News and Updates

19/05/19 – Chassis and Essays

As we reach the final stages for both the Shochood and the Medfit I took the opportunity in the week to tidy up and finish the shock stripes.  In our haste to apply them last weekend, we applied the west side in the wrong position.  This was no big problem and very quickly remedied.  The stripes were widened and the excess then painted bauxite.  Any tape bleed was also tidied and a Circuit marker circle applied.


As the weather was forecasted to be poor on Friday a small team of Nick, Jack and I re-sheeted the vehicle on Thursday and fitted the securing chains. 

On to the weekend. I was crewing the Class 37 on passenger duties whilst Jake and Nick continued to scrape down the two vehicles.  Bitumastic paint was also applied to the sole bar and headstocks of the Shochood. As well as a new label clip and block.

After my duties on the 37 were complete I began on the essay that is the Shochoods lettering.20190518_170636

The west side was completed sometime after the sun had set.60382576_324543074884281_3449779313388290048_n.jpg

On to Sunday and more of the same for me.  The East side of the Shochood and both sides of the Medfit.


Nick and Ross worked on the chassis of both vehicles.  Completing the scrape down and spraying the rest of the underframe.  Nick followed Ross with a brush touching in those areas missed by the spray.


I continued with the Signwriting as Nick and Ross looked at the finer details.  Swan necks, axle end covers and any other areas that required touching up.


With the bulk of the body side lettering done I moved on to the sole bar details.  Repair plates, vacuum stats and brake change over levers.


We are tentatively close to the completion of these two vehicles.  A few last signwriting and paint items as well as a floor for the Medfit, with a 3 day weekend thrown into the mix all is looking good for them to re-join the fleet very soon.


12/05/19 – The Joy of Painting

Welcome to another update from Quorn Wagon and Wagon. This weekend has been Goods Galore, with our goods vehicles rattling up and down the line. This doesn’t stop us however, and we have had a very productive weekend. Not one, but two wagons were painted up into gloss! The weekend also marks the return the service of the LMS box van, which made its debut in the parcels rake.

Firstly Nick, Jake, Dave, Matt and Jack set about the Shochood B and the Medfit with Scrapers and wire brushes. Whilst this took place, I was inside the GUV preparing the paint and spray gun for the spraying session. Once I’d prepared everything, I went to assist RVP with connecting the LNER Gresley to the mains for display for the weekend.

Once scraped, Dave and I went round and painted any areas of bare metal and the tops of the wagons in red oxide primer.

It was then time for tea! Jake has now been with us for a whole year, so to celebrate he brought in a cake to share with us!


After tea was drunk and cake consumed, I began spraying the wagons in undercoat and then handed over to Jake for him to complete the rest of the Shochood and the all the Medfit.

While Jake was spraying, Dave and I started to make something I dreamt up. With the 2 compressors we now have (the Hydrovane and the one in TC2), I believe that we have sufficient capacity to run 2 spray guns at the same time. As such Jake could be painting one side, whilst I spray paint the other. For this I thought about making a manifold that can be hung from/mounted to the wagon so that we easily run a hose down either side of a vehicle. Dave and I ferreted around in the various boxes of fittings left in TC2 and managed to put something together where we can use any of the air hoses we have on site. This was put together and leak tested successfully.

To finish off the day, we removed 2 doors and a spare vacuum cylinder from storage  and placed our spare brake van stove back into store in the van train. The 2 doors are destined for the Yellow Coach to be reinstated in the luggage area.


On to Sunday, with glossing being the main order of the day. Jake had to spend the day revising for his upcoming GCSEs, so I took the lead with the spray gun and got the Shochood and Medfit painted into gloss. A personal best was set for 2 wagons painted before tea at 11.00! Prior to spraying the Medfit, Mat and Nick fitted its Bodyside Chalk boards. Caption competition time?

With the wagons hardening off in the lovely warm sunshine, the team set upon the vacuum cylinder retrieved from the van train.

Once opened up, the cylinder was found to have surface rust on the bore, and the piston stuck in its halfway position. The cylinder has been stored on its dome for around 20 years, so this is a lesson in the correct way to store a vacuum cylinder (vacuum cylinders should be stored with the piston rod removed, the with bottom of the cylinder lowermost). As the cylinder was stored incorrected, the seal had been compressed into the bore and the piston, making it very difficult to remove the piston. Like the last cylinder, an application of penetrating fluid and a sledgehammer had the piston out. Matt began cleaning the piston and cylinder using a wire brush on the grinder.

I cleaned up the gland seal retaining bush and refixed it to the base of the cylinder.


Whilst cleaning the components of the cylinder, we were asked to assist with the turntable demonstration, where the turntable had got stuck. Matt lowered himself into the pit with our pinch bar to un-stick the turntable.

Out of the turntable pit, Matt, assisted by Jack, started to paint some of the details on the wagons, starting with the sheet hoops of the Shochood. Jack stayed on the floor and painted the chalkboards on both wagons.

With the paint again left to dry, we then went to Rothley to assist in removing 3 coaches from the train in preparation for their annual exams this coming week. In doing this, Matt became the last person to use the current Rothley ground frame before it gets removed this week, in the S&T work week.

Whilst at Rothley, we also looked upon progress on the Yellow Coach, with 2 new doors fitted at the south end of the vehicle, and 4 heater patches welded in, the coach is well on its way to recovery.

There is still a fair amount left to do on the coach, including the ends and a “new” set of double doors in the luggage area. Back to Quorn, and the paint had gone sufficiently hard for Matt to apply the shock stripes to the Shochood B.

The vehicles are nearly ready for traffic now, with the only thing left to do being to paint the underframes and apply the lettering.  Thank for reading this weeks chock full update! Join us again next week where we will hopefully have the Shochood B and the Medfit completed!


06/05/19 – Brakes hard on.

500954 has left us to have its actuating arm welded at Rothley and will return to traffic as part of the Parcels rake at the upcoming Goods Galore gala before it joins the rest of the vans for future events.

On to this weekend and first a trip out to collect a Hydrovane Compressor kindly donated to us, this will be a great asset for the future and our thanks go out for this kind donation.20190505_182152

Due to the changeable weather, our attention has turned to the vacuum system of the Shockhood B.  This had been isolated sometime ago and was picked up during our routine maintenance. The vehicle has an Empty / Loaded change over valve which once selected to the loaded position introduces an additional 15″ cylinder into the brake system as well as the standard 18″ cylinder.  When we last looked at the vehicle we connected the 15″ Cylinder direct to the train pipe of the vehicle.  After replacing the south end vacuum hose we carried out a brake test. 

This performed unsatisfactorily even after the replacement of the release valve.  We swapped the direct connection to the 18″ cylinder and again this did not meet with expectation.

The piston gland seal was replaced and again no change to its performance. So with a new release valve, gland seal and a missing nut replace from beneath the cylinder the issue must be internal.

With a plan formulated for Sunday,  we removed the release valve from the 15″ cylinder as well as the now redundant pipe work.

The final job for Saturday was a spot of signwriting for Renaissance Railcars20190504_215306

On to Sunday and we dropped the 18″ cylinder from the Shockhood.

The cylinder was last overhauled in 1993 and its internal condition was remarkable only the seals were in very poor condition.

With the seals replaced the cylinder was reassembled and the top of the dome painted in bitumastic paint.  Once it is refitted this area will be inaccessible.  Once together the cylinder was refitted, plumed back in and a test carried out.  This time the cylinder held until we released it after a tea break.

With a boost in confidence, we turned our attention to the Medfit and again cylinder out.  This time however we lifted it out.

This one shows the importance of sealing an out of use cylinder,  the Shockhoods was sealed when isolated keeping the elements out of it, the Medfits however left to the open and internally it was very poor.

With a scrape, wirebrush and then Red Oxide it was time for another tea break.

This allowed the Red Oxide to dry so we could reassemble the cylinder with another full set of seals and it was refitted to the vehicle.  The two vehicles were then connected to the test rig individually, the cylinders operated a number of times and then the brake finally destroyed and left.

I finally brought my latest bit of signwriting out into the sun.IMG-20190505-WA0000.jpg

On arrival Monday the vehicles still had their brakes applied. Hardly any drop on either cylinder.

Our task, however, was gala prep.  Next week is, of course, Goods Galore and a few of our vehicles are in operation.  We were asked by the Operations Manager to look over not only our vehicles but all those in operation.  It also gave us the opportunity to complete the Winter Maintenance of E280364 and DB916549.

Back at Quorn and to complete the day I manufactured a blanking plate for the now redundant 15″ cylinder on the Shockhood and Nick manufactured 2 chalkboards for the Medfit.

As I mentioned above next weekend is Goods Galore so feel free to come down and see a substantial number of our collection in operation.

28/04/19 -Operating arms and bases

Good morning everyone and welcome to another update from Quorn. This weekend, we have finalised work on the LMS van and continued the overhaul of another 18″ wagon cylinder. We have also begun to strip out the interior of the Yellow Coach so that bodywork repairs can begin.

Nick, Jake and Olly continued to refurb an 18″cylinder, scraping, wire brushing and abrading most surfaces of the components. The cylinder is a Westinghouse affair and has some detail differences between it and a ‘BR’ one, most notably the piston doesn’t have a ball valve in it. In our spares ‘department’ we only have E- Type release valves, which fit the standard ‘BR’ cylinders. The one for this cylinder has a ball valve as part of the release valve, which we don’t have one of currently. Perhaps there will be one in one of our box vans.

Whilst Nick and the lads continued their work on the cylinder, Matt and I got stuck into the operating shaft of the LMS van. The arm extension that Matt had designed, and ably manufactured by Mick Carr at Loughborough (thanks Mick!), is designed as a bolt on extension to the stub left on the cross shaft. The ‘old’ arm was a rather soft steel, so drilled quite easily when one found a sharp drill bit. Sadly, not many of our drill bits are sharp so Matt racked up quite the kill count for drill bits this weekend.  He also left 2 drills smoking. I can’t say much though, as I broke a tapered reamer. Ouch! After a lot of struggling, the arm was fitted and tested. There was a slight rotation of the arm relative to the shaft, but we plan on having the arm welded where possible to increase rigidity.



On to Sunday, and a change of scenery. A while ago, our mess vehicle, the Yellow Coach was shipped off to Rothley for some very much needed bodywork attention. Jamie and Pat have now surveyed the vehicle (and affectionately named it Booths) and told us where we need to strip to reduce the fire risk when it comes to cutting out and welding. Matt and I stripped out all the body-side gas heaters, which we don’t plan on using again, and Nick and Olly started to remove the panelling around the window in the first class toilet, where whoever had fitted the plastic window had used steel machine screws in the aluminum window frame. Brass machine screws should have been used. The body-side heaters put up very little resistance and made their way to the scrap pile. Matt then concentrated on one of the mess area windows, and I set upon the kitchen. The fridge was disconnected and removed, and the oven received a similar treatment. The wall cupboard was cleared out and removed, and then I set upon the body-side wall paneling. The kitchen has an electric heater under the window. I disconnected and removed this and discovered historic fire damage on the wall behind it. When it comes to reassembly, we now have to opportunity to give the kitchen a deep clean.


We left Rothley with items we had wanted to keep from the yellow coach and returned to Quorn to tidy them away. Matt also took some time to admire his work on a sign he is working on for Renaissance Rail Cars.


Thanks for reading, and join us again next week for some more adventures of the wagon variety.

22/04/19 An “eggcellent” bank holiday

Four days of wagon eggcitement,  that’s the end of the Easter puns. So, on to Good Friday. Just me and Nick and work continues on reinstating the vacuum system too M500954.  With the red oxide dry, Nick gave the components a last check and hoover to ensure the best from the cylinder once assembled.

I began by creating a branch pipe for the cylinder. Thanks to C&W at Rothley who assembled a kit of tools for me, I first drilled a hole,  this was tapped and a section of pipe pre-prepared fitted with a little jointing compound.

Once fitted and Nick had finished we turned to assembling the cylinder.  The ball valve was checked to ensure complete and unscored this was reassembled and the Piston Rolling ring and cylinder sealing ring were positioned.

The piston its self was then slid into the cylinder body, lowering steadily and under control. Another hoover and the Cylinder dome was removed from the van.

The dome was fitted and bolted to the rest of the cylinder and placed on a pallet ready for fitting. The piston rod was polished also ready for fitting.

The only means available to us to fit such a heavy item under a vehicle is by a loading shovel fitted with lifting forks.  So with a few fine movements, the cylinder was hung initially from the inner trunion.

The outer trunnion was bolted in place as well as all the associated fittings. Piston Rod, Gator, Release valve, release chord, and cylinder hose.

To complete the vacuum side new hoses were fitted to either end of the van, these are fitted without swan necks as the pipe was welded in position by its previous owners and we see no reason to remove it just to thread the pipes. As we have said numerous times,  we don’t restore vehicles we repair them.

With the new pipes fitted, we weighed the cylinder piston with roughly 25kg as is the requirement for a static test and using our test rig we sucked up a vacuum.  A small leak was apparent from the new branch pipe, which we expected so a quick visit to Rothley will be required to weld the branch before release to traffic.  The cylinder I shall mention lower in a moment.

Unfortunately Saturday I spent most of the day at work however work was continued by Nick and Olly scraping and painting the West side underframe and North headstock.

The vacuum cylinder continues to hold a vacuum 24 hours after application.20190420_170040.jpg

On to Sunday and I started by signwriting the Wagon plate and Vacuum release star to the west side and XP markings on to both sides.  Now there was no doubt the vehicle will be operated as a fitted one.

Nick and Olly along with my wife Michelle scraped and applied bitumastic paint to the east side underframe as well as the Northend buffers.

I continued with further detailing. Vacuum pipes painted red, handbrake ends white, where shrunk bare wood was painted and any missing bauxite touched up.

With the east side painted and because of the extraordinary weather it was dry within a few hours and the east side details applied,

Final day and with the morning light certain areas that had been missed were touched up.  The chalk from the signwriting removed and Nick carried out a pad exam and oil.  Dave joined us and continued his work on overhauling our spare release valves.

Apart from the actuating arm and the quick weld on the vacuum branch pipe this sees M500954 essentially complete
Attention now turns to B726344, preparing it for paint20190422_140849

As the day drew to a close the evening sun shone on to our latest vehicle and Dave managed a sneaky snap of myself and Nick admiring our handy work.

14/04/19 – It will soon suck once again

This weekend we started with a morning trip “Up” the line to Swithland then on to Rothley.  The Swithland stop was to pick up an 18″ Vacuum cylinder for 500954 and also as the gang is increasing in size a set of seats for Nicks Transit to move us all about when necessary.  On this point, we welcome back Olly, who use to help Nick some time ago.

On to Rothley and some overalls, boots and high-vis for Olly stored in “The Yellow Coach” and a quick look at B954546 which has been recladded on the Westside and received new footboards all-round, amongst other work.

Back at Quorn and the task of overhauling the cylinder. According to the overhaul tag it was last split in 1975 and as expected a few difficulties were encountered. The piston had seized, but the dome was removed without too much hassle. The piston was loosened with a little sledgehammer application and once free Jake unscrewed the piston rod.

Once in kit form, Jake and Olly began to clean up the individual components.

Whilst the dome was empty it was easier to handle under 500954 so Nick and I used it to position and mark the new outer trunnion.  The new item is a BR Coach one which is narrower than the LMS wagon one. The Trunion was offered up, the cylinder leveled and squared and the trunnion clamped and marked up.

The pivot mount was found to be too thick so the trunnion was unclamped adjusted with an angle grinder and reclamped.

The dome was checked for clearance and found to pivot freely so the final hole position was marked and drilled.  The inside of the dome was also “descaled” and painted before being bolted temporarily into position, the first time since 1967 a cylinder has been hung under the vehicle.

Back on to the other components and with Olly’s help I removed the old gland seal, although 2 out of the 3 studs sheared.20190413_182919

With 2 pieces of replacement threaded bar located the new gland seal was fixed in position and by luck one of the sheared studs had enough thread remaining to replace the missing release valve stud.


Last items for Saturday and Jake and Olly made a superb job of the component clean up.

On to Sunday and I was occupied crewing the Class 47 during the GCR’s Diesel Gala.

Jake and Nick continued with the cylinder overhaul ensuring every ounce of rust and detritus was removed.  The plain faces of the cylinder were then red oxide-d ready for next week’s assembly.

Dave was also with us and took on the task of overhauling a few of our spare release valves.

Ross, in the meantime, is once again on his way to Greece on a family holiday.57206048_312782232745429_7208615698778554368_n

4 days for wagons next weekend, anything can happen with so much time.

07/04/19 – Getting round to the end

Thanks for joining us for another QWW update. This week we have been working on progressing the LMS van, M500954. Those of you who follow our Facebook page will already know that on Monday, Matt had popped in after this early shift at work to signwriting the still drying van. The van is now signwritten, but will receive its XP rating once the vacuum cylinder is refitted as intended.

On to Saturday and Nick and Matt began by finishing scraping and wire brushing both ends of the van. The north end required a capping wood trimming, then the remainder of the paint removing.

Whilst removing the paint, we found some more concrete evidence as to the van’s new number. As we have mentioned previously we settled on 500954 as it was the most likely number from the disposal list of 1000 vans. The van was recorded as withdrawn at Barassie works, and its final location recorded as Inverkeithing. This is the only van of those withdrawn at Barassie that wasn’t broken up there, and it ended up 1 mile from Inverkeithing as an internal user at MOD Rosyth.

Getting to the point, we uncovered the roof covering date: “7090; 23.10.54”. The depot code for Barassie is 7090 in the 4 number code system. This confirms the van was in Scotland towards the end of its revenue earning service. This we know, as the van was withdrawn at the same works in period 8 in 1967. It was then recorded at Inverkeithing in period 13, 1967.


Once the ends of the van had the paint removed and wire-brushed, I set about applying primer, then undercoat and then top coat to the ends. Whilst I was doing the north end, Matt and Nick fixed the buffer identified as loose last week, which involved an item we have stored in the corner of our tool van, but never once used; a buffer clamp. Usually, we would pin the wagon down and then compress the buffer using the forklift.

On to Sunday, and with it I found myself out of action performing repairs to my car for a forthcoming MOT. I was on site however should any assistance be required. Matt and Nick set about scraping the tin roof of the LMS van clear of its flaking paint, and applying a coat of bitumenous paint.

Matt also reapplied the roof covering date to the north end of the van were it was found. He also picked out the lamp brackets in white, as this is intended to be a fitted vehicle. Finished with the roof, Matt and Nick set about using up what was left in the bitumen tin by painting the south end headstock.

I’m now signing off for 2 weeks, as I am again journeying to Greece. Join Matt again next week for more tales of the LMS van story!