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.
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.
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.