Preparations continued this week for the 'Santa Specials', which are running from Sunday 28th November. The marquee shelter over the platform at Wansford was undergoing assembly, a load of christmas trees have arrived on site, and the Continental coaches were being prepared and decorated.
However the big news is that SNCB 21013 is now complete! Launched without fanfare, it is seen here coupled to SNCB 23009, ready to provide First Class accommodation for the 'Santa' trains.
These two SNCB coaches are now in excellent external condition, leaving No.21033 as the only Belgian coach on the railway still requiring attention to its bodywork.
The carriage restoration shed vacated by 21013 looked very strange and surprisingly big without a coach in it! I believe the plan is to carry out improvements to the workshop over the next few weeks whilst it is empty, including a clever fold-away scaffolding system to be hung from the shed framework. After that, 'Thomas' should be coming into the shed for a repaint as he is starting to look a little shabby.
'A really useful engine' who has definitely earned a repaint...