The photo above (from Keith Leppard) shows the van with Manning Wardle 'Sir Berkeley' at the Bluebell 125 event, and that on the right shows the U-class 1638 and the van on a Footplate Days and Ways special on Friday 5th October (from Derek Hayward). The "Queen Mary" has now replaced the SECR "dance-hall" brake van in regular use on these courses.
These photos from Andy Prime show the finishing touches being applied to the van on 12th April, after which it was shunted into the formation in which it will run on Saturday 14th April, for its re-launch into service at the end of its overhaul. Final painting of the areas being signwritten had only been completed the previous evening.
During February the hand crane was used to replace the south-end bogie, with the intention of releasing the SR Milk tanker for use on the branch-line weekend, which was not to be, since the milk can still required further attention. The non-availablility of the loadall meant that the replacement was only temporary -see below.
These three photos are from Tom Waghorn
It is hoped to complete another top-coat on the sides, another coat of paint on the roof, and lettering, so that the vehicle can return to service on the forthcoming Goods Train weekend.
The van was lifted at the start of November at the north end using the hand crane, enabling the bolster rubbing plates to be shimmed. It is seen here with the south bogie now run out, to enable the work to progress at that end.
The middle stepboards and bogie stepboards have been fitted. Paintwork repairs to the sides and ends are being carried out. The ends of the aluminium roof covering have yet to be finished. The pile of coal seems somewhat excessive for the van's small stove - and perhaps a little premature?
The rotten floor timber inside the cabin has been stripped out, the steel floor well descaled and painted and new floorboards fitted. The guard's emergency brake valve is in the background. New cabin door locks/latches are being made from modified BY van door locks.
The extent of the wet-rot in the old floorboards can be seen in this view. The edges of several boards had begun to cube.
The old coachbolts attaching the top stepboard were almost unremoveable as they were corroded in position and either were, or had become hardened. They had to be drilled out using a magnetic pillar drill although several had to be blown out with oxy-propane. The new stepboards (one shown) are ready to be fitted when the paintwork repairs are complete.
July photographs and information provided by Martin Skrzetuszewski
This photo shows that very little now remains to be done to complete the van. Note the newly-fabricated middle stepboard brackets which have been securely fixed to the solebars.
Both vacuum cylinders have been overhauled, fitted and connected. All the brake blocks have been fitted and the brakes adjusted. Replica numberplates to the correct pattern have been cast in aluminium and are ready to fit. However, the warmer weather has finally revealed the degree to which the floor timbers inside the cabin have suffered wet-rot and these will need to be replaced. Air powered needle guns (descalers) were not available during the initial restoration so some sections of paintwork which were coming loose have been taken back to bare metal and repainted.
With some time allocated in the paint shop to complete the roof and external painting, the photo on the left sees the van rubbed down ready for final top coat.
The photo to the right show progress as of Saturday 9th July in fixing down the aluminium roof sheeting. (Photos from Nick Beck)
The second set of external half-doors have been made and fitted, but await door furniture. The roof planking is ready to go on, and this should be the next job, once temporary staging can be erected. Toughned glass has been obtained to replace the original plate glass which is considered a safety hazard these days.
Chris Willis' wagon team have taken the project under their wing, overhauling the metalwork, including the sand boxes, and structure under the floor at this end. These three photos have been provided by Dave Clarke.
The interior has been completely painted, and two of the four external doors made and fitted. The roof is the biggest remaining job; the timber has been prepared, with aluminium sheeting the prefered roof covering.
Go to the Web page for this brake van.
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