08/07/2018 – Midland Brakes

This weekend we haven’t managed to achieve much, mainly due to the heat. On Saturday, Matt made a visit to the Mountsorrel Heritage Centre at Bond Lane, to assist in the signwriting of their Midland Brake van. It looks marvellous and awaits a few final details before it is release to traffic

At Quorn, Nick and I were working on the Midland Brake’s successor, the LMS brake M730562. Initially, we started on the west side (where it was shady) where we replaced the stepboard that runs the length of the body of the van. we had sourced a quite twisted bit of wood that had the right dimensions. This was trimmed, and clamped into place, ready for drilling. The board was drilled and then the underside was painted in black bitumen paint. The plank was then bolted into place and again coated in black bitumen paint on the top side. the next step for this board is the kickplate backing.

As the sun moved around and the day got hotter, we moved round to the dockside. There, we began to remove the handrails and capping wood from the dock side of the brake van, in preparation for some planks to be replaced. We are currently sourcing the replacement wood for this, for which we had the remove a plank. This took a surprising amount of disassembly, both inside and out, including the stove side seat base.

On Sunday, Nick and I effected a repair to the South-west step board, used by the guard for access. The metal plate that supports the end of the axlebox cover flap had rotted, so the step board had to be removed in order to replace the plate. I coated the replacement plate in red oxide before it was refitted. Whilst this occured, Matt started signwriting the van’s number above the ducket seat on the side of the van that is fitted with the seats/storage benches.

Matt mainly concentrated on the interior of the vehicle, removing a redundant batten of timber, and making a cover plate for the bit of capping that was displaced. We think the batten of timber was part of a lamp filling table, which would have had a zinc top. We removed it because it interrupted the demarcation line between the cream and the bauxite, and had no purpose. Matt also touched in some areas of the cream paint that had been bled into with the removal of the masking tape used when painting the bauxite.

We finish the update on an announcement. We have recently acquired an LMS van, from the David Clarke Railway Trust. M500604 (was M501438) is in use a nut and bolt store for the Windcutter Group, a purpose it will still continue to serve. we plan to re-clad the van to that the van can be released to traffic. The van is also still holding the interior of the packing van, B854782, so we are loath to start working on it whilst these items are held under cover.

Thanks for reading!

Author: Ross Loades

Wagon Basher and Systems Engineer in the Rail Industry

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