News and Updates

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

15/05/22 – Starting the final details.

Its vintage vehicle weekend at the GCR, so Madge and Jerry out representing us in the main yard. They also made a new friend who spent the night with them, I wonder what conversations were had?

They then spent Sunday together.

On to the main event, as we move closer to the Bogie Bolsters completion.

Nick and Richard focusing on the bolsters, de-weeding and creosoting.

Dave with paint and brush applied the east side lettering.

All that remains is the all important shunt by the Operations department to gain access to the hidden bogie.

I also had my brushes out completing our secret project.

Which was then mounted in the evening.

Thomas was also on site and was able to reach all those areas the less flexible members of the group could not.

On to Sunday, and a few finishing touches on the sign.

Literally dotting the I’s as I missed them, tidying of the right hand edge and prime and gloss the back.

Next task was the annual exam of the Midland Brake van, as this is due and the vehicle required for mid week work .

We were aware of a foot step issue with the vehicle and this was duly changed and creosoted.

Final task for me, the first trip home for Jerry. An absolute pleasure with no issues.

That brings us to the end of this update, lets do it all again next weekend shall we?

08/05/22 – May Bus Rally

Hello all and welcome to this week’s update. Its a rare weekend without Nick, so let’s see what we’ve got up to.

Saturday saw the bus rally take place at Quorn, and we were asked to open the Test Car as an attraction. Jerry went and met a few of the buses, including Beatrice and Billie. Dave, Matt and Richard held the fort for the day, and by all accounts it was quite busy. Thank you to all those who came to view Test Car 2 and donated, every bit goes back into the wagons and the coaches. Matt also had the sales stand out for its second airing, so thanks to those who purchased items from us.

Sunday just had Matt, Eireni and I on site. Our first job was to pick Matt up from Rothley. Jamie has very kindly finished Jerry off with a polish and detail. You are in for a treat, but I’ll be saving the pictures for later.

Once back at Quorn, our first task was to find and then sink some suitable posts to be used for a special project, more on that in coming weeks. Between the two of us, plus some assistance from Jake, we got the posts sunk in the ground and Matt got them cleaned and painted.

At this point, I made a start on painting the bogies on the Bogie Bolster. I had hoped to do both sides of both bogies, but it was unable to be shunted out. I concentrated on the West side bogies, these being accessible. I did one coat over the bogie frame and then left it while we had tea and did a second coat. This leaves the east side to do when the wagon is out of the Dock.

Matt tidied up the yard after opening the Test Car, then painted a last few details on the one painted BRUTE. These details being the chalkboard panel, its new assigned number and the serial number plate.

Once complete, we got the call from Jamie to come and pick Jerry up from Rothley. In this case pictures speak 1000 words:

Thank you Jamie, Jerry has really come up a treat! That about wraps up this week. I’m not sure what the plan is next week, but I’m sure that someone will write about it!

02/05/22 – Spring Diesel gala & Mixed Traffic event.

Its time for the first public opening of Test Car 2 in 2022.

Once again the wife and I are using the Mess coach to its full potential. Staying on site for this bank holiday weekend. First task on arrival Thursday evening, setting up barriers and signage.

On to Friday with Dave and I opening the doors.

Jerry also made his public debut loaded with test equipment for the Test Car.

For Dave and I that was our weekend, assisted by Nick, Ross and Richard various times throughout the weekend. Saturday was completed with a chippy as the trains ran in to the night.

Eireni and Michelle manned our new sales stand, all proceeds going back into the wagons, many thanks to those who purchased, visited and supported us.

On the wagon front, Nick completed the underframe paint of the Bogie Bolster and refitted the remaining floor planks on Saturday. Final task is to paint the bogies, the request has been sent to the Ops department who hopefully will be moving it out of the dock to allow completion of the vehicle.

Sunday, Nick and Ross replaced the final side sheet requiring replacement this year, this being on the west side of B786348.

On to Monday and the Mixed traffic event with the mixed freight in operation.

After many failed attempts to pin down the colour for the Brutes, I decided to turn chemist and mix our own, using up some of the left over enamel paint from previous projects.

More than happy with the colour match.

The brake handle was also painted yellow towards the end of the day.


There has been so many images/videos from the event but the following from Jason Cross gives a flavour of the event. including some dodgy wagon fitters at the end.

We shall once again be opening the Test Car next Saturday for the bus rally, with Jerry on site the sales stand open, please come and say hello.

As always more next weekend.

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.

18/04/22 – Brutes, Bolsters and British Rail Bumper edition

As mentioned in the last update, Ross and I are having a week to focus on my 1988 Escort van, christened Jerry. Amongst that a splattering of other projects, weather permitting.

On to Monday, with the prep work carried out over the weekend, we jumped straight into it, well if I’m honest we didn’t. First I dropped off my recently acquired steel wheels for refurbishment. Followed by a spring clean of B954268 but more on that lower down.

Then we jumped straight into it! A wipe down to remove contaminants that may have settled overnight, whilst Ross mixed the primer/sealer. This was applied thinly and will require a second coat, but we shall have to wait 8 hours.

What to do with this time?
We decided before the week that we would look at those little nitty-gritty projects that need to be progressed.

The BRUTEs (British Rail Universal Trolley Equipment)
Entering service in 1964 means they did see steam but only just. Our main intention, like our collection as a whole, is to maintain them and evoke those memories for people of the National network gone by.

We selected those that required light conservation, with the aim of undercoating one a day, given the above weather caveat.

It was given a wire wheel and then rained. It’s ready for primer and better weather.

I’m staying on site in our luxury Mess coach and for the evening was joined by Nick and also Owen from Chasewater, Owen is responsible for a certain set of Coal Hoppers, so we had a night of Pizza, talking wagons and painting box van side panels.

On to Tuesday, second coat of primer for Jerry.

The main event for Tuesday however was a visit by fellow Railway enthusiast turned brake van owner, Ollie Simons.

What originally started as a paint enquiry quickly developed into a opportunity for Ollie to view some of our fleet and specifically our two BR standard brake vans.

Ollie is the mastermind behind the Wardle Road Youtube channel and Facebook page. He has recently extended his hobby from OO gauge to 12inches to the foot gauge. If you have not seen his work or his channel, We throughly recommend it.

For his visit we warmed up B954268 and spent a day talking wagons. Ollie’s video from his visit is below;

The weather once again hindered plans, so we stripped Danny for paint and Nick arrived to add Gloss to the side sheets.

One of the advantages of staying onsite is the opportunity to see the behind the scenes workings of the GCR. A morning of loading the ballast hoppers and prep of a tamper.


On to Wednesday, and the main target for the whole week.

If you have not guessed already, we are heading for……………

British Rail Yellow, Golden Yellow, Warning panel Yellow, BS381C 365, call it what you wish, its safe to say its Yellow.

However the start was delayed by a faulty pressure switch on the compressor.


This gave me time to assemble the sign-writing templates as the weather once again decided no primer for the brute.

With the compressor repaired Ross mixed the paint.

Then applied 3 base coats.

Unfortunately, two areas reacted poorly and after a break for lunch this was sanded and reprimed

Once the primer had dried 3 layers of yellow were applied.

Although once again remedial action is required to the rear left wheel arch.

Thursday and for me the first time this year with the sign-writing brushes. I’ll let the images do the talking;

The lettering is applied as per BR14222 Painting and lettering schedule for British Rail road vehicles. Issued in 1986, this does state signwriting and the use of imperial units for the unladen weight.

The only addition being the vehicles name.

Whilst I was working my magic and with the sun in the sky, Ross was finally able to apply primer to the Brute. So much for the plan of doing one a day!

After primer, Ross tended to Jerry’s wheel arch in appropriate attire.

Friday, with all but Jake on site. For me and Ross, applying the lacquer to Jerry. First step as always, blow down then mix

Then application.

With that done the door was locked, mainly to stop me from prodding the soft paintwork.

With the hint taken I cleaned primed and top coated my wiper arms.

Nick was on van sides, assisted by Ross after work on Jerry, preparing B784409s North west side for removal.

Dave took on the task of sign-writing B780282 after its side sheet replacement last week.

Richard made a start on B928135 painting the outer frames, whilst I looked at the inner frames.

In a moment of madness, likely due to the sun, I modified a men at work sign to give warning of Nicks hammer habits.

Then to wrap up the day there was enough time to start removing some of Jerry’s masking.

Saturday just Nick, Richard, and Ross on site. Nick and Ross continued the side sheet replacement, removing the old one, scraping and painting the metalwork, and then fitting the new side.

Richard continued painting the solebar on the Bogie Bolster, with Ross assisting once the Vanwide was finished. Nick had a visitor in the afternoon, Dillon James and his wife. Dillon from the Mid Hants Railway wagon group was up visiting family and popped in to say hello and reminesse over Nick’s photo albums.

On to Sunday with Nick, Dave, Richard and, I on-site. Dave assembled the templates and then sign wrote B777171

Dave also applied the data panel dates to B784409 whilst Nick painted the nut heads around the replaced panel.

With their individual tasks complete, Dave and Nick joined Richard on the Bolster progressing the underframe repaint.

This was interspersed with a task on the Test Car. Due to some jack rust under the South West corner, that door had become stiff to open. So a touch of chiseling, hammering and packing the door hinges we now have a smoother operating door. This is in preparation for the GCR Diesel Gala when we will be opening the Test Car for the first time this year.

Dave also replaced the eastside wagon label clip block on the Bogie Bolster

For me and ably assisted by my wife Michelle, we demasked and refitted the removed components from Jerry. As well as brand new period appropriate number plates.

I also sanded down and painted the rear bumpers.

Apart from steel wheels and a polish that’s about it for the external alterations.

Finally we cover Monday, Nick and I on site. Focusing on the Bogie Bolster. Sign-writing for me. Back of the templates chalked and affixed into place.

Templates marked to transfer the chalk line

Then painted, including wagon plate a brake release stars.

Painting of the underframe was the order of the day for Nick.

We also did a few details. Vacuum and Air pipes as well as the identification plates on the removable Bolsters.


With that, that completes this update, my congratulations for staying with me. I’m going to let someone else write next weeks update.

As a reminder we shall be opening the Test Car for the Diesel Gala and Heritage Bus Rally

Off to work for a rest for me, and as always we’ll let you know what we have been up to next weekend.

10/04/22 – Bolsters, Bauxite and Bodywork

Evening everyone and welcome to another QW&W update. This weekend we’ve had most of the gang around for the weekend, so have been able to do a fair amount of work progressing several projects.

Dave and Richard continued work on the Bogie Bolster, painting the interior of the sides and ends which have been sat in undercoat all week. Dave also did an extra coat of gloss on the exterior of the sides and got the stanchions.

Nick and I made a start on removing the rotten side sheets from B777171. As with the last tranche of side sheets we’ve replaced, these have been ready for some time sat in gloss. Removal was a mixture of impact gun, and angle grinding, with the side sheets eventually free around mid morning. The frames were scraped and painted by lunch time, after which the side new side sheets went in with only a minor modification needed.

Matt continued the prep work on “Jerry“, which I assisted with once the side sheets were fitted to B777171. Jake also helped degreasing Jerry when he popped in.

The first task for Nick and I on Sunday was to cut the next and last 2 van sides we are replacing this time around. This is another panel on B784409 and a panel on B786348. These were cut, and then Nick painted them with wood primer. I moved onto applying some bitumen paint to the Bogie Bolster so that we can start getting the floor down again. Dave and Richard continued their work on the Bogie Bolster; scraping, wirebrushing and painting areas of the underframe.

Unfortunately, removing of the sealant applied while fitting the side sheets yesterday caused more damage than we’d have liked, so Dave re-coated the panels and then the frames of the van.