Thursday, 29 March 2012

Thursday March 29th

First up two additional pictures which really belongs to yesterday.

Not only did John Hill and Penny Dron ( Sorry I don't know if David was in helping as well. I expect so.) fit the first arm rest back into SO 4790 but by the end of the day they had as far as was possible completed the entire first section of the carriage with fully finished seats.
Today there were just eleven signed in and John Hamer spent most of his day testing cross checking and switching batteries for two of the Diesel's. However, there was still progress on all fronts. Malcolm opted for the sunshine stripping the roof of CK 7221.

(Malcolm was on the other side) Note the distinctive window arrangement of the CK. It has 4 first class compartments at this end and three second class compartments at the other end.

The Monster Van came in for a lot of attention as we need to get it finished to use for storage. Alternatively it has been suggested we could hold a skittles event in it for the next gala. There is space! Dave is half way along the van in this picture.

Today Bob Keyte and Dave Clark we're busy paint stripping on the interior.

On 4790 Cheryl started the day working on the centre entrance to the carriage which has a new wood surround. So priming filling and sanding kept her occupied.

Having modelled my new overalls, a present from my daughter at Christmas, I set about making them dirty with filling and sanding the end of the carriage.

I followed that by trimming 5/16" from the edge of the wall side double door entrance followed in turn by painting the whole panel in undercoat grey. I finished off the day by preparing the last section of guttering on the same corner. It's final fixing can be completed on Saturday.

John Osborn cut three hinge mounting plates for the second door and welded them into place. He then concluded by cutting the replacement side plate to cover the plates. This is also ready for final fixing on Saturday.

Rod tested out the final version of his lining gauge and then started the re-installation of the light fittings. He finished the day doing a little filling and undercoating round the gutter on the first corner of the carriage.

Finally it was good to see Paul back with us again and supervising work on the RBr. Roger Wiker and Phil Jones were busy fixing trim strips around the sink and cooker while Paul washed the floor and organised the chairs and cleared all the accumulated bits and pieces that don't belong in the carriage out. No he hadn't fallen down again this was deliberate to clean the floor!

Phil trimming the edging strip.

Loads done still still lots to do on Saturday but a great effort all round today.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wednesday March 28th

Our thanks to Russ for the report and pictures today.

How long will the sunshine last? It was good for the Carriage Maintenance Team working on the chocolate & cream running set, in platform 1 today. 

Ted Ellis was lubricating the windows of carriage doors.

John Appleton making sure that each sliding window operates smoothly and without sticking.

Its a three step process.

The 1st step is to wire-brush the aluminium runner.
Next an old toothbrush is good for removing any loose material.
Finally the runner is then lubricated. 3-In-One dry lubricant is currently being used on a trial basis.  

Anthony Dowling was busy washing down the carriages.

While in the workshop

Tony Shilham was busy sanding down the filler which has covered the welding of the new piece of metal at the bottom R/H corner of a window in the Disabled Carriage SO 4790.

 John Hill and Penny Dron fixing a newly re-upholstered seat arm in the Disabled carriage. The east end of the carriage is pretty well ready for re assembly now.

 Mike Blakeman making up an insert for yet another of the door pillars.

Martin Levie and Russ Smith helped to remove loose and flaking paint from the interior of the Monster Van.

2807 was fired up ready for a steam test on Thursday. The opportunity was taken to replace a gland on the R/H cylinder which has been giving problems recently.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Getting old

Having just had my birthday the effects of age seem to have suddenly caught up with me!

I forgot the record the other hopefully good news.

Next Saturday it is intended to run RBr 1672 in the service train.....

But only for test purposes not operationally.

This is to check everything is working properly. We need to ensure any issues are resolved before finally putting it into operation.

So next week we to need to get it all tidied up ready to go.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The skivers day out

The Double Lickey Banker (or how four escapees from C&W had a very enjoyable day out)

The 24th March provided yet another excellent Vintage Trains tour, leaving Solihull at 7.05 and following a circular route of over 230 miles. As with the previous Lickey Banker tour in 2010, our motive power was ex-LMS 4-6-2 6201 "Princess Elizabeth". During the run, there were some wonderful sections where we were probably hitting the maximum permitted speed of 75 mph. We had a 3 hour stopover at Bristol, where we discovered the Bristol Harbour Railway and had a delightful run through the docks in open carriages and hauled by a Peckett 0-6-0 Saddletank "Henbury". The highlight of the day was of course the climb of the 1-in-37 Lickey Bank, where this time we had two banking engines, ex-GWR 0-6-0 Pannier Tanks 7752 and 9600. The climb was spectacular, the sound of the 3 engines volcanic, and the literally hundreds and hundreds of spectators cramming Bromsgrove Station and in the fields either side of the 2 mile bank, made the event something to treasure.

On checking You-Tube when I got home, there were already a large number of videos uploaded. Two particularly good ones: -

At speed near Wootten Bassett

On the Lickey  (we were in the third coach)

And weren't we lucky with the weather!

Saturday 24th March

After a glorious sunny drive to Winchcombe, I arrived to the last of the mist

and it is mist not smoke from the loco's.

Despite a group of C & W volunteers taking the day off to go and ride on a steam train, there were still 17 signed in to keep things moving forward.

I started the day by painting the centre door pillar well it made the carriage look so much better without the grey filler patch half way along the side.

Chris arrived and produced an interesting bulb from him jacket. He says it fell on his head (which didn't looked damaged) but the bulb was cracked so it might be true! It is a possible substitute for those fitted to the carriages. One of the down sides of the governments ban on the old style bulbs is that all the railway carriage bulbs will eventually have to be replaced. While we have a supply of replacements available at the moment we are keeping our eyes open for a replacement bulb type. With Greet Tunnel on our line we have to have the lights on regularly. Here the bulb is under test in a dark corner of the RBr.

Chris then set about cutting and shaping the wooden pillar insert for one of the west end doors openings. There are a mass of tabs on the steel frame that all have to be channelled into the wood. It's a painstaking job and he spent most of the day on it.

John Osborn and Ben Carroll cut the west end side panel.

John then welded it into place. After some tidying up Ben painted the inside of the panel while I applied an little chemical metal and then a coat of protective red oxide.

On CK 7221 Clive and his daughter Charlotte (rightly keeping the dust out with a mask) carried out a deep sweep while Derek continued with removal and replacement of the floor.

Also for CK 7221 John Hill completed the seats for the second 2nd Class compartment.
While John Hamer created a locking bar to hold things in place on the RBr and spent some time checking out batteries on the running rack.

Steve Banfield refitted the window trims in the east end of SO 4790.

In the sunshine Grenville and Nikki continued with the paint stripping of the exterior of the Monster Van.

Later in the day they were joined by Bob Keyte who had already applied another coat of varnish to the seat ends in SO 4790 and Tony Barnard who just finished an 8 hour shift at work but called in on the way home. Now that is dedication.

As a result the Monster van is almost ready for an undercoat next week.

Richard was floating form job to job discussing and resolving issues. With Bob Mac they also put a new but only temporary roof on the Monster Van to keep water proof until we can get it into the barn for a more permanent job.

Eddie Paddon came in with Rhia and among other things requested a small adjustment to the base plate of one of the door pillars. This I duly dealt with although it wasn't possible to remove all the metal. However, Chris agreed that enough had been taken out to facilitate the door pillar positioning.

We had a very lucky day in C&W. First a visitor turned up with a load of clothes and the offer of a quantity of hard wood. We need to organise an collection of the wood. Then another person walked up the yard and presented Derek with a new 12" digital vernier.

Derek gratefully accepted the offer. So if you happen to be either of these kind donors a huge thank you from C&W.

Derek was again busy carrying out a series of checks on the running sets. Here he it checking the emergency cord system on the Maroon rake.

finally the completed metal work for the second corner and side panel in red oxide. It will need some filling and sanding but the progress is clear.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Thursday March 22nd

With a sunny day and 17 volunteers signed in we made some notable progress.
However, the first job of the day before we had even warmed up was to unload a load of hardwood timber for the Wednesday team. Yes as usual it was delivered on a Thursday.

John and Malcolm collected the welder this morning. We really have missed it lately with a number of jobs queued up on SO 4790. After lunch John set about the list completing both the first two corners and he is lining up the second side panel at the west end of the carriage.

Peter Fisher was also very busy today adding a bolt plate for the first pair of double doors, positioning the hinge plates for the second door on the wall side of the carriage and finishing the pillars at the east end of the carriage. So if John and Ben can do the side panel we may even be able to position the double doors wall side on Wednesday. Now that would be progress! In the picture Pete and John Hamer double check the position and with a little tap from Pete adjust the position.

John Hughes completed the fixing of the edging trim for the centre door. It has about the last section of Carmine paint on the carriage but not for much longer as a lot of filling and preparatory work has now been completed.

Mid morning we set to and moved to wood delivery further down the workshop.

Dave Hancox was again busy on CK 7221 sanding the east end entrance vestibule. Well it was in the sunshine.

On the RBr there was a lot activity including a record attempt for the number of people you can get in the kitchen area. With me taking a picture we had six. Robin painting

Ron Bennett investigating and fixing a leak by the sink with some assistance from Dave while Ron and Roger were doing some tidying up in the background. I'm not sure what they were doing I couldn't see. Oh and we still didn't get a decent bacon butty. Hilary we need you!

In the afternoon the pipe cladding was prepared and fitted.

John Hamer was again testing batteries on the running set. It seems one of the in built chargers is not doing its job properly.

While John Squires, pictured, serviced one of the vacuum connector valves.

Rod Wells testing out the cunning new tool he has devised to simplify the lining out process.Its a gauge that sets out the line positions without the need for as tape measure.

Surprisingly there was nobody working in the sunshine on the monster van but Dave, with some assistance, did a sweep inside to tidy things up and they also cleaned around outside to stop the paint flakes blowing around and making a mess.

So a big move forward and the chance to make some major steps forward over the next few working days. If we could just finish the RBr with a test bake of bacon butties and tea.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wednesday March 21st

A sunny day and lots to do now the races are over.
Our thanks to Russ Smitth for this report.

The RBr continues to get lots of attention. This time it's from Steve Smith, our expert in electrics, who installed an additional fuse into the RBr's battery housing box.

Grenville Care was again working away on removing old and flaking paint from the Monster Van. (if the suns out again tomorrow everybody will be volunteering for that job)

Dave and Penny Dron assisting John Hill moving a seat cushion into store. I'm guessing that's another one for CK7221.

John and Dave discover a broken spring from one of the seats. Well done I wouldn't want to sit on that one!

Russ Smith sanding down filled areas on one end of the SO 4790 carriage.

Later that part of the end of the carriage was painted with grey undercoat.

Meanwhile the Carriage Maintenance Team were busy doing maintenance work on the running set:-

Replacing a bulb in one of the carriages.

Note the cunning long bolts the light covers are fixed with. They come down far enough to allow access to the bulb then have a second thread if you need to completely remove them!

And Lubricating the sliding door mechanism carefully concealed in the panelling.


2807 arrived by low-loader during the day its a tight squeeze to get reversing it through the car park and yard.

Fortunately the rear wheels of the trailer can be steered separately from the tractor unit by one of the low-loader team He is just visible on the left.

2807 being lowered slowly off the low-loader using temporary track work. All that weight on one steel cable and loads of chocs behind the wheels just in case.