News and Updates

20/06/21 – The Final Furlong

Yet again the end of another week and another update from us. This week starts with some Friday work from Dave. The battery box doors got a coat of gloss. The gas boxes and their lids and some underframe parts got a coat of undercoat. Dave removed the guard’s desk to paint the back of it into primer for an eventual coat of black, similar to the boards in the bedroom and mess area.

Dave wasn’t with us on Saturday, but the rest of the team were in attendance, sorting out small details on the coach pushing us ever closer to the finish line. Nick, Richard and Matt went round the coach and painted a first coat in the blue round the door jambs and shuts.

Richard applied black gloss to the areas undercoated by Dave on Friday.

I concentrated on the Shore Supply inlet and the eventual Jumper cable to enable us to feed the coach power from the Test Car’s Generator. These got a clean down and a coat of primer on Saturday.

I also removed the north end buckeye as it was deemed to be in excellent condition and replaced it with one in passable condition. The North End is rarely going to be coupled to anything and would just hang there in all weathers, so doing this has enabled to good buckeye to go into stock for the service stock.

Sunday was much of the same, Matt going round and applying grey to the door shuts, signwriting the OLE warning flashes and generally tidying up paint wise. Matt alos applied a first class totem and no smoking transfer to the bedroom window as these were missing.

I continued with the jumper plugs and shore supply inlet, applying a coat of undercoat and then orange top coat.

Nick sorted out a small issue with one of the door chains, then joined Jake and Dave with scraping the bogies.

Once scraped and hoovered, the bogies got a coat of black paint. Dave also picked out the details on the gas box door plate.

Next step is to apply a coat of varnish to the body work and finish the bogies on the east side. Hopefully both of these can be done next weekend. Join us then, and see if we manage it.

13/06/21 – Mid week blues, and greys

Its my turn to have a week off and what better way to spend it than applying a 56 year old livery to a 63 year old coach. So, as we are, squirreled away on 3 road in Rothley shed between various shades of Red/Maroon the canvas was ready.

First task on Monday was to measure the window positions, its safe to say there are some variation, I also had a go at using some of these new metric units. All measurements were taken from the gutter.

With the best fit worked out I masked off the outer perimeter of the grey panel including the lining.

The inner area of residual blue gloss was then keyed and 2 coats of white applied.

The area above the as built first class compartments was painted white up to the gutter line. This will act as an undercoat for the eventual yellow stripe.

On to Tuesday and a repeat of Mondays activity, although the east side receiving the treatment.

Whilst I was beavering away with the lining, Richard joined me and applied a second coat of grey to the south end vestibule door.

After the grey, Richard moved on to black applying it to the sole bar and the plywood panels manufactured Sunday.

As seen above, I also refitted the shore supply body side indicator light covers. These of course indicate when shore supply power is energised.

On to Wednesday, Richard and I once again on site. My first task was to mask the lining applied to the west side Monday. Once masked the excess paint was sanded and keyed.

The afternoon was then occupied with applying the first coat of BR Grey.

Richard continued with the black application, focusing on the east sole bar as well as the plywood panels, and assisting me with the odd request for assistance.

Thursday with Dave joining Richard and I. Dave focused on the second coat of grey to the west side.

Richard continuing with the Black following Dave and applying it to the Light boxes and foot steps.

Not only black for Richard, he got an opportunity with the grey and applied it to the North gangway door. As well as further black to the south gangway face plate and a touch of red to the brake pipes.

I began with masking the east side

Once fully masked and after a touch of sanding and keying Dave and I applied the east sides first coat of grey

Final task for Thursday was the removal of the west side masking tape.

With Friday sneaking up on me, I used it to apply the second coat of grey to the east side, followed by removal of the masking tape.

I then turned my attention back to the west side, masking up and applying the first class stripe.

Before we move onto the weekends activities we have some admin to take care of, this being some new additions to the fleet. 2 vans and a CCT, these being Palvan WGB 4042, Vanfit B765272 and CCT E94709.

So on to Saturday and well done for keeping with me thus far. Dave and I with a touch of sign writing. Beginning with chalking up and masking up.

Dave taking the lead with the sign writing on this one, applying the running numbers, Guards door, load marking and the No 1 wheel arrow. Regards the latter we have gone for the rarer legend without the word evenly.

I focused on the end south details which reflect the vehicles departmental condition.

The rest of the team were by no means idle.
Richard continuing with the black for the light boxes, steps, further coats to the ply wood panels, and other smaller details.

Ross also detailing west side handrails, door handles and hoses.

Nick with scraper in hand addressed the window slides, battery and gas box covers.

One item that was not sign written however was the depot allocation, this being an item we had available and being applied to our works vehicles receiving appropriate livery.

We completed Saturday by rolling the vehicle out of Rothley shed to bask in the sun for a short while.

Back in the shed for Sunday whilst I continued the sign writing, north end details, shore supply marking and depot allocation.

For the rest of the team further detailing.
Ross started with applying the first coat of yellow to the east side first class stripe. He then moved on to fitting the fridge flue and it’s cover.
This was followed by replacement of the shore supply socket as the previous one was on its last legs.

Jake looked at the small details handrails, door handles, areas above the light boxes.
He also applied primer and top coat to the drop light tops and further coats to the air hoses and north coach intermediate connector.

Richard again with the black. Second coating the light boxes, steps and first coat for the east side guards hand rails as well as assisting Jake with the door handles

Nick arriving a little later, primed and under coated the battery boxes prepared the day before.

I then applied the second coat of Yellow to the first Class stripe

Finally Ross fitted the ply wood panels to the inside of the bunk room and mess room windows, our intention was for them not to be noticeable unlike the painted windows they replace. Safe to say its worked

The reason for Nicks unusual arrival time was a trip to the Leighton Buzzard Railway, collecting another new arrival. A companion for our existing BRUTe. After a move to Quorn we unloaded it from the van and took a few moments to free off and lubricate the running gear.

We are on the look out for futher British Rail Universal Trolley equipment so if you have or know of any we would be happy to hear from you.

With that I shall wrap up this update and prepare for a rest at work. As always more next week.

06/06/21 – Déjà Blue

As Matt mentioned in last week’s update, I’ve had the past week off work and have spent it working at Rothley on the Living Van (we can’t really call it the Yellow Coach anymore!) Tuesday was spent painting the two sliding gangway doors into their first coat of gloss. Wednesday was spent sanding the undercoat on the bodysides with 400 grit paper, which left Thursday to finish off the sanding by hand in areas that couldn’t be done with the air sander and then to clean the coach down, ready for glossing at the weekend.

On to Saturday with almost the whole gang in attendance, the main focus was, naturally, glossing the coach, the first of many layers of paint were applied. The photos will let the cat out of the bag, so I might as well reveal that the coach is going to be Blue and Grey, in its BCK guise; SC21202. The first, and biggest bit of painting done was the blue. Gutters and Cant Rail, Ends and lower Bodyside. Dave started the second coat of blue on the internal portion of the corridor connection, with Richard on the body ends themselves. This left Matt, Nick and I to start the bodysides.

With that left to dry, the gang tripped to Quorn to trial load a British Railways Universal Trolley Equipment (BRUTE) into Nick’s new road vehicle to see if such an item would fit in readiness to pick one up.

It would also be remiss of me not to note that being the railways first special event since the COVID pandemic, the revitalised Mixed Freight has been in use, feature a majority of the repainted tank wagons.

The gloss used was re-coatable in 16-24 hours, so Sunday was pretty much a repeat of Saturday. Once finished, Dave, Jake, Nick and Richard moved to painting both the headstocks in gloss black.

Matt and I made some boards to put inside the bedroom and mess area windows on the compartment side instead of painting the windows out as was done previously.

I’ll leave the update there. We now have a coach that has 2 coats of Rail Blue, awaiting the grey, the lining and signwriting, and then the underframe. Matt has the week off work, so will be progressing the coach. I’m sure he’ll tell you in next week’s update. Join us next week and see what Matt and the rest of us get up to.

31/05/21 – Bank Holiday coach progression

Here we are again, still at Rothley, and another bank holiday upon us. We continue progressing the Mess Coach, the filler applied last weekend was of course sanded.

This is not a quick task and with Jake and I hitting it hard and despite Nick adding even more filler we were able to touch prime areas as the day closed.

There is only one area of filler left to sand, this being the South East corner.

Sunday saw this corner completed and with Nick, Dave, Jake, Richard and I on site we prepped the gangways, end doors, sole bars and head stocks.

It was then time for the bodys final undercoat.

The gangways were primed as well as the step boards, and a start was made on undercoating the headstocks and sole bars.

Time was also made to remove the flanged adapter fitted to the Ferry Tank. After realising too late it was in fact welded on and after a little dressing of the threads a suitably sized cap was fitted.

On to Monday and with the previous days efforts still a little soft more undercoat was applied, completing the head stocks, sole bars and stepboards.

As the coach is not going to run in traffic there are a few areas we have not addressed as part of this scope of work, mainly down to time and cost. With part of the gangway floor requiring replacement a temporary repair was carried out and primed.

There are a number of other repairs that would be required if the coach were to run in traffic, however as this will be static at Quorn and required to only keep us warm and dry these repairs can wait and see if that decision is ever made.

With an hour or so left of the bank holiday, we applied the first coat of gloss to the gangway surrounds, no prizes for guessing the livery.

Ross is looking at a few days at Rothley next week so he shall fill you in on his week day activities next weekend.

As always join us next week.

23/05/21 – Gloss on high

We’re back for another weekend update, some mid-week work to mention before we get stuck into the main report. 6463 was tripped to Loughborough some weeks ago to have the Shock Palvan body mounted onto it. On Tuesday Nick was called as the van body was dangling over the four-foot in front of the loco shed, ready to be positioned. Having been lifted on and positioned, it now awaits welding to the chassis. Once done it will be tripped to Quorn and will wait for our return. Thanks to Alex Burnside for the pictures.

Onto the weekend, our first focus was the roof of the Mess coach. If you remember, we left last weekend with the roof having been painted into undercoat. That undercoat has had all week to go off, so its now the turn of the roof top coat. Nick, Jake and I went up first thing to paint all of the roof furniture, after which we had tea. Dave and Richard were with us, and between them they started to come up with a solution for the cat walk on top of the Ferry Tank.

After tea Nick, Jake and I started the main roof paint, which aside from the furniture as to be done in one go, otherwise you get a dry edge. Dave and Richard persevered with the grills. Once they were complete some scraping was started, but not too much as roof paint was still rather wet!

Sunday rolls around, with the first job was removing the ‘Dalek’ from the top of the tank wagon. When converted to internal use, an elbow and flange was attached to the top of the tank, with a large pipe to drop the inlet/outlet down to the solebar. Nick didn’t like the elbow and flange and decided it must be removed. Dave undid the four nuts from the tank top, and then copious amounts of force was used to remove the flange. Upon closer inspection (with me in the tank), the aim wasn’t achieveable. The elbow was attached to the main tank feed pipe that runs from the top of the tank to 3 or so inches from the bottom. We neither had the room to the roof of the shed, nor a safe way of lifting the pipe up given the mass of it. The pipe was knocked back down and re-affixed. Matt plans to remove the elbow tomorrow another way.

Other tasks done today was the annual exam on the Warflat which Matt and Nick did, with me oiling the brake gear. Matt and Dave went to Loughborough to measuring across the roof width on the Shock Palvan and to take a picture of the CCT behind the loco shed, though more on this in the future. Once back Dave carried on filling the coach, ready for sanding next weekend.

That wraps up this weekend’s activities, next weekend is a bank holiday so should see a lot of activity on the coach with the next sand and 2nd undercoat being applied. As always, join us then and see how e get on.

16/05/21 – Vans on the move and Roof progress

Once again Jack and I popped into Quorn Friday afternoon to progress labelling the “bulk Load”. We now stand at 130 boxes in the van, with our thanks to Eddie who continues to collect and assemble the boxes.

On to Saturday and initially a split group. Nick, Ross and Jake blowing down the roof of the no longer Yellow Coach and applying primer to the roof furniture.

Dave and I started at Quorn acting as travelling fitters for the Goods Guard refresher runs to establish repairs carried out to the Medfit were successful, the Containers were secure, giving a look over of the set to ensure no running problems and generally on hand to react to any issues, certainly as the set has been stationary for a substantial amount of time. It was also the first time the Containers have ran together and the first outing for B786181.

With no issues we left the vans in the hands of the Traincrew and made our way to Rothley for the roof prime.

With the roof complete we moved over to the ferry tank, removing the rusted bolts from the catwalk and securing the handwheel to the brake standard.

Dave also helped the C&W team by applying further signwriting to the Kitchen Car for the dining rake. Whilst Nick applied sealant to choice areas.

On to Sunday with the roof painting continuing, this time undercoat and once again starting with the furniture first.

This was quickly followed by the rest of the roof. This will now be left to harden over the week with gloss on next weekend’s agenda.

With the roof complete Nicks attention turned to trimming the window mastic and sealing the windows.

Ross fitting the new door lock.

And for me scrapping and priming the sole bar light boxes.

We are slowly making progress and the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is starting to come into view. As always join us next week and we will endeavour to keep you informed.

09/05/21 – Tank Train Together

Last week, we started the long task of scraping the roof of the Yellow Coach, which we continue this weekend. Matt has also been continuing postering the bulk load boxes, with 73 currently sat in the van waiting. Eddie is also sourcing more, so we are well on our way to achieving our target of filling the van. (Of interest to some, it takes 314 boxes to fill the van with the size of box we’ve got!)

As aluded to above, this weekend our intended focus was the roof of the Yellow Coach, so scraping was continued. This took most of the team most of Saturday.

Dave, looking to expand his signwriting experience, assisted Jamie and Pat on their work on 1525 as both have been really helpful to us in our stint at Rothely. Dave signwrote the gas box lids, some of the solebar writing and ETH socket plates.

Sunday’s first task for me was to check the ropes and chains on the two containers at Quorn. The Van train is running in a couple of weekends time for crew refreshment, so it was necessary to check the ropes. These are purely for aesthetic purposes as the container is secured in the Medfit by other means.

Once I got to Rothley Dave, Nick and Jamie were prepping to shunt the yard, which culminated in the six finished tanks put together for the first time.

Four tanks have come down for their exam of which two require an axlebox exam and all bar one an inspection sheet. Four vacuum hoses were made up and fitted and the train pipe integrity checked.

Matt and I washed the two tanks completed by the Swithland Wagon Group and I then fitted a bung to the out feed pipe of the China Clay Slurry tank, which had a tap off to log the pressure of the liquid loaded. Matt also made spacers for the brake rigging on A6581, which has its wood removed, but nothing put back in its stead.

Last task for me was to start fitting the extra door lock to the Yellow Coach, as has been done to the Test Car. I sadly didn’t take any pictures of this, but fitting a Euro Cylinder into the door is a better and cleaner solution than a crude hasp and staple.

There is some more for me to do on the lock fitting next week, along with hopefully painting the roof of the coach. As always, join us then and see what we get up to!

03/05/21 – Scrape, Scrape the roof.

This Wednesday was a slightly altered HRA Awards. Due to the pandemic the awards were presented online. Unfortunately none of the top spots for us but it is still an achievement to be nominated for two categories.

Our congratulations go out to all the the winners and fellow nominees.

On to Saturday and the main focus being the East side of the Yellow/Grey/Mess coach

Dave made a start at removing the paint from the windows of the west side, we shall be manufacturing boards to fit behind the glass in these locations.

Whilst we were focusing on the coach Richard continued the preparation of the Ferry Tank

With the coach completed for the day Dave and I looked at the label clips on the tank. One had suffered quite bad with corrosion. This was removed and corrosion cut out.

The surfaces were prepared and primed, refitted and sealed

The BR style wagon labels were also removed as these are not prototypical for a Ferry tank in original condition.

With the grinder already out we shortened the platform bolts and profiled the angle iron fitted last week.

Jake also applied primer to the end platform

Sunday and Michael began by removing the rotten wood from the top of the tank, whilst Dave continued the removal of the window paint.

We then moved on to the task of preparing the roof of the mess coach for paint. Scraping, scraping and more scraping.

The scraping continued into Monday, and continued all day.

At the end of the day we had completed over 2/3 of the roof. So no prizes for guessing how we’ll be starting next weekend’s activities. As always we’ll let you know.

25/04/21 – Less and less Yellow

A bit of a quieter week for us this week, but no let up on progress. Before we got onto the weekend, we’ll cover a little bit of work done in the week. Eddie has been obtaining boxes by the car full. The recent batch are all the same size and shape, so we are making a bulk van load for Photo Charters/Galas. With the blessing of M Wright & Son, Matt has been applying a period appropriate branding to the boxes. From the ones done already, a van or trailer of these are just going to look brilliant.

This weekend we’ve been working on the Ferry Tank and the Yellow Coach. Dave and I concentrated on the Yellow Coach, sanding down the filler applied last week then patch priming any bare metal areas ready for undercoat. We are undercoating at this stage in the full knowledge that there is more filling and sanding to do. The one single colour of the undercoat will help us pick out and remaining defects in the bodywork, instead of struggling with the patchwork of multiple paint colours showing through.

The rest of the team concentrated on the Ferry Tank, with Richard (Nice to have you back!) and Michael scraping and sanding the barrel; ready for painting. Matt and Nick carried on removing the platform plates and preparing the end for the replacement arrangement. Last thing to do was etch prime the back of the new aluminium deck plate.

Sunday saw a coat of undercoat applied to the west side of the coach, the north end and half of the south end. Michael, Jake, Eireni and I did this. It is weird seeing the coach as a single colour, but we’ll get used to it I’m sure.

Matt and Nick re-assembled the platform end of the Ferry Tank, fitting a new deck plate, kick plate and refitting the hand rail. Michael initially continued sanding the tank, but this had to stop while we applied the paint.

Next steps for the coach is to clean, scrape and paint the roof, then paint the other side with another round of sanding and filling to follow. Work on the tank continues apace with more sanding and scraping and some work due on the catwalk on the tank top. We’ll be back, as always, next weekend!

18/04/21 – Frantic wagon restoration

As our last update stated from Monday we could return to normally scheduled activities. So a few of us decided to hit the ground running. If you follow the Rothley C&W facebook page you will have seen what we have been up too. Monday with Dave and I chalking up 3436.

Jake joining us and focusing on the details, those being the swan necks and air pipes, along with the axle boxes, brake levers and cast lettering.

I applied the OLE warning flashes refurbished way back on New Years day

Then I applied gloss white to the previously primed oval plates and also masked and painted the twin high speed traffic stars.

Then with mahl sticks in hand Dave and I began signwriting, Dave initially focussing on the sole bar details and the tank for me.