The wooden framework is now substantially complete and the steel roof hoops have been fitted. We now await the arrival of the steel side panels which will then be welded to the existing panels. They will be fixed to the wooden frame using stainless steel screws.
The existing side panels have now been completely returned to bare metal and filled as required. Painting is now underway and the primer is being followed by the first maroon undercoat.
The sliding windows have been completely reglazed as almost all of the were original plate glass which did not withstand the heat of the fire. They have now been painted on the outer side and await fitting.
Work on the framework has continued and the east side frame and cantrail has been fitted. The west side is currently being prepared in the workshop. The gangway end has been refurbished and fitted temporarily to determine the position of the bolt holes.
In the meantime much effort has been spent in reglazing the sliding windows. This required dismantling of the brass frame by drilling out the fixing screws at one end after which it was necessary to apply sufficient heat to melt the solder holding the corners together. New rubber seals were purchased and the glass fitted with the help of liberal quantities of detergent. Further work on the replacement of windows is continuing.
Progress on 27162 is continuing at a good pace. Dismantling of damaged portion of the framework and roof is now complete and a start has been made on the replacement of the bottom rail. The new end framework is being manufactured off-site. Some of the new floor boards can be seen in the picture which will be laid when the bottom rail is complete.
Meanwhile a start has been made on cleaning of the slider window frames and preparing for fitting of the windows.
That should probably be ‘boxing-in day’ as the final pieces of tongue and groove boarding were fitted to 7828 at Rowsley. I’m not sure if boxing-in is the correct terminology, but it’s what we call the boarding that goes between the frame members on the inside of the coach. If you think it’s a bit rough you’d be right, it’s a support for the decorative interior panels and is never seen by the passenger so doesn’t have to look perfect, in fact a lot of the original boards are sawn but not planed. As far as the interior is concerned attention now turns to the ‘hoppers’ where the droplights live and once the rubber bump stops have been fitted in their new higher positions ( to prevent the droplights opening too far) we can think about replacing the long heater pipes. The latter are presently being rubbed down and painted ready for fitting – and they’re bloomin’ heavy!
At Rowsley the frame repairs on the NRM’s Third Open 7828 are at last complete aside from a few little tweaks. Ben Riley slogged away for hours trying to get a stubborn bolt out of the bottom rail at the toilet end, had a rest, Harvey Coppock came along and gave it a couple of taps and out it came! Such are the joys of carriage restoration. It’s been a long slog of repetitive work on the framing but the prospect of applying the new panels is now mouth-wateringly close. The props we put in to support the frame and cantrail are now out, and that will make access inside the coach much easier.
As work continues to prepare Third Open 27162 for repairs to the framing , panelling and roof, following last October’s fire, plans are being drawn up to move the vehicle into the Maintenance Facility at Wirksworth on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.
If these plans go ahead on schedule, work should begin sometime in October 2012.
Whilst we are waiting for this to begin, the surviving wooden framework and metal skin have been painted with emulsion paint. Arrangements are also progressing with the set up of internal lighting facilities, to allow members to see the work that they are doing through the winter months.
During the course of the last year, all of the surviving internal fittings have been removed for cleaning and refurbishment where possible.
Well, here we are. Hopefully the first of many blogs to keep people up to date with progress at our two sites.
I was at Rowsley this Saturday (4/3/12) and made a bit of progress loose fitting some new framework to 7828. These will be replacement sections that go under the droplights. The previous framing having been water damaged or cut out from long ago!
In the picture you will see that the front edge of the bottom stringer has also been cut away due to local water and ‘screw’ damage, ready to have new facing wood put back. There is still plenty to do, but steady progress is being made.