Apologies for the lack of updates over the last week or so, I wasn't able to get up to the NVR and I also had a holiday which got in the way of my usual visit. Anyway it's that time again for a progress update on Vanfit B759852 - progress would be much faster if I wasn't working alone, so if anybody ever fancies joining me (must enjoy hitting things with a hammer) you would be more than welcome!
During my absence last week a member of the C&W staff kindly moved some of the internal 'stuff' away from the van wall so I could get access. They also arranged the purchase of some fresh new timber to the correct profile, so everything was ready for work to begin when I arrived on site.
Experience gained from the two previous panels meant progress was fairly quick today. I used a cutting disc to cut through all the necessary bolts on both lower panels this time.
The metal patches were levered off - this is a BR-style 'bodge' repair holding a split plank together.
The planks were broken out if there was any sign of resistance to movement - again due to previous experience on the other two panels. Unfortunately the thin bottom plank had rotted to compost and fell apart, so a replacement will need to be made. It's a nuisance because it will be a bit tricky to cut and shape - it is thicker than the other planks and has a special profile - but I am told it can be done.
The new planks were cut to length and have been loosely put in place to help keep any rain out over the course of the week. Final fixing should happen next time, when the planks on the other lower quarter should also be removed and replaced.
General overview, the bottom left panel has also been prepared for removal of the split/rotten planks during the course of today. The bottom right panel is not too far from completion, and the top panels as previously described (and the doors) are ready for painting. After all this, the three other vans coupled to this one need doing too - and then the other sides that are out of public view! I think I'll do something else in between each completed van side, a change is as good as a rest, variety is the spice of life etc etc...
One final bit of 'news' on these four Vanfits for this week is that they are due to be moved a few yards into the station platform, because the CIWL Restaurant Car is apparently going to vacate its current position (next to the Southern Railway TPO) in a few weeks time. Hopefully the relocation to a platform berth will make my life easier!