Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 17th October

A dry day welcomed them at Medstead on Tuesday morning, if not a bit chilly!

 From the list DV had provided John D, Kevin and Richard set to work on the CCT south side cleaning down the original paint work, applying Vactan as required, undercoating, and John B applied the top green coat to areas undercoated last week.

Ian J arrived and proceeded to offer his knowledge to various jobs that were on going; he also helped Brian and Rob who had just complete the final fitting of the third and forth of the four dummy end timber bulks for the SW Tar wagon. The trial fitting was a success …with much modification and with the aid of a planer. With the final coat of  creocote and time to dry off, it was time for lunch.

With much conversation as usual, they had to be reminded by John D that they were 15 minutes late returning to work and that Brian would have to be reported to DV for this misdemeanor! Rob and Brian then spent time on fitting the remaining large nuts as some of the straps have two each on both sides, yet another struggle to get rust and paint off the thread, but they made it in the end. Just a few jobs left and the Tar wagon will be complete.

Chris and Malcolm spent a lot of time trying to work out which sliding door and guide track belonged to the Country End of BY S 653. They eventually came to the conclusions that they have two Country End doors. This is based on the screw holes for the door hangers and the different profiles of the door stiles. One side is convex, the other side is flat; but it may be possible to just mount the hangers on the other side of the door.

After making good an area of floor, they decided to trial hang a door, including the guide track. This took a lot longer than expected and showed up a problem with the track at the running side end. Basically, it runs uphill at the end and jams door before it can close fully. They plan to level the track by routing a shallow rebate for it at that point. They think the door will then close satisfactorily but will, no doubt, require some extra tinkering to get it right.

A bit of a drizzly day from time to time at Alton on Wednesday. I started by getting the jet washer out on the solebars and underframe of the two tank wagons, and this was followed up later, when dry, with a bit of black top coating.

John B finished touching up the six crane cast iron plates, and then he, Clive and I went down to the Meon siding to clear some weeds and moss off of the flooring of ex LSWR bogie bolster DS  57849. This took an hour or so, and now needs a stiff brush to sweep off the surplus moss ... rather than us trying to pick it all up by hand.

Ray started jet washing down underframe areas on big crane DS 1580, trying to avoid soaking Roger and Clive, who were derusting the innards of one of the crane’s supporting bogies. As the hose pipe was only half the length of what it used to be (well I thought there was a blockage in it a few weeks ago), John Q fetched some adaptors from home, so it could now be reconnected and extend to the far end of the crane. 

Ian cleaned off the tank wagons springs and oiled them, and them did some paint touch up jobs.

Mick, Bob and Ray were investigating the electrics at Alton in preparation for electrical works to the ISO container and grounded van body. They drilled some holes in the ISO container for additional roof securings, and moved another rack from the grounded van body into the ISO. It’s amazing all these tools that are coming to light, that we could never find in the grounded van body.

Saturday morning Dillon and John D turned up at the same time, shortly followed by John B who called in just to drop the pressure washer off. Jamie then arrived, followed a little while later by Dave R. John D was a busy lad, firstly setting Jamie up with the pressure washer and extension lead along with both hose reels. Then after helping drop all six doors on the Rudd and Jamie gave a thorough clean to the inside of the Rudd before shutting the doors and starting on the outside. This wasn’t easy as there had been a shunt in the week and the Rudd was now trapped behind the cattle wagon and the Atlas. So far he is about ¾ of the way round.

Dillon got out the gas axe and blew the rivets out of the panels that Jim had cut around the previous week on the gunpowder van, then spent the rest of the day with the angle grinder and hammer and cold chisels cleaning up the rebates where the material had been removed.

Dave R carried on scraping the London end CCT doors where he left off the previous week. A good coat of ali wood primer was given, and worked into the wood. Next time it will be flattened back ready for another coat.

Then it was on to the Rudd to have a look at the drop down door hinge pins, mainly just stiff through the dreaded rust. A few were removed and cleaned up, then refitted with plenty of grease and new split pins. They called it a day at 16:00.

Lastly and by no means least the BR 21 ton mineral wagon B 310259 arrived at Alresford late on Wednesday, a kindly donation from the Bovingdon Tank Museum in Dorset.  The museum bought the wagon from BR at Radyr in 1980 and converted it into a gun carrying wagon. It has been on display at Bovingdon up until a couple of weeks ago. The camoflage paint is pretty good, because no one can recognise the original BR design now.


Chris Le Corney   

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