Monday, 28 February 2011

More from last week...

Sadly I am unlikely to be able to get up to the railway this week, so to reduce the time period between updates, here are a few more photos from my visit last week.

The two scruffiest locomotives on site, DB 2-6-2T No.64.305 and
0-6-0ST No.1539 'Derek Crouch' (behind the scaffolding), now find themselves at the far end of the former loco siding beyond the yard gate. Hopefully in time these two can be tidied up but it is not a priority at the moment, especially with limited manpower available - we desperately need more volunteers please! In the foreground is CIWL Sleeping Car No.3916, undergoing active restoration, and forming the tail end of the 'Nord Express' line-up now occupying the public part of this siding. Eventually it is planned to allow public access to these coaches.

Work to Southern brake van No.55550 continues in the yard, the new timber verandah has been painted. If work continues at this impressive rate, in the fairly near future we may go from one operational brake van, to three! (Tim's brake van in the shed is a few months away from completion).

The restoration of the platform trolley continues in the workshop, a host of small metalwork parts to go on it have already been cleaned and painted.

That's probably it for now, hopefully I can get some fresh pictures early next week.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Hive of Activity

Quite a lot going on today for Post No.100 of this Blog! I called in at Wansford today expecting it to be quiet as is usual for a Tuesday afternoon. It was therefore a very pleasant surprise to find the level crossing gates closed across the road and 'Thomas' in steam - I'd completely forgotten about half term!

The car park was full and lots of visitors were milling about - very good to see, especially as the weather wasn't much to write about.

'Thomas' back in service after his repaint, which was undertaken over the last few weeks in the C&W shed. SNCB coach No.21013 is now due to go back in for a few weeks, to have the external refurbishment of the end vestibules completed.

The main reason for my visit today was to have a look at the new arrangements on the 'loco siding'. As mentioned in the previous post, the Kriegslok had been removed from the head of the siding where it had stood for many years, and replaced with the Swedish 'B' Class No.101 last week. The CIWL Restaurant Car and Sleeping Car are now coupled up behind No.101, as a representation of 'The Nord Express'. However I was unable to get any decent shots of the newly-formed display train, as major work was under way pouring concrete for the foundations of the cafe extension.

'The Nord Express' steaming out of the front gate...

The view from the car park. It looks like the train has paused at a wayside station! Cosmetic restoration of the loco, and full restoration of the Sleeping Car, is ongoing thanks to the efforts of the IRPS.

The 'Kriegslok' No.Ty2-7173 is temporarily residing on the turntable before it leaves the site for its new home. In the foreground are preparations for the foundations of a 'new' and exciting building project that is replacing the previous education building on this site. More about that in a future post perhaps...

An alternative view of the 'Kriegslok', come and see it while you still can!

This was the site two weeks ago...

...and this was taken today. The 'Vanfit' box van in both images (No.B785122) is being prepared for use in the Civil Engineers' train.

The refurbished power unit has been lowered into Rolls-Royce 'Sentinel' 0-6-0DH No.22. In time, this locomotive will be restored back to original appearance, losing its 'London Transport' identity in favour of the livery it wore when delivered in 1967 to 'Stewart & Lloyd Minerals Ltd.', Corby.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

101 Shunt

According to the IRPS, the shunt to extract the 'Kriegslok' 2-10-0 and place Swedish 'B' Class No.101 at the head of the 'engine siding' has now taken place, along with the CIWL Sleeping and Restaurant Cars arranged behind it. Photos to follow soon after my next visit.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Departure time approaches...

In the last few days, preparations have begun at Wansford to extract the 'Kriegslok' 2-10-0 for shipment to its new home back on the Continent. I must admit that I had expected it to be gone already, however it soon became apparent that I had misunderstood the arrangements and that it should be leaving in a few weeks time (early/mid March). Apologies for any confusion caused by your
dim-witted scribe!

As part of the preparations for the move, the Wagon-Lits Dining Car No.2975 has been pulled out from its previous location next to the TPO bookshop carriage. This is rather a fine vehicle but is currently in a poor state - the IRPS are aiming to restore this carriage when they've completed the restoration of Wagon-Lits Sleeping Car No.3916. When the 'Kriegslok' leaves, creating a bit of space, these two coaches will be coupled together behind the Swedish 'B' Class
4-6-0 as a representation of the 'Nord Express'.

BR Mk1 SO No.4794 ('Christabel') is now in the space vacated by the Wagon-Lits Dining Car.

Further down the same siding, semi-restored 'Vanfit' B759852 sports its new undercoat. Definitely not painting weather today! The shorter length of 'Christabel' compared to the Wagon-Lits Dining Car means that these four vans have moved towards the station slightly.

The SR TPO No.4920 shows the result of cleaning/T-Cutting in an effort to make it more presentable. Certainly an improvement when compared to the doors and panels on the right-hand side which have not yet been attended to. The high-level windows are in store, being repaired.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Carriage & Wagon

Sadly my enforced absence from proper volunteering continues (too much work on), but I was pleased to see that the south side of 'Vanfit' B759852 has been painted in undercoat whilst I have been away. It now looks reminiscent of the white 'meat van' conversion recently undertaken at the Mid-Hants Railway!

Alternative view. Apologies for the the quality of the photos, a rake of coaches was in the way today.

Work on restoring privately-owned Southern Railway brake van No.55550 continues. The repaired solebar area has now been painted underframe black and the verandah has been reconstructed and primed. It's lovely to see more wagons given the attention they deserve.

A set of spare bogies have been loaded with the crane and brought up to Wansford, appropriately enough on the 'Bogie Bolster C'. These are to be overhauled and put under BR Mk1 No.25639, which has been temporarily removed from service due to worn flanges/tyres.

Cascaded into Departmental use...

Further to last weeks update, the double-deck education classroom 'Portacabin' has now been completely removed from its previous site (it was to the left of the green shipping containers in this photo). It is being re-erected in a new location for use as staff offices, and I am very pleased to say it is now safely out of public view. The site is already looking much better for it.

The large 'Kriegslok' loco in the background is due to leave the site in a couple of days, the yard will see a major shunt to release it and the opportunity will be taken to rearrange many of the static vehicles at Wansford. Swedish Class 'B' 4-6-0 No.101 will become the new 'gate guardian', cosmetic refurbishment of the loco for this role is ongoing as and when the IRPS volunteers have time.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Flying Visit 1st Feb 2011

A few visible changes on site since my visit last week, but as I didn't have much time to hang around today I'm in the dark as to what's actually going on...

The top deck of the former 'Education Building' has gone! Personally I'm hoping for good, as it really was a bizarre eyesore in a very public part of the site. Presumably better accommodation has been found for the NVR's education groups. Will the remaining lower portion disappear too? Fingers crossed!

BR Mk1 SO No.4794 'Christabel' has moved down from the damp cutting where it has been stored for the last few years, and temporarily into Wansford station. I'm not quite sure what the plan is for this coach now, there were plans being formulated to restore it but these seem to have gone quiet recently. The bodywork doesn't appear to be in particularly good condition upon cursory inspection (and no, I'm not just looking at the paint!) but it is still eminently restorable and I'm hoping the project hasn't died a death.

Elsewhere on site...

Corby Quarries No.22/London Transport No. DL83 (Rolls-Royce Sentinel 0-6-0 diesel-hydraulic shunter, works No.10271, built 1967) has had it's engine removed for replacement with a reconditioned power unit. The marvellous reconstruction of BR standard 20T brake van No.B953944 has joined No.22/DL83 in the workshop, moved from its previous location in the shed.

The platform barrow in the C&W shed continues it's renaissance, the timber work is becoming trolley-shaped (restored metal parts still to be fitted) and is painted in white primer.

The Southern Railway TPO No.4920 was undergoing an attempt to clean up the existing shabby 'grey' paintwork. The sections that had been done looked considerably greener and more appealing than the rest of the coach!