17/06/2018 Finishing touches

Not a huge update this week, as we have finished our revamp of B954268 and the large events in the yard recently mean that we don’t have something else we can get started on.

Matt has been popping in after his early shifts at work to complete some of the smaller details on the interior of the brake van. This includes the stove surround, handbrake stack/column and the handbrake wheel itself. This also includes the vehicles number signwritten above the ducket adjacent to the stove, and its allocation for which we chose Tinsley.

Onto this weekend, we have now finished the brake van. Matt painted a second coat on the external ceilings on the verandah. I dismantled the top of the vacuum setter to remove layers of hard, flaky paint before Matt applied a new coat of red to the top of the setter. Whilst this was taking place, Nick fitted the Overhead Line wires flashes to the West side of the van.


This culminates the work on this brake van, and it can now be released back to traffic. we are anticipating the arrival of the LMS brake van for a refresh.


10/06/18 Sole Bar, Internals and Brake adjust

This weekend, work continues on B954268. Following last week where Nick, Matt and Jake completed the rest of external work, which only left the underframe to be painted. A few areas were left to be scraped and then blown down, ready for the application of the paint.

Matt sanded down and hoovered the interior of the van to give it a key before he started glossing the top half with cream colour. Whilst Matt was painting the interior of the van cream, the underframe and step boards of the west side were painted in black bituminous paint. Nick followed along, picking out any areas that couldn’t be reached with the spray gun. The headstocks were then painted using brushes, as using the spray gun would result in overspray on the soft, bauxite gloss. The interior surfaces of the windows were masked off whilst Matt was painting the large panels.


The van was pushed out of the dock so that the East side underframe and step boards could be cleaned, blown down and painted. Once the black paint was away, the roller bearing end caps were picked out in yellow.


When the van was painted into gloss, the verandahs were spray painted internally. Whilst we had made every effort to mask where we could, the only place that wasn’t, and thus caught the overspray was the ceiling. Saturday Matt repainted this surface white.


Report continued by Matt

Sunday continued with me (Matt) initially signwriting, this was in the form of the “D” Plates Vacuum release chord stars and the Running number within the van.


Nick added a further coat of paint to the axle end covers and a red coat to the Vacuum pipe swan necks.  The OLE warning panels he also added to the East side.  Myself and Nick also took a look at the Brake rigging. We made a few adjustments and Nick lubricated it all.


I continued with the internal repaint masking off for the bauxite areas to be raised up to window level,  the actual BR specification called for the lower bauxite area to be 3ft 6in high this, however, would result in the demarcation line being 1/4 the way up the window level and it was common practice for the demarcation to be lowered to window level which in my opinion looks a lot smarter, as can be seen below.
I also popped in Monday after work to apply Black to the Brake standard and Stove surrounds.


Last item, My signwriting box has had an appropriate paint and signwriting applied just so I don’t forget who I am and what I do.


Still a few finishing touches to apply including the Stove surround in black gloss.



20/05/18 Shock(ing) Van

This weekend saw us working away on B854782, preparing for its visit to the loco shed to have some remedial work to the corrugated ends. Matt has also removed the branding posters pasted onto the vans for the photo charter and gala, and touched in the paint where it had become detached.


Last week we scraped the underframe on B854782 down in preparation for painting. As the welding work is predominantly occurring on the ends, we took the opportunity to paint the underframe, aside from the headstocks.


The item we have been calling the tax disk holder has been painted in black and reassembled onto the van. This details the non-standard, experimental centre shock system fitted to a batch of these vans. Once fitted the screw heads were touched in the same black paint as the cast ring.


As we were working below solebar level, we also performed an axle box exam. A while ago, we came into a TOPS wagon codes book, so we chalked the cripple code for this van on the doors. CG denotes a green card (defected but able to run at design speed), D denotes defect due to damage, and the C denotes Bodywork.


Next week, we hope that this vehicle is in the engine shed being nursed back to health, and that B954268 is in a position to enable us to give it some due attention.

Thanks for reading!

22/04/18 Mr. Blue Sky appears again!

This weekend we have continued working on the Fish Van. We are also a man down this weekend, as Matt has become a member of the Royal Flying Corps for a photo charter. This hasn’t impeded progress, however, there are fewer photos. The below picture shows how we left the vehicle at the end of last weekend.

Saturday started off with us sanding the south two panels in the picture above, along with the south end. Following this, the undercoat was cracked out to get the van finished off in undercoat. I cleaned the gun out and started thinning the gloss down in order to start spraying the East side and North end, whilst the new undercoat was drying.


As with last weekend, this also included the headstocks. This is just after the headstock had been painted into gloss. The details such as the drawhook, vacuum swan neck and buffer heads were painted later one once the Ice Blue paint had hardened off.

As the paint is only for the fish van, we tried to put as many coats of paint to use the paint up. By the end of Saturday, the Eastside had 2 coats of gloss and both ends and headstocks had been painted. To finish the day we scraped the underframe on the West side as it is accessible. Before we started painting on Sunday morning, we blew down the debris following scraping the underframe, then painted the 2nd coat of gloss on the Westside.  We shuffled the vans down so we could get to the East Side to scrape and paint it.

Once the underframe was painted the bufferheads and swan necks got painted, along with the lamp brackets and handbrake lever ends.

As the wheelsets are close to the end of the van, we painted up the brake cross shafts in black and refitted the couplings.

Next steps for this vehicle are the signwriting, unfortunately, no blue spot as the vehicle doesn’t have roller bearing wheelset. This will then be ready for traffic.


15/04/18 A very blue Fish Van

Following on from Matt’s report last week, B850498 has now been completed. The roof has been touched up following last Sunday’s rain. Here are 2 photos of it in “ex-works” condition. This vehicle has now been put into the van train, thus having its debut at Good Galore! (not bad for a grounded body!)

On to this weekend, which saw us preparing the Fish van for its new colour scheme, whilst the Spring Diesel Gala was taking place. The aluminium body sides and ironwork was sanded, scraped and wire brushed in order to remove old flaky paint and to return the surface of the aluminium to a stable state, suitable for painting over. Areas where the ironwork was pitted was treated with red oxide primer. Some minor repairs to the bottom door runners were also enacted. These had dropped below the bottom of the door so weren’t supporting the door, making them hard to open.

The results of the sanding can be seen in the below pictures, the leftmost picture showing the various items that have been sign written onto the panel, not limited to; BR double arrows from its time in BR blue as an SPV, a Blue Spot from its time as an Insul-Fish and yellow from its time attached to a ballast cleaner as the tool van.

Today, with the weather being changeable, we opted to start painting the van into its undercoat. It was nice to spray something other than Bauxite or Bauxite undercoat!

The eagle-eyed among you with notice that we have painted the headstocks and buffers in the body colour. this is an unusual, yet prototypical detail that is rarely seen in the preservation of these vehicles. Unfortunately, the rain started so the paint had to go away. Next weekend, it is hoped we can finish painting the west side and the south end.
In other news:

The Swithland Wagon Group have finished their restoration of our tank wagon, A6581. Tommy Lees, Keith Lloyd and David Wood have done a fantastic job with this wagon, and it looks great on the front road at Swithland Sidings. I for one am looking forward to seeing it and A6071 in the trains at Good Galore!

Photo by Tommy Lees

Lastly, we took delivery and put into store a rather exciting item! Hopefully, more shall be announced in the fullness of time.

Photo by Jack Shaw

25/03/18 We have painted!

Welcome to this week’s update from Quorn Wagon and Wagon! The weather was excellent the weekend just past, so we managed to paint B850498, the first van to be painted this year. Looking back to last year, we painted B852838 into undercoat on the 2nd April, so we are one week ahead this year!

Warm sunny weather!

On Saturday, we finished preparing the wood work on the van while the temperature rose sufficiently to begin spraying. The wood was painted with wood primer, where special care was taken to sand down the temporary numbers so that they wouldn’t show through. The iron work was painted were is was bear with red oxide primer.

On Sunday, we went one step further and painted the van into undercoat. Sadly we must mourn the loss of our beloved compressor, Edward. This van proved too much and the motor burnt out!

Despite threats of the “Beast from the East 3.0”, we are hoping to paint the top coat next weekend, whilst the Railway’s Easter Vintage Festival is taking place. Thanks for reading!

18/03/19 Snow, Scraping and Sanding

A small update this week due to the weather. Last weekend, we had to turn the heater off in the yellow coach, this weekend we could have done with another!

This weekend has focussed on B850498 to ready this vehicle for paint. We started by stripping old layers of paint by using a heat gun, as was successful on B780282. the heat gun proved of limited success, due to the wind and the temperature, so we cracked out the gas blowtorch. The gas torch proved very successful if a little vicious especially near the new roof sheet.

Following the paint stripping, we sanded every panel using 40 grit paper. This cleared the small slivers of paint left during the stripping process and leaves a fairly even surface on the ply, ready to receive some primer when the weather is warmer. Unfortunately, we also killed our 2 sanders prepping this van, so the hunt begins for more!

A few small jobs were completed: Fitting wagon label clips and repainting the number after sanding, in order to abide by GCR rules. This has been stencilled under the chalkboard so that it won’t be seen when the van is painted up.

25/02/18 Roof sheets to the wind…

At the tail end of last weekend, I mentioned that we had prepped a roof sheet ready for fitting onto B762855. As it was still very much frozen upon arrival at Quorn, we shunted the vans down so that we could get the scaffold tower round all side of the van and be on even(-ish) floor.

The Roof end hoops were stripped off, along with the old roof covering. The roof boards were scraped of roof adhesive and then brushed off all debris.

The new sheet, having been rolled up in the week, was hoisted up on the roof and rolled out and positioned. One end of the sheet was fixed to the van using one end hoop, and then tensioned north to south, and fixed in place with the next roof hoop.

The roof sheet was fixed along the side using stainless steel staples through the sheet and into the roof boards. The west side of the van (the side facing the running line/GUV and yellow coach) was positioned such that it could just be tucked up and fixed, which left the east side of the van with a huge curtain, as in the photo above. Curtainsides work for lorries, why not for box vans?

Today, the roof was painted black using black bitumenous paint and the leftover sheet on the sides were trimmed level with the frame of the van. Other tasks completed today was the scraping of B850498. It was hoped the van would have tripped to Loughborough in the week for the welding to be completed. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen so it is hoped that the van is moved to the loco shed this week.

18/02/18 Brakes, Brake Vans and Broken Floors

Quorn Wagon and Wagon have had a busy weekend, we have worked on B850498, B954268 and prep work has been started for B762855. The van train has also been de-branded following the 2 recent photo charters and the Winter Gala.

Matt in the distance removing branding posters from the van train.


As mentioned here previously, the donor chassis is that of a tank wagon. We know this was a saddle mounted tank wagon, built in 1942 for the Air Ministry. These had non-coacting push brakes. this means both sides can be applied independently of each other. Originally the push brake rods had wooden spacers, these were found to be rotten and could rotate and fall onto the railhead.

Push brake rods, modified to the BR style spacers.

The wood was removed and replaced with galvanised steel pipe, as was used by BR to repair these items.

It was decided to replace a single floorboard in the south end of this van. The old plank was removed and a suitable replacement found and cut to fit in the hole. The new plank was then dropped back into the hole, and the hole drilled for the bolt. Job done, you would think. Unfortunately, as with many jobs in preservation the 5-minute jobs often take much longer as was the case here. In the end, 5-floor planks were replaced in this van. Under some of the boards was found some pea gravel, evidently from its time as a grounded body at Swithland Sand and Gravel.

The imitation shock-gear the Matt has conjured up has now also been removed in anticipation of the vehicle moving to the loco shed at Loughborough for the completion of the body to chassis welding.

After the photo charter on 12th Feb, the van train was deposited back to us with B954268 as the brake van for the set. It was looking a bit worse for wear, with some planks under the East side ducket having rotted through, and a layer of green slime covering the north end of the vehicle. Whilst cleaning a step board was found to be rotten, and this was replaced too.

Matt has also spent some time tidying up the letters on the side of this van, which are currently stickers. If the resources can be found, it is hoped this van could be repainted this year, once B850498 and B854782 are completed.
In other news

Whilst having a hunt for props to fill the theatrical van, it was found the B762855 has a few holes in the roof. This occurs when the roofing felt has cracked, due temperature cycling hot and cold, and the flex that the vehicle is put under when running in the train. We have obtained another lorry sheet on site and spent this evening cleaning this down over the turntable pit, ready for next weekend, where it is intended for the roof covering to be replaced. Watch this space!

Thanks for reading!

28/01/18 Posters, Postals and Photo-charters!

Just because it has been a Gala weekend, it doesn’t mean we have stopped work! Having two of our number as Travelling Post Office crew does hamper progress a small amount, but it is also very nice to see the van train running up and down. When walking around today, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the van train, with a few people mentioning their new branding posters, fitted on a few vans by Matt on Friday.

This weekend saw the first run in preservation of B784409, and work continued on the imitation shock gear for B850498. Matt has replicated the brackets he has made for the West side of the wagon and they are now fitted on the East. There is one bracket left on the east side before that is finished.

Other first run in preservation this weekend is the Esso Tank, 3436. This vehicle ran in the mixed freight. Before it could run this vehicle had the vacuum cylinder configuration changed so that only 1 of the 2 cylinders operate. This had fixed a long standing issue with the vehicle.

The next outing for the vans is a Photo charter in the coming week.