Friday, 24 April 2015

April News Part 4

Firstly, a thank you to all those who have visited and read the progress reports, this week we can celebrate 5,000 hits, impressive after just four months of existence. How long till the 10,000 barrier is breached...?

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


The main milestone this week is the last of the crimson gloss paint has been applied to the seaward side leaving only beading and lining on the vehicle now to be completed. The step irons, which have required modification, are now also complete and have been welded up and painted in primer. On the interior there has been progress with the decorative mirror next to the hand basin, and the lighting in the toilet cubicle has been installed.

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The ironwork which has been steadily progressing over the last month or so has now been completed in gloss black. They have now been stored ready for when they will be required during the main restoration.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


More metal has been cut out of the Sheringham end of the carriage, two of the critical “crash pillars” which form the strength at the end have now been cut out and a wasted section of plate work beneath has been replaced. The sinister seaward side doorway has had a reprieve and awaits its turn for attention... Preparations are being made for further repairs, in the form of gutter removal at the top of the carriage from the Sheringham end back towards the centre of the coach. This allows access for the metalwork repairs at the top of the bodyside structural pillars. The luggage racks mentioned last week are no completed and in sore ready for refitting, whilst work has begun on sanding down and repainting some of the lighting fittings for the Holt end saloon.
Sheringham end devoid of crash pillars - also showing the new plate work

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Gangwayed Brake M81033


This coach has progressed on four fronts. Firstly, the bogies have been adjusted to bring the riding height of the coach as close as possible to perfection: a requirement of the railway’s future plans to operate the dining train on part of the national network to Cromer. Secondly, also for Cromer running acceptance, inspections of the structural “crash pillars” have been made which required the partial stripping out of the kitchen to gain access to these hidden components. To our relief, they are in good condition. Thirdly, a troublesome sliding door which had thrown all its ball bearings out of its runners was stripped down, repaired, and the disturbed panelling made good. Finally, a vacuum valve/mounting bracket has been designed and fabricated ready for fitting to the underframe. This valve stops the vacuum brakes being released whilst the handbrake is in the “on” position and will hopefully prevent a reoccurrence of the incident which caused the coach’s wheel set damage. It will hopefully be fitted and tested next week.
The vacuum/handbrake valve

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357


As suggested last week, the second and final coat of crimson was applied this week to the exterior, and has attracted several favourable comments. The ends of the coach are also complete in black gloss and the first of the sign-written notices “Kings Cross Suburban” have been applied to the ends. Work now turns to the smaller finishing jobs such as cleaning excess paint off the windows/door locks, and painting smaller items to complete the repaint process. On the interior, a lack of paint has prevented the guards van interior from being painted, however some other items of “guards furniture” such as the handbrake mounting and equipment cupboards have been undercoated. The light fittings have also been fitted in the guards van, which completes the ceiling area.
Sign writing has started on the ends

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139


No progress to report this week, however it’s new position outside has made a sunny picture possible.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Second Lavatory Open E48001


Work on the interior wood continues: varnishing has started on the Sheringham saloon seat ends.
E48001 in its new position, behind some equally dilapidated heritage...

Thursday, 16 April 2015

April News Part 3

Much excitement this week as the workshop has been treated to two shunts moving various vehicle’s in and out. The highlight of this was the Picnic Saloon seeing daylight for the first time in about two years. Seeing the vehicle outside from a wider angle emphasised the 6 wheel underframe arrangement and reinforces what an interesting addition to the vintage train this vehicle will be.
No3 outside

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


As hinted last week, the tidy up has enabled another attempt at some seaward side gloss paint, which was successfully applied onto roughly the top half of that side of the vehicle. Going back to March News Part 3, about 50% of the footstep brackets (which were found to be the incorrect size last month) have been re-welded to a more suitable configuration. This has been possible now that the society’s welder has returned from holiday (a surprising move as we thought he would never return after escaping from the workshop in the first place...).

On the interior, it’s all about luggage. The four luggage racks, which accommodate small items above the picture frames in the main passenger saloon, have now been assembled and fitted to the vehicle. These really are a work of art with hand “knitted” nets strung between varnished wooden supports and are a nice addition to the interior. The floor of the luggage area in the end of the coach has also been sanded, filled and painted in black undercoat (the end of the restoration must be in sight if the floors are being attended to?).
Luggage netting

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Some more ironwork, mainly the “cups” which secure the rubber rings in the suspension springs, have been shot-blasted and primed up and have joined the other bits and pieces which have already been done.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


A milestone has been reached with the exterior metalwork repairs. The halfway point has been passed, with all welding and re-panelling work completed in the Holt half of the carriage. The same process now begins for the Sheringham end of the coach, and no time has been wasted in making a start. The Sheringham end vestibule has been stripped out of its woodwork and the floor has been entirely removed so that access is available to repair the corridor end. The seaward side doorway at this end is in horrendous condition and will need total replacement. Returning to the Holt end, the eight window frames have progressed to gloss paint so are ready for being refitted with the glass when the time comes. About ¾ of the interior luggage racks for the Holt end have also been extracted and cleaned up manually, cleaning the aluminium corrosion and improving their appearance, a pretty thankless task.
Completed panel and floor repairs in the Sheringham end

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Gangwayed Brake M81033


This dining train kitchen vehicle has been moved into the workshop this week to have its running gear attended to. Immediately lifted on the jacks, severe wheel flats were found on the Holt end bogie however the Sheringham end was not as damaged as initially thought.

Originally the plan was to do a simple bogie swap with a similar coach which normally performs a static function at Sheringham. However the bogies on the donor coach were found to have a very different type of brake-gear so as much time would have been spent modifying brakes than the time saved by doing a bogie swap in the first place. So it was agreed instead to clean up and manually reshape the wheels on the Sheringham end bogie of M81033, whilst swapping the damaged wheelsets out of the Holt end with some examples in stock at Weybourne. This was completed successfully, although a lot of work was required as the new wheelsets had to be stripped down and cleaned/prepared and the axle boxes and bearings swapped over etc.

Both bogies also got a good check over and a thorough oiling up before being returned underneath the coach.
The damaged wheelset - since replaced

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357


The guards van interior walls have now joined the ceiling in receiving its cream gloss paint, although a second coat is required. Work on the external repaint is also progressing very well: this week the landward side and two ends of the coach were undercoated, and then both sides and both ends received their first crimson top coat. Work on further rubbing down and a second gloss coat will continue next week.
Crimson top coat

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139


This coach has been moved outside as a necessity for the duration of the time M81033 is in the workshops for its unscheduled repairs.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Second Lavatory Open E48001


E48001 has been moved around the yard and repositioned on the “cripple siding” which brings it slightly closer to the workshop and also puts it in a less used area of the yard so restoration won’t be disturbed so much by shunting manoeuvres.

Friday, 10 April 2015

April News Part 2

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


This week No3 has had a heavy tidy inside and out, which has cleared the area around the coach and also emptied the interior, giving the first chance since the seats were installed to see the open saloon devoid of tools/equipment. This is partly as the coach is due to be moved temporarily next week for an hour or so for a metal cutting guillotine machine to be transferred from the “old” machine shop at Weybourne into the carriage works. This was because it was found that Carriage & Wagon were using the machine more often than any other department, so during the reconfiguration of the works to accommodate the boiler overhauls, it was decided to transfer the guillotine to us.
General interior view

A vacuum test has also been taken to test the brakegear and vacuum cylinder arrangement. It seems there is a problem with the latter which will have to be investigated however the system does hold the full 21 inches of vacuum normally.
Pulling 21 inches

This tidying however hasn’t prevented progress on the rest of the coach, with some gloss paint being applied to the seaward side of the carriage, only to be rubbed down again as it was found to be badly contaminated with dust. The tidy up should help the next attempt in this regard.
The luggage door showing the red/yellow lining mentioned last week

On the interior, the door to the toilet has had its glass revealed (it was previously protected in plastic), whilst inside the toilet the light “globe” has been installed with the help of an angled base (described in March News Part 3) which allows the light to sit level whilst also being screwed to the curved ceiling.
Toilet door glass

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


Due to our resident metalworker slightly altering the days in which he comes in, there will be an update on the exterior bodywork next week. The eight window frames for the Holt end saloon are now being prepared for reassembly, and are in undercoat.

On the interior, the floor for the store room (used to be the second toilet but will not be reinstated as such) has started to be machined from hardwood whilst directly above it a water tank has been removed as this will also not be required in service with only one toilet (the second water tank will be retained). A lone volunteer is also doing sterling work progressing the interior woodwork varnish stripping, and has now moved onto the interior bulkheads in the Holt end saloon, which will be most useful for when we “move back in” to this saloon for reconstruction after the bodywork repairs are concluded.

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357


In common with last week, E43357 has been a centre of attention. On the interior, the guards van continues to progress. The side walls are now in white undercoat and all beading etc has been finished. The ceiling has also now received a cream top coat so we are approaching the end for this area. Brackets have been manufactured for the bulkhead (installed last week) which holds the guards mirror which is part of the periscope system. The second periscope has now been gloss painted and is ready for fitting into the roof to join the first one which was fitted in 2014. The two pairs of double luggage doors have been undercoated in red as that was their original colour scheme for some unknown reason... Several bits of metalwork from the backs of the doors have also been cleaned up and undercoated by volunteers.
Completed (second) periscope

The exterior has come on visually, with several days of final preparation work and cleaning being undertaken on the body sides and ends (the latter have now been fully sanded and are at the same stage as the sides) which got the whole vehicle ready for final painting. This started on Thursday and the seaward side has been undercoated in crimson. These coaches take longer than traditional Mark 1 vehicles to paint as the number of doors and windows slows down the painting process.
The undercoated seaward side

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139


Our newest member of staff has been working on the underneath of E46139, as good an initiation as any! The vehicle has been lifted again to allow under-floor work to be done in relative comfort. As this coach is not going to be steam heated, the connection to the pipe-work which feeds all the heaters has been blanked off sympathetically, so if we wish to heat the vehicle in the future, only a small section of pipe will have to be reinstated. There is now the main steam pipe running through the vehicle end to end. Volunteers have started to clean up some of the areas of the underframe which is particularly visible, which will compliment the fully repainted bogies well. Two refurbished vacuum cylinders have also been fitted to the coach whilst the direct admission valves that are situated next door to them have been taken off and stripped down for overhaul. A start has been made on adjusting the ride height of the vehicle which is done by adjusting the springs on the bogies.
A flurry of action underneath E46139

Workshop


We’ve received several requests concerning an update for the workshop sack barrow refurbishment, which hasn’t been mentioned since February News Part 1. All four barrows have been through works and are now back in traffic. Whilst it is rare to see all four in service at once, which only usually happens during gala events, the entire fleet was captured here in an arc which was arranged during a photographic charter:

Sunday, 5 April 2015

April News Part 1

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


The main focus this week has been on furthering the external paintwork. The ends of the carriage have been rubbed down again as they require further gloss paint whilst red lining has been added on the landward side. The yellow lining which sits adjacent to the red has now been started on this side.
Rubbing down the end
Applying the red lining

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The ironwork described last week has received a further coat of anti-rust paint and some parts now sport grey primer.

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


The toilet rebuild is starting to bear fruit. After a few false starts (breakages!) a sink and pedestal combination has been cleaned up and test fitted. The problems with the waste chute described last week (toilet-gate) have been resolved by fitting a different design of toilet which has a hole in a far more suitable location in the floor. Very luckily the first hole we cut lies underneath the toilet so this mistake will be fully hidden from view. Parts are now on order for a new waste pipe which will allow the toilet to be installed. Work on the metal repanelling continues with some more sections of skin attached to repaired framework.
Toilet interior

British Railways 1956 Mark 1 Suburban Brake Second E43357


Work has stepped up somewhat on this vehicle this week. Externally, the final bodywork sanding is being pushed to hopefully enable crimson undercoat to be applied next week. This has involved final flatting down of the two sides of the carriage. The ends are currently partially sanded and will follow in due course.

On the interior, the guards van continues with the new ceiling now in white undercoat and the interior bulkhead reinstalled, the original having been removed when the vehicle was converted into a generator car in times gone by.

British Railways 1954 Mark 1 Suburban Second E46139


The bogie overhaul for this carriage has been completed this week, and the reassembled bogies have been put back underneath so the vehicle is mobile again. It will have to be lifted again for underframe painting but this is scheduled to be done after a repair to an operation al coach which has been prioritised.