Sunday, 21 March 2010

In the Works

Currently in the Carriage and Wagon shed is SNCB (Belgian State Railways) coach number 21013, which requires major bodywork repairs.

The Nene Valley Railway is unique in the UK in being able to run standard gauge European locomotives and rolling stock. Continental trains are taller and wider than their British counterparts, which means they are simply too big to fit through most British bridges, tunnels, and platforms. It was found in the early days of the preserved NVR that some relatively small modifications to existing structures would allow the use of Continental stock, which at the time was available in far better condition and for a substantially smaller sum of money than withdrawn British Rail stock. As well as offering the general visitor a taste of Continental rail travel, the European locomotives and carriages have also proved attractive to TV and film producers - the railway featured heavily in the James Bond film 'Octopussy' amongst many other productions, both large and small.

Back to SNCB 21013, this coach has been rusting from the inside out. The problem is a familiar one to classic car owners. Rainwater has gradually seeped into the cavity between the internal and external skins of the bodyside, and sat there without draining out properly. This has caused the steel bodywork to corrode, with severe rust blisters and holes appearing along the entire lower edge of both bodysides. This will all require cutting out and replacing - a big job. Although the rust appears pretty bad in the photo, it looks even worse in the flesh!

The roof has fared better, repairs are nearly complete. The roof has been primed and is at the undercoat stage.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

"All (the boards)" for the Pines Express!

Special preparations are under way for the Somerset & Dorset event on 25th April.

Here we see the carriage destination boards after being rubbed down prior to painting. When finished and lettered, they will adorn the carriages forming the 'Pines Express'.

This train will be double headed by '5MT' 73050 and '4F' 44422 - an authentic S&D combination, for the event was inspired by a photograph showing the very same locomotives hauling the 10.5am 'Pines' from Bournemouth to Derby on July 9th, 1960.

Trolley Restoration

Sterling work has been going into restoring some of the historic platform trolleys at the railway. The metal fittings are stripped off the rotten wooden frames, and cleaned up and painted. A new timber body is constructed to match the old trolley, using the restored metalwork to hold it all together.

Presumably ex-GPO mail trolley in the process of being rebuilt:

Completed and lettered trolleys:

The rotten remains of the timber work once the restorable metalwork has been removed:

Friday, 19 March 2010

BR Mk1 Coach 4686

This carriage had been stored out of use but over the last few years has been gradually restored and is now close to completion. Apart from some relatively minor 'tidying up' jobs, the main outstanding task is to fit new springs to the bogies. It is hoped to have this coach ready for use at the 'Somerset & Dorset Pines Express' event to be held at the railway on Sunday 25th April, where authentic ex-S&D motive power will work together once again in the form of BR Standard '5MT' 73050 and Fowler '4F' 44422.

Going Live...

My name is Paul and I am a volunteer at the Nene Valley Railway, near Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. I have decided to have a go at creating this unofficial blog to illustrate some of the goings-on at the railway. I have never done this before and my posts will have a definite leaning towards my department, but I hope that at least some readers will be interested to read about some of the things that are happening.