25/07/21 – Ferry much done

First of all we would like to advertise the GCRs β€œRailways at Work” gala. This will see a large proportion of our fleet in operation. Recreating the once daily activities of the railways. Our road fleet will also see extensive use, centred around Quorn Yard, moving goods in and out of the village and on and off trains. Join us on the 14th & 15th August. We will also be opening Test Car 2.

We shall also have available from Railways at Work our Test Car 2 information booklets as well as out new stock book. The stock book details our entire fleet as of July 2021 and includes space to annotate when you have seen a particular vehicle. Come and see us at the Test Car or send us a message on this site or our Facebook page.

So this update begins on Friday, with myself popping in after work to chalk up the west side of the Ferry Tank. All lettering apart from the Traffic Services Ltd was chalked. Boxes lines and stars were then masked and applied. All in readiness for the last push.

Saturday, Dave and I once again signwriting.
Not more can be said that a full day on the brushes for us both

The rest of the team comprising of Nick, Ross and Richard focused on the Palshock roof.

Roof hoops and years of continual re-felting removed. Up to 5 layers in one place. This however has left the roof in remarkable condition.

During its time as a grounded van the roof was extended. Again this has preserved the body however it is out of gauge to operate on the railway.
It has been trimmed to its correct width with lath strips applied to receive a new roof sheet.

Ross also applied orange paint to the Living vans new conduits.

Richard fitted label clips to the ferry tank and also cleaned the Palshocks roof hoops for refitting.

On to Sunday and a marathon for me and Dave. As the Ferry Tank travelled on the continent the usual contact information for the vehicle owner/user is not only in English but French and German. This was a full day for us and Dave will be popping in to complete β€œhis” end Monday.

Nick and Jake attended to the re-sheeting of the Palshocks roof. Occasional assistance from Ross, first task was to cut a suitably sized portion from our sheeting material, which was collected from Quorn.

Sheet was pulled, tensioned and stapled into position. The roof hoops were then fitted completing the re-sheeting.

Ross fitted the conduit and socket which will allow the living van to be powered from the Test Car.

Jake then took some time to lubricate the Ferry Tanks brake rigging.

Finally lamp irons fitted to the Palshock and the roof hoops trimmed to the now in gauge width.

A new label clip fitted

That wraps up another week. Tank with one last bit to complete and the Palshock coming together. As always, join us next week

11/07/21 – Black and Blue

For the first time since April our focus has been upon a wagon. The wagon in question Ferry Tank 500817.

With last week’s under coat dried, black gloss was the order of the day. All hands on deck as Nick, Ross, Dave, Richard and I applied paint to the barrel.

This was followed by a final tidy and hoover of the sole bars.

Quickly followed by application of underframe black to the sole bars and head stocks

The plates manufactured were also fitted after a layer of gloss was applied to the interfaces.

Ross’s attention was diverted to the repair of the through air pipe. This had rotted through at the north end. New pipe was cut to length, threaded and fitted

Brake standard and hand rails were also painted. With the outer rail receiving white. Once dry the OFF lettering was picked out.

Vacuum swan necks were painted and new hoses and vacuum dummies fitted.

We also began the last body work task on the Living Van, the cleaning of the windows.

Our Palvan Shock has also arrived from Loughborough for welding to the donor chassis.

On to Sunday, with the tank once again taking the focus. Richard and Jake continuing with the gloss and underframe black.

Dave looked at the cat walks. Fitting the previously manufactured walkways with J bolts. This replaces the prototypical wooden planks which are just a rot trap.

Speaking of wooden planks however, Nick trimmed, drilled fitted and primed new step boards.

Ross continued his through air pipe repairs replacing rotten pipe at the southend of the vehicle.

My focus was on the continuation of the window tidy. Even Michelle, the wife, lent a hand.

I did take a break to paint the air cocks and hose ends.

In to the afternoon Ross assisted with the final push on the windows and Dave applied Gloss to the ladders and assisted Jake and Richard

Nick also refitted the couplings

That leaves us with the Mess Van ready to return to Quorn and sign writing and some small details to complete the tank.

Next week however we are returning to Quorn as we need to prepare for the coaches arrival / our return. Our Scarab also requires a service as we near the Railways at Work gala. Of course, as always, we’ll keep you up-to-date next week.

27/06/21 – Dots and Crosses

This weekend sees us applying the final details to SC21202, The proverbial doting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s. The east side of the bogies receiving final tidy and paint application.

I attended to the door edges and shuts applying the lining and touching up runs and bleeds.

This was followed by applying black to the door bump stops.

Ross took some time to look at assembling some conduit for the inter-vehicle jumper which will connect to Test Car 2. This will allow the Mess Van to be powered by the Test Cars generator.

Final items on the Mess Van for Saturday was the application of the wheel profile marking to the South bogie west side.

We then all moved over to 500817, carrying out the final few areas of scrapping and preperation.

I manufactured two replacement plates for the number panels, the need for these is quite evident from the below images.

The number plates were also given a coat of primer.

On to Sunday with all hands scraping the outstanding trussing and bogie areas requiring paint.

This was followed by final prep and blow down of the ferry tank and with all the dirty work completed Ross and Dave applied black to coach.

Whilst Nick and I applying primer to the tank.

To finish up Dave applied red to the Distributor Isolator and brake cylinder test point. As well as the East side wheel profile marking.

So that wraps up another update from us. It’s not long now until we complete the mess van and tank this will see us return to Quorn were we already have the Bogie Bolster waiting patiently for us.

As always more next week.

13/06/21 – Mid week blues, and greys

Its my turn to have a week off and what better way to spend it than applying a 56 year old livery to a 63 year old coach. So, as we are, squirreled away on 3 road in Rothley shed between various shades of Red/Maroon the canvas was ready.

First task on Monday was to measure the window positions, its safe to say there are some variation, I also had a go at using some of these new metric units. All measurements were taken from the gutter.

With the best fit worked out I masked off the outer perimeter of the grey panel including the lining.

The inner area of residual blue gloss was then keyed and 2 coats of white applied.

The area above the as built first class compartments was painted white up to the gutter line. This will act as an undercoat for the eventual yellow stripe.

On to Tuesday and a repeat of Mondays activity, although the east side receiving the treatment.

Whilst I was beavering away with the lining, Richard joined me and applied a second coat of grey to the south end vestibule door.

After the grey, Richard moved on to black applying it to the sole bar and the plywood panels manufactured Sunday.

As seen above, I also refitted the shore supply body side indicator light covers. These of course indicate when shore supply power is energised.

On to Wednesday, Richard and I once again on site. My first task was to mask the lining applied to the west side Monday. Once masked the excess paint was sanded and keyed.

The afternoon was then occupied with applying the first coat of BR Grey.

Richard continued with the black application, focusing on the east sole bar as well as the plywood panels, and assisting me with the odd request for assistance.

Thursday with Dave joining Richard and I. Dave focused on the second coat of grey to the west side.

Richard continuing with the Black following Dave and applying it to the Light boxes and foot steps.

Not only black for Richard, he got an opportunity with the grey and applied it to the North gangway door. As well as further black to the south gangway face plate and a touch of red to the brake pipes.

I began with masking the east side

Once fully masked and after a touch of sanding and keying Dave and I applied the east sides first coat of grey

Final task for Thursday was the removal of the west side masking tape.

With Friday sneaking up on me, I used it to apply the second coat of grey to the east side, followed by removal of the masking tape.

I then turned my attention back to the west side, masking up and applying the first class stripe.

Before we move onto the weekends activities we have some admin to take care of, this being some new additions to the fleet. 2 vans and a CCT, these being Palvan WGB 4042, Vanfit B765272 and CCT E94709.

So on to Saturday and well done for keeping with me thus far. Dave and I with a touch of sign writing. Beginning with chalking up and masking up.

Dave taking the lead with the sign writing on this one, applying the running numbers, Guards door, load marking and the No 1 wheel arrow. Regards the latter we have gone for the rarer legend without the word evenly.

I focused on the end south details which reflect the vehicles departmental condition.

The rest of the team were by no means idle.
Richard continuing with the black for the light boxes, steps, further coats to the ply wood panels, and other smaller details.

Ross also detailing west side handrails, door handles and hoses.

Nick with scraper in hand addressed the window slides, battery and gas box covers.

One item that was not sign written however was the depot allocation, this being an item we had available and being applied to our works vehicles receiving appropriate livery.

We completed Saturday by rolling the vehicle out of Rothley shed to bask in the sun for a short while.

Back in the shed for Sunday whilst I continued the sign writing, north end details, shore supply marking and depot allocation.

For the rest of the team further detailing.
Ross started with applying the first coat of yellow to the east side first class stripe. He then moved on to fitting the fridge flue and it’s cover.
This was followed by replacement of the shore supply socket as the previous one was on its last legs.

Jake looked at the small details handrails, door handles, areas above the light boxes.
He also applied primer and top coat to the drop light tops and further coats to the air hoses and north coach intermediate connector.

Richard again with the black. Second coating the light boxes, steps and first coat for the east side guards hand rails as well as assisting Jake with the door handles

Nick arriving a little later, primed and under coated the battery boxes prepared the day before.

I then applied the second coat of Yellow to the first Class stripe

Finally Ross fitted the ply wood panels to the inside of the bunk room and mess room windows, our intention was for them not to be noticeable unlike the painted windows they replace. Safe to say its worked

The reason for Nicks unusual arrival time was a trip to the Leighton Buzzard Railway, collecting another new arrival. A companion for our existing BRUTe. After a move to Quorn we unloaded it from the van and took a few moments to free off and lubricate the running gear.

We are on the look out for futher British Rail Universal Trolley equipment so if you have or know of any we would be happy to hear from you.

With that I shall wrap up this update and prepare for a rest at work. As always more next week.

31/05/21 – Bank Holiday coach progression

Here we are again, still at Rothley, and another bank holiday upon us. We continue progressing the Mess Coach, the filler applied last weekend was of course sanded.

This is not a quick task and with Jake and I hitting it hard and despite Nick adding even more filler we were able to touch prime areas as the day closed.

There is only one area of filler left to sand, this being the South East corner.

Sunday saw this corner completed and with Nick, Dave, Jake, Richard and I on site we prepped the gangways, end doors, sole bars and head stocks.

It was then time for the bodys final undercoat.

The gangways were primed as well as the step boards, and a start was made on undercoating the headstocks and sole bars.

Time was also made to remove the flanged adapter fitted to the Ferry Tank. After realising too late it was in fact welded on and after a little dressing of the threads a suitably sized cap was fitted.

On to Monday and with the previous days efforts still a little soft more undercoat was applied, completing the head stocks, sole bars and stepboards.

As the coach is not going to run in traffic there are a few areas we have not addressed as part of this scope of work, mainly down to time and cost. With part of the gangway floor requiring replacement a temporary repair was carried out and primed.

There are a number of other repairs that would be required if the coach were to run in traffic, however as this will be static at Quorn and required to only keep us warm and dry these repairs can wait and see if that decision is ever made.

With an hour or so left of the bank holiday, we applied the first coat of gloss to the gangway surrounds, no prizes for guessing the livery.

Ross is looking at a few days at Rothley next week so he shall fill you in on his week day activities next weekend.

As always join us next week.

16/05/21 – Vans on the move and Roof progress

Once again Jack and I popped into Quorn Friday afternoon to progress labelling the “bulk Load”. We now stand at 130 boxes in the van, with our thanks to Eddie who continues to collect and assemble the boxes.

On to Saturday and initially a split group. Nick, Ross and Jake blowing down the roof of the no longer Yellow Coach and applying primer to the roof furniture.

Dave and I started at Quorn acting as travelling fitters for the Goods Guard refresher runs to establish repairs carried out to the Medfit were successful, the Containers were secure, giving a look over of the set to ensure no running problems and generally on hand to react to any issues, certainly as the set has been stationary for a substantial amount of time. It was also the first time the Containers have ran together and the first outing for B786181.

With no issues we left the vans in the hands of the Traincrew and made our way to Rothley for the roof prime.

With the roof complete we moved over to the ferry tank, removing the rusted bolts from the catwalk and securing the handwheel to the brake standard.

Dave also helped the C&W team by applying further signwriting to the Kitchen Car for the dining rake. Whilst Nick applied sealant to choice areas.

On to Sunday with the roof painting continuing, this time undercoat and once again starting with the furniture first.

This was quickly followed by the rest of the roof. This will now be left to harden over the week with gloss on next weekend’s agenda.

With the roof complete Nicks attention turned to trimming the window mastic and sealing the windows.

Ross fitting the new door lock.

And for me scrapping and priming the sole bar light boxes.

We are slowly making progress and the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is starting to come into view. As always join us next week and we will endeavour to keep you informed.

03/05/21 – Scrape, Scrape the roof.

This Wednesday was a slightly altered HRA Awards. Due to the pandemic the awards were presented online. Unfortunately none of the top spots for us but it is still an achievement to be nominated for two categories.

Our congratulations go out to all the the winners and fellow nominees.

On to Saturday and the main focus being the East side of the Yellow/Grey/Mess coach

Dave made a start at removing the paint from the windows of the west side, we shall be manufacturing boards to fit behind the glass in these locations.

Whilst we were focusing on the coach Richard continued the preparation of the Ferry Tank

With the coach completed for the day Dave and I looked at the label clips on the tank. One had suffered quite bad with corrosion. This was removed and corrosion cut out.

The surfaces were prepared and primed, refitted and sealed

The BR style wagon labels were also removed as these are not prototypical for a Ferry tank in original condition.

With the grinder already out we shortened the platform bolts and profiled the angle iron fitted last week.

Jake also applied primer to the end platform

Sunday and Michael began by removing the rotten wood from the top of the tank, whilst Dave continued the removal of the window paint.

We then moved on to the task of preparing the roof of the mess coach for paint. Scraping, scraping and more scraping.

The scraping continued into Monday, and continued all day.

At the end of the day we had completed over 2/3 of the roof. So no prizes for guessing how we’ll be starting next weekend’s activities. As always we’ll let you know.

18/04/21 – Frantic wagon restoration

As our last update stated from Monday we could return to normally scheduled activities. So a few of us decided to hit the ground running. If you follow the Rothley C&W facebook page you will have seen what we have been up too. Monday with Dave and I chalking up 3436.

Jake joining us and focusing on the details, those being the swan necks and air pipes, along with the axle boxes, brake levers and cast lettering.

I applied the OLE warning flashes refurbished way back on New Years day

Then I applied gloss white to the previously primed oval plates and also masked and painted the twin high speed traffic stars.

Then with mahl sticks in hand Dave and I began signwriting, Dave initially focussing on the sole bar details and the tank for me.

Dave also had a go at the west and north numbers as well as the yellow for the commuted charge symbols, broadening his signwriting abilities.

Whilst we focused on the tank the C&W team through piped our recently arrived chassis. As well as a few spots of welding and grinding the upper surfaces flush. More on this in future updates.