Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 26th June 2017

Dave V reports from a hot Medstead on Tuesday they continue making good progress on the SW Tar wagon. Keith continued with the end timbers for the town end, helped by Kevin. The photo shows two pieces of the end timber baulk, temporarily fitted. John D continued black glossing. While Brian, Clive, Richard and Dave continued silver painting around the lettering and black glossing the numbers and letters where required. Brian also painted the “Commuted Charges” scheme logo on both sides, yellow square, with black lettering.


Ian J continued his work underneath the BY S 653 with lots of banging and angle grinding this week. He went down to Ropley at lunchtime to continue down there.


Chris and Malcolm, despite the heat, managed to continue refurbishing the BY’s drop lights, which involved gluing on new felt strips and re-gluing any dry joints which had opened up. They also made and fitted the removable drop-light trims for the last door.


As well as being the longest day of the year, Wednesday was also the hottest day of the year at Alton! But with a bit of luck, we had a slightly cooling job to do ....... some jet washing down of engineering wagons for the Gala. These consisted of two dolphin (track panel carrying) wagons and 3 dogfish (ballast hoppers).


Mick had the good idea of bringing his jet washer to supplement the one from Medstead. First job was to remove the forestation from one of the dolphin wagons, and then Mick and Steve started jetting down the dogfish. Roger scrubbed away also on the dogfish, whilst Adrian and I did a PAD examine and oil on the dolphins....... the dogfish were roller bearings, which was good for us! Ian helped with a bit of scraping down, and then cleaning and oiling springs on the dogfish.


The jet washing indeed was very popular and we were fighting over doing this ............ as it was nice and cooling. For the rest of us it was just baking hot!


After lunch we painted the dogfish vac cylinders black, and the roller bearings yellow - just to smarten things up a bit. Well the wagons may not win “best wagon restorations” of the year, but after one day’s work, they certainly look a lot better without vegetation growing thereon, or indeed much green mould remaining............


Saturday in attendance at Medstead was Dillon, Jose, Jim, John D and Dave R. John and Jose spent the day putting some finishing touches to the Fergie tractor, tidying up the electrics, bolting down the fuel tank and Vactaning the wheel nuts etc. They even managed to get the selector for the third and forth gear working.


Meanwhile Dillon and Jim were setting up for work on the “gunpowder” wagon W 105691, and Dave R tackled some cutting back of the vegetation around the steps and pathway from the workshop van towards the paint store as this had become rather overgrown.


After marking out where the rotten steelwork needed to be removed, Jim made good use of the angle grinder, removing several pieces by lunchtime. Dillon was using the gas axe to blow rivet heads off, with Dave following with the hammer and punch.


Dillon had to leave early afternoon, leaving Jim angle grinding, Dave cleaning, and John and Jose playing with the tractor. Jose and John did remove the gearbox filler cap and the gearstick, and having a play around with the gear selector with copious amounts of oil, managed to get the selector for third and forth gear moving.


So the freight train at Medstead is ready for the Gala weekends, 1/2nd and 7/8/9th July, and the engineering wagons at Alton are cleaned up a bit. We shall look forward to seeing you at our Wagon Group sales stand and yard tours at Medstead, or indeed on the Queen Mary brake van rides on the freight trains.


Chris Le Corney  

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