News and Updates

13/02/18 Waiting for the weather

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.

04/02/18 Sheet, Mail and more Shock Gear

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.

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.

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.

01/02/18 Vans back in time

As mentioned by Ross in the previous update, Tuesday and Wednesday saw the GCR host a Timeline Events Photocharter.  These events used the Van train rake made predominantly from our vehicles, 11 of the 12 vans we are responsible for. 27605671_1707414849279136_386247649_oAs for the gala the vehicles maintained there labels, chalking and posters adding to the overall aim of the charters, to recreate a bygone age.

On Tuesday 30th the rake was hauled by Ivatt Class 2 46521

On Wednesday 31st the rake was hauled by BR Standard Class 2 78018

I was on hand both days to react to any issues with the vans and also as a reenactor adding a human element to a number of shots, carrying out the roles of P-way Staff, Station Inspector, Shunter, and a 1960s gent observing the passing of steam.

28/01/18 Posters, Postals and Photo-charters!

Just because it has been a Gala weekend, it doesn’t mean we have stopped work! Having two of our number as Travelling Post Office crew does hamper progress a small amount, but it is also very nice to see the van train running up and down. When walking around today, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the van train, with a few people mentioning their new branding posters, fitted on a few vans by Matt on Friday.

This weekend saw the first run in preservation of B784409, and work continued on the imitation shock gear for B850498. Matt has replicated the brackets he has made for the West side of the wagon and they are now fitted on the East. There is one bracket left on the east side before that is finished.

Other first run in preservation this weekend is the Esso Tank, 3436. This vehicle ran in the mixed freight. Before it could run this vehicle had the vacuum cylinder configuration changed so that only 1 of the 2 cylinders operate. This had fixed a long standing issue with the vehicle.

The next outing for the vans is a Photo charter in the coming week.

21/01/18 Shock and Parcels

This weekend, despite the weathers efforts, has seen work continue with the imitation Shock gear for B850498.  Apart from a few final finishing details, the main components for the west side are in place.

The components are all bolted in place using existing holes in the chassis and having been a former tank wagon chassis there are a fair few of them.

With a number of Photocharters after the Winter Gala we took the time, in the dry, to fill one of the vans with a prototypical load.  Parcels were originally loaded in the CCT and the usual BR care was taken to off load these.


Christened the theatrical van it is available for events and charters for cameo scenes on platforms or in yards.



17/01/18 New Logo


Our thanks go out to Jack Shaw, Railway Artist, for his efforts in assisting with our logo design.  The design pays homage to that of our home, the Great Central Railway.
We are all volunteers and the railway demonstrates and uses our wagon collection.

Why Wagon and Wagon?
The usual title for a preserved railways Rolling Stock works is Carriage and Wagon, on the GCR this is based at Rothley. Our collection covers Wagons only hence our title.

14/01/18 Bars and ‘End Doors’

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.

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

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.

09/01/18 Axle Exams

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.

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.