Watercress Line

A bit of this… and indeed, a bit of that

We’ve made steady progress in the carriage shop recently, with work undertaken on the Bulleid coaches, a MK1 and even a few tasks on locomotives.

The bogie overhaul of Bulleid brake 4367 has begun, spearheaded by Chris Y, with the ever reliable Ian and George wielding the needle guns. If you need something thumped, they’re your men! Hacking apart bogies that have only seen rust and crud for best part of half a century isn’t for the faint of heart, but it all needs doing. The afore mentioned Ian and George have also been putting in a stellar turn by painting the roof of MK1 4910.

I’ve included photos of identical Bulleid coaches to the two we are working on currently. It’s good to keep an idea of what you’re working towards, it could be too easy to get bogged down in things and forget what the goal is. The photos are works photos of carriages 1461 and 4369, which are identical to our 1456 and 4367. I’m sure you’ll agree it will be wonderful to see these two vehicles running along with Bulleid brake 4211 in a few years time!

In a nice deviation from our usual work on carriages, there have been two little jobs on locomotives in the past couple of weeks. Our apprentice Rob has been busy making a new droplight window for one of the diesel shunters. Richard, lord of the operations department, appeared through the door recently with a few sad pieces of rotten wood, which turned out to be one of the cab windows from class 11 shunter, 12049. I promptly cut a piece of plywood to plug the hole (much needed in these days of questionable springtime weather!), and as it seemed a perfect job for the lad Rob, he was duly initiated into the dark arts of the droplight window.

The other little job on the loco front has been a nice new cab seat for our resident standard 4 2-6-0, 76017. I think most passers by assumed I was making a new chopping board for my kitchen, as the rather tasty chunk of elm I was using did rather look like it should have a matching meat cleaver. Indeed getting the indentation the drawing required was something of an adventure, and there were moments when I thought an axe might be just the job!

On the MK 1 front, matters are proceeding well. The passenger saloons are now panelled, and work is turning to the two end vestibules. The metalwork is now finished (including remounting the gangway connections) other than a few tidying up jobs, so the woodwork can be reassembled. The doors have had the icing put on their metaphorical cake, with the lower panel and centre timber being finally fitted. This was one of those little jobs that requires very little effort, but makes the entire job appear much more complete. Some of them even shut properly! Ahh, the joys of fettling doors…

Ali

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