Sunday, 26 February 2012

SNCB 21033: Update 1

Here are a few photos from the Carriage Shed a couple of weeks ago, showing then-current progress on SNCB (Belgian) coach No.21033...

The vast majority of the roof has now been sanded back.

New metal has now been let into the end of the coach, formed into a compound curve to match the original shape of the roof. I would've liked to have been around when this happened, to see how it was done!

The lower bodyside rivets on the north side have been cut, ready to remove the side sheets. Like sister coach No.21013 (outshopped last year), it appears that the sheeting on the top half does not require complete replacement.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Winter Wonderland

The snow and freezing weather last week was extremely uncomfortable and messed up many finely-made plans - but it also made the vistas around Wansford incredibly beautiful. Whilst the NVR isn't in the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District, the expansive water meadow/arable landscape of the area has its own scenic charm, especially towards the western end of the line as seen here.

It was so cold last weekend that even the River Nene froze over. All the local waterfowl gathered at the only opening in the ice, seen here from the Wansford river bridge!

The cold also played havoc with train running that day. The coal loader could not be started, and frozen pipes on 'Standard 5' 73050 meant that it could not haul trains as planned. Class 14 D9520 ably filled the gap, although the failure of 73050 meant we were sadly denied the spectacle of steam in the snow with sunny blue skies.

Having been frozen by the short walk to examine LMS CCT No.37071, shelter was sought in the brake van with its extremely effective stove! Once we had thawed out a bit and could feel our toes again, we were able to undertake a little more work to 'Vanfit' B759852. The new planks were drilled and bolted through, and another old plank was prepared for removal as we'd discovered more rot since last time. Not clear in this view is the fact that we have a new workspace under cover in the open shed - no warmer than outdoors proper, but at least sheltered from the wind, rain, and snow. The roof of the van is also drying out nicely now it's out of the elements, so hopefully we will be able to recanvas the existing timber.

We then undertook a little tidying of various wagon spares we'd collected from around the site, before the dropping temperatures and failing light forced us to call it a day.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Beginning of the End

It is pleasing to see that the last coach in the Belgian rake requiring major exterior work (No.21033) has found its way into the Carriage & Wagon shed, following completion of repair and repainting works to the roof of BR Mk1 SK E25347. Work to 21033 will most likely follow a similar path to SNCB 21013, restored during 2010/11 with progress charted on this blog (see Archives, right). Once No.21033 is completed in a year or two, it is expected that the Belgian rake should last in good condition for several years to come, and attention can then focus on the railway's collection of BR Mk1 coaches.

In time it is hoped to build up a second Mk1 rake in BR Maroon, which can operate alongside the existing "Blood and Custard" Mk1 rake and allow the necessary withdrawal of the rapidly-deteriorating green 'DSB' (Danish) stock. More volunteers in the Carriage Department would really speed progress on the carriage fleet, so if you fancy undertaking some engineering/restoration work in your spare time then please consider becoming a NVR member and lending a hand! No prior skill or experience necessary, and it fits in around your life rather than the other way around, being on an 'as and when' basis whenever you wish or as you are able.

Anyway, back to SNCB 21033. No time has been lost in removing the gangway ends and putting the overhead working gantry in place - the latter again proving its worth.

A small part of the rust affecting the bodyside can be seen here, along with the start being made on cutting the rivets to allow removal and replacement of the lower body panels.

Corrosion to the roof end has been cut out, ready to let in new metal that will need to be formed to the compound curve found here.

Approximately two-thirds of the roof has been sanded back so far.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Wagon Group Update

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