Friday, 23 October 2015

Thursday - Deja Vu

The big shunt       Report by Dave Clark

Quite a day, with the shunt taking most of the day as there was so much to sort out, and there is still some left to do. Many thanks to Neil Carr for working the signal box for us.

The first job of the day was to finish off any cleaning in the DMU centre car. Cheryl vacuumed out the first class compartment, while Paul (not pictured) gave the floors of the remaining compartments a wash and vac.

Also high on the priority list was to remove the disabled ramps from Platform 1 in preparation for the swap of the Discovery coach for the Santa Grotto coach. As we had never done this before it was a "discovery" to see the best way to go about this. Initially the "drawbridge" section in each of the two doorways needed to be taken up.

Gradually we worked out what parts required dismantling to enable the platform and ramp to be separated. This done, it took up to seven of us to carry the two sections of each ramp over to the storage area.

Many thanks to Richard Hoy and Pete Lucas for helping with the dismantling, and to everyone else who helped with the carrying.

Just prior to the removal of the Discovery coach, Jeff began painting in etch primer the sections of ramp that we were able to leave attached at the base of each doorway. These will end up in GWR Brown, the same as the other parts of the ramps where bright metal was present.

Santa's Grotto back in its old home and ready for the Commercial team to begin setting up for this year's season.

Looking fantastic in the open air, the gleaming DMU centre car waits in Platform 1 while Phil and Richard take a breather.

before another walk to the signal box to discuss the next move with Neil.

Hopping onto the 03 to take a footplate view on the closing stages of today's shunt.

Namely moving SK 25341 (with steam leak repaired) and the DMU centre car, up to Toddington to be attached to the Choc & Cream rake and DMU set.

The completed Shark ballast plough and the Barry wagon. Unfortunately the Barry wagon could not be put back in Platform 1 bay as the extra length of the Santa Grotto coach over the length of the Discovery coach meant that the wagon's buffers hung over the barrow crossing road.

FO 3132 is a longer term project and so for now it has been moved back into the Barn, though well under cover with that open end.

Being a much higher priority, SK 25451 is now in the Workshop. This is no longer the "quick" or even the "quicker" job, as the level of corrosion on the coach body is gradually being revealed. New member Tony Baker removes the wooden surrounds on one of the corridor windows. Elsewhere in the coach, Ron, Roger and Alan were doing the same job.

Malcolm, as we rarely see him at ground level, carefully attaches the safety wire to his harness before getting up onto the roof of the SK to tackle the middle section. This excellent overhead cable system means that immediately you are hooked up, you are safe from the ground level up.

All change in the Paintshop, with blue DMU power car 51360 being worked on by Jeff and Pete Lucas. Much of the preparation has been done, but still there is more to do before we begin undercoating.

In the peace and quiet of the Upholstery shop, and away for all the shunting and dust down below, Alex carefully repaints the repaired Wedding Special headboard.

Meanwhile John Hughes prepares another DMU seat back ready for re-covering. In the foreground is a completed back and a pile of prepared covers.

and finally, thanks to Stuart for the picture, the DMU set back together at Toddington.

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