News and Updates

08/12/19 – Brake Overhauls continue

Another weekend and the brake overhauls for the van train continue.  Nick, Jake and I in attendance. First cylinders on B777728, B780282, and B777171 were prepared for removal.

Once the three were ready, we dropped B777728s cylinder.

This was promptly overhauled,  insides vacuumed, piston rod polished, seals replaced and the cylinder rebuilt.

The cylinder was then replaced under the vehicle and as the light failed B780282s was dropped.

The final task for Saturday was to reseal the joints on the through pipe of B850498

On to Sunday Nick, Ross and I in attendance B780282s cylinder was stripped, cleaned and overhauled internally and replaced under the vehicle.

As quick as B780282s was lifted B777171s was dropped and again split and overhauled.

This was also refitted and our attention turned to coaxing life back into the test rig. With the warmer weather and after a little persuasion the rig fired up and the vehicles worked on so far tested.

E87674, B786348, B763305, B777728, B780282, B777171 and the through pipe of B850498.

The through pipe of B850498 was improved but exceeded the minimum 4 inHg drop over 5 minutes. The South end hose of this vehicle has yet to be changed and this will be the next course of action.  B763305 held vacuum for 16 minutes, the only item not looked at for this cylinder was the release valve as this is a C type westing house vacuum cylinder which has a different design of piston and release valve,  we have yet to overhaul this type of valve so further investigation into this type is our next course of action. E87674 required an adjustment of the brakes which was carried out and once a number of applications of the brakes on the various wagons were carried out and the timers started.20191208_151559

Our final image shows the winter wonder lights train passing Test Car 2 and when we left Quorn over 4 hours after the brakes were applied all but B763305 remained on.20191208_171827


01/12/19 – Overhauled, but still no suck…

To begin, it gives us great pleasure to announce we have been nominated for not one but two Heritage Railway Association awards.  Test Car 2 has been shortlisted for the 2020 Morgan Award for Preservation and our website for the 2020 Communications Award.

We wish our fellow shortlisted groups luck and look forward to seeing those who attend the Dinner in February.

On to Saturday and we begin with an hour or so defrosting the Test Car and locks to gain access to the GUV and tool van. Once we had gained access the main focus turned to the van train cylinder overhauls.  Starting at the south end Nick, Matt, James and Will began on the first vehicles requiring work, these are E87674B786348, and B763305. Each had the ancillary attachments, Release Valve piston rod and all split pins removed.

B786348 was rather stubborn so required a little of the hot spanner action.20191130_141228

With all the extras removed the Cylinders were dropped from B763305 and B786348

Nick, Dave, Jake and I continued the work started by the team on Saturday. We stripped down the 2 cylinders,  both different from each other. One cylinder is a ‘C-type’ and the other is the more regular ‘E-Type’. Each of them is no issue, but the ‘C-Type’ has a ball valve in the release valve and the ‘E-Type’ has the ball valve in the piston.

By 11 O’Clock using the railway’s loading shovel,  one cylinder was back under its van (B763305) and the other ready to be re-assembled. Once tea (and obligatory biscuits) had been consumed, the hung the other cylinder under the other van (B786348) again using the loading shovel, which has got quite good and imitating a Challenger 2 tank. Must get that silencer replaced…


With the two cylinders hung and reconnected, I set out to start the vacuum test set to begin testing the two completed vans. Unfortunately, I was defeated. Lister-Petter AC1s do not like the cold as it turns out. Options are being looked at to upgrade the test set to something easier to start, in all weathers.

With the test set not starting, we removed the vacuum cylinder from the fish van to overhaul that. This was completed in the falling light. Sadly we now don’t have a way to test the newly overhauled vans, so can’t prove the repairs.

Matt spent the day a touring signwriter, signwriting a Vanwide at Peak Rail in the Heritage Shunter’s Trust shed.

Next week, more overhauls are planned. That is of course unless the weather has other ideas!

24/11/19 -Well, they all suck(ish)…

Welcome to this week’s update from Quorn Wagon and Wagon. Nick, Matt, and Jake start the weekend. With the van train now stood down for the winter and stabled in the yard, Nick and Jake started the brake overhauls.  The first task was to replace the life-expired vacuum hoses, with 11 changed on Saturday. Replacing the hoses allows us to baseline the train and see if there are any other underlying issues with the vacuum equipment.20191123_155655


Despite the forecasted weather, the rain held off long enough for Matt to apply the signwriting to B505313


As the forecasted rain arrived, steel plates were placed over the vulnerable areas and Nick and Jake applied gloss red to the vacuum swan necks.  This completes B505313 however there are a few items to complete on the Container before the ensemble is released to traffic.


Sunday saw Nick, Dave and I undertaking initial vacuum testing on the van train. We liberated the vacuum test rig and transported it down the yard to the van train. Starting at the south with the fish van, B87674, we methodically worked up the train testing each van individually to see if the vacuum was functional, and how long the cylinder reamined applied for. During testing, you can tell where there are leaks, and often you can hear them, despite the noise of the test rig.


6 additional hoses were changed today, and the vehicles which require further attention have been identified, with 8 vans requiring a cylinder overhaul. These will happen, weather dependant, in the coming weekends. We’ll soon rattle through them, and the van train will, all being well, be released to traffic with functional vacuum brakes. With the leaks fixed, we are at least, halfway there. Thanks for reading, and join us again next week!


17/11/19 – Loaded and Secured

Unusually this update begins on Thursday with a trip to Medstead & Four Marks.  The reason for the visit, to pick up some Conflat chains.  Our thanks go to the Mid-Hants Railway Wagon group for offering them to us, they were in far better condition than our own. 

Friday saw the December issue of Rail Express hit the shelves with an article looking ant our work on Test Car 2IMG-20191115-WA0000

On to Saturday and I continued with the signwriting started last weekend.

Nick drilled and attached the chains to the Conflat whilst Ross and Dave drilled and secured the additional rails placed on the vehicle last week.

Then the main event, before the light failed and after I had completed the high-level signwriting we lifted BD4303B on to B505313. With the subframe missing we had to first lower the container on to a set of sleepers.

The Container was then lifted from each end and the sleepers removed.

Once sat on the rails the Container was secured to the Conflat.  Earlier before the lift Nick and Ross also applied the identification plate above the door.

To allow the lift I left off the branding and applied it Sunday as well as a few other signwriting finishing touches.

Nick, Ross, Jake and Dave applied Bauxite to the Conflat. adding heat to cure the paint as they went along.  Sufficiently drying the vehicle before the rain started.

All of the conflat chains had reached the end of there threads although reasonably tight we took some steps to resolve. We couldn’t move inwards by a ring as the chains were not long enough so our next option was to shorten them.  We did this using an old BR trick, one of the links was heated in each chain and bent.

With the shortened chains we resecured the container. Jubilee clips were also added to prevent inadvertent loosening.

With it also being the Last Hurrah we saw a few of our vehicles in operation.  Notably the Vans.

The van train is now stabled in the yard at Quorn in preparation for the Winter Brake overhaul and to finish Ross and Dave serviced the Test Cars Generator.20191117_144934

10/11/19 – The Last Paint

Another weekend and another washout. Once again we move up the line to Rothley to look at ADB977107.  Some more welding from the C&W team has enabled us to complete the fitment of the west side windows. Nick and Jake fitted the glass and clamping wood.

Whilst Matt followed, fitting the trims and finishing strips as well as the backrest in the main saloon and the heater retaining strap in the kitchen.  Matt also refitted the toilet trims and skirting boards.

Nick and Jake then moved onto removing the first of the windows on the East side ready for future welding.

Matt’s next task was to do a little exploratory work, looking at the feasibility of reinstating the east side luggage doors. The outer skin and inner ply were removed. Matt then stepped in through the opening; the first person to do so since conversion into a mess van.

The hinge positions were clearly visible, the lower recesses for the luggage doors were still there, just packed with wood and a steel angle added at the bottom to retain the riveted skin. The Z irons were in good condition so Matt pressed on and cut out the additions, decision made, luggage doors will be refitted.

On to Sunday which was much less of a wash out, in fact quite the opposite! Nick was at the Loughborough Remembrance Day Parade, which left Matt and I to get on with the painting of the Container; BD4303B. Painting is a bit of the gamble this time of the year, but we appear to have gotten away with it. We began by removing the sheet and drying off the container where necessary. Matt assembled the scaffold tower while I thinned the paint and assembled the gun and pot. Once dried I began spraying.

Stopping to observed the two minute silence, I continued until 11:45 when I had finished spraying the container. From then, it was a waiting game to see if the paint would go off. Matt and I then began working on B505313, sanding the chain boxes and painting them in red oxide. Nick, now in attendance, painted the interior metal surfaces in Bauxite, and then the body ends. The red oxide sufficiently dry, I painted the chain boxes in undercoat, and then continued to the ends with assistance from Nick.

Matt by this point had just got back with the printed templates for the signwriting on the Container. Having chalked up, he then started signwriting.


After tidying everything away, having a customary cup of tea and admiring the container some more,  we went home! Thanks for reading, and I shall finish with a picture of the container, before we lost the daylight.

03/11/19 – Quorn Wetter & Wetter

Once again the weather has conspired against us. So a trip to Rothley to progress ADB977107. The C&W team has been carrying out body repairs when the time has allowed. Progress has been such that we are able to reassemble interior fixtures.

Before we began, Jake applied bitumastic paint to all the bare metal areas on the inside of the vehicle’s skin


Jake and I then focused on the main saloon.

Nick with assistance from Jake also, rebuilt the toilet window

Ross with a little assistance from new recruit Will as well as Nick made progress with the Kitchen.

Ross also checked the batteries output, unfortunately, these are life expired


We can also show the progress of B954546 currently a volunteer project at Rothley. The cladding has been replaced, new duckets manufactured and glass windows fitted all round.

Sunday with the threat of rain, Ross and Dave cut down some plates to use as load distribution plates for Nicks container once lifted on to the Conflat. It transpires that we decided later that additional sections of rail shall be used to support the weight of the container.

The main task for Sunday was the rectification of Test Car 2’s incorrectly assembled buckeye draw gear. The buckeye was removed, supported by the loading shovel the draw hook and bar removed and the offending article lowered rotated and fitted correctly.

Whilst the majority of the gang worked on the Test Car, I looked at the chain boxes on B505313 these had fallen foul of the water trap that they are. With the bottom of each removed at an earlier date and the lack of suitable welding facilities, I riveted steel plates to the back of each in areas that had been eaten away.

As a none structural skin, this gives a solid backing for filler to be applied. In the future, the skin of the chain box will have to be replaced but at this time we have gone for this option.

As the rain that was forecast did not materialise and what ended up as a day of sunshine we sheeted BD4303B whilst it was dry. This will keep the wet out until the weather gives us the opportunity to apply the gloss crimson.

Also on site Eddie, Harry, and James who took the opportunity to tidy our surrounds and a good job they did in removing the many items of waste that wagon restoration inevitably generates.

27/10/19 -Rain Rain Go Away

Good evening, and welcome to another update from us chaps at Quorn. Saturday saw Jake, Nick, Matt and Dave in attendance. Sadly, due to the weather not much progress was made on the container. In order to avoid the rain, the team stayed under cover and tidied the GUV; a long overdue task. Paint Brushes were resurrected, items tidied and home found for newer acquisitions. On to Sunday, with me now in attendance and with the weather looking good we began working on the container.

Firstly the rectification of some water damage were resin applied but not cured had suffered some weather damage. This was duly removed and re-resinned by Matt. Jake and I had the honour (?) of sanding the container ready for primer. I carried on around the sides and door end of the container with the air driven sander, while Jake drew the short straw and was tasked with the blank end panel. This had had green paint applied at some point in the past, which was beginning to flake off.

While this was happening, Matt finished off applying resin, and reattached the door hinge which was unbolted to repair the door. Sanding completed, Jake blew the container down while I thinned the fibreglass/gelcoat primer and assembled the gun.


I began by applying primer to the roof, and then the blank ends then going round the container anti-clockwise. The primer cured very quickly, so we gambled and had Jake prep the undercoat ready for spraying.

While the painting was occuring, Matt starting removing paint from one of the plates he has had made for the containers. Not content with the black finish, he’d applied some crimson, and had to then scrap/sand the paint off of the raised letters. rather effective, don’t you think?

If the weather is kind to us next weekend, we hope to have the container into Crimson top coat, with signwriting completed and perhaps lifted onto the ConFlat! Join us next week to see what we end up doing, Thanks for reading!73388562_459730907970032_5028391648225132544_n