This weekend, the group’s efforts have been directed in two directions, on B784409 and on B850498.
Last week the previous secluded dockside underframe of B784409 was brought out into the open and scraped down ready for paint. Saturday saw the compressor repaired and the underframe spray gun brought out to finish this van off. Today sees the handbrake end picked out in white and the bearing end caps picked out in yellow.
B784409’s painted underframe.
Saturday’s work on B850498 sees the end panel on the ‘blue end’ of the van removed. This was removed due to having a soggy bottom, and a British Rail bodge panel in the middle which covered over a hole in the sheet. The removed panel was drawn around on a new sheet of plywood, then cut out. it was then offered into the van to check the fitment and then taken out and primed inside the GUV.
Today the new end panel was fitted to the van, and ended by being painted into undercoat
Internal view of end panel
Drilling new end panel
Matt has also undertaken the task of producing some ‘shoc’ gear for this vehicle. This is a purely cosmetic item, but is an important part of this van’s profile.
End Bracket mocked up
This weekend has seen full axle box examinations carried out on B850498.
Removal of the covers, clean, inspection of the axle and pads. It is clear that the chassis has been stood for some time so 3 of the boxes required new pads. Boxes then oiled and reassembled after the new pads had soaked. Over the next few weeks we shall keep an eye on the oil levels and monitor the oil use, initially, this will be high until the pad is fully soaked.
784409 joins 783082
850498 Axle cover
850498 Axle end
850498 life ex pad
850498 axle cover + pad
850498 new pad
B784409 has now been shunted into the box van train and joins sister B783082. This has allowed access to the unrestored east side underframe which has been scrapped cleaned and is ready for paint. This will be done next weekend and will be ready for the Winter Gala, this will also be the first time the vehicle has run in preservation.
Also of note on B784409 we removed the east side wagon plate, this was fitted in 1981 when the vehicle had its vacuum brakes removed, fitted with air brakes and new suspension becoming VEA 230097. This uncovered the original HMLE data panel. This gives Route available and speed data for the vehicle under various load conditions.
Our winter project is progressing leaps and bounds. The Christmas lull has seen a partial reroof and the fitting of the roof canvas. A new door noggin and all four doors replaced with associated furniture fitted.
A pair of BR(W) non common user plates have also been created and sign written