Here’s the thing, we want the lovely LMS Period 1 Third Open 7828 we’re working on to have working toilets, but with Period 1 and 2 coaches you have to scramble up on the roof with a hose to fill the tanks, not a good idea. So we brainstormed a low level filling system – the first version attempted to fill via the drain but we found the internal pipework gave a ‘virtual head’ of water causing the fill to take the easy way out of the breather pipe – it worked if someone went on the roof and blocked the breather with their finger but you’re back to square one. OK so version two was to cut a hole fairly high up in the tank and fit a bog standard 15mm compression brass tank fitting (£2.17 from Toolstation). But, how are we to get it through the hole we’ve drilled given that the roof filler is too small to get a hand through into the inside of the tank – unless you can borrow a small child? This is where a piece of wire comes in and the good Dr Ben Riley says this is like a medical procedure.
So it went like this, first a 22mm hole was cut in the tank, as far as possible in line with the roof filler and avoiding the baffle in the tank. Then while I was up the ladder Bob Matkin pushed a length of electrical wire through the hole and I hooked it out from above and tied it off. Then the tank fitting was given some sealant and threaded onto the wire, and Bob below told to standby. The fitting was released and by some miracle shot down the wire and straight out of the hole! By the time I had come down the ladder Bob had already screwed the retaining nut on and there we have it! We had a backup plan to use a couple of ‘L’ shaped hooks to pull the fitting through the hole but didn’t need them in the end.
A ‘T’ piece and two non-return valves will be used with concealed hoses down to solebar level to enable the filling. It doesn’t happen very often but now and again things do work out nicely!
Link: Carriage Preservation — further articles on carriage preservation techniques.
Wishing one and all a Merry christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous 2015.
LMS Period 1 Third Open 7828 has been residing outside the LMSCA shed at Rowsley for a few weeks to enable the chassis to be cleaned and painted. This has also been a good test of its waterproof qualities, and despite some heavy downpours no leaks have been detected – apart from self-made ones when testing the toilet water system. Its being outside has enabled BR Mk1 Restaurant Car (RBR) E1970 to have a repaint and emerge as M1970. Today the M1970 was coupled up to 7828 to do the shunt required to get it back in the running set, and I must say they looked well together!
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.
The LMSCA is now registered with the PayPal Giving Fund and the connected programme eBay for Charity. This enables you to donate a percentage of proceeds from your eBay sales to the LMSCA, or if you are a buyer to make a donation to us when you purchase an item or at any other time. Please pop along to http://www.ebay.co.uk/egw/ebay-for-charity/charity-profile/?NP_ID=66082 and add us as your favourite charity.
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.
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.
2014 marks the 175th anniversary of the arrival of railways into Derby. In 1839 the first passenger services between Derby and Nottingham began. At the same time, workshops were set up by the North Midland Railway, the Midland Counties Railway and the Birmingham and Derby Railway near Derby station. These developed into a large complex of manufacturing facilities producing wagons, carriages and locomotives.
Today, the rail industry that is still located in Derby plays a vital role in supporting this country’s railways and also over seas. Derby is the only place in the UK that still designs and builds trains. It is also home to the largest cluster of rail-related companies in the world.
To help celebrate this occasion the LMS Carriage Association would like to share a bit of carriage building history. It is with the kind permission of the British Film Institute that we are able to bring you footage of carriage building in Derby. This was filmed at the Carriage works on Litchurch Lane in 1933, now owned by Bombardier.
Maybe you work there now? Maybe you recognised a relative? If so or you simply enjoyed the film, please leave a comment.
Links: Would you like to find out more information about the 175th Anniversary of railways in Derby or find out what is happening? Well, here are a few links that might be of interest.
BFI Corridor Third
Derby 175 Event Calendar (derby175.com no longer available by 2017)
Derby 175 Facebook Page (no longer available by 2017)
Derby 175 Twitter Page (internet archive page)
Midland Railway Study Centre Carriage Building Photos
Bombardier Future train build at Derby video
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.
In 1998 members of the LMS Carriage Association made another trip up to Scotland. However, instead of hunting out carriages in farmers’ fields, this trip was to dismantle the remains of an old Midland carriage over the course of a week. This would yield many spares to help in the restoration of other carriages.