07/06/20 – We are back

Monday I spend time on site with the GCRs H&S Co-ordinator finalising our specific Risk Assessment and ordering PPE for a safe, controlled return for the rest of the team Saturday. I also gained permission to carry out a number of tasks whilst there.

So Monday sees the completion of the Iron Ore Tippler, Axel ends painted yellow, levers and lamp irons painted white and underframe details completed. All that remains is the internal bitumen.

Under coat was also applied to the Air Braked High for the Air Braked Network circle as well as the HMLE stickers.

Final bit of activity was to check over Madge, I gave her a run as well as trying her new trailer. All worked well.

On to Wednesday and as usual the weather had other ideas. First job I drilled out the blobs of weld which filled in the holes for the chalkboard brackets and assisted by my wife Michelle we fitted four brackets, this allowed me to measure up for the new boards which I cut and primed.

With the weather continuing to be disruptive I sign wrote the sole bar details, 280364:

281882:

Thursday and a little better weather and more signwriting. This time the main lettering on 280364 as well as painting the ABN circle yellow.

The main lettering was also applied to 281882.

The chalkboards for 280364 were also undercoated and as the sun came out a quick look over the 3 almost completed wagons, still a few finishing touches remain.

Friday afternoon I popped in and applied the ABN initials to the Air Braked Network circle on 280364 and painted areas of the data panel in preparation for dates to be applied.

Top coat was applied to the BR style chalkboards and I also manufactured and primed a pair of LNER chalkboards.

With a phased return of personnel, Nick joined me Saturday spending his time tidying a number of areas as well as assisting me fit the completed chalkboards to 280364.

Paint was applied to the nut heads and I moved on to manufacturing LNER style chalkboard brackets.

With a break in the weather I applied details to 280364s data panel and drilled holes for 281882s chalkboard brackets, these would originally have been welded but this is a facility we do not have due to power constraints. Red Oxide and Gloss was applied to the freshly drilled holes.

With the holes drilled I applied Red Oxide and Gloss to the brackets and undercoat to the chalkboards.

The phased return continued Sunday with Ross and Jake on site, the rest of the gang will be contacted this coming week about the way forward.

My first job was to apply the top coat to the chalkboards and brackets, followed by painting the adjustment indicators and brake pin on 280364, as pers 1970s spec.

This completes 280364, having applied a 1970s livery she will not be joining the mixed freight rake but retained with the Test Car as a test vehicle for demonstrations and Test Car open days.

Nick and Jake made repairs to the roof of 783082, this had been observed to be moving during a photocharter. The nuts holding the edge of the roof had worked loose as well as the lath on the edge having rotted, this was replaced, the roof edge bolted down and any rips in the sealed. The rest of the roof was given a look over to ensure secure.

Ross replaced the compressor motor on the test car which has seized before the lockdown.

Once complete Ross fired up the test car and tested the compressor, charging the main reservoir and operating parts of the air system.

With the chalkboards now dry and Ross inside the wagon they were fitted to 281882 and another coat of paint applied for good measure.

This was followed by my final task of applying branding to 281882. When I started working with Nick I asked if I could apply something to one of his vehicles appropriate to myself. He agreed and 281882 was chosen to be the one a number of years ago, this had been used for transporting bottled gas in its former BR life. Living close to Lincoln the nearest rail connected yard to my home would have been the Gasworks in Bracebridge. It was on the Lincoln to Grantham line which was closed in 1965 but the line to the works was retained until it and the Gasworks was closed in 1970 with the discovery of North Sea Gas.

That also sees 281882 complete and once the final touches are completed to the internal faces of the Tippler arrangements will be made with the GCR for our next projects.

Having been with us for over a year and being pushed back due to other vehicles it is good to finaly complete these three.