Lots of exciting progress is being made by the Wagon Group, with the end of two active restorations now in sight – the latest photo report can be found HERE.
A couple of photos of recent progress at Wansford…
Above: In the carriage workshop, BR Mk1 SK No.25347 has received a primer coat over the myriad of metal repairs, and work has been ongoing to replace the internal wooden door trims, which were unsalvageable.
Above: Guess what’s back… The boiler for No.1 ‘Thomas’ has now returned from overhaul in north Norfolk! The chassis is rapidly coming together and has been awaiting the boiler in order to enable final assembly to begin. This important little locomotive cannot return to steam soon enough! (Photo courtesy of Tim Hobman).
In other news, a ‘Volunteer’s Day’ was held on Saturday 5th March, which by all accounts went very well with a lot of interest generated, and several new members and volunteers coming forward. Why not do the same and join us?
If you just want to pay a visit, the railway is running a steam service on Good Friday (25th March), followed by a children’s TPO event over the Easter weekend…
With the “Express Freight” project to restore the NVR van train now physically under way, the Wagon Group website has had a minor overhaul. An introduction to “Express Freight” can now be found here, and the ‘Image Gallery‘ pages have had a few updates and additions.
BR Mk1 SK No.25347 in the carriage workshop has now begun to see the first coats of paint applied to the fully repaired bodysides. I understand that the intended livery is to be BR lined maroon, to join the TSO saloon and brake coach recently outshopped in this livery, and will form a 3-coach Mk1 rake alongside the existing 4-coach Mk1 rake in BR ‘blood and custard’ livery.
The Wagon Group continue to make good working progress with several small tasks on 1961-built ply-bodied box van B786075. The chassis cleaning has continued, and the bodysides have received a skim of filler where required ready for painting. Yet more of the brake gear has been cleaned up and painted up to topcoat, with the bearing surfaces greased ready to be reinstalled back on the wagon. The curved roof strips have been added above the doors, and the roof has received a first application of bituminous roof coating, in an effort to extend its life for a few more years.
The metalwork repair phase to BR Mk1 SK (compartment corridor coach) No.25347 is drawing to a close as this photo update illustrates:
Above: The areas of welded repair have received a skim of filler as required, ready for painting. This overall view shows just how many areas have had to be repaired! It almost seems a shame that once painted, few people will know just how much skilled work has gone into this coach so it can simply receive ‘a repaint’!
Above: A close up view of one of the repaired windows, the process of which can be followed over the course of earlier blog postings. Considering this coach only came into the works in late May/early June 2015, surprisingly rapid progress has been made (the roof has also been fully cleaned back, repaired and painted in this time). It is even more rapid when you realise that the C&W staff undertaking this overhaul have only been working on this coach 2-3 days per week as their skills have been in considerable demand elsewhere around the railway! It is interesting to compare this overhaul to the approx. 2 year timescale it took to overhaul one of the Belgian coaches from a similar initial condition. i.e. taken from the running rake.
Finally, a small Wagon Group update can be found HERE.
I haven’t been to the railway for a while, so it’s been a bit quiet on here lately. At the moment I seem to be alternating between Wagon Group and Mk1 carriage updates, so seeing as the last posting was a Wagon Group update, it must be time for an new Mk1 carriage roundup…!
Above: TSO No.4635, the Mk1 that houses the second-hand bookshop, has been transformed with much-needed patches and a fresh coat of paint by members of the IRPS. Personally, I would love to see this former open saloon back in passenger service again one day, assuming there is nothing terminally wrong with it (although it would not surprise me if it were currently sitting on scrap bogies).
Above: Metal repairs are ongoing to SK No.25347 in the Carriage and Wagon workshop, with the holey old plate being cut out and new platework being welded in. There is a lot of work required to this coach, but progress has been surprisingly speedy considering No.25347 only entered the workshop in late May/early June.
Above: Allan and his team are continuing to strip down TSO No.4200, with one end of the solid underframe cleaned up and painted, and new steel starting to be formed to replace the badly-wasted original.
Mk1 SO (2+1 open saloon seating) No.4794 (formerly known as “Christabel” in an appalling fake Pullman-style livery) has now been moved under cover into the open shed, in enable access by volunteers to progress its restoration. This means there are currently 3 Mk1 coaches on site undergoing active restoration to running condition. The roof has already been repaired and painted by the Carriage and Wagon staff, but there is plenty of mechanical, metal and woodwork left to do if you fancy a challenge… You’ll be amazed at what skills and knowledge you can acquire, and you never know, you might even have fun! Join us today!
The bodywork overhaul of ‘Vanfit’ B761651 is now complete, and James Bond “Octopussy” film star CCT No.37071 is shunted into its final location; a photo report can be found on the Wagon Group website HERE.