Gresley Corridor Brake Third No. 3669 goes under cover
The owners of BTK No. 3669 breathed a sigh of relief on February 26 when their pride and joy, No. 3669, was placed inside the new shed at Kirkby Stephen, Stainmore Railway, where it joins Luggage Composite No. 1111, also recently departed from the NYMR.
The owners were exercising an option in the agreement whereby if covered accommodation could not be provided by the NYMR within a stated timescale, then the carriage could be moved elsewhere to fulfil that ambition.
An immediate undertaking at Kirkby Stephen will be to give No. 3669 a coat of varnish.
It has been publicly stated that once shed space can be found, then No. 3669 is likely to return to the NYMR. Provision of a carriage ‘stable’ is one of the four main planks in the submission by the NYMR for Heritage Lottery Funding, titled ‘Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey’. The Railway is expecting an announcement from HLF in late March or April.
No. 3669’s place in the LNER set will be taken by Gresley Brake Third Open No. 43567 which has entered the C&W workshop at Pickering to be revarnished. Unfortunately, rather than just a clean and a rub-down, the state of the bodysides will necessitate a complete strip down to bare wood – see below.
Water damage found
We now have three LNER carriages which have been found to have suffered from serious damage from water ingress.
The first to be found was Restaurant Buffet No. 641, undergoing extensive repair and renovation at Wirksworth, Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. Water had got in, not only from a non-watertight roof, but also down windows and gathered behind the vinyl alongside the plywood panels. All of this has had to be stripped out.
Now we have found TTO No. 23956 and BTO No. 43567 have also been the victims to the No. 1 enemy of carriage restorers – H2O.
The BTO No. 43567 has now entered the C&W shed for long overdue varnishing. As with TTO No. 23956, the roof has started to leak, so it is no surprise that it is suffering the same problems. We have not yet been able to access the roof but it is likely a rotted canvas is the culprit, necessitating a full replacement of the canvas and roof mouldings etc. Inside, the east side is showing early signs of deterioration of the ply side cladding but no major rot yet. The west side has major rot and will need complete replacement. Water has leaked through the roof boards into the van area and there may be rotted roof boards. The teak outer panels are badly water marked and we doubt the stains will sand out but they look to have remained attached to the pillars (unlike in 23956) so we are hoping that the glue blocks are OK. Our Thursday team is stripping out tables, seats and cladding to allow things to dry out, further news will follow.
All this highlights, yet again we are at the mercy of the elements, standing outside in all seasons. Rigorous attention to the varnishing and roof painting periodicities is another key factor and we are optimistic that the NYMR management will be able to provide the resources.
The CCT – looking good
As each week progresses, our faithful stores vehicle, 1950-built Covered Carriage Truck (CCT) No. E1308, looks better. The first coat of LNER brown has appeared on the first of the newly re-panelled sections on the west side of the vehicle (car park side). This side has the worst woodwork defects to repair. The Association is pleased to recognise and thank members of the Pickering Wagon Group for helping on this project. In effect, the CCT has taken the PWG’s space in the shed, so the sooner it can be moved outside – when a new roof covering has been fitted – then the Wagon Group can resume normal duties.
After enjoying 37 years on the NYMR – all of which was spent at Levisham, Luggage Composite No. 1111 is about to leave New Bridge yard on February 5 for its new home at Kirkby Stephen, Stainmore Railway, where its volunteers will endeavour to return it to original condition. The LNERCA took the view that this was the best course of action for its future as No. 1111 would be way down the queue for rebuild by LNERCA volunteers. Photo: Dave Cullingworth.
Dateline: February 26. Gresley BTK No. 3669 is lowered down the ramp at Kirkby Stephen on February 26. The shed in the background will be its new home. Should the NYMR be successful in its bid for Heritage Lottery Funding and a carriage stabling shed be provided, then No. 3669 will once again be gracing the metals of the Moors Railway. Photo: Rob Murray.
One side finished on the CCT
The east side (rail side on the Atkins shed) of Covered Carriage Truck (CCT) No. 1308 is now finished, apart from the numbering and lettering. The complete side has been renewed – vertical planking and the three doors – all decked out in LNER Brown.
However, walk round to the east side and what a stark difference. Apart from the first section of planking now in place, the entire bodyside is devoid of its old derelict doors and planking. The remaining crumbling and splintered planking was removed on Saturday February 9, exposing the framing.
There are numerous parts which are loose or will require renewing before the planking can be fitted.
One door corner pillar was completely rotten and only the top three feet remains. This will necessitate a new pillar machining and fitting. Meanwhile, an Acro prop has been fitted to help support the roof.
The three doors for the east side (car park side) of the CCT have already been made. All metalwork is removed from the derelict doors and fully refurbished. Once painted in top coat LNER Brown, they are all bolted to the new doors.
It is planned to fit these three doors using the C&W’s huge fork lift truck once the CCT can be shunted outside.
This will not happen until the roof is finished. To effect this, a new roofing material is to be trialled. The C&W Manager, Kieran Murray, has kindly allowed the CCT to be in the Atkins shed for up to three months – perfect and somewhat necessary when applying new roofing materials. The LNERCA is also grateful to the Pickering Wagon Group for taking their usual space.
All work is now concentrated on the east side of the CCT, the side adjacent to the public car park. With all the exterior bodyside panelling removed, an assessment can be made of the framing onto which the vertical boards are screwed.
The green Acro prop has been used to ensure the roof does not sag whilst this work is undertaken. Oak was used in quantities after the second world war (No. 1308 was built in 1950 to the earlier LNER design) due to difficulties in obtaining teak from the east.
The first section of new tongue and groove boarding has been screwed into place at the northern end of No. 1308. Not all the metalwork fittings have been bolted on. This section awaits undercoat, followed by top coat of LNER Brown.
NER Luggage Composite No. 1111 left the NYMR on Friday February 7 and, after spending the night at Scotch Corner, arrived at Kirkby Stephen on the Saturday and immediately was put into the new shed. This was the first time this carriage has been under cover at least since 1924 when it was withdrawn from service and passed into Departmental service at Bishop Auckland, i.e. over 95 years! Indeed, it may well have not seen a shed for over a century.
BTK No. 3669 is set to follow the same route later in February.
Ah, yes, the face. This was applied by the Levisham station volunteers in order to appeal to children. Let us hope the smile will soon be wiped off it – not befitting for North Eastern Railway heritage!
Photograph by Mike Thompson.
The committee and volunteers are mourning the passing of John Sutcliffe, the LNERCA’s Archivist, who passed away a week before Christmas. He was 75 and had been in poor health. John joined the LNERCA committee in 2008 as an ordinary member and a year later took on the mantle of Archivist. He set to and soon began to assemble an impressive library of documents and photographs of all things LNER rolling stock.
His love of railways manifested itself particularly in historical matters and live steam. He was a member of the York Model Engineering Society, based at Dringhouses and was a friend of Bob Polley who had a layout at Barton, just off the A64 to Malton. Because of his friendship with Bob, John was instrumental in arranging for the LNERCA’s NER First Open No. 2118 to be stored on Bob’s land and John became in effect its custodian. He was looking after several of the components from this unique carriage.
Another of John’s favourite vehicles was the LNERCA’s Fish Van and he was so looking forward to seeing it take shape this year.
ECJS No. 189 was also on his ‘top list’ and he gained much pleasure from seeing it progress.
One of the quieter members of the committee – that’s no bad thing – but nevertheless, John had a great sense of humour and had the LNERCA’s interest very much at heart.
He leaves behind his wife Margaret to whom he was devoted and three step children who he called his own. A really nice man and the committee extends its condolences to his family.
Top of the pile – the humble CCT
Winston Churchill once said “a nation which forgets its past has no future”. The LNERCA certainly subscribes to this view and, being a diminishing breed of preservationists, subscribes to these wise words in that we are trying not only not to forget our past, but actually preserve it as well. Every heritage railway in the country has something in common – derelict vehicles, eyesores and wrecks. The good aspect about them is that they have escaped the breaker’s yard and await their turn for restoration. The downside is their appearance. Welcome, therefore, to this episode of the ‘wreck restorers’.
For some months, in between the huge effort expended on East Coast Joint Stock Restaurant Third No. 189 in preparing it for its successful exhibition at the 1940s Weekend, we have been working hard on renovating our trusty, decidedly tatty and forlorn stores van, alias Covered Carriage Truck (CCT) No. E1308. Although work continues on No. 189, we have the opportunity to have the CCT in the Atkins shed for up to three months. Here, thanks go to not only Kieran Murray, C&W Engineer for allowing us the space, but also the Pickering Wagon Group which has just completed its outstanding restoration of the Pipefit wagon. With some of its Group’s volunteers sampling NHS hospitality, the suggestion was made to have the CCT under cover using the allocated wagon space which will aid its renovation enormously.
One side has been completely rebuilt, new vertical boarding and new doors. The roof has been stripped down to the roof boards only to reveal it is in far better condition than was expected. Only two roof boards were in need of replacing at one side where they join the cantrail (top of the van side).
Several roof boards had ‘lifted’ i.e. the screws holding them to the metal carlines (hoopsticks which span from one side to the other) had lost their ‘bite’ so we began the painstaking task of removing all the rusty screws, derusting the carlines, painting them in green anti-oxide paint, then undercoat and using bolts to secure the roof boards to the carlines. When all 16 carlines have been treated, then a new roof covering will be fitted – type to be determined.
No. 1308 will be permanently stabled in Pickering, so will look pristine to visitors. We are using some artistic license in that although it was built in 1950 (to an earlier 1939 LNER design) and would have emerged from York Works in maroon, we are painting it in the 1939-style LNER Brown with LNER-style lettering.
The CCT ran for 27 years on BR, all over the country. It was withdrawn on January 12, 1977 at Doncaster. The CCT was then given an Internal User number for use within Doncaster Works and, finally, was used by the Works’ Horticultural Society. When this was disbanded in 1996, the Works’ staff most kindly donated it to us and it arrived in July of that year. For those interested, its full history is on the LNERCA website – see: http://www.lnerca.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/E1308-F.pdf
It is hoped that NYMR members and readers will appreciate that the LNERCA is not only restoring passenger-carrying carriages, but non-passenger types as well, for it is the latter which can no longer be seen on the national system, eg, parcels vans, full Brakes and Fish Vans. It is these vehicles which add the atmosphere and ambience to a heritage railway as we try to recreate and recall by-gone railway times.
Two of our vehicles have left for a new home at Kirkby Stephen. North Eastern Railway Luggage Composite No. 1111, the van which has resided at Levisham for a staggering 45 years. Is to be restored by a group based at the Stainmore Railway. It would be many years before the LNERCA could return it to operational standard, so in its long-term interest, this was considered the best option, the LNERCA retaining ownership.
Also heading to this thriving railway is Gresley Brake Third Corridor No. 3669 where covered accommodation has been offered. This is so important for the well-being of the varnished carriages. It will return, come the day it can be put under cover on the NYMR. No. 3669 has been the Brake carriage for the LNER set during 2018 whilst Brake Third Open No. 43567 has been used in the Pullman set, deputising for Car No. 79.
Not only that, but inside, all the rusty screws which hold the roof boards onto the carlines are being removed and replaced by bolts, inserted from outside and nutted from inside.
The carlines have been derusted and painted with anti-oxide paint, whilst all internal roofboards are being painted white. Here, Nick Smith tightens one of the hundreds of new bolts which will ensure the roof boards will not ‘lift’ off the carlines. Photo: Murray Brown.
Unique Thompson carriage passes to LNERCA
In recent years, the saga of 1947-built Thompson-designed Composite Lavatory (CL) No. 88339 has not been a happy one. This consortium-owned carriage ran highly successfully for several years at the north end of the LNER set (so allowing access to the compartments at all station platforms). However, in 2012 it was withdrawn from service due to faults with its doors, and since then it has been stored in a siding at Levisham. Although under an agreement with the consortium, the NYMR was responsible for its maintenance, it was always low down the list of priorities, so nothing was done and it looked like continuing that way for the foreseeable future. As a result, No. 88339 has deteriorated further, and the owners had to provide a tarpaulin to try and stem further damage.
Committee members of the LNERCA, worried that this historical, unique carriage and so representative of the type which worked the Whitby services prior to BR closing the line, was ‘getting nowhere’ came up with the idea that if ownership could be transferred to the LNERCA, this would open the door to a better future. It is pleasing to report that all the shareholders have agreed that this is, indeed, the best course of action – and ownership of No. 88339 has now been transferred to LNERCA.
The present thinking is that if its repair is regarded as a joint venture, with the LNERCA providing labour and the NYMR providing materials, the cost of repairs can be significantly reduced.
No. 88339 will have to wait its turn – the LNERCA is committed to finishing No. 189 and NER No. 945. In the meantime, thoughts are being given to safeguarding the carriage and preventing further deterioration. Several options are being explored but it would be premature to name them.
If the carriage does leave the NYMR (a possible option) for storage and repair, the Trust Board is keen for it to return. The new contract between LNERCA and the NYMR would transfer maintenance responsibility to LNERCA, and the NYMR would pay a hire charge per mile, with a minimum mileage per annum. In this way the coach can be guaranteed to be used, and the impasse that has occurred over the last eight years about its maintenance would not be repeated. A win-win for both parties.
The clock is turned back to happier days for CL No. 88339 – October 26, 2004 when it had just been ‘scumbled’. The possibility is now on the cards that this condition will one day be recreated. Photo: David Idle.
It was withdrawn in June 1967 in Scotland prior to arriving on the NYMR in March 1970.
Photo: Murray Brown.
A herculean effort by volunteers saw East Coast Joint Stock Restaurant Car No. 189 totally transformed to take part in the Steam, Speed and Sumptuous Dining’ exhibition which took place during the NYMR’s Wartime Weekend. To get to this stage, an enormous amount of work was put in, led by Marcus Woodcock and his merry men.
From what was still very much a skeleton shell, parts of the 1894-built carriage were dramatically changed – with ceilings and panelling in place.
Visitors first saw the pantry. Not long ago, this didn’t exist but partition and cupboard was now in place and furniture was varnished, installed and displayed ECJS silverware. There was a mock-up of the carriage designer’s drawing office (David Bain) with drawings and pens depicting the carriage design being finalised. The next stage depicted the First World War through which the carriage survived – a dug-out with sandbags, very much in keeping with this year’s 100-year anniversary of the ending of WW1. The final section was the eye-opener – two tables set for diners. These even has ECJS plates, a bottle of ECJS Claret and Port. There was even a carpet down the middle of the carriage – a foretaste of things to come.
There were some 1,600 visitors who enjoyed the exhibition, the participants wearing a headset and listening to the fictional tale of ’Nipper’ who was a pantry lad relating his life through the years.
What was particularly rewarding was the fact that the Heritage Lottery Fund was most pleased to see this exhibition as part of the HLF-funded project.
Special mention and thanks to must be made of Helena Fox, the NYMR’s Education Officer, and Wendy Taylor, our Education consultant, for all their skill and effort in putting the show together. The accompanying graphics – posters and prints and attention to details – were outstanding. Because the exhibition was so successful we’ll try and repeat it at some point in the future.
Photo: Murray Brown.
Photo: Murray Brown.
View of the exhibition – with the pantry behind the camera, this view shows the recreation of David Bain’s drawing office (the designer of No. 189) with, beyond, the WW1 scenario and, at the far end, the dining area. Photo: Rodney Towers.
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