06/10/2019 – Autumn Gala

Welcome to another update from us lot at Quorn.  This weekend has been the Autumn Steam Gala, which means Travelling Post Office demonstrations.  Most of us are TPO crew, so have been busy running the TPO train.  The van train has also been running at the gala, at the full strength of 16 which is the longest it has been for many years.  Progress however, hasn’t stopped for the weekend.

New recruits, Eddie and Harry continued work with Nick on the Conflats.  The rails, fitted to B505313 last week, have been cleaned down and primed.  On Sunday, these were painted in black bitumen paint.  The decks of the Conflats have been swept down, hoovered and painted in the first coat of wood preserver.

Meanwhile, the foundations have been laid for the start of the Quorn Wagon and Wagon Travelling Post Office Display team.  I have taken another bike in storage out of the GUV and resurrected it.  Matt blew up the tyres and I too it for a test ride.  Whilst at Loughborough to get the TPO, Nick and I liberated the frame of another GPO delivery bike.  It is intended to build this back up to increase our number of bikes from 2 to 3. Matt is able to borrow the bike from the station, and I have the resurrected one.

Image courtesy of Jack Shaw

On Saturday evening, we had a visit from Jason Cross asking if he could test some new acquisitions which can be used at photo charters. Test Car 2 was used as a test subject to try the new lights. Thanks to Jason for the use of the pictures, they look fantastic!

Thanks for reading this short update, there will be more progress made next week. Why don’t you join us then!

15/09/19 – Back on the Wagon(s)

We are back to normality following the Diesel Gala, and have been working on wagons and wagon loads. However, before work on that started, we had some goodies to investigate with regards to getting the intercom system working in Test Car 2. Using the 3 speaker boxes we have, we can get the intercom working in the slip end, Main saloon and Kitchen. There is the hope of finding some more Speaker boxes to expand the system as necessary. Having proved it, we have developed a plan for its continued usage.


On to Wagons, and I started by continuing to grease the pins in the brake linkages on the Air Braked Steel High. Armed with a 12-ton hydraulic jack, 2 hammers and various punches, (oh and a big bucket of grease) I  crawled under the wagon to remove a few more pins, clean up the holes and replaced the pins with a fresh smear of grease.  This resulted in the successful repair of this vehicle’s hand brake and removal of the defect labels.


In the past, it was thought to be the slack adjuster causing the brakes to lock up. After surveying the vehicle, it was found that a number of linkages were seized, causing the brake to jam on. The slack adjuster is working absolutely fine, much to our relief. A number of linkages were done the week before the Diesel Gala, with Nick sorting a few more once TPO duties had finished.

Getting sick of crawling around from under the Steel High, I decided to remove the floor with assistance from Nick. The floor is due replacement as all of the boards are rotten. The floor came out in no time, thanks to a novel feature included by the LNER on this wagon. Instead of the floor being fixed in by bolts, the floor is held captive in a C-channel attached to the wagon side. there are 2 cut-outs to drop the boards into, and provide the planks are appropriately sized, should slide along to where needed.


While I was crawling under/over the Steel High, Dave, Jake and Matt started work on the Fibreglass containers. Matt started fabricating a plate to repair the end door of his container, while Dave and Jake set about freeing the end doors on Nick’s container.


Matt disappeared early in order to take part in a photo charter at East Kirkby with their Lancaster “Just Jane”.


Having got the Oxy-propane cutting bottles out, Dave, Nick and I started to heat up and manipulate the bent straps on Nick’s container and loosened the rings on Matt’s. In the meantime, Jake was on the roof of Nick’s container cleaning out the debris which had found itself under the lifting frame.


On to Sunday, Matt finished the repair to his containers door as well as removing the box from the locking bar and adding a missing staple.


Nick continued Jake’s task from Saturday by completing the roof de-veg of both Containers.


The final task for the weekend was to secure the strapping of Nicks container, this was drilled by Matt and then secured in place by both.  As a safety measure and to keep the 2 containers looking similar, the same was done to Matts.


This concludes this update, more as always next week.


26/08/19 – A Splash of Colour

Welcome to another Quorn Wagon & Wagon update. This weekend has been of the hot, Bank Holiday variety which meant 3 days of shade seeking to keep cool. In between this, we’ve been working towards the completion of ‘2 car’ which is becoming tantalisingly close. Matt started by applying the coaches identification to the east side, while Jake painted the door shuts in Rail Blue. Nick and I cleaned, scraped and painted the ‘A’ End headstock, so we would be ready to colour code everything later in the weekend. Nick also took the black paint and touched in anywhere on the bogies that required more paint.

With the South End signwriting completed, Matt moved to the ‘B’ end sliding gangway door to paint it into undercoat for the Warning Yellow paint. Once completed, he then started the ‘B’ End signwriting.

I cleaned and then painted the ‘A’ end ETH boxes into their Mid Red undercoat, ready for the Light Orange. This took a while as it required a steady hand. The undercoat dried quite quickly, so Jake followed me, painting the ETH boxes into the Light Orange enamel paint. I performed a repair to the Volvo loading shovel, which enabled its movement to the other side of the turntable road in preparation of the upcoming Diesel Gala. This also involved moving Danny, which proved a farcical affair, as said dumper is currently without steering. With the end door undercoat dry, Matt applied a layer of Warning Yellow to the gangway door and the finished off some of the ETH Orange. As a final act, Matt mixed up some filler and applied it to the Slip End gangway door, ready for Sunday.

Matt began Saturday with a quick maths exercise, as he attempted to work out the spacing of the B end wasp stripes, as these are unequal.

I sanded the filler applied to the Slip end door, and then undercoated the door, ready for Warning Yellow Gloss. At some point in the future the Slip End door is going to have to be removed and planed down as it catches both the frame at the top and the floor, but for now, it can stay in place, especially as it won’t be opened regularly. Dave concentrated on the ‘B’ end where he cleaned and painted the headstock black. Matt also wire-brushed the OLEO buffers fitted to the slip end. We had planned to quarter them, however with the amount of wagons it has been coupled to, the buffers are quite scratched and to polish them will take quite a lot of work. These will be painted black in due course.

Matt and Jake then fitted the Main Reservoir Cocks back to the Air Braked LNER steel high. This has been chosen as the ‘wagon under test’ for our opening of the Test Car at the Diesel Gala. These were then painted up into the undercoat for the yellow, by Jake.

The undercoat on the slip end door had dried, so I gave it a first coat of Warning Yellow. This got a second coat on Monday morning.  Matt also painted the Lighting bolt on the Orange painted ETH boxes.  Monday also saw a shunt take place in the south yard, which mainly removed the Test Car from the dock, and replaced the GUV in the dock.  After reconnecting power and resiting the steps to the Test Car and the tool van, we got stuck in.  The ‘B’ End of the test car was the focus of the attention, with the Air and vacuum pipes picked out in Red and Yellow, and the ETH boxes painted into their mid-red undercoat.  Matt also applied the ‘essay’ to the end of the coach.

Dave painted the air cocks on the Steel High. The east side fuel filler cap also got a polish.

And finally, some finishing pictures of the Test Car in its Gala Position.

With the Test Car in the final furlong to the finish, we find ourselves completing smaller and smaller jobs. Next week will see the East Side underframe and bogies cleaned and painted black, and a big tidy to open the test can to the public. Thanks for reading!

04/08/19 – Déjà Two (car)

This weekend, our progress has again been focused on Test Car 2, getting it ready for our upcoming public opening.  Last week, we had to leave 2 car with its filler applied, but unsanded due to the weather. This weekend we have sanded and filled and sanded some more. Matt also cleaned out the gutter, which was full of wet, flaky roof paint.

Dave and I continued sanding the bodyside, concentrating of the filler. With the filler all sanded, we identified areas that needed further filling. Using the Wadpol, Matt polished all the windows to ready them for masking. The masking film requires a clean surface to stick to. Matt then began masking the windows in preparation for the undercoat. I assisted with the application of the window film.

Dave resumed his focus on the ends of the coach, sanding and filling the gangway fitted end of the vehicle. This end of the coach appears to have suffered the attention of the metal maggots at the bottom, so Dave has made it as good as we can with fibreglass and normal filler. img_20190803_121350-13250327592165418627.jpg

Come the end of Saturday, the coach was left filled, sanded smooth and masked.

Sunday rolls around and with it Matt passes his Safety Critical train dispatch assessment, as a member of station staff.wp-15649500207896676092388480076175.jpg

While Matt completed that, Dave and I set about rectifying an issue with our Perkins genset.  The stop solenoid hasn’t been able to pull far enough to allow the generator to start, which usually requires a pull on the fuel pump linkages. We removed said article, and took it to the saloon to test it.

The testing revealed that the solenoid worked, but Dave dissected it and found some dirty contacts between the main and auxiliary coils on the solenoid. Both coils work together when pulling the linkage, but then one get switched out to hold the linkage back. with the contacts cleaned, we refitted and adjusted the solenoid which now works a treat!

The coach got undercoated today, with Jake applying once I’d shown him how to assemble and use the pressure pot I’d recently bought. We thinned down the undercoat, and I set Jake on his way. Jake has been the first of us to use Test Car 2’s compressor to spray paint. Dave continued his work at the gangway end by brush painting inside the gangway, and the gangway faceplate.

Like with the other side, once the grey was done and dry, I went down the coach with some white gloss for the white lines (after an alfresco lunch!)

Once completed, I cleaned the spray gun out, and then used it to apply black gloss to the underframe and bogies of the painted side of the coach. As is usual when spraying underframes, I had somebody following me getting areas I couldn’t get to. Whilst this was occurring, Dave painted the gangway ends in black gloss.

Matt polished and then painted details around the air brake distributor and reservoir.

In non test car 2 related news. We’ve found a number of conflat chains, which we will be preparing for secure our 2 containers to our 2 conflats.img_20190804_163119-18296875344157679845.jpg

That is where we leave this weekend’s update. We’ve ordered the flame red for  this side, which Matt picks up and we then apply tomorrow evening. With upcoming holidays and a looming deadline for the coaches completion, some after work working is required!

Thanks for reading!

21/07/19 – The other side

Good evening, and thanks for joining us for another Quorn wagon update. This week, there has been more prep work taken place on Test Car 2. Before I get onto that, we have another piece of news. In the week, Matt and Nick made another trip up to Barnsley to fetch a second fibreglass container. The container, BD43034B,  is on the floor in the yard at Quorn, awaiting its Conflat.


Onto the weekend’s activities; this weekend there has been sanding, plenty of sanding. The dock side of Test Car 2 has been sanded in its entirety, ready for filling then priming/undercoating. Dave’s son and grandson, Chris and Oliver stopped by and very kindly donated a few items which will help us out immensely. I made use of the coach’s generator with to run its compressor to power the air sander, which made the process relatively quick. Nick and Jake continued to scrape the roof of loose paint, showering everyone indiscriminately with flakes of old roof paint. The roof will be painted when the sides are complete, but has to be scraped before hand so that the flakes won’t stick the soft gloss.


Dave applied fibreglass filler to areas needing repair, then concentrated on the slip end door. First getting it to open, then cleaning and scraping it ready to be painted. Some areas of the door are past their best, but it’s mostly solid so some wood hardener and fibreglass filler then regular filler will be a suitable repair. Matt joined us in the afternoon, after his work shift. Matt added some further signwriting to the ‘finished’ side of the coach, an arrow to denote axle 1, and writing to show the location of the isolation coach for the air braking system.



I continued sanding the coach on Sunday, joined by Matt who was driving the electric sander. Whilst Matt and I sanded, Dave continued on the slip end, sanding and cleaning the gangway bellows. Dave also removed all the paint from the gangway tread plate, then painted what’s left of the original gangway.



In sanding some areas, we sanded through to bare metal. These areas got primed with  red oxide. We also used this as a key to apply filler, as the fresh paint will show the low spots better.



That finishes this week’s update. Next weekend will see the coach filled, and then sprayed into grey undercoat.

07/07/19 – Dumper Doctor

This weekend has been one of hospital jobs, but before we get to that we have some week work to catch up on. Those of you that are following our Facebook page will know that several things has happened this week. Firstly, Matt bought and fetched a fibreglass container with Nick. Secondly, Matt completed the signwriting on the Centre Shock van, thereby releasing the vehicle to traffic. It can now join the rest of the van train. Lastly, courtesy of the Heavy Tractor Group, the Test Car has been turned so that we can start work on the other side.


On to this weekend. Saturday and Sunday has been one of small jobs, tidying up the workshops and storage vehicles. We have been hard at it on various project over the past few weeks, so we’ve taken the time to stop and have a sort out. I played doctor to our Winget site dumper, Danny. As the skips have moved down the yard, and with the vans hopefully coming back for attention to the vacuum system, we have decided to get Dnny back up and running. Danny has been out of use for some time for various reasons, the biggest of which is the lack of fuel getting to the injector. I ordered a rebuild kit for the fuel pump in the week, and armed with a certain amount of naivety I set upon the dumper. I removed the fuel pump from the engine to find the cam follower seized, which would explain the lack of injection. I freed of the cam follower with a mixture of penetrant and diesel. I disassembled the fuel pump and rebuilt it, following the manufacturer’s instructions from the workshop manual. I then reattached it to the engine and bled the fuel system. after a few false starts, the little Petter engine popped into life.


With the engine of the dumper up and running, we decide to sort the steering which had gone stiff with standing. First the oil was topped up. this worked up to a point. Sadly something had become amiss in the steering box, as it started to only turn in one direction. Turning the steering wheel the opposite way had no bearing on which way the wheels pointed. The footplate was removed, and the steering box eventually came free. I will be contacting the OEM (who are surprisingly still going!) to try and get a quote for its rebuild.


Matt was at work Saturday, but came down after work, and made a board so that we could stick our QWW magnet to something other than the newly painted Test Car. Matt also got out his signwriting brushes and picked out some details on the underframe of ‘2 car’ now that it has been turned.


Sunday saw Matt showing us his green thumb by strimming the dock area. This should cut en on insects landing on the fresh paint (when we get around to it). Matt then went on the roof of ‘2 car’ to repair the periscope blanking off plates. These had lifted due to the pop rivets failing. In drilling through the roof, Matt broke all of our 3.5mm drill bits. New plates were cut, and riveted over the holes using new rivets, and plenty of sealant!


Nick continued the task of scrapping down the roof of the Test Car, in preparation of the roof repaint. I continued tinkering with Danny, and freed off the rod brakes. one then promptly snapped. Win some, loose some I suppose. Hopefully, it can be welded, if not a new set from Winget probably wouldn’t hurt. I also removed and refitted on to the mudguard to some out some rust that had built up between the mudguard and chassis.

I think that covers everything this week. Join us again next week, when we begin the process of repainting the other side of the Test Car.

Thanks for reading!

23/06/19 – BLUE!

Painting has occurred this weekend. Lots of painting. The main focus for this weekend has been, of course, Test Car 2. Last week, we got the Flame Red painted around the coach, which left the Rail Blue for this week. The Flame Red  and the white lining had to be masked, so Matt, Jack and I popped down on Friday afternoon to mask off the red and white with masking tape and brown paper, ready for Saturday.

Saturday arrives, and to start with the Red and white overspray got a gentle key by Dave and Matt while I thinned down the blue paint ready for application. Jake was arriving slightly later, so I had to utilise a stand-in assistant.


I applied the first coat of blue, with Jake applying the 2nd coat all over. I then applied the 3rd coat over and around the gutters, and Jake finished the 3rd coat on the bottom of the coach.


While Jake and I painted the Test Car, Dave, Nick and Matt continued work on the internal cladding of the Shocvan.

And then onto the exterior

After lunch, we unmasked the Test Car.

With the coach left with it’s paint drying in the sun/hot weather, Jake and I assisted with the van.

On Sunday, more painting took place. For Matt, the signwriting of the Test Car beckoned. For me, I got the spray gun out again and gave the Shocvan a coat of undercoat, and then in the afternoon, gloss. The gloss will need another coat next week, but it is a start.


Next weekend will see another coat of gloss applied to the Shocvan, the headstocks and other details painted and the lining tidied up on the Test Car. Then we’ll have it all to do again on the other side! Join us next week for more Test Car adventures!