Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 13th September

Dave V reports from Medstead on Tuesday that … there is not a lot to say this week! With drizzle most of the day, turning to heavier rain after lunch, there was no painting done.


John D topped up the oil on the SW Tar wagon and made a trip to Ropley to get some more oil. He then joined Clive, Kevin, Richard and Dave who spent the day removing paint from the south side of the woodworking CCT, until the rain finally forced an early finish.


Meantime Chris and Malcolm had also been to Ropley to talk to Gordon in the C&W shed about the old roof boards removed from Bulleid coach S 1456. The rationale being that we needed a few boards for BY S 653. It appears that some will be good enough to use again, and they will let us know when they have sorted these out, with the rest suitable for firewood.


Back at Medstead they refitted the last two BY luggage doors which was a bit of a fiddle as they’re not identical, one being a replacement. However, they were reasonably happy with the alignment in the end. One door is finally bolted in place, the other still needs a few more bolts … as the rain forced an early finish to their efforts also.


Better luck with the weather at Alton on Wednesday, and a nice early Autumn day. Steve and Bob worked on the ISO container, firstly putting two coats of bitumen on the roofing construction, and then constructing some partitions for the sheet store.


For the rest of us, Ray, John Q, Pete, Ian and myself it was derusting, priming, undercoating and top coating (not the same areas all in one day) on the big crane DS 1580.


There is some alternative employment for us now, as Richard Bentley shunted into the sidings the following day the two ex oil tanks (now used for storing treated water for the locos). These need jet washing down, sanding and painting……….


Saturday at Medstead was just Dillon and Dave R, and a full day attending to some axle boxes on the freight rake in Bennetts siding, which had been identified as needing some attention the last time the freight ran at the end of July. Brake van S 56506 was first on the list, and furthest from the workshop! The pads were removed and examined, and the boxes vacated of an oil/water mixture and thoroughly cleaned. The pads were given a good dousing of oil before re-fitting, then the boxes were refilled with clean oil.


Second on the list was the milk tanker. This was odd, being a six wheeler, the four outer axle boxes had been warm but the two inner boxes were stone cold. As these were split boxes it was decided to drop the bottoms off. These were also completely cleaned and dried out before refilling with clean oil. The centre one was a little awkward to fit having a rear seal that had to be slotted in place before lifting it back into position.


After a quick tea break the same treatment was given to the two plank B 726064, also with split boxes, then the Shoc-open with open front boxes and oil trays.


After lunch the same procedure was carried out on the non running side of the same wagons. After sheltering under a box van while a thunderstorm went over it was then on to the two plank.


Finally the tools were all cleaned and put away, and the two exhausted D’s called it a day at 17:00.


This coming weekend is the MHR “Open Weekend”, and as well as the freight train with the Queen Mary brake van rides running two round trips from Alresford to Alton, we have our the sales stand on the up platform at Medstead, and will be doing yard tours from there. I believe the freight will be hauled by 92212 on Saturday, and 45379 on Sunday. We look forward to seeing you at the weekend.


The new goods shed display on the up platform at Medstead will be open, and Lord Montagu will be performing the official opening on the Sunday. This project has been driven by Mike Neep, and will I’m sure be a good enhancement of the facilities of the facilities at the station.


Chris Le Corney

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