Repairs to the rear floor area of Gloucester trailer 56097 continue at Butterley. Most of the corroded area has been cut out which revealed some corroded supports underneath. Following repairs to the supports new steel sheeting is being welded in and this will be followed by fabricated formers similar in dimensions to the original style of floor. The area below the toilet has been a particular problem as it has been modified at some point in the past and these modifications have had to be removed before the new floor can be welded into place. This work is about half done.
Underneath the toilet floor is a major electrical junction box which has been found to be highly corroded due to its proximity to the wheels and this will have to be replaced and will likely be relocated at the same time. Meanwhile it has been removed. The wiring in this area was cut by cable thieves some years ago in an attempt to drag all the below floor wiring out of the vehicle. In the event this does not matter as we intend to rewire the vehicle using modern materials in due course.
New seat mountings and further parts for the windows have been delivered this week, while there has been some work on window assembly, including the fitting of hundreds of screws which locate the window top bar.
Our running weekend was less successful as the 141 failed on shed with brake issues on Saturday and did not make either day. Investigations into the cause are ongoing.
Working whatever the weather; that's the motto for us this week. A team of members headed down to Pentrefelin to complete a lift on Class 104 50528 in order to repair a loose brake support pin. In order for this to be done the bogie needed to be removed, and hence the need for the lift, the preparation work for which was done last week.
50528 was shunted round onto the jack road using the Class 108, and was lifted high enough for the no1 bogie to be rolled out from underneath. The scene was captured shortly after the bogie had been removed, perhaps giving even more meaning to the "Not in Service" destination blind.
With the use of welding gear and a grinder a repair was made to the loose support pin, the opportunity was taken to inspect the other pins, one of which was found to be in poor condition so this was repaired as well.
The bogie being out from under the vehicle also gave a good opportunity to check it over, in areas that are not normally accessible when it is fitted under the vehicle. Including several areas that are inaccessible for lubrication. Some of the bolts which hold the brake cylinder brackets were also changed.
Once the repairs were finished the bogie was placed back under the vehicle, the vehicle lowered, and the 108 was again used to shunt it back round to the normal siding. Not before Mike Martin who'd been involved in the work was able to capture this rare shot of the corridor end of sister vehicle 50454.
Work to replace the window frames in Gloucester Driving Trailer 56097 has been completed at Butterley. All the windows now have their wooden window frames added and final measurements have been taken for the glass which will be required.
The last two pieces of box section have been welded into the sides of the vehicle, meaning that the body structure is now finally complete. Some closing pieces have also been welded into the corners inside and the remaining unprotected metalwork has been painted out.
New wooden sections for the tops of the windows have been completed by the joiner and have been delivered to site and these await fitting. The pins for the corridor connection are currently being built up.
With the delivery of the steel for the repair of the floor around the toilet area work has now started on cutting out and repairing this section, which will then enable the new floor to be fitted. New, stronger seat mountings have been designed and are currently being manufactured.
Progress has continued with Gloucester Driving Trailer 56097 at Butterley. The remainder of the old floor has been removed to reveal severe corrosion around the former toilet area. This area has been measured up and new steel is currently being fabricated to effect a repair. Old seat mountings have been removed and where there are holes in the steel floor these have been welded up.
Some finishing off work on the box sections on the sides of the body has been taking place and the recently-refurbished window frames are gradually being put back into the body. The fabricator is also cutting new corridor connection scissors but the old pins are being remanufactured to enable them to be reused when the connection is put back.
During the week a van run was made which saw the stripped-down seats from Class 104 50528 taken away for refurbishment. The seating has gone off for re-trimming in Derby while the seat frames have gone for powder-coating in Huddersfield.
The wipers have been having some attention on Wickham power car 50416. The driver's side motor was changed as it had lost its damping, and the secondman's side arm was changed for one of a different length to sort out the blade misalignment. A split discovered in an air pipe under the desk will need to be rectified.
Over the weekend five of our members came down to prepare the 104 for lifting to allow us to rectify an issue with the bogie. Before any of this could be done the fleet needed to be shunted round, leaving the Wickham in the shed, and the 104 at the front ready for next week.
The propshafts, air pipes, centre pins, and the wiring to the bogies where disconnected, and the holes for the lifting brackets cleaned out. Part of the brake gear that needs to be removed to make the repair easier was also disassembled. Part of the speedo generator wasn't happy with being disconnected from the vehicle and needed repair ready to be put back on when the lift is complete.
Welcome to the first update of 2016! 2015 was a very succesful year for us as a group, with major progress being made on Gloucester trailer 56097, almost all of the body work has now been completed, and it just requires the windows adding in order to make the vehicle water tight. We have also had a good year at Llangollen running serivces almost every month of the year, as well as keeping on top of the regular maintenace that this brings, larger projects such as the repair to the cab front of 56223 have also been tackled and completed.
Our list of running days for 2016 have been added to the website, and can be viewed here. We are also very pleased to announce the date of our 2016 gala, this can be viewed here. More information about the gala will be released over the coming weeks, check back for regular updates.
Our fleet pages have had an update, adding images of the interiors and the cabs to all of our units which see regular service and can be viewed here. One of our members has already commented that he can't wait to see photos of the interior and cab of 56097 uploaded! Hopefully the progress of the restoration won't disappoint. To give you a feel for these updates take a look at this photo of cab of Wickham trailer 56171.
At Llangollen one of members made a visit in order to take the photographs of the interiors, this also gave a good opportunity to give the inside of the units a quick tidy up after the 2015 season and dispose of out of date literature.
A hastily arranged "cold turkey" working party allowed some of our members to escape from domestic duties and carry out some imporant work on the fleet (though I'm sure some people would consider the house work as more imporant!) The 104 C exam has been brought near to a conclusion with only two jobs remaining. A minor repair will be required to part of the bogie on 50528 as part of the exams findings. A vacumn leak that was recently reported was traced to a split hose on the same vehicle, the offending hose appears to have objected to be parted from its mate when the set was split to carry out the exam.
The Wickham ran the first two operational turns of 2016 at the railways Winter Warmer gala. Completing just over 120 miles of fault free running. Although the weather was quite damp passenger loadings remained fairly good on both days, the passengers seemed extremely grateful to escape from the cold onto the nicely warm inside; perhaps putting the Warmer into Winter Warmer. Mike Martin was on hand to capture the Wickham both at Carrog and Glyndyfrdwy.