News and Updates

04/03/18 Two become one

B850498 Shed 2

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.

25/02/18 Roof sheets to the wind…

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.

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.

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.

18/02/18 Brakes, Brake Vans and Broken Floors

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.

Matt in the distance removing branding posters from the van train.


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.

Push brake rods, modified to the BR style spacers.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Thanks for reading!

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.