12/06/22 – Vans, Vans and Vans (oh and a BRUTE)

Good evening all, and welcome to another blog post from us at Quorn. This week has been a busy one, including one new arrival, and several vans having had their west side repaint completed. We’ve also added another BRUTE repaint to the growing number.

Firstly, Nick has taken delivery of a 1988 Mk3 Transit van. Christened Tom, the plan is for it to match Jerry. There is currently no timescales for this, it needs a little bit of work before we can get to that stage.

Dave has progressed the repaint of the van train, first applying a layer of PVA to a panel on the GW Shocvan. We are trying this to seal the panel, so we’ll see what happens with that. This PVA solution dried relatively quickly so Dave then applied undercoat to both north end panels.

Both Matt and Dave also did some signwriting on the vans and once Matt had finished that he carried on the repaint of BRUTE number 3, or QW1284. This got a coat of our Trolley Blue and later in the day the details applied, like yellow brake handle and black for the chalking area.

I concentrated on the Volvo, removing the very tired and broken exhaust silencer and trying to sort out some of the niggling issues as a result of that. The exhaust silencer was very rotten and damaged and I’ve come up with a temporary soltuon until we can find a new silencer. I also tried to push grease into all the grease nipples I could find.

After painting Gloss on various vans, Nick and Richard got started on the next two vans to in the queue; B777171 and B783082. The doors and panels got scraped, then spot primed/PVA’d. I also got in on the action with the PVA solution.

That marks 4 more vans with the west side having had a repaint, these being B784409, B850498, B779978 and B780282

Matt and I also took some time to mock up our stand for our visit to Gwili Railway’s Rail Oddities gala next week. We’ve looking forward to visiting and Jerry is looking forward to making more railway friends!

Thanks for reading, Matt and I will report on our trip to Gwili, and we’ll see what we can get done on Sunday. See you then!

29/05/22 – Painting in Numbers

Good evening all, and welcome to this week’s update from Quorn. Dave has been attending to a BRUTE, Nick and I have repainted the west side of 2 vans, and Matt has sorted out the west side bearing end caps on the Bolster.

Nick and I started preparing the 2 selected vans, B852838 and B854782. Scraping the frame work and giving the previously glossed woodwork a key.

Dave set to work upon QW1282, attacking it with a brush cup on an angle grinder. Later some degreaser was used on the base to remove the caked on stuff that was there.

A brief interlude for me saw Dave and I repair a small MIG welder we had been donated in order to repair some of the mesh on the BRUTE. Admittedly with both need some more practise, but there is now more meshing attach than when the BRUTE arrived so that can be classed as a win!

Dave got to applying the primer, whereas I rejoined Nick to start painting the very familiar purple/red shade of undercoat to the two vans mentioned.

By the end of Saturday, Dave had finished priming the BRUTE and Nick and I had finsihed undercoating both vans. Sunday saw Matt join us after a work doo on Saturday. My first job on Sunday was to fit a new radio in Jerry, to be a much more period appropriate looking item. Jerry then went to join some other younger Fords in the main yard.

Matt sorted out the end caps on the Bolster, masking, keying and applying the red band to the caps. We are led to believe that the red band denotes that lithium based grease is used in the bearing.

Before starting the Bolster, Matt mixed up a further batch of paint for the second BRUTE which Dave started applying.

Nick and I applied the gloss coat to the shock vans, starting with B852838. We finished the day by applying a layer of undercoat to the next van, B780282. Between them, Dave and Matt had the Brute finished and with the other it really does look splendid!

Thanks for reading, and join us again on Sunday to see what we get up to!

08/05/22 – May Bus Rally

Hello all and welcome to this week’s update. Its a rare weekend without Nick, so let’s see what we’ve got up to.

Saturday saw the bus rally take place at Quorn, and we were asked to open the Test Car as an attraction. Jerry went and met a few of the buses, including Beatrice and Billie. Dave, Matt and Richard held the fort for the day, and by all accounts it was quite busy. Thank you to all those who came to view Test Car 2 and donated, every bit goes back into the wagons and the coaches. Matt also had the sales stand out for its second airing, so thanks to those who purchased items from us.

Sunday just had Matt, Eireni and I on site. Our first job was to pick Matt up from Rothley. Jamie has very kindly finished Jerry off with a polish and detail. You are in for a treat, but I’ll be saving the pictures for later.

Once back at Quorn, our first task was to find and then sink some suitable posts to be used for a special project, more on that in coming weeks. Between the two of us, plus some assistance from Jake, we got the posts sunk in the ground and Matt got them cleaned and painted.

At this point, I made a start on painting the bogies on the Bogie Bolster. I had hoped to do both sides of both bogies, but it was unable to be shunted out. I concentrated on the West side bogies, these being accessible. I did one coat over the bogie frame and then left it while we had tea and did a second coat. This leaves the east side to do when the wagon is out of the Dock.

Matt tidied up the yard after opening the Test Car, then painted a last few details on the one painted BRUTE. These details being the chalkboard panel, its new assigned number and the serial number plate.

Once complete, we got the call from Jamie to come and pick Jerry up from Rothley. In this case pictures speak 1000 words:

Thank you Jamie, Jerry has really come up a treat! That about wraps up this week. I’m not sure what the plan is next week, but I’m sure that someone will write about it!

10/04/22 – Bolsters, Bauxite and Bodywork

Evening everyone and welcome to another QW&W update. This weekend we’ve had most of the gang around for the weekend, so have been able to do a fair amount of work progressing several projects.

Dave and Richard continued work on the Bogie Bolster, painting the interior of the sides and ends which have been sat in undercoat all week. Dave also did an extra coat of gloss on the exterior of the sides and got the stanchions.

Nick and I made a start on removing the rotten side sheets from B777171. As with the last tranche of side sheets we’ve replaced, these have been ready for some time sat in gloss. Removal was a mixture of impact gun, and angle grinding, with the side sheets eventually free around mid morning. The frames were scraped and painted by lunch time, after which the side new side sheets went in with only a minor modification needed.

Matt continued the prep work on “Jerry“, which I assisted with once the side sheets were fitted to B777171. Jake also helped degreasing Jerry when he popped in.

The first task for Nick and I on Sunday was to cut the next and last 2 van sides we are replacing this time around. This is another panel on B784409 and a panel on B786348. These were cut, and then Nick painted them with wood primer. I moved onto applying some bitumen paint to the Bogie Bolster so that we can start getting the floor down again. Dave and Richard continued their work on the Bogie Bolster; scraping, wirebrushing and painting areas of the underframe.

Unfortunately, removing of the sealant applied while fitting the side sheets yesterday caused more damage than we’d have liked, so Dave re-coated the panels and then the frames of the van.

Matt continued with the prep of Jerry; sanding the roof, applying some filler and rust remedy. After all this Michelle and I assisted Matt in wiping Jerry over with panel wipe in ‘the garage’, ready for an exciting week ahead!

Matt and I have both had some leave from work, so will be on-site working on numerous projects throughout the week, the rest of the team will be back at the weekend. Join us then for a bumper update!

13/03/22 – More side sheets

Hello everyone! After the excitemnt of fitting the new doors to B763305 last week, we’ve started looking at the other vans to see which of those need new sheets. B777171 and B780282 have both been selected to have two panels each to be changed, both panels also being adjacent to each other.

Dave kicked off by continuing the signwriting on B854782, it being the only van that didn’t get signwritten last week. There is quite a lot on this van, with us having gone with the Later style BR-era livery when this vehiicle was painted.

Nick and I, assited by Eireni, checked the measurements for the panels we are about to change. Over the years we’ve got quite a few measurments jotted down for the van body panels, but like the age old expression goes measure twice, cut once! B784409 has also been selected to have another side sheet changed, but for this we had to dismantle it’s internal racking. This will initially be stored, but then redeployed.

With four sheets of ply retrieved from storage, we set to work cutting them to suit the aperture. Once cut, Dave sanded the sheets then Nick and I treated them to a coat of wood primer, coating the front faces and the edges.

I, unfortuantely, couldn’t be onsite Sunday but Nick continued on the side sheets by painting them into undercoat. Nick also straighten out some of the racking dismantled yesterday. Dave washed and polished Madge, ready for Railways at Work. Matt was also onsite and sorted some of the prop items for the gala. Nick and Dave also removed a piece of the Plate that was dangling off. This will be re-attached when we get round to doing this wagon.

Next weekend is our Railways at Work gala, come and see us and the railway come to life with a pick up goods and a Mixed freight. We’ll be re-enacting and Madge will be on static display.

27/02/22 – Re-side the Vanwide

Good evening all, and welcome to another update from Quorn. This week, being as the weather has been quite good we’ve go on an replaced some of the side sheets on some of the vans in the Van train. If you’ve been following our progress we cut, prepped and painted some plywood sheets some weeks ago for B779978, B850498, B784409 and B854782, all of which we deemed to be the most in need of replacement. Eddie has also spent the weekend continuing the prep on the internal surfaces of the Bogie Bolster which is really comming together, and I’m looking forward to painting.

Nick and I made a start on B854782 where we whipped out the side sheet with relative ease, the impact gun again make its usefulness apparent. In not too much time, we had the sheet out and Nick was scraping the frame of the old sealant and any other contamination. By this point Richard had arrived, and assisted me in drilling and attaching the new side sheet to the van.

Moving onto B779978, well in our stride. Again the side sheet was removed and the new one fitted. Both of these now needs signwriting to replace any markings lost.

We ended Saturday by undoing most of the bolts on the GW-designed Shock Van, and Sunday was more of the same. Having now done it, its probably the easiest van to have replaced a side sheet on. All the bolts undid with just the impact gun, no need to grind or split nuts and only bolts up the sides of the sheet.

Richard and I then made a start on the ex-VEA. We’ve not replaced a side sheet on one of those before, so it was a bit of a learning curve. In this case, the impact gun didn’t help, the coach bolts ended up spinning in the wood. Out came the grinder to slit the nuts and then the hammer to push the bolts through. Some of the bolts were hidden behind the top door runner and took a bit more work to remove.

By the end of the day, we had the new panel sat in the hole, and fastened to the van by 2 of the bolts behind the top runner. Next weekend, we’ll start with un bolting that, applying sealant and then bolting the panel in fully. After that we might be moving on to fitting some doors, exciting stuff! Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

13/02/22 -Panels to change.

Hello, and welcome to another update from us. We’ve got some admin to sort before we get into the meat of the update. Firstly, we’ve found out the we’ve been shortlisted for this year’s Heritage Railway Association Awards. We put in for the Morgan Award for Preservation for the completed 17 vehicle van train. Our friends over at Quorn Transport Films have also been shortlisted in the External Communications catergory. We wish them and all others that have been shortlisted good luck, and look forward to seeing you on the night.

You may have seen us in the latest issue of Trackside Magazine, we’re featured in a fantastic six page spread, resulting from a visit earlier in the year. If you haven’t already, pick up the latest issue from all good newagents.

Right on to business, this week we’ve contiued painting the replacement doors and side sheets. Last week we got them all cut and primed, so this week was the turn of undercoat and top coat. On Saturday, Nick and Richard took care of undercoating the edges and I covered the fronts. The shed really helped here, keeping the sheets and us nice and dry while we were applying the paint.

Once we’d got those painted, we cleaned out the brushes and put the paitn way, and picked up some odd jobs. I looked at the air system on the Test Car to fix a leak that had become apparent on the filter/oiler. Matt did some work on the generator room door where the frame had become dettached from the wallk of the coach. Nick and Richard continued the tidy up in the Tool Van, resuting in a much improved Woodworking drawer.

Sunday saw Nick and I apply the bauxite top coat to both doors and side sheets, and then continued the odd jobs. I sorted out the workbench in the Yellow Coach, attaching the magnifying light to the bench kindly donated by Richard. Nick continued the tidy up in the tool van. I fired up the Test Car’s generator and tested the air system tweaks I’d done for leaks. There is one small one to sort out, but nothing major.

That’s it from us for another week, Dave will be back again next week to tell what we’ve been up to, join us then!

30/01/22 – Galas, Gales and Green cladding

Good evening and welcome to another update from Quorn. This weekend has been the railway’s Winter Gala, and a busy one it was too! Both the van train and the minerals have been out to play, along with several passenger trains. We’ve been holding off on undertaking work on the van train whilst they’ve been wanted at photo charters and galas throughout January, so we’ve been spending some time as you’ve seen wokring on other things.

This weekend has seen most of the team finish building ‘the garage’, our temporary building. Last weekend we had most of the roof on and all of the north end and side cladding, so we picked up where we left off, by finishing the roof. The wind on Saturday didn’t help with this!

The roof was finished, then Dave concentrated on getting the cladding for the eaves rivetted to the structure. Firstly on the North end, and then the South. Matt, meanwhile started Madge up, and we tried her through the shed door to see if she fits.

We also shifted our wooden shed everso slighty, to turn it 90 degrees and to line it up with the back of the steel shed. After this we generally pottered around the shed until dark.

With fewer of us on Sunday, we concentrated on sorting out the last few bits fo cladding, including cutting some steel to fill in where a few panels have been lost. Thomas and I rivetting the bottm of the west side panels, and then went round and rivetted where holes where. Nick cut the replacement panelsfor the south end in the eaves and above the personell door. Nick and Thomas rovetted the south end panelling to the structure.

Eddie was also onsite, and carried on the prep work on the Bogie Bolster.

Next weekend, we’ll be making a start on the bodywork repairs on the van train now that they are free of commitments until March. We’ll either be manufacturing doors, or starting to cut some bodyside sheets. Join us then and see where we get too!

16/01/21 – East Coast Excitement

This weekend has been the railway’s East Coast weekend, bringing together visitors Tornado, Deltic 55019 and some of the home fleet. Both the Deltic and Tornado have been hauling the van train up and down which has been a pleasure to behold, and something I’d been looking forward to since the A1 arrived at the GC.

We’ve been spent our weekend putting up our temporary building, alluded to last week. You may remember that we tidied and cleared an area of the yard for this purpose.

Saturday saw Dave, Richard and I gathering the pieces of framework together and starting to make sense of the jigsaw puzzle before us. A second hand building with no instructions, and no idea if all the pieces were present it quite the challenge!

It wasn’t long before we got the first frame together, that being those with the doors. We then attached the side frames, using the perlins clamped to the GUV to steady the structure while it was built up. By the end of the day the frame work was completed, bar a couple of the roof perlins. Using my new impact wrench made everything very easy, how did we manage before these modern tools?

Sunday saw more of the gang in attendance, so we moved the cladding and roof sheets closer to the framework and continued the last few bits of the frame. The roller shutter got mounted using the Volvo while the van train was on the line, and we got one roof sheet fitted and bolted down.

Next week, we shall continue by getting the roof cladded and then making a start on the sides. Thanks, and see you then!

02/01/22 – Happy New Year

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.