Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 19th September

At Medstead on Tuesday John D, Richard and Dave V removed tarpaulins from the white AF container and the Fergie tractor in Bennetts siding, ready for the freight running on the “Open” weekend. Dave also fitted “Terry” the bull into the cattle wagon although this time he won't be riding the line, as the cattle wagon will be displayed in the dock at Medstead.


After that Richard excelled himself by putting a second top coat of silver on the four diagonal and two horizontal rods on the tar wagon and touching up some areas on the tank itself. Meanwhile John and Dave continued with the south side of the woodworking CCT, removing more flaking paint, red oxiding bare metal and aluminium priming bare wood.


Chris and Malcolm did some adjustments on the re-fit of the BY doors on BY S 653 The bolts on the door frames were butting against the doors preventing proper closure. They therefore angle ground them down, and also overlong bolts on the doors themselves. They then fitted the last droplight. They also re-fitted the interior boarding on the door, (but still have to fit the drop light retaining trims), and trial fitted the fixed light on the non-standard door. These will be finished next week.


First thing Wednesday at Alton I applied a red top coat to big crane DS 1580 cast iron plates, but I don’t think anyone noticed, as I finished before anyone else arrived………..  


The jet pressure washer was set up for cleaning the two water tank wagons, but the long hose we had from Medstead seemed to have an obstruction half way along, and no water came out the far end. This was soon cured with a Stanley knife, but the hose is now only half the length it was previously! As the wagons were adjacent to the water supply, this was not a problem………


John Q took over the jet washing of the first tank, whilst I did some black top coating on the big crane DS 1580. Bob and Ian assisted with some undercoating, and Adam some white topcoating.


After lunch we all migrated towards the tank wagon, and sanding the tank was a good back up to the jet washing. So the first tank wagon is now more or less cleaned up and sanded down.


Saturday at Medstead was Dillon and Jim working in the yard, as John D was a “minder” on the Queen Mary brake van rides and Jose was unavailable.


The SW Tar wagon No 95 axle boxes in the yard were attended to. After grabbing the barrel of oil and the spanners they set about dropping the first box, which was found to be full of water. It was then decided to drop all four boxes and allow to drain fully. Three were full of water and one had some rather smelly stagnant oil in the bottom. While they were draining, all the pads and axle journals were examined, with any excess water being squeezed out of the pad tails. It was noted that there were no seals around the axle box joins, and Dillon is looking into getting some suitable PTFE rod to make new seals.


The boxes were then filled with oil and the pads given a good soaking before re-fitting. Then it was time for a wash up and a mug of tea before boarding the goods train for a round trip to savour the fruits of their labours. This was a first for Jim, and quite pleasant, even managing to miss all the rain showers!


The freight or goods train (whichever you prefer) ran during the Open weekend with 19 wagons on, and many passengers enjoyed the air conditioning on the Queen Mary brake van rides. As well as that we were doing yard tours at Medstead as well as the sales stand. Many thanks to all our visitors.


On the Sunday Lord Montagu rode up from Alresford on the Queen Mary brake van to perform the official opening of the goods handling display in the shed on the up platform, which is well worth having a look around.


Chris Le Corney

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