Having run on the Bluebell for 44 years, with only routine maintenance, it has been decided that it's time to replace the corroding steel panels on the lower body-side. These are fixed using coutersunk screws with a square slot in the center of the head (a 1920s' predecessor of torx?). No.1098 had this type of screw as well.
As expected, removing the panels has revealed corrosion of the knees and bolts, causing some splitting of the bottom-side timbers, and this will be dealt with as part of the intermediate overhaul. A few of the doors also need attention.
All things considered, the teak framework has stood up well to 84 years in service! Making a carriage body out of a timber which is so resistant to rot clearly pays dividends.
Above: 971 during a shunt of the works, 13 October 2007
Right: On 3rd October, the first panels had been removed, revealing a timber framework beneath in apparently good condition (both photos from Dave Clarke)
Subsequent note: The work required (where the bottom-side had split due to corroded bolts) having been found to be much more extensive than had been allowed for, the carriage has been tarpaulined over and awaits a budget allocation for the work, which would probably also have to include major repairs to the rotten roof and partitions, and re-trimming of the seats.
Go to the Web page for this carriage.
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