Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 10th July

Dave V reports from Medstead on Tuesday that with a good turn out they made progress.

John D and Hamish oiled the freight train in Bennetts. This necessitated a trip to Ropley for more oil, and John reports that they had to remove a lot of water from several of the axle boxes. Not sure where this came from, but obviously not the sky in recent weeks!

Chris S, with help from Adrian, fitted the latest trial material around the holes in the cattle wagon cupboard doors on the north side. This is an attempt to stop water ingress bowing the door planks out. It’s a metal flashing with a particularly strong mastic, and looks to be a much more suitable solution.

David Edwards and Brian did some more planning and preparation for the BY roof work, and the consensus is that a lot of the roof timbers and support arches are in better shape than first thought.

After doing some stock and bench moving in preparation for the Wagon Group sales stand at the forthcoming Alton Bus rally (July 15th for all non World Cup final fans), Richard got some red oxide on a couple more of the steel uprights on the running side of the BY. 

Dave sunk the base sleeper for the woodworking CCT entrance steps into position, and secured it with four chair fixing bolts retrieved from the skip in the lower yard, and adjusted one of the timber store base sleepers that had moved. Chris S and Dave creocoated all the timbers retrieved from the shed in the lower yard that will be used on this construction.

Chris and Malcolm made new treads for the steps (for the CCT), from two boards Chris had donated. They also cut the blocks which will be fitted to the strings (side parts of the steps) to support the treads, and then continued on to assist Keith by machining the string he was fitting.
Wednesday at Alton turned out to be not quite as hot as last week. John B and I went up to Medstead to put some roof felt tacks in a few areas of the cattle van roof, and do some fibre glass repairs to the Alresford end of the maroon "A" container in Bennetts.
Back at Alton Roger, Paul and Pete were derusting steel work on the Alresford end of the dance hall brake van S 55506. We joined them and removed a number of old bolts. 
Bob and Steve were continuing on with the wood store construction, and John Q and Mick were installing ply lining sheets inside the grounded van body mess room, and John sanded down the worktop therein on and applied the first coat of oil thereon.
By close of play the derusted steel work areas on S 55506 had an application of red oxide. 

A very slow day at Meadstead on Saturday due to the intense heat (33C). John D  went off down Bennetts siding and oiled the axle boxes on the north side ready for the goods running weekend later in July, (28th/29th).

Jim, Dillon and briefly Jose had a go at fitting the new vacuum pipe to the Presflo. The linear measurements Dillon took last week were correct, but the radial measurements were wrong! It looked like instead of taking the elbow fitting sizes away from the length, he added them instead. This meant the offending pipe had to come home again for reworking. They did however fit the first section of pipe and seal it, and reconnect the brake rigging that was removed to gain easier access.

Also on the Presflo, as its running empty, one of the brake cylinders has been isolated to avoid locking up the wheels. The redundant brake hoses have been tied up out of the way to avoid dragging on the axle as was found previously.

With the extreme heat they called it a day at 2pm.....................


Chris Le Corney

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