23/08/20 – Time to cover up

It’s been awhile since I have compiled an update, and I shall begin with some admin. You may remember whilst I was on holiday Tom Ingall was on site. He has completed a short clip and this has been posted on the GCR official Youtube channel, taking a brief look at the work we do.

Unusually we begin on Friday, with Nick and Dave beginning work in earnest on B786181. Both were on site cutting the redundant bolts, removing the loose paint and rust from the roof hoops, previous roof remains and the noggins.

Bitumen was then applied to the cleaned up areas.

Dave could only stay for the morning and Nick was joined by Matt in the afternoon. Matt continued cleaning and scraping the iron work on the inside of the van adding bitumen.

The backs of the Noggin retainers and end roof hoops were also scraped and bitumened, ready for the weekend.

Saturday arrives, along with the rest of the team. Nick, Jake, Dave, Matt, Ross and Eddy all on site. The main focus was to cut the new plywood sheets for the roof, fix them down and paint the upper surface in black bitumen paint. As we haven’t currently found a source for a like for like replacement of the full size sheet (17ft6in x 8ft8in and 3/8 – 1/2in thickness), we use 10ft x 5ft x 1/2in sheets cut to width and jointed together with the strips of offcut material.

Once the boards were cut, they were lifted on to the roof, positioned and clamped into place. Matt drilled from inside the van through the roof support hoops, and bolts where pushed through from the top. Whilst we were doing this, Eddy continued his work scraping the headstocks and solebars of the van, preparing them for paint. He’s making a fabulous job of cleaning thes down, and as such they should paint up a treat!

The weather was as changeable as ever, and it wasn’t long until a downpour occured. Our plan was to get the roof painted in bituminous paint to give it a bit of waterproofing as a sort of secondary protection, so the rain nearly affected that. With a sufficient break in the shower as a team we got the boards painted.

With the roof painted, we cleared up and moved onto Sunday. Sundays first job was to pick up a roof sheet from Rothley, which gave us a chance to look on 2 of Nick’s other vehicles, both being worked on by other parties. 3436 has been taken on by Swithland Wagon Group, and has been moved to Rothley for better access. B954546 is coming on leaps and bounds, and has been moved inside the shed to allow painting to progress.

With the sheet in Nick’s van, we headed back to Quorn to cut the sheet down for use on the van roof.

The cut to size sheet was lifted onto the van roof, positioned and fixed down at one end using the roof end clamping strip. the roof was then rolled out, keeping tension and fixed to either side using stainless steel staples. When we got to the other end that too was fixed down with the roof end clamping strip.

With the roof sheet trimmed and tidied, Nick and Jake refitted the ‘noggins’ above the doors, ready to make some new doors in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately, that is were we leave progress this weekend. The weather halted our plans to paint the roof covering a more suitable black colour, again using our favourite bituminous black paint. This will be tackled next week, along with fitting the van with its new floor. Join us then, won’t you?

Author: Ross Loades

Wagon Basher and Systems Engineer in the Rail Industry