A small update this week due to the weather. Last weekend, we had to turn the heater off in the yellow coach, this weekend we could have done with another!
Down-Ly by at Quorn in the Snow
Snowy Van train.
Icicles down the side of the mess coach.
This weekend has focussed on B850498 to ready this vehicle for paint. We started by stripping old layers of paint by using a heat gun, as was successful on B780282. the heat gun proved of limited success, due to the wind and the temperature, so we cracked out the gas blowtorch. The gas torch proved very successful if a little vicious especially near the new roof sheet.
Matt scraping the van
Matt sanding the van, wearing a prototype of our new hi-vis coats!
Following the paint stripping, we sanded every panel using 40 grit paper. This cleared the small slivers of paint left during the stripping process and leaves a fairly even surface on the ply, ready to receive some primer when the weather is warmer. Unfortunately, we also killed our 2 sanders prepping this van, so the hunt begins for more!
A few small jobs were completed: Fitting wagon label clips and repainting the number after sanding, in order to abide by GCR rules. This has been stencilled under the chalkboard so that it won’t be seen when the van is painted up.
A little fragmented this weekend as we had a few distractions for members of the team, Mothering Sunday, Scout activities, a Photocharter, but more importantly the first Swapmeet of the year.
B850498 now has the dummy shock gear attached permanently and once it was fitted the bare aluminium received a coat of bitumen
A requirement for vehicles on the GCR is to have their running number clearly visible on serviceable vehicles. A number of the P Way fleet had lost their numbers so it was decided to apply these. Quite by chance, however, looking around the swapmeet we found an almost complete set of brass stencils these were put to work instantly. Although not to BR standard each vehicle is clearly identifiable and full signwriting will be complete as each goes through restoration, more than likely next year.
The big news this week, with thanks to the locomotive department, B850498 is no longer a van body resting on a chassis it is one single 12T Boxvan. The body and chassis were welded together in the week and unfortunately due to the weather has remained in the Loco shed awaiting return to Quorn.
With the van away we spent time cutting some felt pads for the imitation shock gear. These are essential because the brackets are made from aluminium and the van has a steel solebar. These materials although quite close on the galvanic scale are far enough apart to take steps to reduce corrosion.
We also took a trip to Loughborough to prepare the van sole bar for the permanent attachment of the imitation shock gear. Both sides were scraped, rubbed down and painted in bitumen again as a measure to reduce corrosion. We have not done the whole underframe as we usually spray the bodies first and there is a possibility of overspray.
Finally, for the theatrical van, we wrapped some more parcels as well as refreshing the wrappings over the newspapers. This meant that for the first time since preservation our Newspaper Packing van (GUV) was used for packing newspapers.
At the tail end of last weekend, I mentioned that we had prepped a roof sheet ready for fitting onto B762855. As it was still very much frozen upon arrival at Quorn, we shunted the vans down so that we could get the scaffold tower round all side of the van and be on even(-ish) floor.
The Roof end hoops were stripped off, along with the old roof covering. The roof boards were scraped of roof adhesive and then brushed off all debris.
Matt sweeping the roof
Matt and Brandon scraping the old roof adhesive
Brandon scraping roof hoops, whilst the old covering is removed
The new sheet, having been rolled up in the week, was hoisted up on the roof and rolled out and positioned. One end of the sheet was fixed to the van using one end hoop, and then tensioned north to south, and fixed in place with the next roof hoop.
Matt and Nick fixing roof hoop in place
New van variation?
The roof sheet was fixed along the side using stainless steel staples through the sheet and into the roof boards. The west side of the van (the side facing the running line/GUV and yellow coach) was positioned such that it could just be tucked up and fixed, which left the east side of the van with a huge curtain, as in the photo above. Curtainsides work for lorries, why not for box vans?
Today, the roof was painted black using black bitumenous paint and the leftover sheet on the sides were trimmed level with the frame of the van. Other tasks completed today was the scraping of B850498. It was hoped the van would have tripped to Loughborough in the week for the welding to be completed. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen so it is hoped that the van is moved to the loco shed this week.
Quorn Wagon and Wagon have had a busy weekend, we have worked on B850498, B954268 and prep work has been started for B762855. The van train has also been de-branded following the 2 recent photo charters and the Winter Gala.
As mentioned here previously, the donor chassis is that of a tank wagon. We know this was a saddle mounted tank wagon, built in 1942 for the Air Ministry. These had non-coacting push brakes. this means both sides can be applied independently of each other. Originally the push brake rods had wooden spacers, these were found to be rotten and could rotate and fall onto the railhead.
The wood was removed and replaced with galvanised steel pipe, as was used by BR to repair these items.
It was decided to replace a single floorboard in the south end of this van. The old plank was removed and a suitable replacement found and cut to fit in the hole. The new plank was then dropped back into the hole, and the hole drilled for the bolt. Job done, you would think. Unfortunately, as with many jobs in preservation the 5-minute jobs often take much longer as was the case here. In the end, 5-floor planks were replaced in this van. Under some of the boards was found some pea gravel, evidently from its time as a grounded body at Swithland Sand and Gravel.
Close up of finished floor.
Matt on nut duty under the van.
The imitation shock-gear the Matt has conjured up has now also been removed in anticipation of the vehicle moving to the loco shed at Loughborough for the completion of the body to chassis welding. B954268
After the photo charter on 12th Feb, the van train was deposited back to us with B954268 as the brake van for the set. It was looking a bit worse for wear, with some planks under the East side ducket having rotted through, and a layer of green slime covering the north end of the vehicle. Whilst cleaning a step board was found to be rotten, and this was replaced too.
Rotten board removed
Matt showing us all what to do with a drill.
Same with the paint bursh.
Matt and Alex cleaning the green slime from the North veranda
A clean brake van!
Matt has also spent some time tidying up the letters on the side of this van, which are currently stickers. If the resources can be found, it is hoped this van could be repainted this year, once B850498 and B854782 are completed. In other news
Whilst having a hunt for props to fill the theatrical van, it was found the B762855 has a few holes in the roof. This occurs when the roofing felt has cracked, due temperature cycling hot and cold, and the flex that the vehicle is put under when running in the train. We have obtained another lorry sheet on site and spent this evening cleaning this down over the turntable pit, ready for next weekend, where it is intended for the roof covering to be replaced. Watch this space!
We have reached the stage with B850498 that requires a trip to Loughborough Shed to facilitate some welding and better weather so we can start painting. Whilst we are waiting we have not been sitting idle. Carrying out some much needed administrative tasks on site. Tidying our facilities and maintenance of tools and equipment.
Our vehicles also saw action behind Stanier 8F 48624 on Monday 12th with a Timeline Events photocharter. This saw the use of the Van and the Mixed sets as well as the Windcutter projects rake of 16T minerals. It also marked the debut of our new wagon sheet.
Saturday saw the team take a day trip to Swithland Sidings. Our main task was to help our friends at RVP with a task on POS 80301. The opportunity however was taken to fit an item we had delivered in June.
B721587 our Shock High fitted with a bar has now been fitted with a sheet. We would like to thank the Nene Valley Railway Wagon Department for their assistance in this project, specifically the dimensions and location of the lettering applied to the sheet. Our sheet is numbered 120224 sequentially with theirs which is 120223.
Sheet in position
Complete and tentioned
Our main purpose for the Swithland visit was to assist with the jacking of the sorting rack within POS 80301, this was involved in a collision a few years ago and had shifted, the structural components of the coach was restored by external contractor with the internals by RVP.
Jack in position
Inching the rack in to position
Finally for the weekend, Sunday saw the completion of the shock gear on B850498, all apart from the end caps which will be fitted next weekend.