After the hubbub and excitement of the launch of 7828, thoughts may naturally veer towards launching into the next major project, but having the carriage shed at Rowsley vacant also offers the opportunity for some other valuable smaller projects. In the meantime 7828 has enjoyed use on dining and cream tea trains on Peak Rail, and appropriate to its era also being used during the 1940s weekend.
First into the shed after 7828’s outshopping was Peak Rail’s BR Mk2 BSO 9404 which was in for replacement of a window, minor bodywork repairs and a repaint to further protect refresh its external appearance.
Next into the shed is the one of the LMSCA’s own CCTs, 96430, which is to become a trim shop, enabling upholstery work to take place in a clean environment whilst other works can be concurrently carried out in the carriage shed.
Work on 94630 continues, with further updates to follow in the coming months
A summary of work completed on 7828 in the last few months. It has become difficult to update at times when the coach is changing so quickly, but for several months most volunteers were engaged in preparing large quantities of components- either trimming seat parts, machining timber mouldings, varnishing, glazing, painting underframe or searching for brass work.
So, state of play as of today-
All seat back and end units are fitted, lined up and bolted down. We need some more screws to finish putting the full quota into each anchoring bracket, but as soon as they land we can install them, leaving the way clear to bolting in the seat bases.
Bases all trimmed, some are awaiting their piping. 8 armests are finished, the other 20 are having piping applied.
The luggage racks are up in the 3-bay saloon, and stacked up ready for the 4-bay. I would think they’ll be up by the end of, say, Tuesday. Table lamps are up in the 3-bay, ready for installation in the 4-bay, and the lights are up and working in the loos and vestibules. Ceiling lamps not delivered yet.
The droplights have been rebuilt, glazed with toughened glass, assembled and sealed, painted to gloss on the outside and varnished inside. Specially made felt sections (20mm x 10mm and 10mm x 10mm) have arrived to allow us to fit new seals to each side, which help with vibration and sound proofing as well as facilitating a smooth slide. These are ready to pin on, and then it’s just the leather straps to apply with the cleaned and painted fittings prior to installing in the coach. Each droplight, for saloon or door, has already been tested in it’s own numbered aperture.
Tables- all parts now made to reproduce the original early Period 1 LMS TO table. We borrowed a genuine example from the team at Swanwick, and have produced a set of 14 in solid utile. The previously mentioned leg base castings are machined ready to go, and the fixing brackets and tabs are sorted into boxes. 7 table tops have been assembled to date, it’s a fill in job when we get an hour at the end of another task.
Toilets- sink and loo fitted in No.1 loo, all works. Loo seats and lids to varnish. Parts ready for No.2. New toilet roll holder cast and fitted. Paper towel holders sourced and mounted, bins procured. Vacant/engaged locks have arrived thanks for team based on ELR, modified to suit 7828 and now ready to fit. New left handed keeper plates have been cast and drilled. Some jiggery-pokery to convert the door locking system back to as-built is underway. The main door handles are now fitted and working.
Vestibules- not much gone on here, apart from draught excluders fitted around the side door apertures, as these areas have been virtually finished for some time. The clips to hold open the partition sliding doors were discovered and fitted.
Underframe- fusebox in process of being put back where it was meant to be, and some painting undertaken at the ends. Still gloss black to go on some bogies parts and the trusses, when we shunt it out again.
Lining- continues… Livery- LMS transfers due in 2 weeks time.
A list of final jobs exists in the carriage shed, ranging from window cleaning to spotting odd missing panel screws, gluing in bell pushes to hanging lampshades. Come see.
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.
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.