News and Updates

15/09/19 – Back on the Wagon(s)

We are back to normality following the Diesel Gala, and have been working on wagons and wagon loads. However, before work on that started, we had some goodies to investigate with regards to getting the intercom system working in Test Car 2. Using the 3 speaker boxes we have, we can get the intercom working in the slip end, Main saloon and Kitchen. There is the hope of finding some more Speaker boxes to expand the system as necessary. Having proved it, we have developed a plan for its continued usage.


On to Wagons, and I started by continuing to grease the pins in the brake linkages on the Air Braked Steel High. Armed with a 12-ton hydraulic jack, 2 hammers and various punches, (oh and a big bucket of grease) I  crawled under the wagon to remove a few more pins, clean up the holes and replaced the pins with a fresh smear of grease.  This resulted in the successful repair of this vehicle’s hand brake and removal of the defect labels.


In the past, it was thought to be the slack adjuster causing the brakes to lock up. After surveying the vehicle, it was found that a number of linkages were seized, causing the brake to jam on. The slack adjuster is working absolutely fine, much to our relief. A number of linkages were done the week before the Diesel Gala, with Nick sorting a few more once TPO duties had finished.

Getting sick of crawling around from under the Steel High, I decided to remove the floor with assistance from Nick. The floor is due replacement as all of the boards are rotten. The floor came out in no time, thanks to a novel feature included by the LNER on this wagon. Instead of the floor being fixed in by bolts, the floor is held captive in a C-channel attached to the wagon side. there are 2 cut-outs to drop the boards into, and provide the planks are appropriately sized, should slide along to where needed.


While I was crawling under/over the Steel High, Dave, Jake and Matt started work on the Fibreglass containers. Matt started fabricating a plate to repair the end door of his container, while Dave and Jake set about freeing the end doors on Nick’s container.


Matt disappeared early in order to take part in a photo charter at East Kirkby with their Lancaster “Just Jane”.


Having got the Oxy-propane cutting bottles out, Dave, Nick and I started to heat up and manipulate the bent straps on Nick’s container and loosened the rings on Matt’s. In the meantime, Jake was on the roof of Nick’s container cleaning out the debris which had found itself under the lifting frame.


On to Sunday, Matt finished the repair to his containers door as well as removing the box from the locking bar and adding a missing staple.


Nick continued Jake’s task from Saturday by completing the roof de-veg of both Containers.


The final task for the weekend was to secure the strapping of Nicks container, this was drilled by Matt and then secured in place by both.  As a safety measure and to keep the 2 containers looking similar, the same was done to Matts.


This concludes this update, more as always next week.


08/09/19 – Test Car on display

Here we are, Diesel Gala and Test Car 2 is on display for the public. Dave and I were in attendance for all 3 days with Nick and Jake poping in between TPO duties.


We are humbled by the number of people who came to see us,  especially those of you that regularly read this website. Thank you all for your generous donations and finally thank you to those former BR and Serco staff that came to see your Test Car.
Specifically, Paul Mosley, Ray Smith, Chris O’Donnell and Dave Moore.


A few more images from over the gala:


Back on to wagons next weekend, something a little flatter we feel.

01/09/19 – Test Car Done

We begin this weekend with an exciting number of items.  Our thanks go to Serco Rail Technical Services for the loan of these items that will aid in telling Test Car 2s story.

The most exciting of which being the Slip Coupling, with the coupling and coach reunited we re-hung it back in its rightful place.

All of these pieces of equipment will be discussed further during our tours over the diesel gala. Work of cause continues with the gala target in view.  My first task was to progress the “A” end door, marking out, masking and applying the stripes to the door.

Jake cleaned up and applied undercoat to the buffers. Whilst Dave continued with the “B” end headstock details before being assisted by Jake.

Nick and Ross scrapped down the eastside underframe before once again Jake took the lead and sprayed it black.

We also had a look at our new signs for next weekend’s opening. Hopefully, these will leave visitors in no doubt whether we are open or not.

On to Sunday and preparations continue, sometime in the late 80s a member of the testing team applied a car sticker to the “A” End door, we decided to recreate this detail.

The rest of the team continued with the eastside underframe springs and axle box covers as well as the buffers receiving black a coat of black.

With the car sticker complete I continued sign-writing, Brake Stars, ETH Lightning bolts, wheel profile markings, and the builder’s plate.

Nick and Ross then turned their attention to the defective hand brake on the Steel-High

Dave, Jake and I then turned to preparing for the public.  Tidying, an extension to the fence and adding the components to the steel high required for slip/brake testing.

We shall not go into detail yet, all will be revealed next weekend.  The last thing to do, however, test the operation of the slip coupling.

All is in place for our first public opening for Test Car 2.  6th, 7th and 8th September Quorn and Woodhouse station behind the signal box. Please come and see us and we will explain this unique vehicle’s place in Railway History.20190901_201016.jpg

26/08/19 – A Splash of Colour

Welcome to another Quorn Wagon & Wagon update. This weekend has been of the hot, Bank Holiday variety which meant 3 days of shade seeking to keep cool. In between this, we’ve been working towards the completion of ‘2 car’ which is becoming tantalisingly close. Matt started by applying the coaches identification to the east side, while Jake painted the door shuts in Rail Blue. Nick and I cleaned, scraped and painted the ‘A’ End headstock, so we would be ready to colour code everything later in the weekend. Nick also took the black paint and touched in anywhere on the bogies that required more paint.

With the South End signwriting completed, Matt moved to the ‘B’ end sliding gangway door to paint it into undercoat for the Warning Yellow paint. Once completed, he then started the ‘B’ End signwriting.

I cleaned and then painted the ‘A’ end ETH boxes into their Mid Red undercoat, ready for the Light Orange. This took a while as it required a steady hand. The undercoat dried quite quickly, so Jake followed me, painting the ETH boxes into the Light Orange enamel paint. I performed a repair to the Volvo loading shovel, which enabled its movement to the other side of the turntable road in preparation of the upcoming Diesel Gala. This also involved moving Danny, which proved a farcical affair, as said dumper is currently without steering. With the end door undercoat dry, Matt applied a layer of Warning Yellow to the gangway door and the finished off some of the ETH Orange. As a final act, Matt mixed up some filler and applied it to the Slip End gangway door, ready for Sunday.

Matt began Saturday with a quick maths exercise, as he attempted to work out the spacing of the B end wasp stripes, as these are unequal.

I sanded the filler applied to the Slip end door, and then undercoated the door, ready for Warning Yellow Gloss. At some point in the future the Slip End door is going to have to be removed and planed down as it catches both the frame at the top and the floor, but for now, it can stay in place, especially as it won’t be opened regularly. Dave concentrated on the ‘B’ end where he cleaned and painted the headstock black. Matt also wire-brushed the OLEO buffers fitted to the slip end. We had planned to quarter them, however with the amount of wagons it has been coupled to, the buffers are quite scratched and to polish them will take quite a lot of work. These will be painted black in due course.

Matt and Jake then fitted the Main Reservoir Cocks back to the Air Braked LNER steel high. This has been chosen as the ‘wagon under test’ for our opening of the Test Car at the Diesel Gala. These were then painted up into the undercoat for the yellow, by Jake.

The undercoat on the slip end door had dried, so I gave it a first coat of Warning Yellow. This got a second coat on Monday morning.  Matt also painted the Lighting bolt on the Orange painted ETH boxes.  Monday also saw a shunt take place in the south yard, which mainly removed the Test Car from the dock, and replaced the GUV in the dock.  After reconnecting power and resiting the steps to the Test Car and the tool van, we got stuck in.  The ‘B’ End of the test car was the focus of the attention, with the Air and vacuum pipes picked out in Red and Yellow, and the ETH boxes painted into their mid-red undercoat.  Matt also applied the ‘essay’ to the end of the coach.

Dave painted the air cocks on the Steel High. The east side fuel filler cap also got a polish.

And finally, some finishing pictures of the Test Car in its Gala Position.

With the Test Car in the final furlong to the finish, we find ourselves completing smaller and smaller jobs. Next week will see the East Side underframe and bogies cleaned and painted black, and a big tidy to open the test can to the public. Thanks for reading!

18/08/19 – Matt on a hot tin roof

This weekend was ‘”R” day,  that’s R for roof.  First job application of Gloss to “2 Car’s” roof furniture and Red Oxide to the Generator Exhaust and guttering around the water filler.

Whilst I was taking care of that. Nick and Dave slightly rearranged the containers to allow us to set up staging on the west side of the vehicle. Then began the main event.  First a coat of primer suitable for galvanised steel.


This left a very nice blue tinge to the roof but as the instructions recommended overcoat as soon as possible that’s just what we did. So after a lunch break out with the undercoat.


With the roof done, for now, Dave turned to the Sole bar and applied a coat of black gloss.


The new depot allocation was also applied.20190817_182155

On to Sunday and roof work continued with the topcoat of BR Roof Grey being applied.  Although it’s only a short sentence here.  The amount of work is considerable.  As an idea, almost 3 Gallons of paint was applied this weekend.



With the roof done,  we continued with some detailing. Dave painted above the gangways and the gangways themselves. I neatened up and completed the lining whilst Nick made touch-ups to fly damage and small areas of overspray.


The list is getting smaller and the end is beginning to come it to view.  We have enjoyed doing “2 Car”  but honestly, we can’t wait to get back on to wagons and containers.


11/08/19 – Test Car two sides

The weather, as usual, has been it’s changeable self.  With this in mind, we took some time to do a midweek spray. Nick, Ross and I masked and applied the Flame Red.

Whist the side was being sprayed I applied undercoat and topcoat to the Bogie Axel end covers.  Looking through Daves images from his BR test days the hassler unit appears to have had a blue base hence why we have gone with this.

On to Saturday and scattered showers I did, however, manage to add further details to the bogies painting the springs and dampers, the Smiths and Hasler as well as the P1 wheel flange marking to the “A” End bogie.

Whilst I did this Nick and his eldest Liam took some time to look over the hydravane compressor which has been found to have a faulty fuel pump.

On to Sunday and no change in the weather, high winds as we applied the masking.20190811_095523.jpgWith what can only be described as luck we applied the Rail blue between showers and changes in wind direction.


The delicate task of removing the masking commenced and as the sun reappeared we gazed upon the Test Car with its DM&EE livery applied to both sides.


To celebrate a flash of the head and tail lamps and a toot of the electric horns.


During the moments of dampness, I took the opportunity to sign write one of the first aid boxes for the brake vans.20190811_163840With 3 weeks until the GCR diesel gala and with the topcoat on both side we are happy to say the Vehicle will be available for public viewing at the event.  Its location is of course still to be discussed with the GCR, but we will be manning the vehicle over the 3 days and welcome people to come and view our work and Daves old workplace.  If the weather holds Roof paint is scheduled for next weekend.




04/08/19 – Déjà Two (car)

This weekend, our progress has again been focused on Test Car 2, getting it ready for our upcoming public opening.  Last week, we had to leave 2 car with its filler applied, but unsanded due to the weather. This weekend we have sanded and filled and sanded some more. Matt also cleaned out the gutter, which was full of wet, flaky roof paint.

Dave and I continued sanding the bodyside, concentrating of the filler. With the filler all sanded, we identified areas that needed further filling. Using the Wadpol, Matt polished all the windows to ready them for masking. The masking film requires a clean surface to stick to. Matt then began masking the windows in preparation for the undercoat. I assisted with the application of the window film.

Dave resumed his focus on the ends of the coach, sanding and filling the gangway fitted end of the vehicle. This end of the coach appears to have suffered the attention of the metal maggots at the bottom, so Dave has made it as good as we can with fibreglass and normal filler. img_20190803_121350-13250327592165418627.jpg

Come the end of Saturday, the coach was left filled, sanded smooth and masked.

Sunday rolls around and with it Matt passes his Safety Critical train dispatch assessment, as a member of station staff.wp-15649500207896676092388480076175.jpg

While Matt completed that, Dave and I set about rectifying an issue with our Perkins genset.  The stop solenoid hasn’t been able to pull far enough to allow the generator to start, which usually requires a pull on the fuel pump linkages. We removed said article, and took it to the saloon to test it.

The testing revealed that the solenoid worked, but Dave dissected it and found some dirty contacts between the main and auxiliary coils on the solenoid. Both coils work together when pulling the linkage, but then one get switched out to hold the linkage back. with the contacts cleaned, we refitted and adjusted the solenoid which now works a treat!

The coach got undercoated today, with Jake applying once I’d shown him how to assemble and use the pressure pot I’d recently bought. We thinned down the undercoat, and I set Jake on his way. Jake has been the first of us to use Test Car 2’s compressor to spray paint. Dave continued his work at the gangway end by brush painting inside the gangway, and the gangway faceplate.

Like with the other side, once the grey was done and dry, I went down the coach with some white gloss for the white lines (after an alfresco lunch!)

Once completed, I cleaned the spray gun out, and then used it to apply black gloss to the underframe and bogies of the painted side of the coach. As is usual when spraying underframes, I had somebody following me getting areas I couldn’t get to. Whilst this was occurring, Dave painted the gangway ends in black gloss.

Matt polished and then painted details around the air brake distributor and reservoir.

In non test car 2 related news. We’ve found a number of conflat chains, which we will be preparing for secure our 2 containers to our 2 conflats.img_20190804_163119-18296875344157679845.jpg

That is where we leave this weekend’s update. We’ve ordered the flame red for  this side, which Matt picks up and we then apply tomorrow evening. With upcoming holidays and a looming deadline for the coaches completion, some after work working is required!

Thanks for reading!