attached.


The W irons themselves have now all reached the gloss black stage so now match the chassis in their completeness. The chassis has also reached the gloss black stage. The two now await being brought together.

British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224


No prizes are available this week for anybody guessing the progress here... It's been more woodwork varnish stripping! A lot of the separate panels and trim are complete now so the bulkheads on the coach in situ have been started.


Good progress is also being made on repairing some of the split and missing/rotten sections on some of the woodwork awaiting varnishing.


British Railways 1956 Tourist Second Open E4236


This coach has seen the most progress of all. On the interior, the ceilings which had to be removed to instigate corridor end repairs have now been refitted, and the saloon ceilings have had a coat of paint to freshen them up.


The varnished panels are progressing well in terms of lightly rubbing them down for a top-up coat of varnish. Some poor vinyl signage has also been replaced, such as the labels which inform passengers of the emergency communication apparatus ("do not pull the chain"). Finally, the wooden window surrounds have also received a "top up" coat of brown to smarten their appearance. These were already painted, as opposed to varnished, during a previous restoration.

The exterior has also come on in leaps and bounds. Both ends are now fully welded up with sound metal and new skin. New wooden supports have been made and these have been fitted to the Sheringham end along with the passenger communication apparatus.


The refurbished windows mentioned last time have been fully sealed in to the coach to try and stop water ingress, although I'm sure it will find a way!

The doorways are also fairly advanced, with the aluminium weather strips fitted to the door apertures and sealed in. This then allowed the six doors themselves (already refurbished) to be refitted. The coach is now nearly whole again from the outside!


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51192


It was a race against time for the Locomotive Department to get the vehicle serviceable in time for the diesel gala. Although there are ongoing issues, the vehicle was deemed fit to operate for the weekend, being finished just a day before the event! The road M51192 occupied has once more become vacant.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


This vehicle has now returned to traffic, and has been in use with M51192 for the Diesel Gala. The coach was filthy however after spending a period inside the workshop and we were lucky that a small contingent from Sheringham were available to give the vehicle the once over before the event. Cinderella made it to the ball!


Royal Navy 4 Wheel Flat 269


The Navy wagon was moved out of the workshop to make space for re-wheeling 853. This has allowed some rotten parts of the decking to be replaced so it is acceptable once more. The deck is now waiting to be creosoted to give it some protection from the great outdoors.

M&GN Dray


The horse dray from Holt has sadly deteriorated rapidly in the short time it has been up there, so part of it has been removed and brought back for some remedial woodwork repairs. A new front top rail has been produced and the horse shafts have been sanded back, resin applied and then primed as the paint was flaking off badly.

Friday, 26 May 2017

May News Part 4

The hot weather has hit the department hard, even ice creams were deployed on Friday! However we have carried the heavy burden of the English sun on our shoulders and forged forwards as always:

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The main focus has undoubtedly been on the underframe this week, although beading and wooden bodywork has continued to progress on the body alongside. A small army of painters has been busy giving the outside of the underframe a coat of black undercoat.


The remaining strengthening plate on the Holt end has been fully attached by weld directed by the Axeman. He has also been busy welding other odds and sods and this task is now finished for the whole underframe, with the possible exception of some brake rodding once the underframe is lifted off the naval flat wagon. Who knows, it may not be too long before this happens?


The four W irons, which will be holding the axles in place, are now progressing fast to catch up with the underframe itself. Each is at a different level but they have all been cleaned up and received some form of protective paint.


British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224


More interior woodwork has been stripped, sanded and varnished with a 50/50 varnish/white spirit mix. I know readers will barely be able to contain their excitement at this fascinating update!

British Railways 1956 Tourist Second Open E4236


The main focus for the regular staff this week. Priority has remained on the exterior. The Sheringham end has now had the two sides of the corridor aperture and the two bottom edges of the vehicles re-panelled with new. Now only the section above the corridor remains before reassembly can commence.


The Holt end has had all four of the structural crash pillars renewed and it is now solid, and safe, again.

The refurbishment of the half dozen windows which had been removed has now been concluded, and these were all refitted to the coach. More of the sliding windows have also been refurbished, cleaned and refitted into position, so the bodysides are now almost ready for paint preparation to start.

Welding repairs have also been going on with the six doorway surrounds. These are now all sound again, and the week has been spent undertaking a lot of fiddly door hinge alignment and other boring tasks, but the edges are now protected in some sacrificial gloss paint before the weather strips are riveted over the top to form the final, visible, door edge.


Inside the vehicle, some ceiling repairs have been done where gaps and other damage had appeared to cosmetically freshen it up while it is in the works.

British Railways 1957 Corridor Second E25189


The mechanical repairs described last week have all been completed and the vehicle returned to service.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51192


Oh dear oh dear. Loud noises from underneath the DMU a week or so ago required it to be removed from service to investigate the repairs. This has meant that the loco department has had to borrow our lifting road and jacks to undertake this work. We shall not be following the work in too much detail as it is being done by our friends next door, however they are inside our shed so the lift was observed with interest and the mangled bogie removed for assessment!


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


This vehicle, at long last, has finally been finished! The bolts which were required to re-fix the floor inside the corridor connection recently arrived so a morning was spent refitting these which in turn meant the side curtains could also be fitted, which completed the corridor connection. The toilet waste chute (mmmmmm!!) was also re-secured as it had lost its bracket at some point. It has now been officially released back into service and will be back in use whenever the operating department have need for it.

Royal Navy 4 Wheel Flat 269


No progress to report.

British Railways 1958 Conflat B502824


This wagon has received a quick re-varnish to spruce it up, whilst we have some good weather!



British Railways 1957 16T Mineral Open B558090


There had been reports that the "false roof" inside the mineral wagon was leaking so a small team was dispatched to Holt to reseal it to try and prevent too much water getting in. Whilst there, they also varnished the wagon to liven up the sides which had faded a little.



Maintenance


Part of the team has been hard at it at Sheringham working through coach repairs which have been required. There has been greater wear and tear than usual for this time of year due to the second rake of coaches being out every day to deputise for the DMU whilst it has been out of service. Amongst other task, a window has been replaced after its predecessor fell apart!

Workshop


After a long period of contemplation, Monkey has decided to reappear on the scene. He is currently assisting with the mezzanine floor project and is a dab hand and sorting out old nuts, bolts and fittings to reduce our disused stock and tidy up what remains! We are now working through the workshop itself, having emptied most to the external C&W stores on top the mezzanine. There is a lot of stuff around which has not been seen for a very long time so a thorough super-tidy is also being done as we go along, to improve the work environment. So far the corner of our staging area has received the culling.




June News Part 1


Next week, what would have been June News Part 1, will be delayed over to the following week (Friday 9th June). This is due to the start of the week being shortened by the bank holiday, and the end of the week being shortened by staff holidays, so there won't be much to report on in any case. Monkey remains in residence however and will be handling any inquiries...

Friday, 19 May 2017

May News Part 3

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The underframe is now really starting to look like it's going places. The remaining outer edges have all been cleaned and the whole perimeter is now in primer.


The end strengthening plates mentioned last week are still in the hands of our (barely) tame Axeman. He has been plug welding them to the top of the underframe and later in the week was also building up some more areas of the underframe which had wasted slighted with new metal.




However his concentration was tested after the arrival of a new gas cutting torch of an unusually long length. I've never seen a man's eyes light up so fast. Who knows what damage restoration will be done in the future?

Moving onto the body, the large section of replacement timber across the landward luggage doors has now been fettled and completed. A large amount of smaller replacement works has also been done at gutter height around the whole body, where old nails (holding previous canvas roof coverings) had caused damage and weakness to the wood.


British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224


A quiet update this week, very much "more of the same". The main progress has been further sanding down of interior woodwork trim and panelling. Unglamorous but essential. The bodywork is currently on hold as the welder's skills have been required for E4236.


British Railways 1956 Tourist Second Open E4236


Dramatic progress on the two coach ends, which are probably the worst sections of the overhaul work this time around. Both corridors have been dismantled and lifted off the vehicle, and are now lying disgraced in the yard outside. This has allowed proper access to the bits that get trapped behind the corridor bellows and then corrode.


All rotten paneling has been chopped away from around the connections and along the bottoms of the end (another rot hotspot). Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was deterioration present in all 8 of the structurally critical end pillars so we have had no option really but to fully repair them. This has meant that this week has been spent replacing the lower sections of all 8 of these pillars. The Sheringham end is now done with the Holt end well underway.




Elsewhere on the exterior, rotten door edges are being cut away and those that are staying in place are having new holes tapped to take the door hinges when we refit the doors.


Most of the windows which were removed to allow repairs to the body have now been stripped of their old paint, and are having the internal woodwork (which holds the glass in place) sorted out. We don't have time for a full overhaul of these so they will be painted again to smarten their appearance. The process of refitting the sliding windows which were removed and cleaned has now also started, so it is good to see that items are now going into the coach rather than being stripped off!

British Railways 1957 Corridor Second E25189


This coach, one of the least used Mark 1's on the railway, recently failed a routine exam as the couplings were becoming too worn. It has been moved into the shed for a week for this to be rectified. Over a coupe of days, the offending couplings have been removed and replaced with two spares which are in tolerance. A few other minor mechanical gremlins were also attended to.


Whilst inside, an area of paint which had peeled off was masked up and patch painted as a temporary measure until the coach can be brought in for a full repaint.


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


No progress to report.

Royal Navy 4 Wheel Flat 269


No progress to report.

Hurst Nelson 1944 Fuel Oil Tanker 5304


The vacuum pipe mentioned last week has now been fully finished in its new paint, complete with vacuum hoses. It can hopefully now be fitted at Holt to the tank wagon later this year.


Workshop


The mezzanine continues to be loaded. There has been a concentration this week on moving all of the vacuum braking equipment and steam heat spares.

Friday, 12 May 2017

May News Part 2

We start by noting that our Mark 1 BSK, W35148, carried none other than Professor Stephen Hawking this week. Those of the department who saw him were rather star struck and we hope he enjoyed his visit to the NNR.

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The cleaning and painting of the underframe continues. As the inside of the frames have been fully completed, this week saw the outside (visible) edges tackled. Two thirds of the seaward side has been chipped back to bare metal and primed.


The replacement end plates (introduced last week) have both now been constructed. The second plate required extra holes cutting into it to allow the guards apparatus to pass through the floor (hand brake and vacuum pipes).




The Axeman also added extra holes into the Sheringham end of the underframe. This is because it was a close-fitted coach with dumb buffers originally, but as these are now banned it will need "normal" buffers to run on the NNR. The two new holes will allow the shank of the new buffers to be fitted to the underframe.

Work on the wooden body and the doors continues in a similar fashion to previous weeks. A large piece has now been replaced above the landward set of double (luggage) doors.


British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224


A milestone has been reached as the welding team have now finished all of the framework repairs and re-paneling of the body on the seaward side.


The sanding and varnishing of the various veneered interior panels also continues.

British Railways 1956 Tourist Second Open E4236


All of the six doors have now been refurbished and are rot free and ready for refitting once the doorways have been repaired. Investigative work has now turned to the Sheringham end corridor end. Unfortunately it has been discovered that several safety critical structural end pillars are either weak or severed completely.



This will require the corridor connection to be removed to facilitate the repairs, so the bellow sections and other trimmings are now being removed so that the connection can be craned off next week.


A great deal of time has also been spent on window trim repairs and reconstruction (where rotten) on the half dozen windows which we have removed. This is so they will be ready for refitting and re-glazing when the time comes. Paint stripping of the outsides of the (removed) windows has also been started.

A few weeks ago, it was mentioned that all of the sliding windows had been removed so we could clean them up and get them opening and shutting nice and freely. This week has seen the majority of these windows cleaned up nicely back to aluminium finish, removing the detritus that looks bad and stops them running freely.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


Awaiting completion of its corridor connection.

Royal Navy 4 Wheel Flat 269


All of the axlebox oiler pads have been successfully fitted into the axleboxes and bolted up into position. The end vacuum pipe and associated fittings have also been installed at the Holt end. Work will now slow on this vehicle until the underframe of 853 is lifted off the flat wagon, as obviously any required repairs to the wooden deck can't be done whilst there is still a load on top!

Hurst Nelson 1944 Fuel Oil Tanker 5304


This tanker, which runs in the demonstration freight train, had a through vacuum pipe refurbished for it back in February 2015 which has been in store since awaiting fitting. The plan is now to use the Royal Navy wagon as a taxi to move this pipe up to Holt where it can be fitted to the tank wagon. As the pipe had deteriorated whilst it had been outside, it has been cleaned up and repainted.





Workshop


The clearance of our green storage coach is now fully completed and it now awaits removal from the workshop which will hopefully be next week. The mezzanine floor continues to be filled with items from around the current workshop, the pipework fittings being the latest "stuff" to head skywards!