Thursday, 29 May 2014

May 29th - connections

After the glories of the Gala it is time to reconnect with the jobs in hand. Many of the jobs were associated with connections themselves.

Ian and Ken were reconnecting the corridor end of 4787.

after which Ian greyed up the end.

John Hamer was busy reconnecting the capping strip on one of the doors.

after Jeff had done a little preparatory work.

Inside Ron was applying a little touch up top the varnish.

Cheryl was starting the painting prep around the last door to be remounted.

Now here I have to point out how all you knowledgeable readers failed us! We did work it out in the end.

I said in a recent blog that we had lost a handrail.

You can see it fitted in the above picture. The thing is we were looking for a long handrail as fitted to the other side of the carriage.  However, Ken finally realised the bolt holes were placed differently side to side of the carriage. He tried and found the short rail fitted.

The difference being that on the left, steps used to be mounted for roof access and had a long handrail. The steps were removed years ago to prevent roof access under overhead wire on the mainline. The handrail was not changed hence the rails on the left and right of the carriage end are different. So we were looking for something that doesn't exist and we hadn't lost the rail at all.

After the inevitable shunt. when RMB 1808 was returned to the paintshop from the third rake

I started on the roof

which is in a very poor state. The paint is flaking rather badly not that you can see it from platform level but from a bridge YUK.

5023 was again the subject of much attention. The usual sanding and filling was in full swing.

Always an early point for assessment are the crash pillars. The simplest way to check them out it to remove the vestibule panelling and check from the inside. That done out comes the insulation. That is unless you find as we did here that a colony of bees had moved in.

Enough of the insulation was removed, without anybody getting stung to confirm the need to remove the corridor connector to provide welding access.

So no sooner had Ken and Ian attached the one to 4787 than they started removing the end from 5023.

However, a problem has been identified the mounting arm is held in place by a lock pin. The arm on one side of this connection appears to have been mounted incorrectly. How we resolve the problem is another matter.

The pin is out of reach underneath the carriage body.

The workshops
 there was also a lot of connections being made in various parts of the workshop.

The steel shelving was raised to the vertical and Ben completed the welding on the back of the frame work.

John measured up for its final position

and welded it into place.

Ben wants to paint it blue. All your Ben. You will need to be quick or somebody will start moving the steel section onto the rake before you finish!

James was repairing a seat base welding some stays that had come away from the frame.

He also repaired a J section from a corridor connection.

Having completed the wood work he started last week new volunteer John Varley joined the metal workers assisting in the preparatory work for safety rails round the upholstery lift.

Robin set about brightening up the dark corner under the mezzanine floor.

Ben finished the trim on the new lathe plate.

In the mess room Ron Bennett was busy progressing the cupboard fitting. These are now ready for the worktop to go on.

and after all that a sit down would be nice. Now the new office chair provided by Ian does look inviting.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


Just as I posted the blog for yesterday I noticed the count at 249,999. A quick refresh and

We have reached 250,000 hits on the blog since I started writing it 28th October 2011.

 Thanks for all your interest and the support. 
Here is looking forward to the 500,000!

May 24th - Open for the Gala

Throwing it down with rain was not a good start for the Gala.

It did mean that C&W was a good refuge while waiting for a train. So there were several early visitors and number grew as the day progressed.

As the day progressed the weather improved and the number of visitor on the trains look pretty good.

We had, and will have, several people on hand to chat to visitors. Richard discussing the usual trouble spots of Mk1 carriages.

However, we were also trying to keep some work going. There was a lot of discussion about the sequence of event needed for us to move out of the RBr, our current mess room into the new building and to vacate the upholstery carriage for its next roll as a visitor centre. Its rather like our childhood days of playing consequences! the sequence is rather to long to publish here!

At least one of the steps is progressing as John Osborn and James set about building the hand rail for the upper landing and round the upholstery hoist.

Ben took on the painting of Johns previous project of building a steelwork rack.

Work on completing the vestibule end of 4787 continued with Steve fitting the floor

Ken tidying up some filler and moving onto the corridor connector

with Ian who had already sorted out the checker  foot plate.

There was also some prep work continuing on 5023 with sanding on the outer end corners.

There was a lot of train watching. A lovely sight for those of us able to attend. Some had a badly timed steam trip elsewhere to attend.

I also had to depart at lunch time as the family were all gathering at home.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

May 22nd - Gala prep day

With the Gala opening on Saturday and enough volunteers to open the workshop for visitors on all three days we set out to tidy things up a bit. Not that the workshops are particularly untidy,

it's more about sweeping and placing things for some added interest for the visitor.

There was still some work continuing. George and Jeff cleaned up and painted the sole bar of the goods van as it's the only vehicle in the paintshop 

having said good bye to 4270 the space awaits the return of RMB for top coating after the gala. We will need to clean up the floor as well.

Once done we moved it up the workshop. Loads of puffing but no steam needed.

I had a sweep round the upholstery shop in perpetration for the first seats to be moved in as work on 5023 progresses. While Steve Long continued the extensive network of cables for the fire slams system. Ron Bennett closed in on completion of the plumbing in the mess room.

Alan and John Hughes were busy filling and sanding on the track side of 5023.

Inside Bob  completed the undercoat on the first section of ceiling.

On 4787 I did a little more first top coating

and discovered we have lost a hand rail at the other end. The one on the left, shown here, is fitted and we have a matching one but they are handed and we need the right hand one.

Inside 4787 Ron, Roger and Rob started the refitting of the tables.

Paul and his team started the day at Toddington on carriage cleaning. It may seem that Paul is asleep, actually he is holding the wood sheet in place and waiting for Dave Hancox to find some screws of the right size to fix it in place.

John Varley returned this morning to complete the repairs and sanding of the wood frame for the first door from 5023. Job done and the pieces to the storage box. Ready for staining and varnishing.

John Hamer, Ken and new volunteer John Hawkins fixed a leek in the water tank on RMB 1808 ready for the gala along with a lot of running backward and forward for various bits at Toddington.
John Osborn completed the welding of the support arms on the metal storage rack. The next job is to raise it to the vertical.

May 21st - a strange looking carriage.

It was an interesting sight that welcomed us to Carriage and Wagons today.

4270 having come through its early tests runs all be it with a minor scare was brought into the paintshop for a top coat.

apart from some minor, but important bits it was a day for watching the paint dry which many of us did for a few minutes.

Wednesday tends to be wood work and doors day. Thus the wood work shop was a hive of activity.

Fixing the panelling to the final door for 4787 was Mike.

Ralph was starting to modify the panel mounts for the first door from 5023.

Derrick was apply a coat of varnish to the top of the latest workbench.

Dave Rogers, welcome back as some long time away from us, was making some new and higher tressels for the paintshop.

Dave Ward completed the top of the upholstery work table.

Sorry Des caught on camera again.

 John Varley, a new volunteer welcome, started on sanding and repairing the wooden door trim from the 5023 door.

The upholstery team were also in today and the advantages of the new workshop were clear there really isn't much room in the old carriage.

Penny stitching some new armrests for a DMU drivers seat.

While husband Dave and John Hill fitted the new covers to the base. Two finished four more still to do.

Pete Fisher continued the repairs to the second ballast wagon.

At the top the completed repair at the bottom evidence of more to do.  All four corners have this previous BR repair and all four need doing again.

Being a sunny day lunch was taken out onto the platform.
where my phone was requisitioned by a nice young lady helping with the a school evacuation visit. Obviously the local POW camp press gang.

It was also an opportunity to take a look at the lamp brackets that John Osborn made actually I place very nice.

One of less frequently seen 'train' movements was this relocation of the maintenance train ready for the Gala. I'm not sure exactly who does use this?

Tony was back on preparation on 5023.

while Des started work on the  final paint preparation of the doors on the wall side of 4787.