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Navigating by landmarks - June Carriage Shop Blog

We’ve made really good progress this last month in the carriage shop. As I write this, in-between our two gala weekends in July, let me say what a pleasure it’s been to show our visitors around the carriage shop! Graham’s pens, pencils and new lazy Susan’s (all made in the workshop from reclaimed carriage timber) have been selling a treat, full update on that next time….

Starting unusually with Bulleid Brake 4367, I can report that this carriage is finally back on its original bogies. The bogie overhaul has taken some time and you can see a video of a bogie reassembly here. It was then a bit of a waiting game to get the steam crane up here for a lift. It’s one of those things that’s best left till there are a few items that need to be lifted around the works, as it’s not really worth getting it up here just to do a bogie lift. The chance came at the end of June, and without too much fuss, the bogies were back under. It’s always nice to see one of the coaches we’re working on in proper daylight and with a bit of room to stand back and take it in.

Back on 1456, the Bulleid open third that we are concentrating on, we have thundered past several landmarks (or at least half-mile stones).

On the framework side of things, the entire side framework is now repaired and back in place on the carriage! Once the gala is over, we will turn our attention back to the only remaining portion of timber frame left to attack, which is the country end. I’m confident to say that by the time I write the next blog, the framework will be complete. (Famous last words…!) Till then, have a look at the latest time-lapse video of framework here

We’ve also put in a lot of the floor, roughly three quarters of the coach. This isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. It involves cutting and fitting the bottom rails, which in theory is quite straightforward, but in practice is cumbersome and time consuming. The rails are long, thin sections of timber, that house around all the timber frame. What with the partitions still in the coach, when it comes to threading them in and out for fettling, there always seems to be something in the way or jamming it! Then the MAG-drill, a brilliant tool, but not too friendly to those of us with a dodgy back. The up side is that having the floor in has allowed visitors up into the coach during the gala, hopefully an interesting perspective for all.

Another milestone is that we are beginning to see the fruits of our labour on the outer metalwork. We’ve taken delivery of the window rings (see photo), which get cut into quarters and form the bottom portion of the window frames, for both 1456 and 4367. These have been drawn up by one of our volunteers, spun by a specialist company, and will now be delivered to another company who are cutting the steel panelling and assembling the frames. Once finished, they should be ready for a few coats of paint, then we can stick them on the carriage. Now THAT will be a landmark worthy of an OS map!

One final turning point from the Canadian Pacific Project journey before we turn in, is that Project Supervisor Dave Deane has sadly for us, but happily for him, moved on to the next stage in his career. I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks, it’s been a pleasure working with you Dave. Good luck and all the best from everyone in the carriage workshop!


Thanks for reading


Please help support the progress of the Canadian Pacific project to bring back our flagship steam locomotive and two Bulleid carriages back to life by clicking here.  You can do this by Sponsoring a Stay or making a donation. Don't forget that we need to raise funds to complete the overhaul, especially as a new firebox is costing an extra £120,000, so all support is very much needed and appreciated. To sign up to the newsletter, please click here.

Photo gallery

  • 4367 out in the open air, ready for its bogie swap

  • Steam crane on the scene!

  • As Douglas Adams said, hanging in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t

  • Due to the tightness of the yard we picked up the bogie to change tracks

  • Gordon and Ali saving time, painting as soon as the chisel has left the timber!

  • 1456 country end and toilet compartment framework removed

  • The entire side frame is now back in place! Bottom rails being cut in

  • The floor is down three quarters of the way

  • These rings form the bottom corners of the new window frames

  • “Come in Moscow, this is London…”

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