Friday, 29 July 2016

July News Part 5

This week has seen the four dining coaches receive their derogation to run on Network Rail between Sheringham and Cromer, which almost concludes the long task of getting the coaches to a suitable standard for "mainline" operation. Only an engineering acceptance and registration on the mainline railways' TOPS numbering system now remains to be completed, with both of these scheduled for the next week.


Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Exterior beading repairs and guards van luggage door restoration has continued to progress. The shelving for the guards area has now reached the gloss cream stage and they are starting to really look the part.


Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


Welding work continues on the chassis, and some more drilling of holes around the centre axle area has been undertaken. This has allowed the centre "W iron" to be test fitted temporarily. Outside, the good weather has allowed the two "PMV" wheels to be gloss painted.


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


To allow the coach to be moved whilst its wheelsets are on the wheel lathe, the two bogies have been temporarily reassembled with spare (non operational) wheelsets and then returned to the underneath of the coach which has been lowered back to ground level. E4641 was then shunted into the staging area where it will spend the next week.


Work has continued on the Holt end corridor connection (introduced last week). The faceplate and associated metal trim have now had a coat of "rust-kill" primer, and the Axeman was promoted to putting bits on rather than cutting bits off, when he welded the two lamp irons back onto the faceplate!


The metal bellows which go behind the faceplate were a bit rotten, so parts of it are having to be remade by our resident welder.


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Nothing too dramatic to report, with the interior timber installation and Holt end steelwork repairs progressing in similar vain to last week. Those involved in the timber fitting are hopefully glancing round the workshops looking for distracting forces, but alas they have been forced to remain in E43041 and plough on!


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001


Finishing tasks are now the name of the game on this carriage, which is now on the cusp of completion. All paint has been scraped off the windows, handles etc (anywhere it shouldn't be) and the landward side windows have been polished inside and out.


A final sweep through the interior is now being undertaken with varnishing of any dull-ish parts being completed. So far, the landward side has been completed. Odds & sods are also being completed in the toilet areas. The skirting has been satin varnished, a missing light fitted and tested and various door handles and locks etc (which had been removed for nearby varnishing) were also refitted. The connecting lighting jumper cables, located on the end of the carriage, have also been fitted in position, this was possible after the ends of the coach were painted gloss black, which was the last part of the main repaint work to be completed.

British Railways (LMS Design) 1949 20 Ton Brakevan B950133


Some more undercoat has been applied.

Friday, 22 July 2016

July News Part 4

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Gentle progress has been made on most fronts but no milestones as such have been passed this week. The exterior beading repairs, guards van shelving and modified guards van luggage doors are all ticking along nicely.

Guards van shelving being painted

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


The two "PMV" wheels for this chassis, mentioned last week, have now been treated to a coat of primer, this drying rather quickly in this week's heat. More welding work has also been done on the landward side C section, with the Holt end being concentrated on.

Two apes watching two workers

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


Work to progress the bogie clean up, which is being done a second time as explained last week, has continued, with the Holt end bogie now in gloss and lowered onto its temporary wheelsets whilst its own are out for tyre turning. The Sheringham end bogie is now on stands receiving the same cleaning and repainting treatment on the insides of the frames.

The Holt end corridor connection, which has been lying in the yard for a while, has now been dug out and stripped down as it requires some metalwork repairs. So far, the end "faceplate" has been cleaned down back to bare metal and various broken studs have been drilled out ready for replacing.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Work to install the supporting timbers to the steel body framing, pictured last week, continues as this is a rather large job. At present two people are working from opposite ends, and should meet somewhere in the middle. The toilet pipework has also been suitably plugged up to allow a water test which failed in spectacular fashion requiring many buckets! The following day, the source was investigated and luckily, rather than the toilet tanks being split, some other pipework has decided to give up. On the Holt end of the coach, some more steelwork repairs have been done around various rotten areas, bringing this aspect of the restoration ever closer to completion.


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001


Two coats of gloss Crimson paint have been applied to the carriage this week, transforming the vehicle entirely. Only the ends now remain to be painted gloss black. With the sides done, the brass grab handles have all been fitted and some minor painting tasks around them completed. Several people are now busy scraping off paint which has gotten into areas it shouldn't have, and generally working through a list of polishing and tidying jobs which will make the final appearance of the coach that little bit better.


British Railways (LMS Design) 1949 20 Ton Brakevan B950133


with resin-ing completed, team Pete have wasted no time in moving onto the undercoat at Holt, with the seaward side of the vehicle being so treated...

Saturday, 16 July 2016

July News Part 3

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Mainly interior work this week. In parallel with progressing the guard's folding desk, some more shelving has been started, again based on clues left inside the vehicle based on holes and shadows etc on the walls of the guard's compartment.


The formers which will support and give shape to the seat backs inside the passenger compartments have now been completed.


Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


The landward side chassis-strengthening C-section continues to be welded to the original chassis. There is a lot of work to do here, so work for the Axeman is ongoing. Two of the wheelsets from the original flat, known as the "PMV wheels", have been cleaned up of old detritus which is certainly required before painting!


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


Every cloud has a silver lining. The delay explained last week in wheelset turning has given the opportunity to return to the bogie frames, specifically the Holt end bogie frame, and give the insides of them a more thorough cleaning than was originally "budgeted" for. One bogie has already been cleaned down and painted in black undercoat.

The nearest wheel, awaiting tyre turning, now cleaned up

A day has also been spent testing the lighting electrics on the vehicle. A few minor problems were found, including some connection issues with its new set of batteries, however by the end of the day the reading lamps and main saloon lights were shining on demand. There are still some control issues however, so more tweaking is required before the job is signed off...


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


With the floor now installed the supporting woodwork for the interior panelling has started to go in. A lot of original pieces were carefully removed and labelled up when the coach was first stripped down, so hopefully not much new material will be required.




British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001


To keep dust contamination to a minimum, the largely sole activity this week has been painting the vehicle. The roof has received its third and final coat of black, whilst the bodysides, ends and doors have been painted in undercoat. Next week should see the all-important gloss coat.


British Railways (LMS Design) 1949 20 Ton Brakevan B950133


More coats of resin have been applied all round the exterior and I am reliably informed by "Team Pete" (Peter T and Peter B) that the time for undercoat paint has come! This vehicle has progressed well given the recent good(ish) weather.


Holt


Also at Holt, which is where Team Pete are now based (could we make the move permanent perhaps?!?), they have painted out the "South Devon Railway" regalia off the railway's newly purchased magical roundabout, making it far more presentable to the public whilst it sleeps in the goods yard prior to repairs and installation.


Workshop


The House Martins, which invade us every year, are now fledgling in the workshops and we are treated to the sound of mother feeding the young, presently on our safety line.




Also nesting are the Monkeys, Mrs Monkey having taken to the end of the shed nearest the doors for a few weeks presumably to avoid the House Martins. The Monkey's however seem to be leaving a lot less deposits on the carriages than the birds!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

July News Part 2

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Interior and exterior progress has been made. On the inside, a start has been made on constructing the folding guard's desk. In the absence of photographs this item has been interpreted based on a few clues including some "shadows" on the inside wall of the carriage.

The exterior, specifically the guard's end wall, has had some filler applied to compliment the new beading mentioned last week.


Harry working on landward side exterior panelwork

A start has also been made on a set of "double doors" for the luggage area of the carriage. These were missing on 853 as they had been removed to make way for a fireplace! Some spare Great Eastern luggage doors are being utilised, salvaged from a centre brake vehicle long since dismantled. They are similar but not quite the same, so are having to be dismantled for various parts to be altered so that they match the doors on the opposite side of the carriage, the originals for which survived.


Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


The obvious visual step forwards has been the lifting of the steel C section onto the landward side of the underframe making it look far more complete.


The Axeman finished what he started last week, dropping off the remaining pair of springs from the Holt end, which I believe will be one of the last PMV components to be removed, not being required for the underframe in its new 6 wheel format.


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


This coach has suffered a small set back in that the wheelsets on the bogies have been found to be sufficiently worn to not be suitable (at present) for registration for running between Sheringham to Cromer, after they were checked this week. This does not affect the railway's 2016 Cromer trains, as E4641 was never a part of these plans. However it is our intention to have E4641 available for 2017 as a "spare" coach in case a Cromer-registered vehicle is unavailable for whatever reason. To ensure this is possible, the wheelsets will now be removed from the bogies for tyre turning which will re-profile the tyres thus making them "Cromer ready".


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Progress has continued with welding the window studs into position and also welding up the paneling on the Holt end, in similar vein to previous weeks. Floor installation work has also continued unabated and is now completed, with the First Class section being installed this week. The curved sections of timber which sit in the doorways are now in the process of being machined and fitted.


The toilet plumbing has been started, as previous experience with E48001 has taught us that this can be quite time consuming, so rather than be against the clock we thought we would start the toilets sooner rather than later. Before we proceed with full restoration, the large water tanks suspended in the ceiling need to be checked for leaks, so the first task has been to plug up all of the open pipework (where various sections are missing or were removed as part of the asbestos stripping) so that we can do a water test in the near future.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001


It has been all about the painting this week. The first coat of primer has now been completed around the whole vehicle. The roof has also been washed down and given a second coat of roof paint, having had the first coat about two years ago when the coach was last in the shed for early restoration.


British Railways (LMS Design) 1949 20 Ton Brakevan B950133


Both sides of the brakevan have now reached the rubbed down stage, and a resin sealant has been applied as a base coat.

Friday, 1 July 2016

July News Part 1

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


There is little "new" to report, however good progress is being made on most fronts advancing the tasks already started. The seats inside the two compartments, the guards seat and exterior wooden beading on the guards end of the coach are all a little closer to completion.


Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129


This underframe project is now moving forwards briskly again after the operations department, to which we are grateful, moved it back to our workshops after an extended sabbatical in storage at Holt.


The frames were quickly lifted and both wheelsets removed to allow the underframe to sit on stands. At this point, the Axeman returneth and worked his sparky magic on two of the four springs which are now off the vehicle and on a pallet outside. More of the original frame has been "nibbled away" (again by a hungry Axeman) in the areas which couldn't be done last time as they were still holding the wheels on!


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


The coach remains "in the air" which has rendered the interior out of bounds. Underneath however, some cabling has been terminated inside the fuseboxes which completes previous routing of the cables inside the carriage. The two areas currently being installed are the power cables for the speaker system and the feeds for the sockets we installed to allow the future use of table lamps for dining purposes.

Results have been rapid on the Holt end bogie which is now fully scraped down and has been in the process of painting this week. Primer, undercoat and gloss were all applied in quick succession over several days to produce a fine specimen by Friday...


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


The iron fist of progress reported last week has been maintained this week, with a major push on floor laying resulting in the entire second class half of the carriage being fully floored. It is a real visual boost and it's great to be able to walk around unhindered inside the carriage after so long without a floor.


Although not required just yet, more coats of varnish are going onto the wooden window surrounds, which will make interior restoration a lot quicker and easier in due course.


On the exterior, the drilling of all the holes for the window fixing studs is now complete, and a start been made on welding the studs themselves into the holes, and then tidying up the outside where the heads will eventually be lost underneath the paintwork. The first few windows have already been completed.


Bodywork on the Holt end continues, with repairs to the seaward bit now finished and the landward bit getting the same treatment. Reproductions of the original end steps have now been added, which returns the end to as-built condition which we think is a first for a Mark 1 CL in preservation.


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Third Lavatory Open E48001


After a long and torrid journey, the last of the sanding and filling has now been completed on the exterior (yay!) which opens the door for the vehicle's final paint job (I hear a low oooooooh coming from the crowd!). The roof and sides are now being cleaned as they have to be free of any dust before any painting. The area of workshop around the carriage has also had a major tidy and hoover up to neutralise as much dust as humanly possible.


The footboards mentioned last week have been coated in undercoat this week, with a few making it into gloss on one side.


Another "mini footboard" has also been produced, and this will go on the end of the coach on some brackets, where an original once sat to allow maintenance crew to climb up the end of the coach to inspect the toilet pipes. On the subject of these pipes, they were found to be leaking in three places some time ago, and these holes have now been welded up so the toilet water tanks can hopefully be filled again without getting a shower! The grab handles have also been polished so that they are ready to bolt straight on one the paint has been applied.


British Railways (LMS Design) 1949 20 Ton Brakevan B950133


Kinder weather has allowed a small team to continue preparing the woodwork on the van for its repaint.


The seaward side has been rubbed down and a coat of resin to seal it has been applied.