Hello everyone and happy new year to you all. Over the past few days, we’ve been sorting out our workshop and tool vans, but we’ve covered enough of that over the past few months so I’ll use the opportunity to review what we’ve done over the past year.
We started last year off with completing 1408, the ex-China Clay Slurry tank wagon and then making a start on the Esso tank, 3436. Then news of the 3rd National Lockdown came to us and prevented site access for a couple of months.
We were allowed back on to site initially to carry out routine maintenance on the wagon fleet. Starting with the Dogfish, then Grampus and then the rest of the wagons. All were brought down to Rothley for us to look at and carry out any work required.
Once April 12th came around, we were allowed to carry out non-essential work. Dave and Matt covered the signwriting on the Esso tank, completing that wagon. We continued work on what turned out to be one of our biggest projects, our Mess Coach.
At this time, we also quickly tackled the Creosote tank DB998926, adding that to the burgeoning tank wagon train.
Then the first of a few new acquisitions this year, the Ferry Tank, 500817. This cam with another 10ft wheelbase chassis destined for the Palshocvan body, B855667.
This time, we had begun the big push on the mess coach, getting that finished and back to Quorn in October.
The aforementioned Palshocvan was welded to its chassis, got a new roof covering, painted and released into the van train, though made its debut for a photo charter with the tank train.
Most of our vehicles, including the road vehicle fleet, were in use for Railways at Work Gala, with most of us dressing the part as well. We all really enjoyed this weekend and hope it will be as good next year.
Our 99th vehicle arrived soon after this gala, being 3711. This arrived from Meldon at the Dartmoor Railway. This vehicle arrived in quite a state and has had the braking rigging rebuilt just to get it able to be moved.
The Bogie Bolster was sat at Quorn waiting for us while we were working on the Mess Coach at Rothley. We eventually got around to working on this, starting by cleaning the chassis down and replacing a bolster timber. We also looked at the braking system, overhauling the vacuum cylinders and getting the slack adjusters sent away. This vehicle is now waiting for paint.
We also saw the team at Rothley overhaul the CCT, which was previously in use with us as a store. It has been emptied, welded and painted for use in the Winter Wonderlights. Both Matt and Dave assisted with the signwriting on that, which made it look a treat!
At this point, I’ll cover some of the other things that have happened. We’ve pulled together 6 BRUTEs, ready for a BRUTe train.
We’ve visited the Bluebell Railway and brought back a van full of spares. Dave and Matt have also been to the Chasewater Railway to assist in the signwriting of a VEA of theirs.
Despite the continuing pandemic, we’ve had a good year. We’ve completed 7 vehicles this year, with one of those being SC21202 which I think in terms of work equals around 3 or 4 vehicles! We’ve made more contacts with other railways and firms in the industry that have helped us out immensely. We’re looking forward to seeing what 2022 has to offer for us and will get some more wagons completed.
Next week, we’ll be somewhat back to normality, with most of us being back to work. I’ll wrap up this update by wishing you all a happy and healthy year ahead. I also want to thank you for your continued support. Join us again next week to see what we get up to.