Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853
The focus has continued on the underframe with lots of volunteers swarming on and around it like a climbing frame! The fruits of their labour is shining through with brakegear assembly rapidly progressing. This is taking advantage of the many brackets which have been fitted in previous weeks which are now holding some of the equipment they were meant for.
The four leaf springs that are being fitted for the vehicle have been extracted from storage and have now been cleaned down and inspected prior to fitting them to the underframe.
An 18 inch vacuum cylinder has been rebuilt and tested on our test rig, intended for 853. This is the heart of the brake system so is a nice symbolic component to restore!
British Railways 1959 Brake Corridor Composite E21224
Work on the windows continues. All of the window frames were gloss painted on the hidden inside faces in the early part of the week which then enabled the seaward side examples to be fitted to the repaired bodyside on the coach itself.
On the inside of the coach the large corridor partitions have now been chemically stripped of their old stain and varnish.
These walls are now ready for sanding.
A start has been made on replacing some of the plywood flooring where it has been removed for repairs or due to rot. A replacement floor has been fitted firstly to the Sheringham end toilet (the old shower room) which is now going to be a store cupboard.
On the benches in the workshop, more interior doors and woodwork are being stripped and re-varnished.
Some of the more advanced stuff is now getting up to three or four coats of varnish and is starting to get that trademark "glow" of gloss varnish!
British Railways 1956 Tourist Second Open E4236
This coach has completed its three month stay with us and has now been returned to traffic. It has received some very positive comments and looks very nice in the main passenger set.
British Railways 1957 Corridor Second E25189
The replacement coach for E4236 was planned to be TSO E4843. However this was changed this week to SK E25189. This latter coach has had a small vacuum leak for some months and it had been noted that certain smaller engines were struggling on occasion to raise the vacuum along the train. Given that it was a known issue, appeared to be surmountable, and was on a coach which is not used as often as many of the others it was descided to leave it alone for now until the coach came in for mid life overhaul in the next year (or so!). However since the start of the summer season it suddenly appeared to get worse an visiting N2 No 1744 in particular seemed to be struggling hauling trains which included E25189. After dragging brakes and wheel slipping was reported during the recent rainy weather E25189 had to be pulled from service and brought in for the required vacuum repairs.
Another reason to put off the repair was the simple fact than when you start "poking around" these things you often make it a lot worse! Sure enough within a few hours of the coach entering the shed a "small" hole was found in the main vacuum pipe underneath the toilet, which we think is the source of the problems. The toilet pan and part of the floor were stripped out to gain full access to the identified section of pipe and it was smartly tapped to see if the surrounding pipe was solid enough to be able to fill up the hole with a small welding repair from above, which would have been the swiftest repair.
Alas, at this point a large section of the pipe collapsed in on itself and the coach is now well and truly disabled requiring a much larger repair to the vacuum pipe in the most awkward of places! It has corroded right through where it passes through the reinforced buffer-beam and "dragbox" (a common place for these vacuum pipes to rot) and will probably have a few feet replaced next week. I say "probably" because the pipe collapsed in on itself about half an hour before home time on Friday afternoon, so being perfectly honest (we are human after all!) it was decided to enjoy the weekend first and re-assess the full battle plan on Monday morning! All good fun...
British Railways 1960 Covered Carriage Truck E94464
The rehanging of the doors has now been completed on this vehicle. Considering they had been in store and were all stuck getting all eight closing and latching smoothly and properly has been a great achievement!
Work is now fully focussed on the bodywork repairs to both sides of the vehicle. A combination of welded repairs and rivet patches are being employed as we do not have full resources currently available to direct at this van. Some pretty horrendous corrosion has been found underneath however we are doing our best to tackle what is required in the best possible timescale!
Southern Railway 1951 Parcels & Miscellaneous Van 1476
This week has seen the landward (platform) side of the van completed up to the undercoat stage. Nearly there...
Colman's 1908 Mustard Van 4807 & Hurst Nelson 1942 4 Wheel Tank 1982
No progress to report.
This week's workshop improvement project for the Axeman has been creating some extensions for our lifting jacks. These are being produced from some very heavy material and will be inspected (by the relevant qualified personnel from our colleagues in the Engineering department) prior to use once they are completed. Well, one does have to keep the eyes peeled when there is an Axeman, or indeed Wild Monkeys, on the loose!