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 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.

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

7828 Gets Heavier

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Every time we fit something back on LMS Third Open 7828 at Rowsley she looks better, she gets a bit heavier, and there is less ‘stuff’ to trip over. The roof ‘furniture’ is a case in point with the torpedo ventilators being very heavy, and they have now been joined by the tank vents (an inverted ‘J’) and the tank fillers, which means final painting of the roof isn’t far off. A bit lower down the Stone’s ventilators have been fitted, you can see how they work in the photograph – passengers can vary the angle of the ‘vanes’ to extract air or blast it in depending on how they feel. You can also see another important process beginning, the beading. This has a real purpose in covering up the joins between the various panels on the bodyside, but is also a very attractive visual aspect of older coaches. The beading is painted up to undercoat on the back, pre-drilled for the many panel pins needed to attach it, and finally mastic sealant is applied to ensure it is weatherproof.

You might just spot the clock showing 11.15 in the background – it always shows this time and will do until we get up there and change the battery – at least it’s right twice a day…

Dave Winter

Ceiling

It has been a long job, but the entire ceiling has been painted in brush filler, laboriously rubbed down (thanks for your help Dave), and then the lighting patresses and beading fitted. As I write this, there are 6 pieces of beading left to screw in, the other 43 having been (in some cases quite literally) bent into shape and secured in place.

The vestibules and toilets were particularly tricky, as the angle of the partitions and curve of the roof required 3 different flavours of curved hockey sticks.

As we’re almost there with the beading, Dave and Bob have started throwing more filler about. Once that’s done (I haven’t tried to count all the holes, I thought it would be depressing), we can start to think about showing it a paint brush.

Trevor continues to apply further layers of undercoat to his gangway end door, and James has cleaned up the last roof vent and carefully wire brushed and sprayed the first components of the passenger communication gear.
Mike’s heater installation continues with the preparation of some 40′ of timber moulding to which the heater brackets are secured along the length of the saloons. This has been cut to length, drilled and primed.

The epic tasks of beading the side, and applying the roof vents are almost upon us, help always welcome.

Above and Below

Work continues on the LMS Period One Third Open 7828 at Rowsley. Michael Fearn has fitted the last of the aluminium shielding that goes behind the heater pipes, so with any luck it won’t be too long before the pipes can be refitted – another trip hazard out of the way. The photo shows Michael at work in the larger of the two saloons, in LMS carriage practice this would be the smoking saloon, while the smaller would be non-smoking – now of course no-smoking will be allowed at all!

Now that all the ceiling panels are fitted, have had a coat of brush filler, and been sanded down, attention has turned to the beading which covers the panel joins, plus the bases (correctly known as pattresses) for the saloon lights (correctly known as electroliers). Ben Riley has prepared the bases and beading, some of the latter having had the steam-bending treatment with the aid of Harvey Coppock. The wiring, by the way, has been professionally tested and is fit for purpose.

Dave Winter

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Beading ‘L’ 17 Oct 2012

Don machines the beading with a router and jig

Or it could be an ‘F’ or a ‘T’, that Don Lee is a picture of concentration working on with the router.  Now that the panels for Third Open 7828 at Rowsley are all cut out, the beading needs to move up the priority list. It will be a little while before the panels are all fixed in place and painted but then the panel joints will need to be covered by the beading. The main purpose of course is to prevent moisture getting into the joints, but a secondary purpose is to add to the attractive appearance of the coach. The junctions where the long straight sections of bead meet come in several different shapes, these are cut out on the bandsaw, fettled up a bit on the bobbin sander (for which we have a slightly rude name), then the edges are rounded off using  the router on a former guide, one for each shape, made by Alan Taylor.  It’s a very noisy job which is why Don is wearing ear protection.