Tuesday, 30 April 2013

After the Gala

In the brief space between the War In the Cotswold weekend and the Gala it is perhaps worth taking a deep breath and looking at the challenge ahead. Also in the light of having recently purchased three more carriages how do we fit all the restoration and repainting into any sort of schedule.

The first thing is to get to the Gala! For that we need to complete CK 16195 in the workshop.

It has all the doors back on and the painting will be complete, hopefully, at the weekend. Then it will need varnishing. The big hold up is the refitting of the two corridor connectors. For that ideally we want the new lifting gantry commissioned. That SHOULD be Wednesday. Unfortunately it has already been rescheduled three times so if you see people hoping round with fingers, legs, toes etc crossed you will understand why. In the past the refitting has been done using the Matbro to do the lifting. The problem is that 'up a bit left a bit' is not a very precise manoeuvre. The lifting gantry would allows us very precise adjustment and won't be subject to driver availability in the same way.

Hopefully all that will allow the CK to join 'the Third Rake' for the Gala as planned.

After the gala we are planning on

a full restore of 4787.

The contractor removal of the asbestos from CK 7221
followed up by us getting to grips with a lot more of the work to be done on the carriage.
There is certainly a lot of welding to be done.
We do have a head start on this carriage as some of the doors are already done
and the next two are already in the workshop.

So these will be the first two of a line of about 11 full restores for the coming years.

In between there will certainly be some more repaint/spruce up to be completed to keep the existing carriages operating and to maintain the high standards of the running fleet of carriages.

Hence the need to get the paint shop up and running to speed up the throughput of the workshop.

Well that's the starting point anyway. Of course plans do change!

Monday, 29 April 2013

April 29th – The Morning After The Night Before

Anyone who saw the trains over the weekend would know that they were packed. Now it was time to clean up after them! A full team assembled – John & Anne McMillan, Philip Moore, Ian Heathcock, Mick Yeo, Charlie Grimm, new recruit Richard Stone, Kath & Roger Bush.

Rake 2 was in platform 1 so that got a brush, sweep, toilets cleaned, tables and windows cleaned. Rake 3 was in platform 2 so that was just a brush and sweep – small gob stopper type sweets were clearly in vogue on this train. Then we were ordered to take a tea break (rude to refuse) while Neil Carr and Nigel Barton-Hawkins propelled Rake 2 into the north siding and brought Rake 1 into platform 1. Rake 3 then disappeared off to Winchcombe.

After the tea break everyone piled into Rake 1. That was as Rake 2 plus a mopping (this rake was back to 7 carriages). That made 16 carriages in one day! A pleasant and leisurely lunch was then taken discussing the events of the weekend.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

April 28th - War in the Cotswolds week-end

Report from Rod Wells.

A few pictures for anybody who may be suffering from withdrawal symptoms. As reported on Thursday The Workshop was closed this weekend, but C&W has been worked on as could be seen when I arrived to help out with the WW 2 weekend. Half of the under floor insulation is now in place which will reduce heat loss through the concrete floor when is finished.

It was good to see the short third rake in operation with the Prairie 5542 in charge, for me it was 'days of my youth' as it is just the sort of train I travelled to school on in the late 1950's.

BG81039 was gleaming on the end of the train. In the lunch break I took a trip up to Toddington and it was the third rake that pulled in, there were so many people travelling from Cheltenham that it was standing room only in the BG, I am please to report we had a good ride.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

April 25th - Thursday

The fruits of our labours over the last couple of weeks was finally seen in the light of day and the BG 81039 was shunted with two other carriages SO 4787 and SK 25341 they were taken to Toddington for the assembly of the third rake.

The vacant slot on the jack road was promptly filled by 'Gillian' (FK 13337). This has been brought in for a bogie investigation and possibly a swap to get the carriage into the third rake for the main Gala. The interior is in fairly good condition. Although the exterior is not very good.

Having applied a lot of paint in the last little while Dave was pleased to see that the paint order had arrived yesterday and was awaiting his attention to put it all away.

Also looking to increase the number of carriages in the third rake further work continued on RMB 1808 with Paul vacuuming through out.

While in 25451 Roger Wicker was working on the window frames

And John Hughes was following along re trimming the seat surrounds.

While Robin was painting the emergency chord mounts.

And Malcolm was finishing the quick clean and paint of the roof. Working out side he had to use the long handled roller to reach.

To make room for the ladder and ensure safe ground for it to stand on Dave and I cleared most of a very large heap of old wood. The base of which was the old sides of the Wheathampstead wagon.

We took several loads over to one of the starfish wagons for transportation to Toddington for use as fire lighting material for locos.

Back in the workshop, work on 16195 continued with Cheryl staining the last door panel

And Bob varnishing the corridor and entrance vestibules.

The results looked superb.

Needless to say I was doing a little lining out between helping with several other things like the wood moving mentioned earlier.

Pete Lucas was busy sorting out the handles to remount by all the doors. He had to do a lot do cleaning up of threads both in the holes and on the bolts.

Roger Perry was doing a grand job top coating the toad brake van at the end of the workshop. A very steady hand painting round the lettering and some deft masking of the smaller stuff.

We still need some replacement planks fitted when we can find the right timber.

Out in the yard first Dave Hancox and Pete Lucas finished the top coat on 28833 a 'Mink' wagon.

and as it was sunny Dave was later joined by Dave Clark as they did a quick job on the wagon next to it as well.

Work on the paint shop floor continued with the start of the installation of the floor insulation. Hopefully that may be finished tomorrow but looking at the progress I rather doubt it.

With several of the team away this week end and with many others involved with the war event the work shop will be closed this week end.
Me I have the grand-daughter's staying over again.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

April 24th - Wednesday

Report by Rod Wells

There was final levelling up of paint shop sub-floor with some areas being filled and others scraped back.

Malcolm was cleaning up the rough paintwork on 25451's roof .

And I experimented with a wedge to try to get the masking tape to stick into internal corners to prevent paint runs.

(If you don't get the tape right into the corner the paint bleeds behind it. It is always a problem on these internal corners - Peter)

The last door did finally get a top coat, I found the closing surfaces needed undercoating, there was even some bare metal. I was then interrupted by Craig who wanted to trim the bottom timber to stop any chance of it sticking. However, before he started Steve Smith was under the door working on the dynamo. Such a large workshop and everybody wants to be in the same 2 square feet!

The door did eventually get done but needs a good inspection to decide if one coat is enough, the rest of the day was odd bits of lining in door closing surfaces and top coat touching up.

A couple of requests. I may have left a red fine lead pencil on the step of the wall/park door could you remove it to the lining tub please, also I was marking tape positions there, I found the corner has only a 1 inch waist line tape but run out of time to mark that for the yellow.

Maurice put some black on the workshop/park corner. I may have failed to remove the clear tape I put over the maroon. Can you check please and remove it if its still there!

The Door team were again working on the end door straps so no thought of varnishing yet.

WW2 prep

They got the message that we were not going to paint the Model coach and have resorted to camouflage nets.

And I hate to think what the NAAFI are serving that is unexploded.

Monday, 22 April 2013

April 22nd - part 2

Dave and I had another extra day at the office to finish the painting on BG81039 ready for it to be shunted into the third rake for the war week-end.

It was a day for all the little finishing touches.

Dave redoing the letter on the tare plate.

We also touched up the lines on this side of the carriage the sun gets to this side rather more than the other side and all the carriages tend to fade on this side.

The yellow lines had almost turned white. After some initial touching up I decided to 'go for it' and redid the complete line top and bottom on this side.

Mind you I did have a bit of practise by first completing the black line on the 16195.

That is with the exception of the centre door where I had do the yellow lines first. So the door still awaits its black line.

Oh well there is still the top lining to do on this side. so I will get round to it soon or at least somebody will.

April 22nd - Monday

Carriage Cleaning - Report by Roger Bush.

The team met at Toddington expecting to clean 2 rakes ready for the Wartime Weekend.  We could see the maroon rake in Platform 2 but from the car park no sign of the chocolate and cream rake.  That was because the main rake was also in Platform 2, disappearing under the road bridge!  That set the scene for an interesting day.
Anne & John McMillan and Charlie Grimm set to on Rake 1 and Kath & Roger Bush and newish recruit Ian Heathcock were on Rake 2.  Both sets needed a sort out – Kath found a complete tray of cafe leftovers under the seat in the disabled compartment.  While this was happening Phil Bird appeared to help for an hour – he of Radio Winchcombe fame, back last Thursday from Gran Canaria from where he did his Sunday evening show by Skype – modern technology!  I remember the first satellite broadcast from the States – 15 minutes while it was overhead.  As it happened I heard Phil last night interviewing Ian Crowder on his show about the forthcoming weekend and the May gala.

Phil Bird.  With tan!

Eventually we came to mopping, and first use of the new tap on platform 2.

With 13 carriages to mop on platform 2 this was really helpful.  Many thanks to the guys that fitted it.  Here is Ian taking his turn at bucket filling

Out in the car park was an old buffet car presumably about to depart

And then the reason for both rakes in platform 2 was explained – the weed killing “train”!

So a routine carriage clean turned out to be a very interesting session.

I'm glad you got ashot of the 'train' I missed it.- Peter

Sunday, 21 April 2013

April 21st - Saturday

I was busy visiting London yesterday near the start of the Marathon. NO not preparing to run it!
So Dave is preparing the report for the days effort but he is on a jolly himself ............

On the Elegant Excursion.Well we like riding on the trains as well.

Sunday evenings Report by Dave Clark on Saturdays activities.

A good number in and what a glorious, dare I say, almost Summer's day! I wasn't able to capture all that happened, so apologies for not very many pictures, but it was certainly a very busy day with more shunting and even some testing of our Gala freight train as so far compiled.

"Croes Newydd" Toad Brake Van

It was great to see Grenville back and working on the Toad van - he loves freight vehicles best of all. A very light sand down on the workshop side of the veranda was followed by a coat of GW Grey on the metal panels and white on the handrails.

On the wallside, Alex and Tony completed the roof edging with the white masonry emulsion. They followed this with some sanding on this side of the van.

At the moment, Steve is unable to replace the cut out wooden sections as we seem to have run out of the correct sized planking. Time for a bit of hasty re-ordering because the van is needed for the Gala freight train.

CK 16195

Following the removal of the corner strip panel at the Barn end of the coach, Chris measures up in preparation for cutting some wooden inserts. These will form a solid base to hold the screws for securing the ends of the two leather door straps.

One of the two new inserts in place. The strip panel can now be put back and straps secured.

Job completed, but as can be seen, Chris looks after his tools and does a little chisel sharpening on a wetstone.

Steve was busy at the opposite end of the coach and is seen making the strips that will cover the gaps between the sections of the vestibule ceiling.

BG 81039

The "blitz" of 81039 in the Barn continued during the day, with Phil Jones doing a great job towards getting the wallside painting completed. This stage of the work largely comprised tidying up the lining out, blacking all the special panels on the doors, and blacking all the handles, door stubs and hand rails. In the afternoon he was joined by Nicky, who had finished her morning's work with the Permanent Way team.

The black panels by the way were originally painted in matt black when in normal railway use and used as chalk boards.

John Squires also helped with completing the black painting on both ends of the coach - the photo shows the south end.

All that's left here is to add a little black paint amongst the transfers and paint the letters and numbers on the coach dimension plates in white.

You can now appreciate what I meant when I stated in a previous report how painting the coach ends can really bring up the overall appearance.

Another tidy-up job I completed was to add some crimson paint between the characters in the GUARD and E81039 transfers - it doesn't have to be bang up against the edges of the characters, but is enough to enhance the overall appearance when viewed from the side of the railway as the train passes.

Following the shunting activities, Andy prepared the Guard's compartment ready for the coach's use in the third rake next weekend. Essential items include two lamps, first aid kit, log book, and flags. The compartment has recently been repainted - just look at the gleaming red brake wheel, brake setter and emergency coupling!

More event preparations

Two of the third rake coaches, chocolate and cream SO 4787 and carmine and cream SK 25341, are being shunted.

These were eventually placed at the end of the head shunt. They will be joined by SK 24949 (currently the 7th coach at the head of the chocolate and cream rake), and of course BG 81039 as the brake coach.

 Hopefully the 4-coach third rake for the Wartime Weekend, will become a 6-coach rake for the end of May Gala with the addition of chocolate and cream SK 25451 and carmine and cream RMB 8108 once a number of issues have been resolved and some general tidying up completed.

Prior to the shunt, the 03 shunter crossed over to the far siding to enable some brake tests to be conducted on the freight vehicles so far assembled. I forgot to ask how all this went - Richard, Phil or Andy, please can you advise - thanks.

Other activities

There were many other activities during the day which I was unable to capture. It was good to see James in and having more tuition from John Osborn. James is very enthusiastic, has settled in well, and really enjoys his training.

Elegant Excursions

Sorry no photo, but Richard and I discussed with Robin Townshend (the EE Train Manager) the new seating area to be installed in "Marguerite" and the work required. The area in question was previously a coat cupboard, but in reality this was never used and thus somewhat wasteful. The two re-covered double seats that will be used should be arriving on Wednesday. Two single seats for the opposite side are already available for fitting when required.

Peter mentioned that I was on Elegant today. It was hugely enjoyable as always with excellent service and delicious food. An added treat is that the train now runs the full length of the line.

Robin works very hard to make all this happen, and the proof of his success can be seen in the sheer number of diners (over 1600 last year), many of whom return again and again and often then also take in the fish and chip specials. I have lost count of the number of times I have been on it.

A really great bonus is that it introduces new people to the railway.

Friday, 19 April 2013

April 19th - Friday Special

A grand total of just 2, Dave and Me, in to crack on with the painting on BG 81039.

Dave was already in action as I arrived finishing the masking ready to start painting. He start on the Carmine on the basis that if anything came up to prevent further work that was the worst of the two colours.

Normally we would start at the top and work down. The narrow top Carmine then Cream then back to the main Carmine to finish. That way if you splash some its not going on the new paint below.

You can clearly see the difference a coat of paint makes!

Having completed that by just after lunch he launched into the cream for the rest of the day vowing to complete it before going home. Which he did finishing around 7:00 o'clock. Well done.

My task.

After sanding some filler on the top corner that Dave was heading for I set about completing  the ends. Finishing the outer end first as it was in sunshine. That was nice.

It also allowed some filler to set at the other end before I started painting it!

The entertainment for the day came in the form of a Diesel driver experience rumbling past at fairly regular intervals. Freightliner 1995 in change.

Having finished the ends I returned to my pet project of the moment. Yep lining out 16195.

I have now progressed the waist line black two more windows along the side about 6 feet to go, that's the toilet window on the right hand side of the picture. Plus the doors then there is the top line on this side of the carriage. The other side is done.

and finally a quick update on the paint shop.

The base gravel layer is now completed and compacted.