7828 – Sept 2014

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The exterior beading has been painted black ready for lining, and the end and gangways have finally received Midland Maroon gloss. The fixed light windows have been fitted with the reproduced bolections and sealed in. The best of the old bolections have been put aside as spares for 7828- when refitting windows we needed the best seal we could, to help extend the interval until the next overhaul.

Whilst the exterior looks very different after a few pieces of glass and some paint have been thrown at it, it’s inside that the real work has been taking place.

The whole original floor was mechanically sanded and has been covered with a layer of 3mm ply, ready for the new marmoleum (‘marbled- linoleum’, if the term is alien), which will either be fitted now or about to be, depending on when I remember to send this update to Mike. Working upwards, the rest of the partition covers and panels are in and varnished, sliding doors glazed and working, and the sliding mechanism covers are on and painted in. The rebuilt lower panels, which incorporate around 25% original framing components have been stained to match the other woodwork, varnished and fitted with the old garnish rails. Middle panels are on and varnished with the window framing, and the brass blind hooks that Dave spent days finding, cleaning and sorting are on. The upper panels have eventually made their way back from Sheffield where the old varnish was being stripped, and are now hung, varnished, and most satisfyingly, have had new pictures fitted and glazed to replace the old, water damaged set. These include some elegant replica labels produced by a firm call Soabar in Whetstone, Leics. The LMS seemed to have embossed some images with a black panels and stamped letters into them and others have a little black fabric label with foil blocked letters in gold, and it’s this version we have had produced. After months of head scratching and some truly massive quotes for dissimilar products, following a chance email this firm rapidly came up with just what we wanted, at just the right price, so I’m plugging them for anyone having the same problem. Thanks Jon! Some of the pictures off the partitions survived, so have been skilfully refurbished with a duster and refitted.

There are acres of cornice rail, which has now been collected, stripped, varnished and refitted. The saloon door architraves are back in place, and work has started on the fiddly bits of moulding over the doorway tops.

In the vestibules the luggage rack area, toilets and partitions have been stripped and varnished. The removable ceiling panels which act as inspection covers for the water tank have been glossed and fitted. The luggage rack window bars need repainting before fitting. The lavatory cabinets can’t be rebuilt until the floor is down, but we’re getting ahead by stripping them ready to reassemble when that is done. Bit of plumbing to do as well.

The seat trimming is going well, having reached the last few bases which were so damaged after years of storage before they came here that the spring mesh has to be replaced. The final batch of materials has arrived to allow the piping to be prepared, along with the vinyl for the armrests. Looking at improving the accommodation for seat trimming, Ian is finding the open bench doesn’t give the best environment and protection from dust, and we have been given an industrial sewing machine, which needs to be set up somewhere.

So what next? Seat ends to repair and varnish, and need to make a set of tables to the original pattern, though we have had all the necessary brass castings done already. We’re stuck with the lights until some components have arrived for the existing 12, and then until we have some more cash available for the other 6 sidelights, and the 5 ceiling electroliers. We’re reaching the point where the cavernous interior is about to get filled with stuff. Luggage racks could go up now, but we feel that fitting them after the seat backs go in will help reduce head injuries when fiddling with seats. The stones vent internal covers are made and glazed, but there hasn’t been a time when we’ve gotten around to refitting them yet. Need to get it shunted out to start the underframe tidying.

7828 – May 2014

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A month of careful finishing jobs- the pile of retrimmed seat sections is growing, both sides of the exterior have received 3 coats of Midland Maroon gloss, and the ceilings painted a final 2 coats of white enamel before the brass vent covers were applied.

The old floor covering has been removed ready for the new in a few weeks. A single new window bolection has appeared to check fit and decide on any final changes. Odd jobs continue on the rebuilt south gangway, with some of the smaller fittings remaining.

7828 – April 2014

 

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Overdue update. 2 new volunteers this month- welcome both.

Gangway now complete with bellows both footplates have been trial fitted and are now just off for painting. There are a few brass fittings to support the canvas curtain to put on, and the two stowage hooks for securing the gangway when running at the end of a set to fit, but otherwise this end is complete.

The whole exterior has been rubbed down again prior to first coat of gloss. All commode handles have been sealed on and the bolts trimmed, filed and painted. The missing destination board brackets have been screwed onto the west side, and that means all the exterior bits are on, save for the window bolections.

Inside, both toilet interiors have been dismantled, and the timber sections removed, cleaned and sanded, and replaced ready for varnish. Work on the saloon interior panels continues off site, with most bits now ready to refit once we have stopped throwing paint around overhead. With a view to this, the ceiling has had another coat of gloss to blend in the recently fitted passenger communication cord tubing. One more coat of enamel to go, and the chain can be threaded in, and we have some Alarm Signal transfers courtesy of the NRM.

Most of the interior is now cleared ready to strip out the old cracked and lumpy floor covering, but this won’t be fitted until after we are happy with the ceiling paintjob.

Seat trimming is accelerating, we need to purchase some of the less obvious materials for this job now- vinyl for the undersides of the armrests, fabric for piping, covered buttons, tacks, pins, plywood for quarter panels. Some good news on the light fitting project as well, but as progress on supply of fittings is usually accompanied by an invoice, we’re having to pace ourselves to keep things moving without running out of cash. Some movement on further small castings as well, table leg bases and clips are now in stock, and attention has turned to light switches.

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7828 – Feb 2014

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Cold and wet couple of months at Rowsley. The regulars keep pushing on with the restoration of 7828’s interior. The vestibule and luggage area ceilings have been treated to further paint, and further panel scraping has almost completed the removal of the old varnish. The old saloon lower panels had become a source of concern- the seat rails and table brackets are screwed to them, and water damage from the windows and regular repositioning of fittings had caused many of them to split in crucial places. Some of the plywood panels had warped within the mahogany frames, others had disappeared, whilst a number of tenons had broken off in their mortises leaving corners flapping. The surviving panels have been stripped of beading and any usable sections of frame, and a complete set machined up and assembled- a whole two weeks work! These now await staining and varnishing to match the original sections of interior to be found on the partitions and upper areas of sidewall. Once these are fitted, the seat supports can go in.

Some interior transfers have been sourced, and the new artwork for the exterior insignia and numbers has been started in earnest (a contract job). The new castings for the passenger communication gear are just a few coats of paint away from being fitted, which would be nice to do as we could then put away the white paint.

We don’t have any appropriate tables for it yet, but we do now have all the brass wall mounted fixing brackets, adjustable table leg bases and clips for when we do. The timber draught excluders for the tops of the droplights are now repaired and covered in new felt, ready to be fitted with a set of new springs.

There has been a trip to York to delve into the archives, and several other ‘runs’ are planned to such far flung places as Birmingham, Devon, Peterborough, Telford, Sheffield and Matlock to collect other materials and components. The new moquette is now in the shed, and very excited I am about it too.

 

7828 – Nov 2013

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Steady progress over last month. Layers of undercoat- grey, pink and now red- on both sides of 7828. A final few coats on the roof with extra layers in strategic places has finished work above the cantrail. All four side doors have been adjusted and in the case of one, completely re-hung, to permit easy closing and improved fitting. The bump stops, locks, keeper plates, handles, budget locks, escutcheons and guide wedges have been painted and bedded on before being undercoated with the rest of the sides.

All of the frames for the fixed windows have been cleaned and old screws removed. The internal sections of window frame are being stripped prior to refinishing, taking advantage of the glass being out for the moment. All of which means, apart from window glass, the exterior is complete except for gloss painting and transfers now.

Work continues on the upgraded gangway. New clampwood has been made to support the bellows when they arrive, and the steelwork has been painted up to midland maroon gloss.

I’m informed the rewoven 1925 moquette – to replicate 7828’s original seat coverings – is ready for collection now, and to this end some of the seats have been tentatively removed from storage to allow assessment.

7828 Heater Covers

Now that the heater pipes have been refitted to 7828, I have moved on to the cleaning and polishing of the heater covers.

Cleaned and polished heater cover in 7828

After many years of service and storage, the heater covers were of a blackened appearance, reminiscent of the condition they may have been in during the latter days of the carriage being in service. Gently rubbing the covers with fine steel wool and t-cut has revealed the copper coating on these steel covers, as well as reducing the level of rust found where the coating has worn off. A further coating of waxy furniture polish has also been used, to help reduce further tarnishing of this attractive finish to the decorative metalwork.

Heater covers showing before and after cleaning and polishing.

7828 Beading

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Beading filling completed during the week, then primed and undercoated. Some patches of brush filler applied to the panels and beading here and then, then the whole side sanded and undercoated in light grey. A few more areas attended to once this guide coat was in place, and then the side rubbed down again, ready for pink undercoat. Glazing removed from the fixed windows and bolections sorted out, guttering in place and filled and sealed to the roof. Lavatory vent has been repaired and is being filled ready for fitting.

7828 Gangway Rebuild

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7828’s original south end gangway has been carefully dismantled, and the portal removed for storage along with the plastic curtain. The replacement from 8422, which is fitted with adaptor gear, had already been cleaned down, modifications removed, painted and had the normal pattern of top and bottom swivels fitted. With a pulley system fitted to the shed roof, the new portal was mounted on the old scissors, which have been overhauled and fettled to extend slightly more than previously, as on the vehicle we are copying. The new arrangement allows the gangway to couple to a Mk.1 ‘Pullman’ type gangway and extend further to do so, and incorporates improved swivel provision whilst retaining the ability to work with either type of standard LMS gangway.

The whole assembly is now being painted prior to installation of replacement bellows, then there are a number of clamps and fittings to refurbish as well as new floor plates to process.

 

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4,000 Holes in Blackburn Lancashire

John Lennon’s line from ‘A Day in the Life’ is reputed to refer to a newspaper report he saw about the state of the roads in Blackburn, well the LMSCA can beat that. We have done a ‘high-level desktop exercise’ as used in the HS2 cost estimates, OK the back of an envelope actually, and we reckon each side of the LMS Third Open 7828 at Rowsley has received approximately 3,000 1.5mm holes drilled in the beading to receive the pins which attach it to the bodyside, so about 6,000 in total. Just a few feet of beading remain to be fitted, and boy will we be glad when all the holes are filled and sanded! We are not sure how many holes remain in Blackburn’s roads…

Dave Winter

Michael Fearn leans out to admire the beading.
Michael Fearn leans out to admire the beading.

7828 Progess July 2013

Work continues on 7828. Despite the carriage shed becoming a sauna, the beading junctions have been fitted, sealed down, pins punched, filled and sanded. Half of the roof guttering has now been fitted, and the recently fitted roof ventilators have been glossed, along with the centre portion of the roof. Completion of the gutter allows final sealing and painting of the roof to take place, so the second half is a priority.

The strips of beading to connect the junctions are next on the machining list.

7828 was never modified to allow it’s gangways to be connected to a BR Mk.1/Pullman/LNER gangway. This is fine if we want to run it with just LMS/GWR carriages, but as at least initially 7828 must be compatible with Peak Rail’s Mk.1 stock, a gangway must have additional clamps and platework added. Rather than cut and weld the original part, the south end gangway has been selected to be fitted with a replacement gangway end portal. The donor gangway was sourced from LMS TO No.8422, the carriage which was a WWII ambulance, repatriated from Germany after the war, and one time resident at the Longmoor Military Railway. It has lost it’s original gangways, gaining some off something else instead. When it is restored at Rowsley, they will need to be dismantled and rebuilt anyway, so for the time being it has been possible for 7828 to ‘borrow’ a gangway portal – which happens to have full adaptor gear. This has been removed from 8422, stripped back of all fittings, cleaned down and painted. Some surplus outrigger brackets have been removed, and the portal is now ready to have swivels reattached, prior to fitting to 7828 with new bellows.

Work continues apace on the patterns for the light fittings, and the first step in the production of the replacement interior passenger communication cord fittings has been undertaken, with an order for the 3 patterns placed.

Samples of moquette have been received, and discussions continue on the production of the replica ‘fawn rep’ which the carriage will be trimmed with when completed.

Gutter takes shape at the north end of 7828
Gutter takes shape at the north end of 7828

Beading around window bay

Bob Matkin sanding beading; all pins are to be punched in, filled and then sanded smooth
Bob Matkin sanding beading; all pins are to be punched in, filled and then sanded smooth
Derek Riley removing modifications to the replacement gangway portal
Derek Riley removing modifications to the replacement gangway portal