Saturday, 30 October 2010

BBC iPlayer Link - More on Monday!

Further to previous posts, Wansford level crossing (complete with 'boarded up' signal box and fake half barriers and warning lights, in case you thought NVR had really let things go recently!) featured on Eastenders last night. Some of the footage forms the last five minutes from about 24min 20secs on BBC iPlayer.

So it seems we will have to wait until Monday for 31108's star turn!

I wasn't there for the filming on the second day, so I've no idea if a collision occurs or is avoided in the nick of time...

PS Also just found this preview of Monday's episode, including clip. How exciting!

Ironically at exactly the same time last night, 'Octopussy' was being shown on ITV4, which shows a fairly undeveloped (although obviously dressed up) NVR in about 1982. Particularly noticeable (well, to me anyway) in that film is the absence of the C&W shed, which I believe was constructed with at least some of the proceeds from the six weeks of filming. Danish 'S' Class 2-6-4T No.740, which hauls the circus train, left the railway around 1995 - appropriately bound for a new home in Denmark. However the other vehicles forming the circus train are still dotted about around the railway (one of the LMS CCTs can be seen in the background of this Eastenders episode, although its current condition leaves a lot to be desired). The Swedish 'B' Class No.101, still at the railway and currently being cosmetically restored, had the honour of sending the Mercedes flying off the bridge and into the Nene. No locomotives came to any harm (although sadly, several rather tasty Mercedes saloons did), as the cars were flung with an air cannon and clever camera angles did the rest. Some fascinating pictures of the Octopussy filming can be found here.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Not much to report from me this week, as I have been too busy to call by the railway. However a couple of weeks ago I managed to grab these shots of TWO platform trolleys undergoing reconstruction - Andy is making a lovely job of these. There may be plans in the pipeline to load them with old-fashioned luggage if undercover winter storage space can be found.

Trolley 1 components, completely rebuilt and painted.

More components for trolley 1 on the bench. Since these photos, this trolley has been assembled but for some unknown reason I didn't get a picture!

Trolley 2 in grey undercoat.

That's about it until next time - don't forget to watch Eastenders on Friday, BBC1 at 8pm - which should feature the level crossing scenes shot at NVR!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

'Eastenders' Air Date

The air date for the 'Eastenders' episode partially filmed at the NVR has been released: Friday 29th October, 8.00pm on BBC1. A heavily disguised Wansford level crossing and a ballast train hauled by Class 31 31108 will feature.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Continental Stock Progress

The roof hoops of the Swedish 'B' Class No.101 have been painted black as its cosmetic restoration continues. This part of the yard will be reorganised when the 'Kriegslok' 2-10-0 leaves the NVR, but I'm not sure when this will be. A major shunt will be required to release it so there should be a bit of advance notice before the move.

The CIWL sleeping coach, No.3916, has seen the completion of extensive welded repairs to the sidesheets and blue undercoat is spreading along the bodyside.

Inside the C&W shed, the lining has been completed on SNCB 21013, and the lettering has also been added. Nearly ready!

Elsewhere in the yard, SNCB coaches 23009 and 21033 have returned from their recent filming contract, and an attempt was being made to wash off emulsion paint used by the film makers to weather the coaches. Hopefully this effort has been successful.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

SNCB 21013 - Update 20

A big visual difference over the last few weeks - the painting of the topcoats on the north bodyside of SNCB 21013 is complete, and the lining is under way. The coach is beginning to look very smart, with the shabby, rusted bodywork undergoing drastic but necessary surgery since January 2010.

The lining is complete on the south side, and the south-eastern end vestibule doors seen here have been needle-gunned and painted.

Several new step boards have been made and fitted to the coach. The end vestibules are yet to be refurbished, apart from the south-eastern corner mentioned earlier.

When 21013 comes out of the workshop, intended to be in time for use on the 'Santa Specials', there should be an opportunity to install a new gantry walkway system in the C&W shed. This has been devised (and already largely constructed in kit form) to allow work on carriage roofs without erecting scaffolding. This should save a surprising amount of C&W staff time in the medium to long term. If all goes to plan, 'Thomas' should then come into the C&W shed for a much-needed repaint after Christmas - he must have been a good engine and pleased the Wansford Controller. After that, I have no idea what the next project will be for the C&W staff but I will be very interested to find out nearer the time!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

White with green spots

I've not been very well recently, but the title refers to Vanfit B759852, not me! Despite my lack of time at the moment, as a birthday treat I managed to call in at Wansford today for an hour or so as I was passing. The time was used for a look around the C&W shed (more of which at some point in the next few days), and painting the bare boards and exposed metal on the Vanfit with primer to help protect them over the coming autumn and winter months.

As the van has been for the last few weeks...

...and today, after a quick rub-down and coat of white primer on the bare planks.

I can't wait to give the van a uniform colour, even undercoat, but it looks like this will have to wait a while yet.

Today I also had the pleasure of meeting Martin, a volunteer in the Booking Office and Travelling Ticket Inspector who was undertaking a photoshoot nearby. His excellent, usually very amusing, blog can be read here.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Flying Visit 1 - 6th Oct 2010

Due to personal circumstances, my time has become very limited for the next few weeks or so. Sadly that means my volunteering sessions will reduce in number and frequency for a little while.

However I will still try to call by Wansford on a regular basis (weekly?) as I will be travelling up in that direction every week. I will take my camera and high-vis vest, and try to get photos and progress updates on ongoing projects each week. This blog should continue to be a regularly updated 'behind the scenes' source of information to anyone interested in projects at the NVR, and although my wagon restoration reports are likely to be less frequent for the time being, projects by the other volunteers and staff (such as SNCB 21013, the LMS steam crane, Wagons-Lits, and much else besides) are ongoing so there will always be something new to see. Basically the rule is, if I notice something on site has changed between visits, I will try to get a picture of it and post it on here!

The photos below are the results of the first 'flying visit' - this was made rather late in the day as the sun was going down, so the quality of the photos is not that great. The C&W shed had also been locked up and the staff had gone home, so no 'behind the scenes' items this week! Hopefully next time I will be able to visit earlier in the day and access more of the site.

Rather a full yard after the diesel gala! The visiting Class 50 and 52 can be glimpsed amongst the resident fleet.

The rotten cab roof timber has been removed from Swedish 'B' class No.101 by members of the IRPS gang. They have also made a good start on painting the cab roof steel framework with green primer.

This is the turntable at the S&D gala in April 2010...

...which has undergone cleaning and painting over the last few weeks. Both sides have been painted an appropriate, authentic looking silver-grey, presumably the same paint used on the refurbished span of the Wansford river bridge, and should help keep the metalwork in good order.

The other side of the turntable, proving that both sides have been completed! The turntable is a great asset to the railway, genuinely useful for turning vehicles when necessary, and keeping running wear on vehicles even. Demonstrations of the turntable during special events (such as the S&D gala photo above) always prove popular with the public and can draw quite a crowd of interested onlookers!

That's it for now, hopefully next time I can get a C&W update - I am particularly interested in seeing the latest progress with SNCB 21013 which is nearing the end of its full body overhaul.