Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 15th August

A drizzly day on Tuesday at Medstead, but they managed to get some things done………..
Richard, Kevin and John D were lucky to get jobs in the dry! John did some tidying up of the metalwork paint under box van B 763661 where the vacuum cylinder had been fitted. Vactan, red oxide primer and undercoat was applied.
Kevin derusted primed and undercoated about a dozen brackets for the BY and then helped Richard with the SW Tar wagon cast iron plates painting, which are now about 90% complete.
Chris S fitted the timber bulks to the town end of the Tar wagon. This end just needs the dummy end pieces to be made and fitted after the support rods and clamps have been refitted.
Keith and Dave V both had to leave at lunchtime so were somewhat restricted in what they could achieve. Two more timbers for the country end of the SW Tar wagon were marked, cut on the band saw and planed. This just leaves one piece to do.
Meantime on BY S 653 Chris P and Malcolm finally completed the non-running side doors. The trims needed a lot of extra work on the reverse side to get the drop lights to work smooth. They just need a stud for the leather strap which IJ has kindly offered to produce. They then moved on to re-furbishing the windows for the running side doors. Some of the retaining pieces which hold the glass into the frame are missing and they started making replacements.
After avoiding the torrential downpours on Wednesday, Thursday was very nice at Alton with sunshine most of the day, and certainly no drizzle from the previous two weeks.
With many volunteers on Thomas model railway duties down at Alresford this week we were restricted to myself, Roger, Pete and Ian M. The first three spent all day derusting, priming, undercoating and top coating various bits of the big crane DS 1580.  
Ian was largely top coating cream the inside and outside of the “saddle” for the van body/container roofing structure. A large number of small flies however seemed to find the colour very attractive!
Saturday at Medstead was a day of planned maintenance for Dillon, Jim, Jamie, and the welcome return of Chris Rust.  Dillon set Jamie and Chris up with the oil cans and a barrel of oil. After explaining what needed oiling, they set off oiling all the brake rigging on all the wagons in the rake in Bennetts siding, including all pivot points, handbrake linkage, brake hangers, screw couplings etc.
Jim and Dillon then started working down the list of jobs that had been drawn up a few weeks ago. This comprised of a new release cord and replacement split pin on the release valve on van B 782114, a new vacuum hose on the Alton end of van B 881711, repairing the vac release valve and fitting a new release cord on Palvan B 776446, new piston rod sleeve, release cord and checking the tension on the cylinder mounting bolts on the steel highfit B 481682, and a new vac hose on one end of van B 760337. Van B 760337 has a duff release valve and is missing a piston rod sleeve, and going by the external condition of the cylinder it is in need of an overhaul.
Chris Le Corney

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