With the overhaul completed, a test run and volunteer and staff thank you train was run on 1st December. The photo on the left from Jim Hewett shows it included in the formation for the thank-you train, which it will retain for the Santa season, acting as First-class accommodation for some very lucky patrons. In February it will then take its place in the Golden Arrow.
Jim Hewett reports: The weather was not inspiring but the launch seemed to
go well enough. It started at Horsted Keynes just after 1pm and went to Sheffield Park where we
picked up a buffet
lunch. A trip the Kingscote followed finishing at Horsted
about 3pm. There were
just a few minor problems that I could see, a bit of a
leak on the steam
heating [isn't there always?] and a window which leaked.
Otherwise it was a splendid occasion.
A year has flown by, and the carriage has been completed! Not by magic, but thanks to a lot of hard work over that time - a Pullman is a complex vehicle, and every little detail takes time and effort to get right. The restoration has included fitting a double-sided clock of the correct pattern in place of the plaques which had replaced it many years ago.
Jim Hewett's photos on the right and below show the car over the pit on 30th November for steam heat and brake tests. Dave Clarke's photo below shows the completed interior, with moquette reproduced to the original pattern, and provides an interesting contrast with that from a year earlier!
With windows in, the panelling below them is being fitted. Chris Pyle has also being doing a lot of work on the ceilings and varnish work in the vestibules.
Having been French polished by Andy Fielder, the first marquetry panels have been installed on the west side of the northern compartment. (Photo from Dave Clarke).
On the outside, the com-cord gear can be seen, having been re-fitted - not a straightforward task thanks to the new curved ends to the coach. The gangway connector bellows have been compelted, and other end furniture fitted.
The old copper domed roof coverings for the ends have been repaired and re-fitted. To prevent electrolytic problems between the copper and the auminium, leaf flashing is being used at the interface with the sides. The main aluminium roof panels have been prepared, and will be separated from the copper by a stainless steel strip.
Photo from Dave Clarke, showing the interior, with new roof hoops and most of the replacement roof boards in place, the inner ceiling at the sides stripped for re-painting, and the wiring exposed, which is being replaced as necessary.
Over the winter the south bogie was run out to provide access beneath for work on the wiring. The seat structures hve been overhauled, and are being re-trimmed in a reproduction of the Pullman moquette this car carried for many years. Volunteer Andy Fielder is undertaking the french polishing of the marquetry panels.
The external aluminium sheeting was provided by the Bluebell and fixed in place at Stewarts Lane, before the car's return.
Since the time this photo was taken, it has been decided that the roof was too rotten to simply re-cover, and this has been removed, and roof hoops have been renewed.
This interior shot shows just how much of the main structure has been replaced with new material. The body really was in a very bad way!
Whilst the body was away, the interior marquetry panelling was refurbished by Dunns of Chelmsford, and is now stored awaiting refitting.
Pullman Car 64 spent most of 2004 away at Stewarts Lane having its main body structure renewed. On its return it spent a little time over the pit, with the bogies run out.
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