News and Updates

12/08/18, 1T57 50 years

The weekend saw the GCR commemorate 50 years since the end of mainline timetabled steam and the final service 1T57 having been hauled by 70013 Oliver Cromwell.  I of cause commemorated in my own style dressed as a disgruntled employee of the London Midland Region, precisely 50 years to the day.

Saturday also saw Nick and Jake key and paint the handrails on M730562.20180812_183245.jpg

On to Sunday, I started with applying coats of white to the veranda ceilings,  With Nick and Jake turning their attention to the underframe first scraping down and applying bitumen.

Between coats of white and the spots of rain, I chalked and painted the signwriting to the West side of the vehicle and Nick refitted the Wagon Label clip to the East side removed for planks to be replaced.

Still a few more final details to apply including new windows but the end is now in sight.20180812_183424
Oh, and what of Ross you ask,  his view is slightly different to ours as he continues to enjoy the Sun in Greece.39048336_1693780367411696_6739123649602650112_n.jpg

06/08/2018 – Midland again

Welcome to another update from Quorn Wagon and Wagon. This weekend has seen the van train running, the station reverting back to 1968 and the LMS brake van painted into top coat. The BG (81382) has also been outshopped this week, and looks marvellous (well done to Jamie Swanson and Patrick Newborough, it looks excellent)!

The weekend has seen the LMS brake painted up into top coat (bauxite). On Saturday Morning, I began by sanding the dock side of the van, whilst Nick set up the scaffold tower, and scraped the West side of the van. Once the van was sanded, it got a quick blow down with the air line, in preparation for the application of the wood primer.


Some of the veranda wood had also been stripped of paint, so these got a quick spray of primer too. The primer was given some time to go off, and then the undercoat was applied all around, including the ends, and verandas.

Whilst I was spraying the undercoat, Nick found that he could peel the paint of the LMS box van (M500xxx) as the bitumen paint underneath the top coat was getting warm in the sun, so he spent a while doing that, and then in every other opportunity in the weekend.

On to Sunday, which saw the van having the top coat applied, including in the veranda. The verandas on the van are quite large, which make them easier to spray. The BR brake was a pain, due to only being the width of a person, so the air pipe and my clothing kept catching the wet paint.

After the top coat was applied, it was left to go off. The new planks got a second coat, then both the van sides got a second coat. Matt follow me around with a paint brush, picking up areas the spray gun couldn’t get into. He also painted an inspection hatch he’d made in the interior. In addition to this, he’d also manufactured a new wooden backing plate for the wagon label clip for the dock side of the van.


We have also cut out the interior seat side panels, which can be fitted next week.

Next weekend should see the van’s handrails picked out and the windows changed all round. These have been ordered (in glass effect perspex) and we await delivery.

Thanks for reading!


29/07/18 Matthew 7:25

Work continues on M730562 despite the rain.
As Nick was alone Saturday he spent the time cleaning the inside of the van and filling over the screws.


Sunday was business as usual with Myself and Ross joining Nick. With the wet weather, there was no chance of starting the external repaint of the vehicle. So attention turned to the inside.  I sanded the filler applied by Nick.  There were a few remaining activities on the outside of the van and during breaks in the wet Nick and Ross carried these out,  mainly one final bolt for a handrail and a few missing screws.

Attention then turned to second coats of Cream and Bauxite.

Nick also manufactured and fitted a new seat base for the East side as the original was removed for previous work and was too fragile to refit.


We also made some BR style door signs there use we shall reveal in the next update.


Finally, we have made some positive steps towards Identifying the LMS van that has recently joined the collection.  Our thanks go to Phil Hetherington and John Hall for their efforts so far and we have reached a likely identification.

The story so far sees a number of 500XXX vans being condemned at Barassie of these one makes it too Inverkeithing infact of all 1000 Derby built D1891 diagramed vans only one makes it to this location.   Inverkeithing is on the Rosyth Branch so is the nearest BR location identified by a 4 digit depot code to the Naval Dockyard at Rosyth the location our vehicle was purchased from.  This single-vehicle was 500954, a number of other avenues are being looked into which hopefully will take this likely identification to a positive.

Matthew 7:25
“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”

A bible quote I think aptly describes today.

22/07/18 A new skin(ish)

Another weekend, another update from QWW. This weekend sees us continue work on M730562, which seems to be becoming a bit of a saga!

Following last weeks stripping of side planks, we have taken delivery of the new, replacement side planks from Harlow Brother’s Timber merchants. We took them a sample of an existing board taken from the side of the van, and they have cut the boards to size, machined the edges to have the rebates and bevels, and finally pressure treated the board to tanalise them. The only thing left for us to do was cut them to length and fit them to the van!


Saturday saw all the side planks fitted, and the long bottom hand rail refitted to the East/Dock side of the van.


On Sunday, Nick and I refitted the rest of the handrails to the vehicle, and fitted new capping wood to the ends of the planks, adjacent to each access doorway. We believe the the capping wood isn’t an LMS original, and was added later by BR. We opted to replace it with some hardwood, as these support the vertical hand rails used by the guard to access the vehicle from ground level. Meanwhile, Matt was carrying out shunting demonstrations at Mountsorrel’s running weekend. There he formed a train using the wagons we have based up there, and the Midland Brake.


Thanks for reading!


15/07/18 Seat backs and planks off

Work continues on M730562, the replacement wood has been ordered and is due in the week,  in preparation Nick and Jake have been removing the life-expired planks.

Unfortunately, one of the bolts on the west side was located behind the boarding beside the internal locker.  So my first task was to cut and manufacture an access hatch as this will be a reoccurring issue.

Once complete my attention was turned to the seat backs for the Guard.  I removed the old layers of upholstery.  This exposed the frame which required some repair and reinforcing.

Both the east and west side were repaired and trial fitted

Of interest are the layers of upholstery removed,  unfortunately, none dating back as far as the LMS.  How do we know?  The first layer above the base horsehair is clearly marked with its manufacturer this, of course, being British Railways.  Successive layers having the British Rail Double Arrow logo on the reverse.

Sunday continued with Nick and Jake removing life expired planks as well as re-securing all of the internal planking which has detached from the floor due to worn fasteners.

Ross and I started to upholster the Guards seats continuing the work I began Saturday,  Foam and vinyl was cut to size. The vinyl matches that applied to the vehicle during BR usage. The vinyl was sewn into a box shape to fit over the foam backing and stapled into position.

Once the seat backs were completed a base for each seat was created and foam and vinyl covers again manufactured and sewn. The seat backs were trial fitted but not fitted fully.

The seats were then also trial fitted although again not fully fitted,  this will be done once all internal and external work is complete.  The vinyl will be affixed to the seat base hence its baggy appearance.  As a trial, we began planning the side cushioning for the seat sides.

The final task was the replacement of the Starter motor in Nicks van, this is vital as this is the vehicle required to collect the wood for next weekends tasks.37137188_10160539785630103_1240763094867640320_n.jpg

08/07/2018 – Midland Brakes

This weekend we haven’t managed to achieve much, mainly due to the heat. On Saturday, Matt made a visit to the Mountsorrel Heritage Centre at Bond Lane, to assist in the signwriting of their Midland Brake van. It looks marvellous and awaits a few final details before it is release to traffic

At Quorn, Nick and I were working on the Midland Brake’s successor, the LMS brake M730562. Initially, we started on the west side (where it was shady) where we replaced the stepboard that runs the length of the body of the van. we had sourced a quite twisted bit of wood that had the right dimensions. This was trimmed, and clamped into place, ready for drilling. The board was drilled and then the underside was painted in black bitumen paint. The plank was then bolted into place and again coated in black bitumen paint on the top side. the next step for this board is the kickplate backing.

As the sun moved around and the day got hotter, we moved round to the dockside. There, we began to remove the handrails and capping wood from the dock side of the brake van, in preparation for some planks to be replaced. We are currently sourcing the replacement wood for this, for which we had the remove a plank. This took a surprising amount of disassembly, both inside and out, including the stove side seat base.

On Sunday, Nick and I effected a repair to the South-west step board, used by the guard for access. The metal plate that supports the end of the axlebox cover flap had rotted, so the step board had to be removed in order to replace the plate. I coated the replacement plate in red oxide before it was refitted. Whilst this occured, Matt started signwriting the van’s number above the ducket seat on the side of the van that is fitted with the seats/storage benches.

Matt mainly concentrated on the interior of the vehicle, removing a redundant batten of timber, and making a cover plate for the bit of capping that was displaced. We think the batten of timber was part of a lamp filling table, which would have had a zinc top. We removed it because it interrupted the demarcation line between the cream and the bauxite, and had no purpose. Matt also touched in some areas of the cream paint that had been bled into with the removal of the masking tape used when painting the bauxite.

We finish the update on an announcement. We have recently acquired an LMS van, from the David Clarke Railway Trust. M500604 (was M501438) is in use a nut and bolt store for the Windcutter Group, a purpose it will still continue to serve. we plan to re-clad the van to that the van can be released to traffic. The van is also still holding the interior of the packing van, B854782, so we are loath to start working on it whilst these items are held under cover.

Thanks for reading!

01/07/18 Don’t touch, If its White, Cream or Bauxite its wet.

This update includes work carried out during the week as I popped in after my Early shift to carry out some tasks on M730562.  Monday I applied a coat of primer to the bare woodwork on the East side and red oxide to areas of bare metal.


Wednesday I was back to apply a coat of white to the ceiling


On to the weekend and the next colour to apply was the deep cream, as per B954268 we are applying the British Transport Commision scheme for brake vans of white, cream and bauxite.


With the ongoing heatwave the cream was ready for masking Sunday, the first coat of 3ft 6in high bauxite was applied as well as the vacuum gauge which had been removed for painting.  A second coat of bauxite will be required but we shall give it a week for the first to harden off.


The final task this weekend was the application of Gloss white and detailing of the Handbrake wheel.


Nick and Jake carried out a number of tasks and drew up plans for the purchase and replacement of parts of the exterior cladding.
Ross was away with his work at the IMechE Railway Challenge 2018.
His team of first-year graduates from SNC-Lavalin came 2nd out of 10. The competition was to design and build a locomotive to compete in a few dynamic tests and challenges. Dynamic challenges included Traction, regenerative braking and energy storage.