Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 10th October

Dave V reports from Medstead they had a good day on Tuesday. Keith and Dave continued with the third dummy end timber for the SW Tar wagon, with Dave then leaving Keith to finish it and carry on with the fourth one. Brian and Rob followed behind fitting the first and second ones in place. This involved some wood drilling, cutting studding to length, creocoating and some hefty swinging on stilsons to tighten the big nuts. The photos show the two town end ones fitted, with one big nut still needing to be tightened.


Richard continued with painting the south side of the woodworking CCT, after drying off the timbers with rags. before the sun made an appearance to help.


Ian Johnson did some work on the BY, and then after lunch he and Dave managed to swap all four buffers (with smaller heads) on the Rudd wagon for larger diameter ones. This followed the Saturday guys freeing up the fixing bolts/nuts and Richard, Ian and Dave moving the buffers from outside the workshop van over to the Rudd in siding one. Needless to say Mark’s from P.Way help in lifting the buffers on and off with the road/railer was invaluable, and made it possible for them to complete the task in a couple of hours. Three of the smaller head buffers from the Rudd will go on the cattle van shortly, to replace depressed ones there.


Malcolm reports on BY S 653 progress. He and Chris were able to fit the remaining studs for the drop-light straps, kindly supplied by IJ, who also collected and refurbished the door restraints which stop the doors slamming back too far. They then tracked down all the fittings for the sliding doors to the Guard's compartment. The sliding rails which the doors hang from were already refurbished and are ready to go. Most of the spring-loaded door guides are o.k. too, although a couple need new split pins.


The main issue is the repair of the door frame area in the Country End. They made a start by plugging the old oversized screw holes for the sliding rails. While the glue was setting they cleaned and stripped the table saw and got the blade to raise and lower easily again. Apologies to all those who had built its former resistance into their exercise regime! The first sliding rail door hanger was then trial-fitted.


Wednesday at Alton saw 10 in attendance. Most work was concentrated on the two tank wagons DB 999101 and DB 999103. Black topcoating the ladders and high level walkways, and lettering and numbering on the sides. Clive rubbed down and painted the lower steps and other bits white, and Ian washed down the solebars...........


Brian visited us to discuss with Mick and Steve the electrical requirements for the ISO container and upgrade to the grounded van body.


Mick and Steve had progressed on the new shelving unit, such that they were able to start transferring stuff from the grounded van body – although they were just locking up as I started to take some photos – so I could not see their efforts.....


John B finished off the lettering and numbering on the cast in plates for the big crane, but no other work on the crane this week.


Saturday at Medstead was a bit of a mixed bag weather wise, starting off grey and overcast, later raining, followed by some brighter spells. John B got out the electric wire brush and started cleaning up the roof hoops from the gunpowder wagon.


Jose, Jamie, and Chris Rust have a project, under supervision of cleaning up and painting the Rudd wagon. First job was trying (and succeeding) to get the six side doors open. Then started the task of shovelling out all the chalk and clay that had been left inside from previous use. The lads seemed to have great fun, despite ending up absolutely filthy!


Dillon had brought a section of PTFE rod for trial as a seal on the axle boxes of the tar wagon. Jim removed the axle box and all traces of all the old sealant. Dillon trial fitted the PTFE rod, which fitted perfectly, so hopefully no more water leaking into the axle boxes.


Dave R turned up just as it started raining, so it was decided to have a tea break. After tea Jim sorted out the disk cutter and extension lead and proceeded to cut another two rotten sections out of the gunpowder wagon lower body side.


Dave R made a start on stripping a small area of badly flaking paint on the London end doors of the CCT, this was given a coat of Ally primer.


The lads had managed to finish emptying the Rudd and had now got the hose pipe out with a scrubbing brush and cleaned the inside. Then with the help of some WD and some heavier oil all six doors now operate freely and were relatively easy to manage as the spring assist still worked. The four door stantions were also removed and the bases cleaned. Next week it will be the turn of the outside if the pressure washer comes back from Alton ... waterproofs at the ready lads!!!


Chris Le Corney

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