Latest News – updated April 26th, 2018

New roof boards go on No. 189 – and the Fish Van underframe changes colour!

 
Those are the headlines with this news update. On RTO No. 189, the lower clerestory roof has just about been completed with new roof boards. The interesting aspect here is that these boards, which have tongue and groove edges, must fit extremely tightly together. To achieve this, as each board is fitted, it is clamped to the previous one, forcing the tongue into the groove of its predecessor.
However, when the radius sharpens nearer the cantrail and the curvature become more prominent, this has entailed chamfering the tongue to ensure it fits snugly into the groove of the previously fitted board. A wedge is used to hammer home and force the board being fitted into the previous already fitted board. This ensures each board is as tight as can be to the previous one.
On the body, the clerestory sides are now finished in teak.
 
Meanwhile at DC Engineering’s Shildon premises, the underframe destined to go under No. 189 is having the mounting brackets welded on in exactly pre-determined positions. This underframe is due to be transported back to Pickering in the next two weeks after which plans will be made to swap the body from its existing underframe onto the modified one, complete with overhauled Gresley bogies. Once the body has been rolled onto the underframe, bolts will be inserted through the body and through the mounting brackets to ensure the body is securely fixed.
The underframe on which 189 currently sits now has ply packings along the top of its solebars to give a level surface for the rollers which will be used to roll the body onto its new frame. The buffer and headstock fixings have been freed off to allow a swift removal when we eventually do the body swap.
The major task of clearing out the accumulated rubbish (valuable spares!) from under No. 189 has started. This has highlighted how little storage space we have and the need to progress our Fish Van asap.
 
CCT No. E1308
Timber for the six new sliding doors is in stock and when time permits will be machined to size. The C&W Manager, Kieran Murray, has kindly moved E1308 back into the yard, so allowing more repanelling to take place.
 
Gresley RB No. 641
The Buffet Car is due to leave for the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Wirksworth, north of Derby. Here maintenance will be undertaken, including lifting the RB to access the rack plates (in need of replacement) as will putting right the vandal damage incurred last July.
 
Fish Van No. E 75169
Good progress has been made on painting the Fish Van underframe. With all the green anti-oxide green having been completed, this was followed by grey undercoat and a large proportion of the gloss black had been applied by April 22. The vertical stanchions will be painted white, as will the entire body when assembled.
 
NER Luggage Composite No. 1111
A working party to Levisham will take place over the May ‘coach week’ to replace the missing south end headstock ready for No. 1111’s planned move next winter to the Stainmore Railway at Kirby Stephen.
 


Marcus Woodcock installs the board on the lower clerestory roof section. At each carline, he clamps a block of wood to the cantrail, leaving a gap for a triangular wedge. By hitting the wedge, this then forces the board tighter into the previous one. The newly painted teak brown clerestory upper section sides can be viewed. Photo: Murray Brown.

 

It is good to see work underway on the important Fish Van – not because it is a unique vehicle, but its use is urgently needed for storing major components. With the ‘Pullman Siding’ being dug out and new rail installed, this has allowed a view from the east – previously obstructed by the BR blue GUV stores vehicle. Once the painting is completed, the brake cylinder will be fitted, followed by the vacuum pipe. Photo: Murray Brown.

 

The second of the lower clerestory roof boards is seen being fitted. Also on view is the clamp which ensure this second board is as tight as it can be to the first one. Photo: Malcolm Brown

 

Christopher Johnson carefully adds the lining to one of the ventilators destined for the roof of RTO No. 189. Photo: Malcom Brown.


Previous News


 

Nearly ready to re-roof No. 189

 
With all the clerestory glass in place, duly beaded and sealed, thoughts are turning to re-board the lower sides of the roof. To date, this work has been deferred to allow ladders access through the spaces between the carlines in order to gain access to fit the clerestory windows.
The roof has quite a sharp slope when it curves down to join the cantrail. This will necessitate narrow tongue and groove boards to allow them to fit the curvature. It may also mean chamfering off slivers of the tongue, again, to allow these boards to fit tightly against each other and not have any gaps which would allow water ingress. Of course, a canvas will cover these roof boards – or, to be more correct, a heavy-duty plastic sheet.
Whilst the roof boards are yet to be fitted, the gaps left between the carlines – the metal/wood supports of the clerestory roof – are being utilized to put ladders through so that the entire glazed clerestory section can be painted in white undercoat – see image.
With more internal panelling cut out, ready to be varnished and lined up all along the interior, this is a real visual indication of how 189 will be transformed this year.
Another indication of how resplendent 189 will finally look is the application of gold leaf to certain panels – to be undertaken by Neil Cawthorne, resident veneer expert.
The refurbished and shortened underframe for 189 was brought into Pickering yard for further work to be undertaken before the body of 189 is rolled onto it. This involved removing two brake cylinders belonging to a lady at the Bolton Abbey Steam Railway (ex Yorkshire Dales Railway).
 
Fish Van E75169
Whilst at DC Engineering, Shildon, the repaired frame was spray painted but as this was more of a protective coat, it has been decided to repaint the van in our normal fashion – green anti-oxide, grey undercoat and black top coat. This is a long job when you consider all the framing and supports which make up the underframe. The vertical stanchions will be painted glass white – as will all the body when finally assembled.
Positive progress was made on Saturday February 17 when the eight brake hangers were fitted to the underframe – the first components so fitted – again see image.
 
TTO No. 56856
This Gresley Owners’ Group (GOG) carriage was still in the paintshop at mid February, but well on the way to completion. The roof has received a new coat of white – this time using Sikagard which is the replacement product for the longer available Decadex.
 
Vandal repair update
RB 641 is soon to be transported to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, north of Derby, where it will stay for all of 2018, receiving maintenance and repair to the vandal damage inflicted upon it last July.
Meanwhile, Nick Stringer and Gordon Wells paid a visit to a Sheffield company on Monday February 19 which specialises in 3D printing. Our interest concerns making the lampshades for the shoulder lights in the Thompson TK 1623. Most of these were smashed to pieces by the vandals – each lampshade cost £30 to be specially made by an Essex glass manufacturer.
The Trust Board was advised at its meeting on February 9 that the first court hearing for the alleged perpetrators of the vandal damage last July was due to be heard on March 1.
 

It’s taking shape at last – now that all the clerestory windows are installed and beaded in, the entire sections, on both sides, have been painstakingly painted in white primer.
 
 

Next job is fitting the remaining roof boards to the lower (beneath the clerestory) sections of the roof. Because of the tight curvature towards the cantrail, a trial has been undertaken – as seen here – to ensure the tongue & groove boards fit tightly. The idea is to ensure there are no gaps between the boards. These roof boards will eventually be covered by a heavy duty sheet.



Another sign of progress, but one which will be covered over and not seen, is the wiring. The intention is to fit replica gasoliers, not piped with gas, but with L.E.D lights.

A start has been made on painting the Fish Van – it will receive the normal three coats – green anti-oxide primer, grey undercoat and black top coat. The vertical stanchions will be white.



The first components for the underframe have been installed – the eight brake hangers. These support the brake blocks, eight new ones of which will be required in due course. The first brake hanger is pictured after fitting – it is still be have its split pin inserted through the hole in the bolt thread (to prevent the nut from unscrewing and dropping off).


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