Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 4th April 2017

Dave V reports that they had a good day at Medstead on Tuesday. Dave, Brian and Clive put the tarpaulins on the “A” and “AF” containers in the freight train. This was after we retrieved them from Alresford last week, where they had been since the February Gala. After that all efforts were concentrated on the SW Tar wagon. Following last weeks completion of a second undercoat on the chassis, town end frame, metal strap and the two horizontal rods, this week saw the first silver top coat applied to the end frame, strap and horizontal rods by Brian and Richard. Rob, until lunchtime, and Clive D derusted the sole bars and red oxide primed them where required.
Ian Johnson grappled with removing the large nuts from the country end north side diagonal support rod. After a lot of heating and pulling on a wrench one nut was eventually freed but the other one will need another try next week. One added bonus of this task was that some of the remaining rotten wood was burnt away! Dave and Brian made a start on sanding down the tank ready for painting.
Malcolm and Chris report on BY S 653 ...things went alright in the end, but they lost a lot of time removing a rusted bolt. They were about half way fitting the new T&G and found the rusted bolt had expanded, pushing out part of the Guard’s door frame. This stopped getting a good fit with the boards, so it had to go. It was quite a struggle! They tried hammering it through, then drilling all around it, then trying to wrench it out with a mole grip. Finally, it gave in to a pipe wrench – nothing much will resist a pipe wrench!  You can see the state it ended up in! Similar to the state they were in after removing it!  Next week they can fill in the gaps at the top of each panel.

Well the weather forecast for Wednesday was reasonable at Alton ...cloudy for most of the day. This seemingly however did not apply to our localised spot though, where we had a fine drizzle on and off! We did however pretty well all of the things planned to do, but not necessarily in the planned order...

Low sided M 460001 sides, ends and under frame had a light rub down and the second bauxite top coat applied, with black top coat on the lower regions. The “PIRELLI GENERAL EASTLEIGH” stencils were used on the cable drums four times ... 2 drums, times two sides each. These just need some touching up now around the edges.

On vanfit B 763661 the north side lettering and numbering was touched up; and Ian painted the red vac pipe ends and brake handles ends white.

Meantime the ISO container lining gang completed the north door lining, insulation and ply sheet covering and moved onto to internally emulsion the walls and ceiling white.  Next stage fitting out, lighting etc

Saturday was a mixed bag weather wise at M, starting off sunny and quite warm but then turned to very heavy showers after lunch. John Dominick spent the day in isolation, glossing on the Fergie tractor, and it’s really coming on a treat, although they need some more paint mixing now.

Dillon, Jim, Jose and Jamie spent all day in the “Gunpowder van W 105691 stripping the internal cladding, including the roof. All but two pieces of the roof T+G are re-useable. The battens however are completely shot. The roof is a strange construction, not mounted directly to the side panels but mounted on roof hoops which are mounted to large wooden beams, that are then mounted to the body. With all the rot in the woodwork it was found that the roof wasn’t actually very much attached to the vehicle! First thoughts were to get the roof lifted off to replace the wooden beams, but after much deliberation it was decided it could be done with the roof in place although it would be awkward. A final cunning plan will be worked out later.


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