Watercress Line

Carriage Shop November Blog

Much like the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, this blog is a MK1 free zone! What with the end of work on TSO 4910 (see my recent “Bonus Blog”), and a pause on the next MK1, we are all guns blazing on the Bulleid coaches, with significant work on both 4367 and 1456.

Starting for once with brake semi-open 4367, we’ve got a fair way in a couple of areas. The bogies are progressing well, with the reassembly of one well underway, while the other is finally completely disassembled for overhaul. The reassembly of the first one, as partially documented in the accompanying photos, was a satisfying moment. I’d have taken more, except in the most crucial moments I was holding one of the four axle boxes and helping it slot in to the horn guides – I wouldn’t have been popular if I’d abandoned my post to take a few snaps. The operation went smoothly though, and the bogie was back on its wheels very quickly.

Work on the carriage itself has sprung ahead too. The coach has been used for storage of “things” for a fair few years, some of it useful, some of it not so. Most has been moved out, and what’s left has been removed from the brake end, and a lot of floor has been removed. This means we can get at the underframe, needle gun, repair and paint it.

Back on 1456, the frame is really cooking. The section that was on show at the gala has been painted up to gloss, and will be installed in position very soon. The chaps in the boiler shop are going to come in and rivet a small section of the outrigger plate in place above the bogie, and then we can put the frame in. We’ve also had a big delivery of sapele from our timber merchant, meaning Gordon has been busy making a lot of noise and sawdust in our machine shop making them the correct shape, while I’ve been marking out and cutting lots more joints.

In other work, Pete from the Wednesday cake club has been busily doing CAD drawings for the new outer sheeting and window frames for us. He’s doing a great job, and they’re really looking the part. Knowing relatively little about CAD, it’s been very interesting working through some of the drawings with him and seeing the possibilities of such techniques. The reason the steelwork needs drawing up is that the original sheeting was in very poor condition, with no possibility of repair, so replacement was the only option. The windows are all of a uniform design, and while the aluminium top lights can be reused, we needed to draw up the window openings in the steel sheeting, and also the channel the glass sits in, so that they all come out the same. While I’m unable to show his drawings on here, in his (and the cake clubs) honour I can show the giant Jaffa Cake that the good Lady Yates of Bishops Sutton made us. Cake every week really isn’t too bad an idea, so thanks to both Pete and Rachel, though for very different reasons!

Another thanks I’d like to make, is to Graham our famous pen maker extraordinaire. During the gala I voiced the thought that while a pen wouldn’t tickle me, if he could make a propelling pencil I’d be very interested… low and behold, next time he was in he gave me the affirmative. I’m now the proud owner of TWO propelling pencils made from reclaimed carriage timber, and similar ones may well be on sale at the next gala. Thanks Graham!

I wouldn’t bet against some framework having been installed in Bulleid coach 1456 by the next time I write a blog, so I’d better get back to my work bench and try to make it so!

Ali

 

The HLF supported Canadian Pacific project includes the restoration of Bulleid coaches 1456 and 4367.  We are currently requesting help with funding the overhaul of Canadian Pacific, by sponsoring a stay or stays, which come with a number of incentives.  Click here to sponsor a stay!  Alternatively, you can download and print the form at the bottom of this page.  We are also still accepting other donations for the project, so please click here to do so.  To keep up to date with project progress, please sign up to our newsletter by clicking here.

Finally, to find out more about the Canadian Pacific project, check out our new website at www.watercressline.co.uk/canpac.  Thanks for reading!

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