Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 29th November

Brian reports from Medstead on Tuesday. Richard, John D, Keith, Brian, and he in attendance and the weather was suitable for painting again!

John cleaned and painted the 3 newly replaced OLEO buffers on the cattle van from red oxide up to gloss black. Richard spent just about all day applying Vactan to the remaining steel work areas on the woodworking CCT, and the painting the last of the south side end panels in top coat green.

Keith carried on the fettling of his new replacement timbers for the CCT, and later on Rob assisted in drilling out out the attachment holes. Rob's help here sped up the process as it kept Keith at the top of the work platform and not having to keep fit getting up and down all the time. The boards are now fitted, and the remaining boards need attention only by way of filler.

Brian started to paint the London end of the CCT in gloss black paint and assisted by John, using up the last paint in the can. 

Meantime Chris and Malcolm finished off adjusting the BY sliding door buffer stops to the Guards brake area. They moved on to making the piece to fill in the space under the green painted partition boards, and also made and fitted the rebated piece which the cover panel sits on and is secured to. They then intended to move on to making the piece which covers the sliding door track above the doorway. However, Chris noticed that a timber which crosses the vehicle was very loose. This supports the cover panel and other pieces. Although it was loose, it was difficult to remove as there were still some stubborn rusted screws holding it at one end. It took quite some time to remove it and get rid of all the rusted screws before they could refit it. They will now have to make another replacement piece as there was a casualty in the removal process..........!
Three late drop outs for Wednesday at Alton, which left us with 5........ Clive, Roger, Steve, Mick and myself. Crucially the drop outs included those who usually bring weekly supplementary supplies of doughnuts, short breads and chocolate biscuits, so we ended up going home a bit leaner and fitter this week!
The water tank wagons DB 999101 and DB 999103 have been moved from Alton station to the Meon siding, until I suppose the February Gala, and the sidings at Alton station are looking rather bare, wagon wise! But the big crane DS 1580 still looms over us. Well the jib certainly does, which we started on some months ago, but it then pointed skywards ........ pending we believe repair of a leaking boiler tube. Anyway it was a good day for black topcoating those areas in undercoat and Roger, Clive and I set to on this and it is looking good in the nether regions. There are though small areas within the underframes, which only a contortionist, small children, or those with access from a pit can get into, and these we may well have to leave.
Mick and Steve continued sorting out the ISO container and progressing the electrics, and Steve removed the sink from the grounded van body, so we can now get chairs all round the table therein.
Just before we left I got Steve, Clive and Mick to model some high visibility headgear, which Pat Butler had kindly given us some some months ago............ These were not required by the national railway system or indeed the Mid-Hants S&T. We can't think why they were surplus, but all three of them have now got a seasonal job in Christmas pantos!  

A rather bracing -2* greeted John B, Jose, Dillon, Jim, Dave R and Chris Rust on Saturday at Medstead. After the obligatory mug of tea and chat it was down to business.

Dillon had brought the tractor battery up to spin the Fergie engine over on B 726064, and Jose had brought some antifreeze. It was decided to see if the tractor would start. So while Jose uncovered the tractor and fitted the battery, John whipped over the garage and fetched a small amount of petrol. From down the siding came a familiar rasp of the tractor engine as it burst into life. Jose reported that it started first time and ran quite smoothly.

As Dave was only available for a short time, he busied himself clearing up some of the accumulated rubbish and had a bonfire. Play had to stop for a short period while 76017 came up the bank propelling the box vans and QM brake on a charter. The rails were quite icy so progress was quite slow, but the crisp clear weather gave some good atmospherics.

Dillon and Jim spent the day de-rusting on the Gunpowder wagon, Jim with the Hilti hammer and Dillon with hammer and cold chisels.

After lunch, Dillon started tackling the GP wagon door hinge pins as some were rather stiff. 9 out of 12 were removed, cleaned up and greased before re-fitting. The other three were seized and refused to budge. These will require some gentle heat at a later date, and were in the interim given a good dousing in oil.

Chris Rust spent all day under the Rudd de-rusting and wire brushing on the country end wheelset, later joined by Jose for some red oxiding.


Chris Le Corney

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