Thanks to the disruption caused by the Coronavirus the 'Out and About' heading hasn't featured in this news feed since August but, with only a sprinkling of artistic licence, it can be included in this edition because three of our units (namely classes 108, 109 and 104) enjoyed a change of scenery for a few hours on Saturday morning. They were driven in multiple and stabled in the River Siding at Llangollen in order to empty the siding in our depot and facilitate the delivery of some engine 'hulks' that have been acquired for component recovery.
The engines were delivered by a class 08 shunter propelling a lowmac wagon with a crane that was used to lift them on to pallets. The opportunity was also taken to lift two spare final drives on to fresh pallets as the ones that they were on had disintegrated and one of them was gradually disappearing into a Welsh swamp.
There is always plenty of work to do that is only indirectly associated with the restoration and maintenance of the railcars but nevertheless vital to our operation and one such task is the portable appliance testing of the electrical tools, the majority of which was painstakingly carried out at the weekend by one of our electrical engineers.
Since the previous report work has taken place at both sites (Llangollen and Butterley) as described below.Class 100 trailer car no. 56097 (at the Midland Railway, Butterley)
The orange trunking lids and the conduit were given their final coat of orange paint...
and one of the battery box metal mounts was cleaned up, partially primed, and had its mounting holes drilled out to take the slightly larger new bolts...
Some trunking lids from underneath the unit were cleaned and primed and some wooden mouldings that cover the join between the wall panels and the metal panels below them inside the unit were painted.
The refurbished passenger saloon window frame was eventually fitted after putting up more of a fight than anyone expected!
Some more woodwork was installed in the guard's van and the window frame, which had endured several test fittings, was finally secured in place. As with most jobs there are a lot of small tasks that end up unseen but underpin what is actually seen when the job is completed.
The work was subjected to a quality control inspection by the boss...
More paint was stripped off the bodywork on the driver's side, assisted by a more powerful blowlamp than the one that had been used on a previous occasion. One of the doors also shed several coats of paint along its edges, thereby easing its operation somewhat.
Finally we would like to wish our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Returning to work after another enforced hibernation due to the coronavirus restrictions we had to spend a while taking stock of the various jobs before resuming work on them.
At Llangollen the gutters of all of the vehicles that are stabled outside were cleaned out using the Mark 2 "Gutter Blaster"...
This was expected to be a relatively quick job but turned into a more-or-less full wash of both sides of all vehicles thanks to a large quantity of evicted pine needles that stuck to the bodysides and refused to be moved on with anything less than soap and water.
Restoration work continued on this vehicle at the Midland Railway, Butterley.
Numerous packages of insulation were constructed and installed in the roof of the vehicle and the middle saloon is almost complete now apart from where a couple of the vent 'drip trays' require cutting off.
Work continued on the seemingly-endless task of cleaning paint off formica and aluminium trim and kick plates - but the end is in sight, with only one panel outside the toilet (blocked by seat frames), the toilet interior, and a little bit in the cab to finish. Perhaps one or two areas will need another visit for finishing off in daylight, but the majority is finally done. Some of the partition windows were scraped clean as well.
Various trunking covers and electrical conduit that had been removed from underneath the vehicle were cleaned up, primed and given a coat of orange gloss...
The speedometer compensator box and the tubing to the speedometer generator were fitted and await wiring up.
The bodywork repairs progressed towards the front of the driver's side of the vehicle with the removal of sections of door pillars that have been affected by the corrosion virus and the welding in of new metal. Fortunately the end is in sight for the welding repairs on that side of the vehicle with just a couple more hinge areas to attend to.
There was also much scraping of paint on that side of the vehicle...
Rest assured that the resultant look, which gives the impression that the body is made of chipboard, is a photographic illusion!
Some plywood panels that had been cut for the guard's van were given a coat of thinned-down chassis black on one side to protect the unseen side and later fitted. The frame for the guard's window was also returned to its rightful place but only after some dowel repairs which became necessary after it failed to cope with a "rough shunt"...
Please don't be alarmed by the untidy appearance of the interfaces between some of the panels because they will be hidden by further pieces of trim - at least that was the excuse that was used by the person that fitted them!