Friday, 29 July 2011

Going green

Esso tank No.1914 at the start of the day, light surface rust has appeared over the last few weeks since the paint was stripped.

The needle-gunned area was wire-brushed, to remove the surface rust. The area was then degreased and green primer went on. The painting didn't take long, but the aforementioned preparation took most of the day! This is a view from the tank ladder as the primer was going on. Left to right, black topcoat (north side) feathered into black undercoat, green primer, wire-brushed and degreased bare metal. Note the state of the old paintwork/rust in the foreground!

Priming finished.

Current state of play of the tank: Green primer on one third of the south side; black undercoat and black topcoat to follow asap.

The other side: one third of the north side in first topcoat, which should protect it from the weather until I can replace the rotten timber baulks, whenever that might be.

Painting completed, an hour was spent needle-gunning the next, central section (bottom of the tank). As can be seen, an hour of needle-gunning doesn't go very far, which gives an idea of how long it has taken to do the work to date. I am aiming for the panel line which can be seen near the top of the tank as a natural break, when the painting process will begin once again.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Great Gala News!

The following is from the NVR website:


It is with great pleasure the NVR can formally announce the two visiting Steam Locomotives for the NVR Steam Gala on September 10th and 11th.

The Locomotive line up will now be:

71000 Duke of Gloucester
GWR 4936 Kinlet Hall
73050 City of Peterborough
4F No 44422
J94 No 22

The Steam Gala web page will be updated as soon as possible with further details of this great event, the two locomotives will also be available for Driving Courses and dates will be announced as soon as possible."

Congratulations to all who have worked to make this possible, this is now an unmissable event!

An Appeal

I would love to be able to widen the scope of this blog, and include contributions from other NVR working members if possible. Contributions can be as brief or infrequent as you like, and from any department - it would be great to hear of other projects and progress around the railway that I have missed, or am unable to cover in any great detail due to lack of knowledge! You would of course be fully credited, unless you specifically ask not to be.

If you wish to send any material for inclusion, please send it to NVRblog(AT) - replacing the (AT) with @ - and put “NVR blog” in the subject line as an additional spam trap. I hope to hear from you!

I am hoping to pay a working visit later this week so expect an update soon…

Friday, 22 July 2011

Mk1 TSO 4466

This photo is a little out of date (taken about three weeks ago), but the restoration of Allan's Mk1 coach No.4466 is making good progress and looking glorious in BR maroon. I believe Allan and his small team are aiming for completion later this year, which would give us seven operational BR Mk1 coaches for the first time in many years, once E25639 has received its 'new' bogies.

It may come as a surprise to many that there are 14 BR Mk1 coaches on the railway (not including the TPOs) so there is definitely the potential to build up a second rake of Mk1s from currently out-of-use resident stock. Indeed, the very poor condition of the green DSB coaches (all requiring an extremely expensive, complete rebuild due to their rotten floors in particular) may force the issue sooner rather than later.

BR Mk1 No.4466

Built by: BRCW, 1956
Diagram number: 93
Lot number: 30226
Type: TSO

Preserved 1986 by Scottish Railway Preservation Society. At Falkirk till 1988, Perth till 1991, then Bo'ness. Poor order, stored, underframe incomplete (as of 2006). To Nene Valley in October 2005 and now undergoing major overhaul.

Information from the Vintage Carriage Database, by the Vintage Carriages Trust.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wagon Roundup

Tim's gorgeous brake van, the body built from scratch, emerged from the shed...

...and was given a test run through the tunnel to Yarwell Junction and back. It rides very smoothly and is extremely solid and well put together, as well as looking absolutely stunning. I was extremely privileged to be invited to be a passenger on this run, which made my day! There are several bits to finish off however, but the end is very definitely in sight. Congratulations to Tim and his helpers during the last four years, this really is an incredible piece of work.

Much less impressive, but progress nonetheless, is Esso tank No.1914 which has seen its first coat of black topcoat. The wire brush/green primer/black undercoat/black topcoat process needs to be repeated on the other side, then the first third of the tank is done!

Viewed from the footbridge.

Some BR 'Freight Brown' topcoat was also applied to the lower half of the tunnel end of Vanfit B759852. Progress was also made on another project, which I hope to properly reveal at a later date...!

I am now on holiday for a few days, regular updates will resume shortly.

Shunting Locos

After its temporary re-wheeling as an 0-4-0, Danish Class F No.656 "Tinkerbell" was moved into the new overhaul workshop from the old 2-road shed. I understand that this task was greatly aided by members of the Battle of Britain Locomotive Society, who very kindly stopped work on 34081 for a while, including into the evening, to help with carrying out the move across the site.

A relatively simple job like putting the wheels back on can give a real psychological boost to any rail vehicle restoration project. As the Bluebell railway has found with the restoration of SECR 'P' class No.178, a project like this is ideal for volunteers and staff to gain new skills and experience, without the time pressure of getting it in steam by a certain date.

The shunt also saw LMS brake composite No.18017 brought from under the A1 bridge to the end of the 'IRPS siding'. Terry is continuing its restoration and conversion into volunteer sleeping accommodation.

The LMS coach in its new home. This now potentially frees up the A1 bridge for a wagon restoration base, a request has gone in...

The previous view, photo taken February 2011. This begs the question, where have these scruffy locos gone?

A quick hunt reveals them under cover for the first time in many years, which has got to be a good thing. DB 64.305 now sits next to "Derek Crouch" in the shed, which has also been brought under cover from the end of the 'IRPS siding' during this latest shunt.

The two locos side-by-side.

A little loco with an intersting history. No.1539 'Derek Crouch'. This loco was built by Hudswell Clarke of Leeds in 1924, for Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons and used to construct the sugar beet factory at Wissington, near Downham Market, Norfolk. It seems the loco was then sold to the British Sugar Corporation, who then used the locomotive on the Wissington Light Railway between the factory and the LNER branch line. During this period the locomotive was named "Hayle", and later renamed as "Wissington Loco".

In 1955 No.1539 was sold to Derek Crouch (Contractors) Ltd, and gained its current name. It worked in an open-cast coal mine in Widdrington, Northumberland. It remained there until 1970, when it was placed in store. In 1972, it was placed with the Peterborough Locomotive Society (PLS) on 'permanent loan' (whatever that means?!)

In 1974 this locomotive worked the first PLS train along the Nene Valley line. The PLS became the present-day NVR, and as such No.1539 has a special place in the NVR history books.

As an aside, personally I'd like to see "Derek Crouch" cosmetically restored and become the publically-accessible footplate loco by the turntable. "Jacks Green", currently providing this role, could then be brought into the shed and potentially returned to steam as a useful British loco at a future date. One of our fitters has said to me that Jacks Green is a powerful loco and would surprise many with its capabilities!

Brief history of 1539 adapted from the NVR Stock Book 2007 Edition.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Bogie Overhaul

The overhauls of the spare bogies for Mk1 E25639 are making good progress. The first one is just about complete, and a fine sight it makes too.

The frame of the second bogie was lifted off its wheelsets in order for its own overhaul to start. The 'wheel' in the centre of the axle seen here drives the belt-driven dynamo, which is supposed to charge the batteries for the coach electrics when the coach is on the move. The value of the workshop can be seen to good effect here, it is an extremely useful multi-functional space, all areas being accessible with the overhead gantry crane.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Cafe extension marches on...

More of the beautifully crafted windows have been installed in the cafe extension - apologies for the photo quality, the light was fading by the time I took most of these pictures.

A view out from the interior, which has had a ceiling and well-chosen pendant lights installed. The station canopy brackets have also been attractively painted. The Swedish 'B' Class 4-6-0 with its 'Nord Express' line up is beginning to make a rather attractive scene to admire whilst having a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

Our new 'gate guardian' continues to undergo its cosmetic overhaul. Although it's not finished yet, the difference that this project is making to the first impression of the site is quite incredible...

...remember this?

It appears that top coat is going on, the loco is apparently going into an authentic SJ livery...

...something like this (modified by me from an original photo by Martin Vos). According to the IRPS, this is an authentic livery for the 'B' Class but not this specific locomotive.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

On the wagon

The first black undercoat has gone on Esso tank No.1914, giving an idea of what the new black paint will look like. Quite a difference when compared to the old peeling paint on adjacent sections of the tank.

Needle-gunning continued on the other side of this section, which is now ready for wirebrushing and green primer.

The lower section of the tunnel end of 'Vanfit' B759852 was quickly wire-brushed, and green primer dabbed on the cleaned-up rust spots. The restoration of this wagon is never going to win any awards, but for a static van it is good enough!

A group of volunteers have been continuing with the restoration of Southern Railway brake van No.55550. This was the view last week, when the scrap metal forming the ballast weight was temporarily removed.

Since the previous photo, the bare bones of the second new verandah are beginning to take shape. The steel corner posts have also been needle-gunned and primed.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

TASC 45 Machine launched

Somehow I missed this; a week or so ago the TASC-45 track machine was launched after its impressive restoration from vandalised condition. A few pictures of the launch ceremony (including indestuctible bottle of champagne...) begin from here.

Friday, 1 July 2011

More Building Developments

The café extension continues at an impressive pace, with window frames undergoing manufacture and fitting.

The external stairs have now been installed, leading up to a long-desired viewing gallery which is being created to allow the public to safely overlook goings-on in the Heavy Overhaul Workshop building. We’ll all have to be on our best behaviour, no swearing (which might be a challenge for some!) This shed currently contains 34081 ’92 Squadron’ which is undergoing overhaul and is making excellent progress, thanks to the superb efforts of the Battle of Britain Locomotive Society who deserve a huge amount of praise and support.