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!

Friday, 5 May 2017

May News Part 1

All of us "inmates" have survived another week in Carriage & Wagon, with reasonable progress all round.

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853


The inside of the underframe is now completely painted in black gloss which will hopefully go some way to protecting it for the next 100 years. The first of two reinforcing plates have now been made to replace the originals which regular readers may remember were cut off a few weeks ago. Lots of holes have been drilled into this plate so hopefully they are in the right place!


Meanwhile the body progresses with more woodworking on the exterior cladding and beading being undertaken. The two areas above the double luggage doors had rotted badly, partly due to there being a fireplace inserted there during 853's time as a bungalow. The two Petes have taken a side each and have been busy chipping them out ready for new material. Perhaps we could introduce some friendly rivalry and see who finishes first? Extra stars for a quality job!



British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224


The bodywork continues to advance along the remainder of the seaward side. This week has seen a concentration on window bottom replacement along the remaining compartments. This is being done to a high standard by resident welder Nico.


At the same time, more varnishing has been completed on the first compartment panels which had been sanded back, although it will be some time before they're fitted. To keep progress going and to "feed" the varnishers, more panels are being sanded carefully back to remove the stain and water damage and as many defects as possible. It is a lengthy process.


British Railways 1956 Tourist Second Open E4236


Five out of the six exterior doors are now complete as far as wood frame and steel skin repairs are concerned, and they have been partially reassembled. The sixth door is currently in for the corroded bits to be removed and replaced.


Work has also started on welding up some of the rotten areas around the windows. The two worst bits, around the toilet windows, have now been replaced. They are similar tasks to what is also going on with E21224, so there is lots of welding happening at the moment!


A limited amount of bodyside sanding has also been started, in some areas not requiring metal replacement.


Several press-ganged volunteers have been doing some excellent work to refresh the interior, a job we wouldn't ordinarily be able to do as the paid staff are purely concentrating on the exterior refresh. Workaday wooden panels are being freshened up with extra coats of varnish and the aluminium luggage racks and surrounding fittings are getting deep cleaned.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352


Awaiting completion of its corridor connection.

Royal Navy 4 Wheel Flat 269


Felt seals have been added to the axleboxes, to try and keep as much rainwater out as possible.

Workshop


The clearance of green stores coach continues, and has now reached the 90% mark. The central section of the vehicle along with the old toilet and end vestibule, have all been cleared of their items which have been sorted and re-stacked on the new mezzanine floor. All being well the coach will be empty next week.