Thursday, 29 September 2011

So what is going on?

A big group turned up Wednesday, 21 willing souls with another 11 turning out on Thursday. Over the two days the work progressed well on the RBr 1672 in the workshop and 4790 in the barn.

The Restaurant Buffet Car (RBr)  1672

Outside now has a complete top coat and has been lightly rubbed down for its second top coat. In fact the wall side has even progressed on that, with two thirds now complete with its second coat.

Inside the trimming of the staff area has been completed and a lot of the painting finished.
The folding storage shelves in the kitchen entrance have been refitted. The two kitchen door windows have both been released, they wouldn't move, which will be blessing to the OTC (On Train Caterers) on a hot day like today. However, they must remember NOT to lower the windows when the train is being washed, like they did last week, they didn't appreciate a second shower first thing in the morning!


The rotten metal at the bottom of 2 windows has been cut out and a new piece welded in. It should just need a final check before the fillers and painter totally hide all that careful work but that's the way of things the testimony is that it doesn't show when finished.

Similarly Pete Fisher has worked wonders rebuilding the first end of the carriage with several large pieces of plate steel now in place. It won't be long before the two new corners John Osborn has manufactured can be put in place.

Elsewhere on 4790 Bob Mac and Malcolm have progressed well with refurbishing and painting the roof. It was very hot up there today but they are well over half way with that job. Working up from the bottom re-attaching the body skirt firmly has well over the areas accessible and subsequent filling has been done. We have also managed to give a grey coat up as far as the windows, the top is more tricky as we will have to maneuver the scaffold tower down the gap between the coach and the resident Loco which this week is the Turkish 8F. The problem is getting round the carriage jacks the gap at this point is to narrow for the scaffold, tricky we dare not scratch the loco!!!!

Other Bits:

The seat end panel now has its coat of varnish. This required a degree of potion mixing and lots of testing so that the new end panels match the existing ones that are being retained, quite a challenge.

Thursday started as usual with a wash and brush up for the running set. The two early birds Peter and Paul, I joke not, set to and were joined by others later. Today we cleaned the last two and half coaches of the platform 1 side, the hose won't reach any further up the platform and we didn't have time to relocate the hose to the other tap point to go further before the first departure of the day. We did also manage to clean the inside windows as well. This was of course rather important following the Thomas week-end, so many little finger prints on the windows, it must have been a very good week-end! So well done to those who ran it. Being a hot day we then took tea at the station Buffet to watch the WWII evacuation group depart on the train.

Chris and I then removed one of the vacuum release values from the end of 24949 that has been found to be far to stiff to operate properly. We tried freeing it up but decided to switch it with one from the end of 4790. That makes 24949 operational again and gives us time to strip the value down and sort out why its so stiff to operate.

Dave (Assistant Workshop Manager), said again that he was going to clean the floor inside 24949 after he made it dirty checking a door that was sticking a bit, that coat of varnish was one to many. He never did get it done as he spent most of the day showing, 'unexpected visitors' round and explaining what we do. Today we had so many visitors that Malcolm had to assist with tours. No complaints from us its nice to know people are interested in what we are doing.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Getting Started

Greetings and welcome to this blog about a section of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. This blog focuses on the Carriage and Wagon Department and its dedicated restoration activities.

Already existing is the ‘Steaming to Broadway Blog’ of the Broadway Group that is the inspiration for this blog.

There are also the photo diaries of the P’way Group and the Building Services Group. If there are others I simple have not found them yet so let me know.

As a group the C&W Dept are based in the works and the yard at Winchcombe. Like the Forth Rail Bridge used to be, when we finish at one end we are probably already overdue to start re-restoring the first carriage again. Not that we have got to the end yet to test the theory. Of course the better we do the longer the loop point will be.

It is also perhaps useful to understand the space we have to work in at Winchcombe.

We have a siding for one carriage and one wagon between the signal box and C&W shed.  Then there is the shed also with space for one carriage and one wagon and the barn which is a 2 road extension of the shed, one open road and one housing the carriage jacks. There is also a carriage which doubles as the upholstery shop.

While the landslip awaits repair the open barn road is in use as an engine shed, so not available to us.

There being no perfect place to break into a circle and start the blog I thought I would start with the most recent carriage to be rolled out.

So here is BK 24949 in the workshop just prior to being rolled out. It is currently parked at the end of platform 1 at Winchcombe.
It is scheduled to have an outing on the next Murder Mystery and have an outing with the chocolate and cream set soon.

It has been replaced in the workshop by an RBr to replace the rather tired looking one in the chocolate and cream set. A lot of work has already been done on it while it was outside.

In the barn we have a very rusty SO 4790,
a careful inspection of the picture reveals no door, the second window has been removed and the end may look black and shine but its only the paint holding a large part of the corner together, and this is the GOOD corner. Fortunately we have a great team who are already busy at the other end of the carriage replacing another corner.
The inside has been pretty well stripped out already, I noticed a seat end nearing structural completion on Saturday. It still needs varnishing etc. but in one area the destruction has ended and the restoration has begun.
Out on the siding the interior is being measured, stripped out and templates made of the CK (Corridor Composite) 7221 an ex Scot Rail vehicle. In time this will move inside for a full restoration but we can get ahead with some of the interior work now.

In future weeks I hope to update this blog with the work as it progresses on each vehicle we have in, plus a note on anything else we happen to get involved with. Like washing the running set on Thursday morning. After all we like the visitors to see the wonderful scenery out of the carriages as well as admire our handy work inside.