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LMS (BR Built) 3-Plank Open M480222 Refurbishment

A volunteer wagon project, started in March 2008.

11th July 2009

M 480222 Awaiting finishing touches - 11 July 2009 - Andy Prime


Refurbishment Work has been all but completed with just a few finishing details to be added. Stuart Fielder has made a start on the signwriting. The wagon number plate for this side is down at Sheffield Park being repaired, as it was broken into two pieces.

The vehicle will soon be scheduled to go over the inspection pit, so that the vacuum brake and running gear can be checked and adjusted.

Photo by Andy Prime

January 2009

Following the successful fitting of the new floor, work then commenced on fitting the new end planks which had been cut to size, primed and painted away from the vehicle. It is often a challenge to try and square up new planks onto end stanchions that have been bent and abused during the wagons later BR years when it carried ballast or spoil for the Engineers Department. Surprisingly perhaps, it is best to start by aligning the top plank with the stanchion top and then working your way downwards.

The original countersunk head coach bolts were used to fasten the new ends, these bolts and many of the other wagon ironmongery had been grit blasted and primed by Robert Robert, Tom Simcock and other wagon volunters, for which thanks are due.

 M 480222 Fitting the new ends M 480222 ends clamped for drilling

Photos by Andy Prime

August to December 2008

Despite being short of manpower, the volunteer wagon gang soldiered on to complete the priming and painting of the underframe taking full advantage of the wagon being moved inside the C&W workshop for the winter. The next step was to cut to size and fit the new tanalised floor planks, these were then drilled and bolted to the underframe using new coach bolts.

The gang were so busy working nobody took any photos !

July 2008

During initial needle gunning of the wagon, it became apparent that the metal curb rails had suffered excessive corrosion and would need replacement. We were grateful to receive the help of another Andy to the project who spent at least 3 weeks of his annual leave progressing the wagon and in the process, learning to use the gas cutting equipment.

Under the watchful eye of C&W Manager Rowan Millard, Andy uses his new gas cutting skills to begin removing the old curb rail securing bolts.

The next day, the wagon is minus its nearside curb rail and the other one is about to get the same treatment. The underframe is also progressing through various applications of red and grey primer.

A lesson in gas cutting M 480222 minus curb rail

Photos by Andy Prime

June 2008

M 480222 side removed and kept


These sides come off a lot easier than they go on!

This one was kept as a pattern to facilitate easier drilling and sizing of the new sides.


Photo by Andy Prime.

April 2008

With the old floor now removed, work could start on needle gunning and priming the underframe.

M 480222 Floor Removed M 480222 Priming the underframe

Photos by Andy Prime.

March 2008

M480222 A Rotten Floor


Both of the LMS design 3 Plank Opens to be found on the Bluebell were shunted into the C&W Yard early in 2008, red carded for having rotten floors. An brief survey quickly confirmed this by virtue of the daylight visible through them !

M480222 was actually the better of the two wagons, but this picture shows the extent of the damage caused by the storage of coal/ballast/spoil in the vehicle over the years. The larger holes had been covered by some temporary metal sheeting.

Some of the side planks were also found to be split and in need of replacement. Rather than attempt a piecemeal replacement of planks which had produced certain 'challenges' on the Pipefit, an early decision was made to replace all of the woodwork. This decision was made that much easier by the knowledge that upon completion of the refurbishment, the wagon was being released from Engineering use and was to take a place in the BR period Goods Train.

Photo by Andy Prime

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