Monday, 19 December 2011

Wagon Group Update

The latest wagon news update is now available on the Wagon Group website:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

New Arrivals

As mentioned in an earlier posting on this blog, there have been two new stock arrivals on the railway. These are Swedish railcar No.1212, and a special ballast hopper to be paired with the TASC-45 civil engineering vehicle, which was recently returned to traffic after restoration from vandalised condition.

The bodywork of the railcar is in a bit of a state, but apparently it runs. The "International Railway Preservation Society" (IRPS) will be taking on the overhaul of the bodywork, so hopefully one day it will look as good as Swedish 'B' Class No.101, now cosmetically restored by the group.

The interior of the passenger saloon.

A not-very-good photo of one of the driving positions.

Much more detailed information about this vehicle can be found on the IRPS page here.

On a totally unrelated note, the "Battle of Britain Locomotive Society" (owners and restorers of Bulleid 4-6-2 No.34081 '92 Squadron') have an excellent write up on page 32 of the current "Steam Railway" magazine (Issue 396, December 2011). It is so good to see various projects around the railway appear in the railway media over recent weeks, with the "Heritage Railway" magazine feature on the TASC machine still to come (available in the shops from 22nd December). I hope this new appetite for publicity will continue, as any interest generated amongst railway enthusiasts and the wider public can only be a good thing!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Mk1's make progress

Work to the roof of BR Mk1 SK E25347 has progressed rapidly over the last two or three weeks since SNCB (Belgian) coach No.21013 vacated the carriage shed (happily in time for the 'Santa Specials'). As the photos show, the roof has been roughly divided into three manageable chunks, cleaning/rubbing down and repainting being undertaken in sections.

This roof was in particularly poor condition cosmetically, what little paint remained was coming away in flakes! This has now been removed, and approximately two-thirds of the roof rubbed down... preparation for the first coats of paint, seen here applied to the first third of the roof (these photos are now a week old, so may already be out of date). The corroded roof vents have also been removed, and replacements fabricated already. I'm quite amazed at the rate of progress on this vehicle as work only began towards the end of November!

E25347 seen above is from the current running fleet, however Allan has been busy applying the lining to his Mk1 TSO No.4466 which is being restored from non-running condition. It is hoped that this coach will be ready for traffic before too long, giving a fleet of seven operational BR Mk1's for the first time in many years, with others in the wings awaiting their turn for restoration.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

D9518 finds a new home!

D9518, the ex-BR Class 14 diesel that has resided in the damp Wansford tunnel for many years, has found a new home at Williton on the West Somerset Railway. It has been purchased by a member of the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group based there, as an appropriate Western Region 'diesel-hydraulic' to add to their fleet.

The report on the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group website can be found here:

Monday, 5 December 2011

Repairs and Tidying

This week a couple of days were spent finishing off the new roof for one of the grounded van bodies at Wansford, and tidying this corner of the site by cutting and burning the vegetation on the embankment. Here we see the van bodies and embankment before work commenced, the lorry tarpaulin was not too bad but the supporting plywood was rotten and full of holes, allowing water to pool and pour into the van.

After installing the majority of the new boards a few weeks ago, the final ones were cut and fitted during the week, and felted as seen above.

The vans and embankment at the end of the day. Despite appearances these grounded 'Shocvan' bodies are structurally sound, they just look very tatty. A job for another day is to rebuild the doors with salvaged materials, and the whole lot can then be given a quick clean up and a lick of paint.

The new roof and tidied embankment makes quite a difference when compared to the first photo, which was taken only two weeks ago.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Yet More "Foreign Stuff"

The tender lining and the Swedish State Railways (SJ) emblems have now been applied to 'B' Class 4-6-0 No.101. I have to say it looks rather smart!

101 basks in glorious November(!) sunshine.

Continuing the Swedish theme, last week a Swedish railcar touched down at Wansford - 1958-built SJ Class Y7 No.1212. This was once resident at NVR during the five year period 1984-89, so this is something of a homecoming (sort of)...

A press report from the Hartlepool Mail can be read here, including a picture of the railcar on a low loader beginning its journey.

Speaking of new arrivals, a companion vehicle has arrived for the TASC-45 machine, in the form of a special ballast hopper. A feature on the TASC-45 machine and its work on Wansford river bridge is to be included in the next issue of "Heritage Railway" magazine, in the shops from 22nd December. The current issue of the same magazine also contains an excellent four-page feature on the NVR's 'Santa Specials' - well worth a read, and good to see the NVR gaining wider publicity.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Carriage News

SNCB No. 21013 was shunted out from the Carriage and Wagon shed on Saturday, after completion of its body rebuild. It was added into the rake for the 'Santa Specials' and the other SNCB coaches in the set received an external clean.

BR Mk1 SK E25347 then took its place in the carriage shed, presumably for repairs and repainting of the roof as a minimum.

The side sheeting on LMS TPO M30272M continues to make impressive progress after a period in the doldrums. In my view this is one of the most interesting vehicles on the railway, and it is very pleasing to see its restoration move forward once again.

Elsewhere, Terry has made progress with the new roof covering on LMS coach No.18017, which is being converted into volunteer sleeping accommodation.

Finally, not a coach but a wagon; Tim and I worked on re-roofing one of the stores vans. Unfortunately we were not able to complete it by close of play, so this awaits our attention next time. Here we see the rotten roof partially demolished, exposing a nest of dozy wasps in the process!

The new roof sheets going on. There is still more to do on this, but we feel we've done the worst of the job and hope to complete it next time.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Wagon Group Update

A brief wagon news update is now available on the Wagon Group website:

Saturday, 12 November 2011

"Foreign Stuff"

Over recent weeks the IRPS has progressed with completing the cosmetic repaint of Swedish 'B' Class 4-6-0 No.101 into authentic Swedish State Railways ('SJ') livery. On my last visit, the headlamps were undergoing the process of making them operational which looks rather smart at night!

The freshly repainted tender, yet to be lined.

Red lining has now been added, and what appear to be authentic 'SJ' crests are going on the tender.

The interior panelling has gone back inside the eastern vestibule of Belgian coach No.21013, after complete replating.

Along with the electric tail lamps, the midnight blue Wagon-Lits Pullman livery (inauthentic for these coaches, but it does look rather good!) has now been applied to the eastern end...

...and the corridor connector and lettering has also gone on.

Reupholstery of the Belgian SNCB set is transforming the tired interior of these coaches. Meanwhile the DSB (green) set continues to deteriorate, and a bogie on 'driving trailer' coach No.1710 disintegrated the other week and requires repair work. Surprisingly, a number of the bogies on this set are constructed from timber, rather than steel as is usually used for carriage bogies.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Wagon Group Update

The latest wagon news update is now available on the Wagon Group website:

Sunday, 30 October 2011

NVR Wagon Group Launch

After a lot of hard work behind the scenes, it gives me great pleasure to announce the official launch of the new NVR Wagon Group!

The new website can be found here: , a permanent link has also been added in the sidebar of this site.

News and progress updates about the wagons will be posted on that site from now on, while this site will continue to give regular, more general NVR-related postings.

In addition, I will post a link here whenever the 'News' section of the Wagon Group website is updated, so you need never miss out on progress updates!

Please consider donating to the new Wagon Group - any donations will be greatly appreciated, and every little helps!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Carriage restoration update

A very pleasing sight at Wansford the other week was seeing the first side-sheeting in place on M30272M. As mentioned before on this blog, this historic vehicle is the only surviving coach from the 'Travelling Post Office' (TPO) train that was attacked during the 'Great Train Robbery' of 1963.

Terry has begun to line-out his LMS coach No.18017, which he has converted into volunteer sleeping accommodation. The coach is to be finished in lined LMS 'Crimson Lake' livery.

Currently the focus of attention of the full-time Carriage and Wagon staff is Belgian (SNCB) coach No.21013, which is having its end vestibules rebuilt. The east end is just about done (minus corridor connections)...

...whilst work on the west end continues.

A week later, black undercoat had gone on. This photo itself is probably now out of date, I will try to get a more recent picture soon, on my next visit.

Monday, 17 October 2011

B953944 Launch

Saturday 15th October saw the official launch of Tim's brake van, with a mini exhibition held in the BR banana van, and public internal viewing of the brake van, part of the event. Both Tim and Alan gave short speeches before Alan ceremoniously broke a bottle of Champagne over a buffer. Two of Tim's unrestored 'A-Type' containers were also on display, along with his LNER hopper chassis, and the NVR's banana van. Here the line-up in Platform 1 can be seen.

Most of the lettering on the brake van is now complete.

The banana van contained a slide show projected onto the end wall showing photographs of the restoration, and a couple of poster information boards. One gave a history of the brake van and its restoration, plus Tim's plans for the hopper chassis and the 'A-Type' containers. The other set out the aims and objectives of the new NVR wagon group which is in the process of being established on the railway.

Fortunately we were blessed with gorgeous weather, and with 44422, 73050, and 71000 "Duke of Gloucester" all in steam, a gala atmosphere developed.

Very many thanks are due to all those who helped put on the event, particularly to James the diesel driver and Laura the guard, who put in a lot of physical effort to get the vehicles in the right place. Also thanks are due to all that attended, including a representative from "Steam Railway" magazine, and many thanks also for the donations that were collected on the day.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Ready to Launch...

Apologies for the quiet spell this week, I've been working hard on information display panels for the official launch of Tim's BR Standard 20 ton brake van, B953944. The event will also gently publicise the new wagon group at NVR, which is to be launched imminently after a lot of work behind the scenes!

The event begins at 1pm on Saturday 15th October, and is a private invitation affair. However, we expect to open the temporary exhibition to the public for a short while after about 2.30pm, so if you are in the area it might be worth popping in and taking a look! If all goes to plan, this (small) exhibition should be set up in the BR Banana van at Wansford, where you will be welcome to take a look at our future plans and hopefully give us your support.

We hope to see you there!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Diesel Gala Photos

Just a few photos of the various locos at the recent Diesel Gala, held over the three days 30th September - 2nd October.

'Peak' 45060 running round at Peterborough

20107 arriving at Peterborough

D5613 leading 31108, exiting the yard at Wansford

Class 14 "14029" (D9529) at Wansford a couple of weeks before the event.

56303 rests after Saturday's running

D6586 backs onto the Mk1s at Wansford

08622 ready to run a shuttle to Yarwell

37503 rests at Wansford

Monday, 3 October 2011

Going Bananas

With the Diesel Gala in full swing, Tim and I spent most of the Saturday repainting the interior of the banana van at Peterborough. The intention is to use this van as a temporary exhibition space for the launch of Tim's brake van, B953944, on 15th October. It is planned to use the banana boxes (a pleasant surprise discovered inside the van) to help furnish the display.

The results of our efforts - much fresher than the previous stained and marked white-painted interior. If all goes to the plan, a couple of poster information display boards should be installed, and a slide show of images of the restoration of B953944 projected onto the end wall for the event.

I spent an hour or so at the end of the day rubbing down and applying the topcoat on the central section of the "Esso" tank. This vehicle can now be left for the winter months while we focus our efforts on a couple of goods vans.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Diesel Gala Update

Sadly Class 25 25321 is now unable to make the gala, but has been replaced with another visitor, Class 31 31190.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

2011 Diesel Gala

It's that time of year again for one of NVR's biggest and best events!

Copied from the NVR website...

The visiting locos are:

37503, 20107 & 45060 Courtesy of Barrow Hill.
33201 Courtesy of BRCW Group Butterley.
25321 Courtesy of Midland Railway, Butterley & Derby Industrial Museum.
563xx Courtesy of BARS.
08622 courtesy of RMS LocoTech and Hansons Cement Ketton Works.
The home fleet of 14029 & 31108.
These are all subject to availability.

A small ceremony will be held on the Saturday at Wansford to commemorate 45060's 50th birthday.

14029 will be running shuttles from Wansford to Yarwell.

A rare opportunity to see on static display Class 14 ex D9518 NCB No7 which has been stored since preservation from Ashington Colliery in 1987 and is not normally accessible to public view.

Running engines for Friday - 31108, 25321, 33201, 37503 & 45060

Running Engines for Saturday & Sunday - 08622, 20107, 31108, 25321, 33201, 37503, 45060, 57xxx & 14029

Real Ale on sale

Working Timetable and Roster can be found here.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Carriage & Wagon Update

SNCB 21013 (the bar car) has been back in the workshop for the last couple of months, for the rebuilding of the vestibule ends. The east end is complete...

...while the west end is now not too far from completion. The rebuilding of the sides of this vehicle were tracked on this blog during 2010, archived on the right hand side of this page.

Allan's Mk1 TSO No.4466 continues to progress towards completion, the lower half of the north side is beginning to see BR Maroon topcoat. As reported in a previous posting, the south side has been finished.

The south side of No.4466.

"Esso" tank No.1914 now has black undercoat on the middle section - just the topcoat to go...

A closer view.

The impressive output of platform barrows continues. It is good to see that the newly-restored barrows already outside have now been distributed and displayed around the platforms at Wansford, rather than being chained together in a corner as they were previously!

Finally, the C&W shed has gained its long-desired barrow crossing linking it to the other sheds and service area. It will now be a lot easier to put the bins out amongst other things!