18/08/19 – Matt on a hot tin roof

This weekend was ‘”R” day,  that’s R for roof.  First job application of Gloss to “2 Car’s” roof furniture and Red Oxide to the Generator Exhaust and guttering around the water filler.

Whilst I was taking care of that. Nick and Dave slightly rearranged the containers to allow us to set up staging on the west side of the vehicle. Then began the main event.  First a coat of primer suitable for galvanised steel.


This left a very nice blue tinge to the roof but as the instructions recommended overcoat as soon as possible that’s just what we did. So after a lunch break out with the undercoat.


With the roof done, for now, Dave turned to the Sole bar and applied a coat of black gloss.


The new depot allocation was also applied.20190817_182155

On to Sunday and roof work continued with the topcoat of BR Roof Grey being applied.  Although it’s only a short sentence here.  The amount of work is considerable.  As an idea, almost 3 Gallons of paint was applied this weekend.



With the roof done,  we continued with some detailing. Dave painted above the gangways and the gangways themselves. I neatened up and completed the lining whilst Nick made touch-ups to fly damage and small areas of overspray.


The list is getting smaller and the end is beginning to come it to view.  We have enjoyed doing “2 Car”  but honestly, we can’t wait to get back on to wagons and containers.


11/08/19 – Test Car two sides

The weather, as usual, has been it’s changeable self.  With this in mind, we took some time to do a midweek spray. Nick, Ross and I masked and applied the Flame Red.

Whist the side was being sprayed I applied undercoat and topcoat to the Bogie Axel end covers.  Looking through Daves images from his BR test days the hassler unit appears to have had a blue base hence why we have gone with this.

On to Saturday and scattered showers I did, however, manage to add further details to the bogies painting the springs and dampers, the Smiths and Hasler as well as the P1 wheel flange marking to the “A” End bogie.

Whilst I did this Nick and his eldest Liam took some time to look over the hydravane compressor which has been found to have a faulty fuel pump.

On to Sunday and no change in the weather, high winds as we applied the masking.20190811_095523.jpgWith what can only be described as luck we applied the Rail blue between showers and changes in wind direction.


The delicate task of removing the masking commenced and as the sun reappeared we gazed upon the Test Car with its DM&EE livery applied to both sides.


To celebrate a flash of the head and tail lamps and a toot of the electric horns.


During the moments of dampness, I took the opportunity to sign write one of the first aid boxes for the brake vans.20190811_163840With 3 weeks until the GCR diesel gala and with the topcoat on both side we are happy to say the Vehicle will be available for public viewing at the event.  Its location is of course still to be discussed with the GCR, but we will be manning the vehicle over the 3 days and welcome people to come and view our work and Daves old workplace.  If the weather holds Roof paint is scheduled for next weekend.




28/07/19 – Quorn Wet & Wet

Well, after a hot week the weather conspired against us and its rained, all weekend.  This, of course, limits the work we can carry out on the exterior of “2 Car” although Saturday morning we did manage to apply filler to a number of areas and sand down a little before the rain took hold.


With all we could do outside done, we turned to some drier activities.  Dave continued with the interpretation displays and an internal clean and tidy.


Whilst I began the task of refurbishing a number of first aid kits for our brakevans.


Our thanks also go to the Ops Department for bringing our post Test Car project to Quorn.  Namely our 2 Conflats for a pair of recently acquired containers.20190727_092849.jpg

On to Sunday and the same weather-wise.  I continued with the first aid kits


Interlaced with the first stage of refurbishment for a “Not to be Moved Board”.


Ross lowered the ceiling to diagnose a fault on the 24v supply side. The issue has been identified and components need to be acquired to rectify.


Looking into the ceiling space and seeing the original 1962 ceiling gave us an opportunity to recover the ceiling vents.  These will go into stock and available if required for another vehicle.


We resited the compressor as the gangway will once again be used routinely so the compressor is currently an 11 bar trip hazard.


Finally, we made a start on enclosing the Generator for when public access is allowed into the vehicle.  The compressor will also be enclosed.20190728_182812.jpg

We are wishing for better weather as our deadline for “2 Car” looms ever closer.

17/07/19 – Then 2 turn up.

Another mid-week update and once again we head north with a Kenway Construction lorry, we send thanks to our friends at Kenway for the loan of the vehicle. Why have we gone north,  another trip to Barnsley after a phonecall, “would you like another container”.  With 2 Conflats in the collection, there was only one answer.  As slick as the first time we loaded and made our way back to Quorn.

BD4303B is identical to its sister container DB4304B although unfortunately, this one has lost its substructure, this serves no deterrent and we have a plan already formulated.

We are certain this is a first for preservation, 2 sequentially numbered fiberglass BD Containers from a batch of only 6 together in the same place and soon to be loaded onto Conflat-As.

Both share the Bedford allocation.  Our focus will return to Test Car 2 and then we will move these 2 and the Conflats to the top of the queue, we are looking forward to these being loaded.

14/07/19 – Cheerio Matey

37637_10150218267700103_1261953_nUnfortunately Tuesday we learned of the passing of one of the GCR’s most notable characters. Peter Haylock was instrumental within the Operations Department and was formerly the railway’s Operations Manager, he always had a kind word to say or a story to share.  Personally, he was there on my very first day as a TTI and encouraged me to become a Guard, we shared many a conversation at many an event.  Unfortunately, our exchanges reduced as I moved away from Operating to Wagon Maintenance but I am glad to have had that last wave as we passed on the 37 last Friday. He will be sadly missed by the team and our thoughts are with his family.  “Cheerio Matey”

We move to Saturday and continue work on Test Car 2. Nick progressed the roof scrape throughout the day.  Whilst Dave removed all of the vinyls.


Once all were removed Daves attention turned to the doors.  Inspecting each and making repairs as necessary. Filling, sanding, and priming.


Unfortunately, the Generator door was beyond repair and the decision was taken to replace it with one of our spares.  This door previously being from a South West Trains EMU.


Whilst this was going on I cleaned up all of the door hinges and handles, removing the decades of paint.


All of our attention then turned to the replacement of the door.  Removing the hinge pins, fitting the new door and making adjustments to the other door, budget lock, and main lock positions.


Ross also continued with a few items on our Dumper Danny


On to Sunday and more of the same for Nick as he continued scrapping the roof.
With the new door being of fiberglass construction when it was trimmed to fit in the luggage door location it left a large hole in the bottom of the door. My first task was to manufacture a cover plate that seals the door bottom.

Ross started to set up an airline and air powered sander and once I had finished with the door and it could be shut he struck up the test cars generator and compressor.

During the sanding, Ross noticed a number of loose window frames and using some of my old RAF riveting skills I replaced the loose and sheared rivets.

Ross continued with the sanding and as we know this is not a quick task20190714_172643

I moved on to the other side and refitted the securing chain for the reducing valve. 20190714_125841.jpg

I then faced the essay that is the legend on the southend of the vehicle.  I also painted out the weight and seat number as these items were not picked out on the data plaque.  Mr Bower providing a clear image of the plaque. THE details are for a standard BSK, not Test Car 2.

That concludes this weeks update. More of cause next week as we continue on “2 Car”.

03/07/19 – A mid-week Con.

A mid-week update,  it happens occasionally and today is a very good reason to have a separate post.  Just myself and Nick in attendance and it was all my fault.  Last week I had an opportunity that could not be me missed and purchased my largest railwayana item to date. This resulted in an 08:00 departure from Quorn, with a 7 Ton Lorry, North to Barnsley.20190703_093022

Just off the M1 and outside a farm already loaded on to a forklift, 1959 built BD4304B Fiberglass Container. Built by Mickleover Transport in a batch of 6.


All loaded and secured we made the run back to Quorn and having been sat on a farm for many years the container was once again on another forklift.


At this point, we would like to thank our friends at Kenway Construction for the loan of their vehicle, a superb help to our cause.

Now safely on the ground, the Container takes a temporary place in the compound to allow us to restore it in preparation for the arrival of one of the Conflat-As and its eventual home.


I also took the opportunity to take some measurements of the lettering in readiness for making the signwriting templates and to answer my curiosity having seen the very container in Don Rowlands British Railways Wagons book.  In his book, there is evidence of branding but the image is too low quality to read.  The answer………………20190703_134929

Having exposed the branding it also confirms its livery of BR Crimson with Golden Yellow lettering.
Inside was more evidence of it BR past and its solid condition.


Further opportunity was taken to do a touch of signwriting on the Shocvan and we are so tantalisingly close to the completion of this vehicle, just need to Dot the I’s and Cross the T’s


The eagle-eyed amongst you will also notice that once again I have applied Shock markings and have not been happy with there position.  Some extra Bauxite and White paint I am much happier.


That  concludes this special Midweek update as always more this weekend.

30/06/19 – Lines and Squares

A small team Saturday, consisting of Nick and Ross.  As Ross stated last week the second coat of gloss for the boxvan was sprayed. Gloss was also applied to the door ends and areas covered by the doors when closed.   


The northern headstock, eastern sole bar and parts of the western sole bar also received bitumastic paint.20190629_183514.jpg
On to Sunday, much cooler weather and a full complement, both the Shocvan and Test Car 2 were hit from all sides.  Nick completed the sole bar painting on the Shoc as I tidied up the lining of TC2. 

Dave, Ross and Jake looked over all the finer details door edges and inner frames. all areas of overspray. The gangways and the solebar.


I also painted the lettering on the spec plate, Ross added the OLE warning flash and Dave painted the details on the reducing valve.


All of this completes the body side of “2 Car” and the request has gone to the Ops department to turn it.  Not only will this allow all of you to see our work in the flesh but will also allow us to begin it all again with the other side.

Whilst most of the above was continuing I turned my attention to the Shocvan,  applying the Shoc boxes, we are going for the post-1964 livery and the stripes as applied to our other shock vehicles has made way for the boxes.  I also added a black patch for the branding and assorted shades of black for the data panel.


Nick also painted the Lamp irons and Vacuum pipes as well as cutting and priming a pair of Chalk Boards, my last task stanley knife blade in hand to remove the overspray from the windows.


That concludes this weeks update. As always we shall continue next week.