24/03/19 – First (spray) Paint

Thanks for joining for another update! Work this week has continued on the LMS box van. Last week, it was left with 5/6 side sheets replaced, so this week we completed the re-cladding of the van. When I’d arrived, (admittedly later than usual) Matt and Nick had undone most of the bolts holding the remaining cladding to the vehicle. Once the internal cladding had been removed, the planks were removed.


The door on this side of the van has always been stiff to open, so with the side out, Matt began to investigate why.  He began by removing a bit of angle iron that was rubbing on the door, a sort of steel draught excluder.  This helped, but didn’t completely solve the issue. With Matt out of the way, Jake cleaned and painted the backs of the steel uprights, in preparation for putting the boarding back in.


Once started the cladding came together extremely quickly; a blink and you’ll miss it moment!


As with the other corners, this was then fixed into place. Matt, meanwhile, began repairing a hole in the van’s end pressing. As mentioned before, we don’t have the ability to weld in the south yard, so any metal repair has to be bolted or riveted. Matt spent his time in the RAF as an Airframe technician, carrying out riveted repairs to Nimrod airframes among other things. Using the skills honed in the RAF, Matt set about fabricated a patch to go over the lack of metal at the bottom of the end pressing.


As Matt was at the Bluebell Railway on Sunday, Nick and I finished up riveting the plate into position. Also on Sunday, Jake continued his practise at using the spray gun, and both he and I got both van sides into wood primer. Whilst we tackled the Dock side, Nick continued fettling the reluctant sliding door on the west side of the van, and sealing the side of the van.


The painting and the door fettling completed, we turned our attention to the Shochood B and Medfit’s vacuum system. At some point in the past, unknown to us, these vehicles had had their vacuum systems isolated, so were effectively running through piped. We completed the system, and began to diagnose. Nick gathered together some branch pipes and set about reconnected the cylinders. Doing this first step allows us to diagnose the vacuum system, and see where we need to next turn out attention to. That done, I freed the vacuum test rig from the corner of the tool van, and assemble its hoses to begin testing. results from the testing are as follows: the Shochood B requires a new vacuum hose at the south end, and the Medfit requires 2 new hoses and a cylinder overhaul. Though we are thinking about a quieter test rig! (ours is powered by a Lister-Petter diesel engine, so an electric motor probably won’t go amiss!)

Thanks for reading, and who knows what we’ll be doing next week!

Author: Ross Loades

Wagon Basher and Systems Engineer in the Rail Industry

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