Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 7th February 2017

It was a wet Tuesday at Medstead ... it rained all day! This somewhat hampered their progress...

Brian and Richard, with some help from David T, labelled and sorted our new 4mm “BOCM Farringdon” model vans in preparation for the model railway show at Alton last weekend. If you missed buying the wagons there, don’t forget we have our sales stand at Medstead at the Pre Spring Gala on 17th-19th February, Price £12.50 each or 2 for £24.00. There are two different wagon numbers No 3 or No 7.
 
That’s got the commercial plug out of the way early (just in case you fall asleep before the end), so back to a wet Tuesday at Medstead... John D collected some more oil from Ropley and completed the last few axle box oilings on the freight in Bennetts, and then had a good tidy up of the workshop PMV S 1851. David T continued on the outside removing flaking paint with a heat gun, but the wood was too wet to do anything else.
 
Keith, David E, Simon and Dave V continued with the SW Tar wagon. Lots of thinking and head scratching as they try and work out exactly how to cut the end timber bulks, so that the tank will sit properly on them. One problem is that the tank is currently at an angle and has moved a couple of inches towards the town end. The ends of the tank are curved both horizontally and vertically, and the new support has to fit against this. As the existing wood has rotted away they can't use it as a template. Also there is a patch repair plate welded onto the tank where one of the middle supports fits so the dimensions for that one are different to the others! They need to get it right first time as lifting the tank up and down to make changes doesn't seem to be a good idea...
 
They took measurements, and Chris S has made a drawing of what they believe the profile needs to be. They also removed the old second inner support and reprofiled the new one and looked at what they need to do for the timbers at the top of the end frames. These to look as though they will be a challenge to, as they are curved... To be continued next week, but I’m sure they will come up with a cunning plan!
 
At Alton on Wednesday the good news it was not freezing and foggy like last week. It was a lot warmer, but raining first thing.
 
John B and I “Vactanned” the London end of the underframe of vanfit B 763661, which has been waiting warmer weather for a couple of weeks... By the time we had finished it had stopped raining and we removed the sheets over M 460001 with the cable drums. John B removed the old vac hoses from the van, pending delivery of new ones.
 
Ray, Adrian and I started cutting the remaining floor timbers to size, and fitting them... whilst on top Clive and John Q, and subsequently John B also were rubbing down paint on the cable drums. John Q is doing some timber replacement here. By close of play we had cut all the required floor timbers, so no problem now of falling through the old floor!
 
Mick, Bob, and Steve were busy on the ISO container lining, which is now progressing along the roof underside. They stapled the first roof insulation section sealing with the insulation on the container sides and London end with tape, then fixed the first 4x4" rafter by screwing, independently, through short fillets into the rafter on the Alresford side and through the beam into the plywood on the London side, this at both ends of the rafter, and just before they left glued a batten across the roof ready for the next insulated section. 
Chris Le Corney 

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