24/02/2019 – Getting Ready…

Welcome to another weekend update from the team in Quorn, featuring some unseasonably warm weather! This weekend we have started to come back to normality, back in our pen in the south yard at Quorn. During the week Test Car 2 and the CCT were stabled back in the Up Reception South (thanks to the Ops team), with the Yellow Coach being taken to Rothley for its much-needed bodywork repairs, courtesy of Jamie and Pat at Rothley (Thanks in advance guys!). More on that will be covered in later updates.

This weekend has seen us get ready for the coming year, with stuff being tidied and shifted around (yet again!). Having the CCT delivered has meant that we could empty the ex-Windcutter Group stores van, M500954, as well as move some items from the GUV.  The LMS van begins its journey through a reclad and repaint for it to join the van train. The intention is to refit the vacuum to this vehicle, which we are beginning to sort out components for.

As the CCT is no longer being retained for as the fire van, we carefully removed the IBC cubes and relocated the firefighting equipment to one end of the van. This allowed us to transfer all items from the LMS box van into the CCT. Once all items had been removed, Jake started taking down the internal racking, which has been retained for redeployment; after all, we can’t let things go to waste!

I assisted Jake with this, once I had replaced the front bumper of my car, which had sustained some damage from a Muntjac deer one Saturday evening last winter.

Also on Saturday, as part of some fireman training, the box van train had several trips, which saw the use of the Southern brake van, which was also removed from the South Yard during the week.

Sunday morning rolls around, and with it bring us a special guest! We were pleased to reunite Dave Bower with Test Car 2. Dave used to work TC2, among other vehicles, during his time working for British Rail Department of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering from 1983 to 1994, and then for Serco until 2008. In this time Dave was involved with over 700 tests on new build vehicles as part of their acceptance to the network or investigating modifications to existing vehicles. Dave has also written a fantastic book, Rail Vehicle Testing (link on our Links page), which details the tests of which he was a part of,  why vehicles were tested, and information about the Test Cars among other subjects. Dave was able to show us how the coach worked, and some finer details of its conversion (including any questions we had) and told us a few stories of his time working the coach. Thanks for coming along Dave, and we hope you had a good day; as we certainly did!

Other tasks undertaken today included reuniting parts of the tank with the tank, and finding and cleaning a fridge to use in TC2 whilst the Yellow Coach is away.

Next weekend, we plan on starting to strip down the dock side of the LMS van in readiness for its reclad; and we shall continue to tinker with Test Car 2. Thanks for reading!