Friday, 30 September 2016

September News Part 3

This weekend sees the NNR hold the annual Carriage Convention, for the first time in many years, this being the second time the railway has hosted. The weekend will see a party of delegates from Carriage & Wagon departments from all round the UK gather for knowledge sharing and presentations before being showcased the NNR's collection of interesting rolling stock. An intensive timetable featuring plenty of stock and locomotives has been able to be put on, made possible by combining this event with the M&GN Member's Day. As is traditional for Member's Day, shed tours will be conducted, which the C&W delegates will be able to take advantage of to see round our workshops at Weybourne. Additionally (and possibly for the first time?),the doors to Bridge Road carriage sheds will be opened for the delegates to inspect some of the future restoration projects, many of which haven't been in daylight for 10 years! To facilitate this, a working party was sent down to Bridge Road sheds this week to remove the tarpaulins from some of the coaches in there, so that visitors will be able to actually see what is in there!

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


No new news, although works on the guards van interior and exterior beading continue to progress on an ongoing basis.

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


The packing pieces to space out the "W irons" that were described last week were completed and have now been fitted to all six wheels. However some modifications are required to the outer wheels so only the centre axle is currently fixed permanently.


The axlebox covers, which were a real mix of odds and sods, have now been brought into line by clever selection and some minor additions. Out of the six, there were three LNER examples, which have all been placed on one side for consistency, plus some Great Northern ones hich were placed on the other side. A couple of plain axleboxes have had "GNR" made out of bits of steel and washers and stuck onto them, in the name of completeness!


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


Unfortunately the water heater which was leaking failed after we attempted to repair it, splitting spectacularly during a pressure test. A new one will be required as this one is clearly "end of life". Stainless steel has been chosen and will be fabricated by hand one the required materials arrive. On a more positive note, the Holt end corridor connection, which has been removed and hanging around the workshop for months, has been  successfully refitted back onto the carriage, and the "trimmings" such as the shock absorbers and rubber bellows also fitted.


The bodywork preparation on the coach is being pushed forwards rapidly. Three quarters of the coach is now complete and ready for painting, with the final quarter expected to follow early next week.


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


The dreaded scraping of old roof paint has now commenced for this vehicle, but will probably not be fully completed before the coach is removed from the staging area to allow E4641 to be painted. Also at roof height, the gutters have been fully refitted along both sides of the vehicle.


Some of the smaller fittings are being prepared for the coach in between the larger tasks. The brass grab handles, which have had to be cast from new, have been in the process of being prepared. Due to casting marks and air bubbles, this is a very time consuming exercise involving various forms of sanding and polishing to gain a fine brass finish by the end. So far, about half the handles for the coach have been completed.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51192


The lettering and numbering on the vehicle's sides have now received their first of two coats of cream.

Metropolitan Cammell 1965 4 Wheel Petroleum Tank 53083


Team Pete and Pete has been without a Pete leaving Pete to do the work of Pete until Pete returns from essential manning of the Weybourne bookshop. Pete will be in trouble though as Pete keeps saying how the weather is closing in, so the work Pete could have done while Pete was working might not be able to be done by Pete before the weather closes in. What will Pete say then? Regardless of the shenanigans, the project has progressed well with a second coat of grey gloss now progressing along the landward side.


60,000 Hits


The blog has recently welcomed it's 60,000th visitor. Many thanks to those readers who take an interest in reading the ramblings, which of course makes it worth doing.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

September News Part 2

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


Work has continued on the ongoing projects that have been described in full over previous weeks. More of the outside beading and paneling has been removed to allow renewal to take place where required with the landward side being the current focus. The lockers for the guards area have also progressed.

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


The chassis has changed in appearance dramatically over the past fortnight as it has become more than merely a set of frames and now has its three wheelsets positioned underneath it, and the "W irons" in place on the chassis itself. Linking the W irons with the wheels are the axleboxes, which have also been fitted to all six wheels. This was a fairly involved process as it was very important to get all the alignments correct so that the wheels sit straight on the chassis. Some thick metal packing pieces are required to locate the W irons correctly and these have been made and are now currently in the process of being painted.

Adjustments being made to W irons

British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


This carriage is the next major one for releasing back into service, so the drive is now on to finish it properly and tie up all those loose ends. The toilet plumbing and water heating system, which was never quite finished earlier this year, has been under the spotlight again with various tests and tweaks to try and get trouble-free service from it. A few leaking and blocked pipes have been found in the system so these will have to be dealt with.

On the rest of the coach a big push has been made on the sanding and filling required before the painters are called in. The first week has seen one side nearly completed. The battery box covers, which were looking a little sad, have also been removed for repairs and repainting to spruce them up a bit, as otherwise the rest of the coach (once painted) will show them up!


British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Another coach that's been seeing a lot of attention. Woodwork stripping, sanding and varnishing has continued apace with a huge stack taking up the workshop, and stripping of corridor partitions inside the coach itself has also started at the second class end.


A trip to our secret storage location has meant that more interior components stripped out of the carriage are now back in the workshop to be dealt with. The glass for the vehicle has been assessed with original (non safety) panes disposed of and the ones with "kite marks" retained for refitting in the coach. These will have to be cleaned before fitting.


The exterior doors on the coach have moved forwards with all of the locks now properly aligned and fitted, a single sentence which took someone a full week! The gutters for the coach have been expertly scraped back to bare aluminium and then coated in primer ready for refitting.


The passenger communication apparatus at the Holt end of the coach has been fully rebuilt and re-attached to the coach, this was required due to its poor condition and operation, one of the many tasks we have had to undertake that wasn't originally planned for.

Lastly, a set of brake shoe hangers have been cleaned and painted for the bogies. Eagle eyed readers will know that this has been reported on before, however the brake gear from the bogies was "stolen" from this coach to speed up the bogie overhaul of TLO E48001 (out-shopped last month) so we are now painting up the examples originally from E48001 in order to fit them to the bogies on E43041 once it exits the staging area.


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51192


This has now been in traffic for two weeks since we "finished" it. We have opportunities on Fridays to do a bit more on the vehicle if the weather is dry. The vehicle's numbers, "Private" and "Guard" signs have now been painted on the sides in black and will receive the main (cream) colour in due course.


British Railways 1958 GWR Designed "Fruit D" W92097


This van is now back in service following rapid completion of its repairs. The two wheelsets, freshly turned on the wheel lathe, were refitted to the vehicle along with a set of replacement brake blocks borrowed from another wagon on the railway which is currently stored out of service. The broken spring was replaced which re-commissioned the drawgear and the vehicle was then returned to Sheringham.

Metropolitan Cammell 1965 4 Wheel Petroleum Tank 53083


Work on the repaint is progressing well on dry days. The landward side and the Holt end of the tank has now been painted in its first coat of gloss and the vehicle is beginning to shine for the first time in years!

Sunday, 11 September 2016

September News Part 1

Unfortunately due to holidays and staff illness the blog has been disrupted in its usual weekly service, which may continue over the next week or two. Due to the same disruption, this update is not as fulsome as it should be as I have simply not been around the workshops to observe the excellent goings on of everybody. Alas, we can only offer the best service we can, so here is the cobbled together version:

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


No progress to report.

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


The exterior perimeter of the chassis has been welded up and dressed sufficiently, to allow protective painting to be undertaken “all round”. It is now resplendent in black gloss. The chassis was also moved from the end of the shed into the centre, closer to its friend GER 853. This was achieved using some trolleys that are more commonly found next door supporting boilers.


British Railways 1957 Mark 1 Tourist Second Open E4641


No progress to report. Preparation work on the exterior body, in readiness for painting, is due to start soon.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041


Woodwork restoration has continued intensively, with the “window gripper bars” now reaching varnished completion. This will allow us to extract the glass soon and also to refit the windows.


The “completion” of the DMU has allowed 43041 to enter the staged area for an intensive session fitting doors. During the week, a big push was had and all the doors are now hung on their hinges. Whilst the doors will be taken off again briefly for the wooden door jambs to be fitted, the hinges are on permanently and all the complicated lining up and adjustment has been done, so it is a major step forwards.


British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Motor Brake Second M51192


We simply ran out of time on the DMU car as it was urgently required back in service after the steam gala. However we did get the route indicator box back onto the front and also completed the top cream line and “whiskers” on the front end before it was removed from the shed. The bottom line was attempted but turned out unfinished. After a few days in traffic, we got a day back on it when a fair proportion of the bottom line was finished and the two “British Railways” crests applied to the bodysides. Some more finishing touches (such as “Guard” lettering and the vehicle's numbers) will now be applied as and when we can get at the vehicle on dry days to do painting! Despite the very limited time available to “freshen up” the vehicle, we have already received some favourable comments as to how much better it looks, and people are already calling for the other half (trailer car) to come in for a similar job! I think we need a rest first though!

M51192 after leaving the shed (Image (C) Steve Allen)

British Railways 1958 GWR Designed "Fruit D" W92097


This van has completed another hard season on the back of one of the main service rakes carrying bicycles and buggies. It broke a drawbar spring just at the end of August so was withdrawn immediately for repairs.


It has come into the shed and taken the place of the next Mark 1 which was due in for a quick repaint, to ensure the expediency of these running repairs. It has been lifted and another job which it has been requiring for a while, the turning of the tyres, has been started.

Wheel turning, first invented by...the Vikings?

The brakeblocks are also practically at the end of their lives so will be replaced along with the broken spring which took it out of service in the first place.

Metropolitan Cammell 1965 4 Wheel Petroleum Tank 53083


Team Pete & Pete were showing worrying signs that they wanted to return to us in the shed now that they had finished the LMS brakevan repaint down at Holt. This simply could not be allowed so under feeble calls of “we might have another Indian Summer this year” and “you've done such a good job, why don't you...” we greeted them into the shed from the Holt end and chivvied them through the doors at the other end and into the yard where....the Devil tank awaited them! The Devil Tank is so named due to the resistance and disapproval there was when the M&GN society preserved it and brought it onto the railway. A relatively modern looking vehicle, of 1965 vintage, it was felt out of place on our predominantly steam railway. However C&W think that is no real argument, this tank having a place here as it is of identical design (and therefore represents) the very local North Walsham flow which continues to operate (with more modern tanks) to this day. Originally just a static proposition, it has gained a real use recently after being converted to a water treatment carrier at Weybourne for the locos. Not being required in the freight train and based at Weybourne rather than Holt, it was deemed a perfect proposition of “Peaty Repaint Magic”, as it was looking fairly tired having never had any attention of not since entering preservation. Already a fair proportion of the tank's body (including one end) has been cleaned down and painted.

Cromer Trains


The fourth (spelt correctly this time!) and final day of mainline running to Cromer for the dining train has been operated this week, thankfully successfully. We now await feedback from the board of directors to inform us of the plans (if any) for 2017 concerning the dining train and mainline operations.