Friday, 30 January 2015

January News Part 3

Midland Railway (later M&GN) 1886 6 Wheel Picnic Saloon 3

The water system described in January News Part 1 was tested successfully this week with the tank holding water without issue (see image). An amusing issue was found with the air/overflow pipe on the tank which wasn't quite behaving as it should, resulting in the toilet pan acting as a relief valve when the tank was full! Also on the exterior, the chassis and buffer beams have received a first top coat of “Crimson Lake” which looks very smart indeed.
The water tank under test, also showing the painted underframe (top)

Turning to the interior, the communication chord pipework was rapidly fitted and the chain itself installed inside (see image) and attached to the apparatus on the end of the coach that applies the brakes if the chord is pulled by a distraught picnicker. In the luggage compartment, the shelving that attaches to the wall has been machined out of timber.
Fitted communication chord

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Second Open E4372

After the two suspect vacuum valves (described last week) were changed for refurbished examples, further testing revealed the vacuum cylinder itself to be also defective. Luckily we have a store of overhauled cylinders to get us out of trouble in such cases and one was duly retrieved and fitted. After a communication chord test (and resultant adjustment) the vehicle was declared fit for service once more and returned to Sheringham to join its friends in the dining train again.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

On the exterior, welding work on the Holt end seaward side corner had modestly progressed and paintwork stripping (described last week) has continued with the Holt/seaward quarter now completed. As for the interior, seat end varnish stripping has been completed for the Holt end saloon with the attention of the “strippers” now turning to the panelling and window furniture on the seaward side of the Holt saloon (the landward side is already complete and is in store ready for refitting). This was made possible after a single volunteer gallantly stripped out all the remaining woodwork and luggage racks out of the Holt end saloon for restoration. In the toilet the panelling has been completed and the ceiling also installed, some filling has been done followed by a coat of primer (see image).
Panelling in the toilet

British Railways 1954 Grounded Tool Van DB975129 (Ex Brake Corridor Second 34495)

This week we completed our part in the demise of this carriage. The floor removal described last week was completed on Monday, and we moved all the spare bits and bobs we managed to salvage from the coach clear leaving the body as a hollow tube (see image). Since we bid farewell to it, is has been chopped into three sections which have in turn been craned out of the coach’s awkward position (next to the locomotive shed) and moved elsewhere ready for final scrapping.
DB975129 after interior stripping
The final of the three sections DB975129 was chopped into for movement

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357

The panelling in the guards van has now been completed, resplendent in its fetching pink primer! The seaward side footboard has been painted in gloss black which completes the work on this particular component. The battery charging sockets, removed last week, have been fully stripped down and rebuilt before reassembly and a coat of red paint. Attention has now turned to rewiring the inter-coach lighting cables which were removed in the 1980's (see image)
rewiring the inter-coach lighting cables

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139

No progress to report.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Second Lavatory Open E48001

Seat end stripping of varnish continues on the Sheringham end saloon.

British Railways 1958 Conflat & Type AF Container B502824 & AF65970B

An unusual 15 inch vacuum cylinder (we usually use either 18 or 21 inch) has been extracted for overhaul for use on the conflat wagon (a special flat wagon which the AF container is to sit on), which is currently outside in the yard awaiting space in the workshop to have its brakes commissioned. 

Workshop

A couple of items have been looked at to improve facilities in the carriage workshops. A new rack has been fixed to the wall to hold all our crowbars and similar items as they are difficult to store otherwise. This rack was salvaged from DB975129 last week, a hangover from its Cambridge breakdown train days. Volunteers have been busy refurbishing sack trucks as they had been looking a little worse for wear. Finally, several lights have been fitted into the roof to replace poor examples which kept switching themselves on and off. This enlightening work required the use of the scaffolding tower to reach the dizzying heights of the shed ceiling. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

January News Part 2

It has been a very busy week with some unexpected extra work coming in.

Midland Railway (later M&GN) 1886 6 Wheel Picnic Saloon 3

The water system described last week has had its pipework fitted which concludes the work on the water tank (hopefully as a test remains to be undertaken!) that supplies the sink. The buffers were found to be positioned too short so they have been removed and some minor modifications are being made to make them sit at the correct distance from the couplings. On the interior, the “picnic” tables have received two coats of varnish (see image) although more coats are required for a satisfactory result. Rexine material has also been applied to the two passenger doors; they look very nice in their maroon colour. Work has now started on the passenger communication chord which will run the full length of the vehicle. Some steel tube has been acquired and this has now been test fitted in places and the tubes are now in the process of being painted.
Picnic table with varnish starting to be built up

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Second Open E4372

One of our favourite coaches, dining car E4372, has been at Weybourne for a repair. Whilst normally very well behaved, the brakes decided to start leaking vacuum. Originally thought to be the vacuum cylinder itself, after inspection some neighboring valves became the main suspects. These are being swapped to allow this coach to be returned to service quickly.
E4372 back in Weybourne yard for a vacuum repair

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

The “Gold” overhaul has progressed on three fronts. Firstly, the metalwork around the Holt end seaward side corner has reached the stage where the new floor plate and crash pillar bottoms have been welded in (see image).  A small amount of paintwork has also been stripped off the seaward side ready for bodywork. Secondly, the landward side toilet has had its framework refitting completed and five out of six Formica panels have been fitted onto the frame. Thirdly, the seat end stripping of old varnish powers on with several more being completed this week thanks to the input of volunteers.
Heavy repairs to the bottom corner

British Railways 1954 Grounded Tool Van DB975129 (Ex Brake Corridor Second 34495)

A new project for the department this week is assisting in the disposal of this ex breakdown tool van which has been a grounded body (no bogies) in Weybourne yard for approx 20 years. With the railway expanding and a new boiler shop being created, the area the coach has occupied is required to lay a track into the side building which will house the boiler works. Prior to scrapping the interior of the coach had to be completely stripped out with no wood remaining, leaving a steel bodyshell behind. In just three days, with a lot of help from M&GN society and NNR carriage and wagon volunteers, all of the ceiling, wall panelling and supporting woodwork has been removed and burned, with about half of the floor also pulled up. Assistance was also given in removing the last of the items which has been stored in there (it was a diesel loco store). Some limited spares have been obtained from the vehicle as well, including window frames, chequer plate flooring and roof vents.

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357

The most advanced Suburban in the “Sub 4” project edges ever closer. More panelling has been fitted to the guards van, with only the top section of one wall still to complete (see image). The seaward side footboard has been sanded back and repainted in undercoat – luckily this board is of sufficient quality to reuse – and the charging sockets for the batteries have been removed for restoration and rewiring.
Guards van panelling being fitted

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139

Several doors on the landward side have been adjusted. This is required a month or so after refitting with new doors as they tend to “settle” into the old space and new temperature which causes them to get stuck for no sensible reason! The remaining holes have been drilled to take the grab handles (next to the door handles) as a couple of these had been “lost” last year after bodywork repairs resulted in the area of body they bolt to being replaced with new metal. Finally the lighting surrounds described last update have been wood treated and painted in undercoat.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Second Lavatory Open E48001

Work progresses well on the interior. The Holt end saloon has had all the window woodwork loose fitted and any snags are now being attended to. The centre “vestibule” between the toilets has now been fully stripped of varnish and will be sanded and re-varnished when the weather improves. The Sheringham end saloon is 2/3rds ready for loose fitting of the window woodwork. While the temperature remains low, seat end stripping of varnish continues for the Sheringham saloon seat ends (the Holt end ones are already restored).

British Railways 1958 Type AF Container AF65970B

The AF container has seen a small amount of progress, in the form of its number plate having the letters and border picked out in black (see image).

1965 32 Ton Petrol Tank 53083

Not a vehicle that is mentioned very often... The tank is now in use as a water treatment tank and it was decided that it required a vacuum through pipe as it is going to be moved around far more frequently than previously now it has a useful role on the railway other than static display. This was kindly done by the locomotive department after we supplied two vacuum pipes to fit onto the ends. Luckily there was already pipework under the vehicle for this purpose.

Friday, 16 January 2015

January News Part 1

Midland Railway (later M&GN) 1886 6 Wheel Picnic Saloon 3

Progress has been made on the water system which will "feed" the sink. The tank has been successfully mounted under the carriage this week, a task that a single sentence cannot do justice! Work on the exterior woodwork has involved smaller "finishing off" jobs that are bringing the overall standard of the coach higher. Internally, boarding in the luggage area has been painted and work has started on manufacturing the bars which go over the windows in this area.



British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641

The "Gold" overhaul continues, with work focusing on the Holt end of the carriage. On the landward side, the lower half replacement of the steel panels is complete, the panels being fully welded up and the welds ground down this week. The welder has now turned his attention to the seaward side which has a very rotten area in the corner of the vehicle where the toilet (used as a cleaning store by the NNR) was. The lower section has been completely cut out (paneling and framework) for replacement. Additional work required which wasn't the case on the land side is the replacement of the heavy plate (which sits across the end of the coach on top of the chassis) which was found to be excessively corroded.

The Holt end Landward side of E4641. This image shows the coach before the steel panels were removed from the lower half of the coach for replacement. 

There is also activity on the inside. Work has started to rebuild the landward side toilet, which has never been used in NNR service, the shell of which had to be tripped out for metalwork repairs. So far, a new floor has been fitted which has provided a solid base to work on to progress the refitting of the supporting wooden framework that the Formica panels will be pinned to. The Holt end vestibule has also lost its ceiling. This has been removed to allow the toilet water tanks (located in the roof space) to be taken down for repairs and testing as they are suspected to be leaking. Finally, work on stripping down and re-varnishing the interior woodwork from the Holt end passenger saloon is progressing, with the landward side approaching completion.

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357

This carriage has seen the most manpower this week. On the exterior, the bodywork preparation on the bottom half of the vehicle has now been completed down both sides with the top half still to undertake.

Internally, good progress has been made on re-paneling the guards van which was stripped out many years ago during the coach's time as the generator car in the railway's dining train. About 80% of the "tongue and groove" boarding has been fitted. Some new cabling (for lighting) has also been routed into the guards van, the original wiring having also been removed at the same time as the paneling. Finally, a brand new floor section has been fitted below the landward side set of guards double luggage doors, as the original had become weetabix-like!

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139

A full set of original style wooden surrounds have been manufactured for the lighting shades that will fit in the centre of the compartment. The varnishing of the last of the compartment interior panels has also been completed, and these parts are now in store awaiting fitting.

Although not undertaken this week, the image shows the freshly repainted roof on E46139

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Second Lavatory Open E48001

No progress to report.

British Railways 1958 Type AF Container AF65970B

No progress to report.

The current condition of AF65970B