News and Updates

17/11/19 – Loaded and Secured

Unusually this update begins on Thursday with a trip to Medstead & Four Marks.  The reason for the visit, to pick up some Conflat chains.  Our thanks go to the Mid-Hants Railway Wagon group for offering them to us, they were in far better condition than our own. 

Friday saw the December issue of Rail Express hit the shelves with an article looking ant our work on Test Car 2IMG-20191115-WA0000

On to Saturday and I continued with the signwriting started last weekend.

Nick drilled and attached the chains to the Conflat whilst Ross and Dave drilled and secured the additional rails placed on the vehicle last week.

Then the main event, before the light failed and after I had completed the high-level signwriting we lifted BD4303B on to B505313. With the subframe missing we had to first lower the container on to a set of sleepers.

The Container was then lifted from each end and the sleepers removed.

Once sat on the rails the Container was secured to the Conflat.  Earlier before the lift Nick and Ross also applied the identification plate above the door.

To allow the lift I left off the branding and applied it Sunday as well as a few other signwriting finishing touches.

Nick, Ross, Jake and Dave applied Bauxite to the Conflat. adding heat to cure the paint as they went along.  Sufficiently drying the vehicle before the rain started.

All of the conflat chains had reached the end of there threads although reasonably tight we took some steps to resolve. We couldn’t move inwards by a ring as the chains were not long enough so our next option was to shorten them.  We did this using an old BR trick, one of the links was heated in each chain and bent.

With the shortened chains we resecured the container. Jubilee clips were also added to prevent inadvertent loosening.

With it also being the Last Hurrah we saw a few of our vehicles in operation.  Notably the Vans.

The van train is now stabled in the yard at Quorn in preparation for the Winter Brake overhaul and to finish Ross and Dave serviced the Test Cars Generator.20191117_144934

10/11/19 – The Last Paint

Another weekend and another washout. Once again we move up the line to Rothley to look at ADB977107.  Some more welding from the C&W team has enabled us to complete the fitment of the west side windows. Nick and Jake fitted the glass and clamping wood.

Whilst Matt followed, fitting the trims and finishing strips as well as the backrest in the main saloon and the heater retaining strap in the kitchen.  Matt also refitted the toilet trims and skirting boards.

Nick and Jake then moved onto removing the first of the windows on the East side ready for future welding.

Matt’s next task was to do a little exploratory work, looking at the feasibility of reinstating the east side luggage doors. The outer skin and inner ply were removed. Matt then stepped in through the opening; the first person to do so since conversion into a mess van.

The hinge positions were clearly visible, the lower recesses for the luggage doors were still there, just packed with wood and a steel angle added at the bottom to retain the riveted skin. The Z irons were in good condition so Matt pressed on and cut out the additions, decision made, luggage doors will be refitted.

On to Sunday which was much less of a wash out, in fact quite the opposite! Nick was at the Loughborough Remembrance Day Parade, which left Matt and I to get on with the painting of the Container; BD4303B. Painting is a bit of the gamble this time of the year, but we appear to have gotten away with it. We began by removing the sheet and drying off the container where necessary. Matt assembled the scaffold tower while I thinned the paint and assembled the gun and pot. Once dried I began spraying.

Stopping to observed the two minute silence, I continued until 11:45 when I had finished spraying the container. From then, it was a waiting game to see if the paint would go off. Matt and I then began working on B505313, sanding the chain boxes and painting them in red oxide. Nick, now in attendance, painted the interior metal surfaces in Bauxite, and then the body ends. The red oxide sufficiently dry, I painted the chain boxes in undercoat, and then continued to the ends with assistance from Nick.

Matt by this point had just got back with the printed templates for the signwriting on the Container. Having chalked up, he then started signwriting.


After tidying everything away, having a customary cup of tea and admiring the container some more,  we went home! Thanks for reading, and I shall finish with a picture of the container, before we lost the daylight.

03/11/19 – Quorn Wetter & Wetter

Once again the weather has conspired against us. So a trip to Rothley to progress ADB977107. The C&W team has been carrying out body repairs when the time has allowed. Progress has been such that we are able to reassemble interior fixtures.

Before we began, Jake applied bitumastic paint to all the bare metal areas on the inside of the vehicle’s skin


Jake and I then focused on the main saloon.

Nick with assistance from Jake also, rebuilt the toilet window

Ross with a little assistance from new recruit Will as well as Nick made progress with the Kitchen.

Ross also checked the batteries output, unfortunately, these are life expired


We can also show the progress of B954546 currently a volunteer project at Rothley. The cladding has been replaced, new duckets manufactured and glass windows fitted all round.

Sunday with the threat of rain, Ross and Dave cut down some plates to use as load distribution plates for Nicks container once lifted on to the Conflat. It transpires that we decided later that additional sections of rail shall be used to support the weight of the container.

The main task for Sunday was the rectification of Test Car 2’s incorrectly assembled buckeye draw gear. The buckeye was removed, supported by the loading shovel the draw hook and bar removed and the offending article lowered rotated and fitted correctly.

Whilst the majority of the gang worked on the Test Car, I looked at the chain boxes on B505313 these had fallen foul of the water trap that they are. With the bottom of each removed at an earlier date and the lack of suitable welding facilities, I riveted steel plates to the back of each in areas that had been eaten away.

As a none structural skin, this gives a solid backing for filler to be applied. In the future, the skin of the chain box will have to be replaced but at this time we have gone for this option.

As the rain that was forecast did not materialise and what ended up as a day of sunshine we sheeted BD4303B whilst it was dry. This will keep the wet out until the weather gives us the opportunity to apply the gloss crimson.

Also on site Eddie, Harry, and James who took the opportunity to tidy our surrounds and a good job they did in removing the many items of waste that wagon restoration inevitably generates.

27/10/19 -Rain Rain Go Away

Good evening, and welcome to another update from us chaps at Quorn. Saturday saw Jake, Nick, Matt and Dave in attendance. Sadly, due to the weather not much progress was made on the container. In order to avoid the rain, the team stayed under cover and tidied the GUV; a long overdue task. Paint Brushes were resurrected, items tidied and home found for newer acquisitions. On to Sunday, with me now in attendance and with the weather looking good we began working on the container.

Firstly the rectification of some water damage were resin applied but not cured had suffered some weather damage. This was duly removed and re-resinned by Matt. Jake and I had the honour (?) of sanding the container ready for primer. I carried on around the sides and door end of the container with the air driven sander, while Jake drew the short straw and was tasked with the blank end panel. This had had green paint applied at some point in the past, which was beginning to flake off.

While this was happening, Matt finished off applying resin, and reattached the door hinge which was unbolted to repair the door. Sanding completed, Jake blew the container down while I thinned the fibreglass/gelcoat primer and assembled the gun.


I began by applying primer to the roof, and then the blank ends then going round the container anti-clockwise. The primer cured very quickly, so we gambled and had Jake prep the undercoat ready for spraying.

While the painting was occuring, Matt starting removing paint from one of the plates he has had made for the containers. Not content with the black finish, he’d applied some crimson, and had to then scrap/sand the paint off of the raised letters. rather effective, don’t you think?

If the weather is kind to us next weekend, we hope to have the container into Crimson top coat, with signwriting completed and perhaps lifted onto the ConFlat! Join us next week to see what we end up doing, Thanks for reading!73388562_459730907970032_5028391648225132544_n


20/10/19 – Rain, Resin and Bitumen

Work once again continues on the Conflats and Nicks Container. More sanding on BD4303B. All areas were completed including profiling the door repair where the hinge will be going.

More prep on the underframes of B505313 and B507489 also continued and the opportunity was taken by Jake to undercoat the inner rail of both Conflats.

On to Sunday and what was left of the Stacking plates on 4303 were removed whilst Nick blew down the Container ready for the repaired areas to be sealed.

Jake got out the spray gun and bitumen and completed the underframe paint of both Conflats.

The triangular plates manufactured last weekend were fitted.

The final task for me was to apply resin to all of the repaired areas to seal them before paint.  Unfortunately, the rain had other ideas before all areas were completed.

Hopefully, it will be drier next weekend, fingers crossed

13/10/19 – Con-tinuing despite the rain

Back to the grind, work continues on the Conflats and Containers. B505313 and B507489
both receiving bitumastic paint to the solebars and headstocks,  This being applied by Jake, Harry, and new recruit James.


Eddie had the job of toning down the wood preserver applied last weekend.  A touch of bitumin worked into the planks.


Dave and I continued with BD 3403 B. Gradually sanding down the areas filled, unfortunately, the door with the large repair had an area of the old fiberglass delaminate, this was cut out, filled and fiberglassed by Dave.


Whilst I continued sanding


Sunday and rain, Dave took the opportunity to overhaul our stock of vacuum release valves ready for the Van Trains Christmas brake overhaul, more on that in December.


I manufactured repair plates for Nicks containers end door,  which was fitted once the rain stopped. 

I also, with Daves’s help, bolted in a wear plate for the end door.  This tightened the whole installation, closing the doors up very well.


06/10/2019 – Autumn Gala

Welcome to another update from us lot at Quorn.  This weekend has been the Autumn Steam Gala, which means Travelling Post Office demonstrations.  Most of us are TPO crew, so have been busy running the TPO train.  The van train has also been running at the gala, at the full strength of 16 which is the longest it has been for many years.  Progress however, hasn’t stopped for the weekend.

New recruits, Eddie and Harry continued work with Nick on the Conflats.  The rails, fitted to B505313 last week, have been cleaned down and primed.  On Sunday, these were painted in black bitumen paint.  The decks of the Conflats have been swept down, hoovered and painted in the first coat of wood preserver.

Meanwhile, the foundations have been laid for the start of the Quorn Wagon and Wagon Travelling Post Office Display team.  I have taken another bike in storage out of the GUV and resurrected it.  Matt blew up the tyres and I too it for a test ride.  Whilst at Loughborough to get the TPO, Nick and I liberated the frame of another GPO delivery bike.  It is intended to build this back up to increase our number of bikes from 2 to 3. Matt is able to borrow the bike from the station, and I have the resurrected one.

Image courtesy of Jack Shaw

On Saturday evening, we had a visit from Jason Cross asking if he could test some new acquisitions which can be used at photo charters. Test Car 2 was used as a test subject to try the new lights. Thanks to Jason for the use of the pictures, they look fantastic!

Thanks for reading this short update, there will be more progress made next week. Why don’t you join us then!