Company Vehicles Only

Hi all, welcome to this week’s update from Quorn. After completing the cladding on the temporary workshop building last week, we were keen to make use of the under-cover working area and get back to progressing some wagon work. With most of the team on-site the building was adorned with a period sign that Matt had sourced, it’s now officially for ‘British Railways – Company Vehicles Only’

Before we started Nick and myself inspected the van train to take note of exactly which side panels and doors need attention. Most of the work is needed is on the weather beaten west side of the vans, and although most can dealt with by sanding and repainting, the worst ones will need panel or door replacements. Armed with the list, we decided that priority one had to be the replacement of the west side doors on 1952 Vanfit B763305 which are decidedly rotten especially around the lower hinges.

We prepared the inside the new workshop by rigging up some temporary lighting and moving in two steel flatbed trolleys that provide an ideal workbench to make the new doors on; previously acquired sheets of ply were then fetched ready to start marking out and cutting.

Whilst marking out the first door sheet we found that the ply had started to delaminate along a short section of one edge. Not wanting to waste precious plywood, we set about gluing and clamping the affected edge which was then put aside to dry overnight.

The second sheet was ok so this was marked out and cut to size, the offcuts being used for internal framing and hinge supports. The edges were all sanded, clamped together and the first door was assembled.

With most of the team here we took the opportunity to get our heads together (over a cuppa of course) and collate some thoughts to feed into the planning for the Railways at Work gala which will take place 19 – 20 March this year.

Sunday saw Ross, Nick, Richard and myself continuing with the timberwork for the van repairs, and despite the very blustery, wet weather we were able to progress well inside our workshop. The ply sheet edge repair we had glued on Saturday was unclamped and thankfully dried very well, so this was tidied up with a quick sand.

The second door for B763305 was marked out, cut, and assembled, including internal diagonal braces required for these doors.

The original doors on this early BR Vanfit B763305 were planked rather than ply sheets of the later vans, therefore in order to retain the correct external appearance, we routed the outer face of the ply doors to represent the planking with a V cutter.

With the timberwork on the doors for B763305 finished we turned our attention to preparing new side panels for B779978, B784409, B850498 and B854782, all of which need one of their eight panels replacing.

Each van was inspected and the panel sizes measured, then four more sheets were brought into the workshop and in-turn marked out, cut to size & sanded.

After a quick tidy-up, and putting up some extra lighting, the outer faces of the two doors and six prepared panels were painted with wood primer.

We look forward to next weekend and progressing with undercoat and gloss paint on these panels, then planning the fitting; fingers crossed for some better weather for this.

All the best, see you next time.

Author: Dave Bower

Retired Rail Vehicle Testing Engineer and Railway Author

One thought on “Company Vehicles Only”

  1. The shed comes into its own on a wet and windy weekend and a good weekends work with true conservation applied.

    Liked by 1 person

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