24/07/22 – Meet Hector !

Welcome to this week’s update from Quorn; and welcome to Steve who joined Nick, Ross, Matt, Richard and myself over the weekend.

We start by reporting some progress along with the Carriage & Wagon team at Rothley during the week, with a new livery and identity being given to a Mineral wagon which is currently out of use due to structural issues. It is being cosmetically restored to compliment the Class 10’s new livery which will be revealed by GCR (C&W Rothley) in due course.

B765272 which had been progressed last weekend, received undercoat and Gloss from the wagon fairies to its west side during the week.

On Saturday Nick and Steve made a start on the east side of the van, erecting the scaffolding then re-bolting the north end panels.

Next the replacement doors were finished off and fitted to the east side. These had been started by the previous owner and came with the van when it was transferred to us last year.

Matt and Dave got their signwriting brushes out to put the finishing touches to the corporate branding and identity onto Danny. Matt did the number plate.

Whilst Dave applied the ‘British Rail’ legend and Danny’s name.

After last week’s clutch failure on Danny, Ross made a start removing the stubborn flexible drive coupling so that the gearbox could be taken out to get to the clutch.

With the gearbox out it became very clear what the problem was, the clutch release bearing and operating fork had disintegrated into many pieces. New parts will have to be ordered including a new clutch assembly. Dave then took the opportunity to clean up the gearbox whilst it was out ready for a lick of paint.

Matt and Dave took a trip to Rothley in Jerry to apply a couple more items of signwriting to the Mineral Wagon. Matt painted the STOVE lettering whilst Dave attended to the north end NCB legend.

Matt also found time in between other jobs to apply a grey panel to Nicks’ box storage trailer, followed by marking out ready for the next stage; all will be revealed next week!

Sunday saw further progress with the east side doors on van B765272, the door locking bar & respective P-brackets were fitted, and the doors adjusted slightly to close neatly. Any bare wood was then treated.

Underframe and headstock scraping was also progressed in readiness for painting.

The protection plates were then fitted to the lower corners of the doors and undercoated. This side of the van is now ready for a repaint at some point.

Whilst Dave, Ross, Steve and Richard progressed the van, Nick and Matt made a trip up the motorway to a farm in Tupton near Chesterfield to collect our new acquisition, Hector; with thanks once again to Kenway Construction for the loan of the truck.

So lets meet Hector, he’s a 1988 built Lansing battery powered 3-wheel tug, F729CUA.

He was unloaded along with battery pack & charger with the help of the Volvo and our Brush Tractor and trailer.

We didn’t waste much time in getting to know Hector, firstly putting some air in the tyres, the tipping him up to remove the quantities of farm related muck and foliage that he’d acquired in his time at the farm.

We then tried giving him a tug with the Brush Tractor to try and free off the seized brakes.

Unfortunately this didn’t work so Hector was tipped up again to remove the wheels so the drums could be attended to.

With Hector back on his wheels and movable it was time for his first spin around the yard, although he needed a little help from our Brush tractor because his power equipment and batteries need some attention.

Thanks for reading, join us next week to see what we have in store next for Hector.

03/07/22 – Raising a Flag for the Vans

Welcome to this weeks’ update from the team at Quorn with Matt, Nick, Ross, Jake, Richard and myself all around during the weekend. The first job was admiring our superb new team flag that Matt had sourced.

Saturday, and we can report the completion of two box vans, being B784409 and B777171, receiving final signwriting after bodyside door & panel replacements and repairs.

Progress was also made with the signwriting on B783082, the right hand panel detail and Circuit Symbol yellow circle being applied.

Nick made a start on the next van needing attention, B763305. The bodyside panels were scraped to remove the distressed and loose paint.

The Volvo received some attention, pumping up a tyre that appeared to have deflated due to a sticky valve which was probably disturbed when we checked the tyre pressures last week. Ross also took a look at the hydraulic lift locking pin mechanism which was being temperamental, an actuator split pin had come adrift causing the pin to drop out; replacements fixed the problem.

The Bogie Bolster D B928135 also received our attention this weekend; after purchasing some more Lithium EP3 grease for the axle bearings, the east side axleboxes of the wagon could be dealt with.

In turn I removed the axlebox covers, and as we found on the west side, the insides of the covers had been painted; therefore the covers were thoroughly cleaned and all traces of paint removed before refitting and the pumping in of some new grease. By the end of Saturday the north end bogie was completed.

The group had a new arrival on Saturday, a 3T Brush Electric Pony. This was quickly trialled by hauling the recently refurbished Brutes.

Making the most of Sunday mornings’ sunshine, Nick & Ross progressed with the body side panels of B763305. Applying a coat of 50/50 PVA sealer, then allowing to dry before a coat of white primer.

Matt continued signwriting with the number panel and Circuit Symbol on B783082, this completes another box van.

I carried on with the south end axleboxes of the Bogie Bolster D B928135; Jake had also popped in and lent a hand with a bit of grease pumping. Once the axlebox covers were refitted, a white undercoat was applied.

Whilst the primer was drying on the bodysides of B763305 Nick turned his attention to scraping down the bodyside panels and doors of the next van, B786348, then applying a coat of PVA sealer before the white primer.

With the Bogie Bolster D B928135 nearing completion we decided it was time to do a full vehicle inspection and brake test. The old Vacuum Brake test rig was awoken and coupled to the wagon, then full brake operation and leakage tests were completed. A few items were noted including a missing axle upkeep split pin, a dry coupling, a missing vacuum pipe dummy seal and a small leak from a vacuum branch-pipe, all of which were attended to.

Whilst the coupling was being oiled, Matt applied the No.1 wheel identification arrow.

With the white undercoat drying quickly I was able to apply the yellow gloss to the axleboxes. The final item to be completed next week will be the red bands on the east side axleboxes before the wagon can be signed-off to go back into traffic.

A busy weekend with a number of wagons reaching completion helped boost team spirit and the sense of achievement, so we celebrated by raising 3-flags for the 3 completed box-vans.

Thanks for reading, all the best, Dave.

22/05/22 – Bolster Bearings

Welcome to this weeks update from the team at Quorn. Thanks to the operations team for the shunt movement during the week, the Bogie Bolster D is now out of the dock and coupled to Test Car 2 which will allow us to finish off the east side of the wagon.

Tank 3711 taking its place in the dock road ready for us to make a start on its restoration.

Saturday saw Matt, Michelle, Ross, Nick and myself on site, taking a look at our new gazebo.

Matt then continued with some finishing touches to Jerry, removing the door trim cards and painting the inner edges of the front doors; whilst Nick attended to a troublesome sliding door in the Mess coach before heading off to a Scout camp.

Ross and myself made a start on axlebox/bearing maintenance on the Bogie Bolster D, starting on the west side removing the axlebox covers for inspection.

We were a bit surprised to find that the insides of the covers had been painted, probably during the wagons’ last general repair in 1976. Therefore the covers were thoroughly cleaned out. New grease was pumped into each axlebox in accordance with the BR maintenance instructions. Unfortunately we ran out of bearing grease so the east side axleboxes will have to wait until next weekend.

Matt completed an overdue task, fitting the Limited Clearance signs to the east side of the shed and garage.

Sunday started with Ross and Matt taking a look at what appeared to be a slight dragging brake on Jerry. Luckily it was found to be a sticky brake piston which was freed off.

Matt also re-fitted the front door cards.

It was a busy morning in Quorn yard with a Ford RS Owners Club regional show day. Jerry being a Ford just had to join-in, an received much attention on his travels around the yard.

I continued with the Bogie Bolster D, de-greasing and cleaning the west side axlebox covers, then applied a coat of white undercoat. This paint dries really quickly so I was able to follow up with the yellow quite soon afterwards.

Next the handbrake levers, all four of them, were undercoated and white glossed.

Ross took a look at an outstanding job on the vacuum brake system, the blanking off of the south end DA valve. The DA (direct admission) valves only have real advantages for longer trains of similarly fitted vehicles. As neither will apply to the operation of this wagon at the GCR we’d decided to blank-off and seal the DA valve rather than spend the time and money overhauling the unit.

Matt then joined me in applying underframe black to the east side of the bogie frames.

On their way home with Jerry, Matt & Michelle visited Lincoln station, parking in front of what was the old Red Star parcels office, re-creating a scene reminiscent of a picture taken by Brian Simmons in 1989, Red Star Parcels Ford Escort 1989.

That concludes what was an enjoyable and productive weekend, thanks for reading; join us again next week; all the best, Dave

24/04/22 – Prep, Paint and Floor Planks

Welcome to another update from the team at Quorn. We continue to progress the Bogie Bolster D, Jerry and preparations for next week’s Diesel Gala.

Saturday morning and the two Class 37’s thundered past our Mess coach rattling the teacups, doing a shakedown run ready for next weeks’ Diesel Gala, ensuring we were fully awake and ready for the day ahead.

Matt got stuck into painting under the wheel arches of Jerry before fitting his refurbished correct steel wheels. The van now looking much more ‘period’.

We had a visitor, Luke from Dorset who spent some time measuring up our Warflat 8127 in preparation for building a Gauge 1 model.

I joined Richard and Nick progressing the underframe painting on the Bogie Bolster D, there really is a lot of it !

Matt continued with the work on Jerry, primer coating the inside of the rear of the van.

Sunday, Nick and Richard continued with the underframe black painting on the Bogie Bolster, whilst I made a start preparing the Test Car in readiness for opening to visitors during next weekends’ Diesel Gala. Richard popping in to help out with a little intercom system cable repairs.

With the primer dry Matt applied a coat of BR Grey to the rear of Jerry, touched up the yellow edges and cleaned the rear van door windows.

We had a visitor from the Ford Escort Van Forum, which distracted us for a while admiring his very tidy blue Mk4.

With the majority of the underframe on the Bogie Bolster D now in black, Nick oiled the brake rigging and made a start replacing floor planks; by the end of the afternoon he had restored over 3/4 of the bolster floor.

In the late afternoon sunshine Jerry visited the Test Car; and looking forward to next weekend and another opportunity for us to open up Test Car 2 to visitors.

Why not pop in and see us at Quorn & Woodhouse 29-30 April or 1 May, at the south end of the station yard past the signalbox. We will be open as follows:-
Friday 29 April – 10:30 to 16:00
Saturday 30 April – 09:30 to 17:00
Sunday 1 May – 09:30 – 16:00

The team will be on-hand to tell the story of this unique coach, it’s use as a Test Car based at the RTC Derby, and to demonstrate the process of slip/brake testing.

Not so Rotten Sides

Keeping up the momentum from last weekend, Matt continued with undercoating on the Bogie Bolster D B928135 during the week, completing most of the inner frame structure.

The weekend saw most of the team progressing both the Bogie Bolster and Vanfit B780282.

Saturday started with some template preparation in readiness for signwriting once the frame painting of the Bolster, and the fitting of the new side panels to the Vanfit are completed.

I then joined Richard to continue with scraping, cleaning up and vacuuming the remaining inner frame at the south end of the Bogie Bolster. The flooring hasn’t been removed from the end section as it had previously been attended to and the replacement planks bolted in place.

Primer was then applied.

Our attention then turned to the Vanfit B780282 for which two replacement side panels had been cut, primed, undercoated and painted a couple of weeks ago. About half the bolts holding the two side panels came out quite easily, whilst the remainder required seeing to with a grinder and/or a hammer & chisel.

By the end of the afternoon we had extracted all the bolts ready for the side panels to be removed.

On Sunday I removed the chalkboard and door holdback catch. The chalkboard was almost as rotten as the panel it was attached to. A new board was therefore required, so an offcut of ply was cut to size, sanded and primed.

Matt & Nick then helped final removal of the rotten panels before scraping, cleaning and vacuuming out the frame edges.

A metal primer was then applied to the inner surfaces of the frame.

Once the primer had dried, the panels were offered up to the frames, unfortunately a small amount needed to be trimmed off the top each panel to give a snug fit. Sealant was then applied around the edges of the frame before carefully sliding each panel in-turn into place, starting with the panel nearest the door.

Holes for the bolts were then drilled through the ply, bolts fitted and nuts tightened ensuring an even level of tightness around the panels.

The final jobs of the day were to re-fit the door hold back catch and trim any excess sealant from around the panel edges.

Thanks for reading, tune in next week when we will hopefully have the weather to progress the paintwork on the Bogie Bolster.

All the best, Dave

Exciting Weekend

An exciting weekend for the Quorn Wagon and Wagon team, including a trio of Scarabs and an Award !

Well what a weekend! Sunshine, Scarabs, sacks, parcels, barrels, goods trains, shunting, tractors, a crane, painted panels, a new arrival, and on top of that an awards ceremony.

Friday saw Richard and myself at Quorn helping with preparations for the Railways at Work Gala weekend ahead. Visiting Scarabs, James’s ETB438E and Chris’s WLD720 arrived, and Madge was woken up. We collected the trailers and positioned them in the yard. We also tidied up the parcels storage van in readiness for some unloading demonstrations.

Barry also arrived with his very smart Austin Van.


Saturday, and with the whole team on-site, the pick-up goods made an early departure from the yard behind Standard tank 80080, leaving us time to get the Scarab’s started and some parcels loaded onto the trailers.

Whilst myself, Ross and Jake donned our period working dress, Nick and Richard progressed applying some Bauxite top-coat paint to the next batch of van side repair panels.

It was great to see so many visitors at this Railways at Work weekend, many of whom were very interested and keen to talk about the vehicles & how goods were transported in the past. It all seemed to pass very quickly, probably because we were all kept busy in the glorious sunshine loading and unloading parcels from the pick-up goods, the vans and the road vehicles.

The police helped keeping road vehicle movements running smoothly, and made sure the local trainspotter was kept in order.

In between the shunt movements Jamie and Pat provided demonstrations of wagon loading and unloading using the railway’s 15T Crane DRA81549, Single Bolster wagon B916549 and Jamie’s tractor.

Apart from one minor repair required to one of the side doors of shock wagon B724570, all went really well and everyone enjoyed taking part in what was a fabulous weekend.

As proceedings drew to a close on Sunday and the pick-up goods was returned to Quorn by D123; it was great to get the whole Railways at Work team together at Quorn & Woodhouse for a ‘team’ pic.

Alongside the Railways At Work Gala, this was also the weekend of the Heritage Railway Association Awards. We were nominated and shortlisted for the Morgan Award for Preservation, for our 17 vehicle long Van Train.

Members of the Quorn Wagon & Wagon team went along on Saturday evening to the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham to find out if we had won in our category.

We are pleased to say we did indeed win, which marks a second Morgan Award win for us!

We’ve also had a new arrival to the road vehicle fleet this weekend, Matt showing off his F reg Ford Escort van F572NNO; stay tuned to future updates to see what we have in store for this period van.

All the best, Dave

Sides, Sacks and Doors

Welcome to another update from the team at Quorn; this week we continue with the work on the van train, enjoy the Quorn Swapmeet, and fill some more sacks ready for the Railways at Work Gala.

Saturday saw Nick, Ross and myself on site in the morning; although cold it was bright and dry so we gathered tools and equipment making our way down the yard.

Whilst I progressed with the signwriting on the replaced side panel of  B779978, Nick and Ross continued where they had left off last week and completed the fitting of the new side panel on Vanwide  B784409. Sealant being applied between the panel faces and the steelwork of the wagon before bolting it into place.

Once B784409s new panel was in place, I marked out and applied the black for the data panel in readiness for signwriting tomorrow.

Matt joined us in the afternoon, bringing with him some newly acquired sacks, which we promptly set about filling with old clothing, underlay and cardboard.

These will greatly increase our collection of sacks that will be used in re-enactment events and goods loading demonstrations at future galas.

Make a note in your diaries for the upcoming ‘Railways at Work’ Gala, 19-20 March 2022, more details here:- Railways at Work 2022

Our attention then turned to B763305 for which we had made new doors a few weeks ago. With the scaffolding in place we set about removing the old hinge nuts and bolts, most of which put up quite a fight to being removed, therefore needing some extra persuasion from the grinder.

We left a couple of bolts in place on each door to hold them until tomorrow when we’d have time to complete the removal and replacement.

Sunday morning felt quite a bit warmer; we started the day browsing the Quorn Swapmeet that had set-up in the yard early.

As the sun came out Nick, Ross and Richard got started on the removal of the doors from B763305.

I continued with the signwriting on the new side panel of B784409, fitting the pre-prepared template, and chalking up ready for signwriting.

Once complete I joined Nick, Ross, Jake and Richard progressing the fitting of the new doors on B763305. After a trial and checking the locking bar position some routing was required to inset the P-brackets so the doors would catch and lock into place smoothly.

After reconfirming the door-fit, holes were drilled and the hinges were bolted into place.

The P-brackets for the locking bar and lock plates were then primed and fitted onto the doors.

Nick also attended to trimming and neatening up the sealant around the edges of the newly fitted panels.

With the side panels on B779978 and B784409 complete, and the new doors fitted to B763305, we look forward to next weekend preparing for the another batch of van train work; the new side panel on B854782 still needs signwriting, and B777171 needs some side panel attention; so until next week, thanks for reading & all the best.

Pickup after the storm

Hi all, welcome to this week’s update. Just a quick reminder, if you haven’t seen a copy yet of the March issue of Trackside Magazine, it’s well worth a read, we’re featured in a fantastic six page spread.

The blustery weekend started early for us, with Nick receiving a call on Friday advising that our temporary workshop at Quorn was affected by storm Eunice; a quick inspection in the afternoon revealed no serious damage, just a ridge plate piece that was flapping in the wind and thankfully nothing had become detached.

Saturday therefore started with Nick and myself making necessary repairs to the workshop roof, firstly erecting our scaffolding tower, then manufacturing and fitting a repair cap plate and adding a few extra rivets to ensure the end of the ridge piece can’t flap in the wind again.

Just as we were finishing the roof repairs the heavy rain set-in again, so our plans to start fitting the prepared van side sheets had to be postponed, we retreated to the mess coach with a cuppa to decide what to do next.

Thankfully the rain eased and after an early lunch with Matts’ help we made a start replacing the load bed floor of the old GCR pickup truck, the ownership of which has recently transferred to our group. The floor was decidedly rotten, not really surprising as it has been languishing out of use at Rothley for over two years.

After the floor had been removed and the framework channels cleaned out we measured up, cut and fitted some second-hand but solid ply floor sheets from our stock.

With the load bed repaired this truck will be extremely useful for us for moving things around and providing a large and stable working platform.

Matt has been asked whether he could help with some information and images about Collico containers for an upcoming article for the Great Western Trust; therefore his collection was suitably posed in the yard in between the showers.

Unusually we have to wrap-up the update early this weekend as we all have other priorities on Sunday.

Look forward to cracking on with the van side and door fitting soon, weather permitting; so until next week, all the best.