We can’t do it without...
A boiler – well as it happens, we have one here:
45305’s boiler has returned to Loughborough at last, fresh from its overhaul at Tyseley (thanks Bob, Alastair and your team at the Tyseley Locomotive Works). I reported last month that the boiler had passed its steam test but that the return to Loughborough had been delayed by snow. Well it’s back now and “all” we need to do is finish off the bottom end, re-fit the boiler, re-attach all the pipework, replace the cladding, touch up the paintwork where necessary and test the engine before putting her back into traffic. (There may be a few minor tasks missing from this list, but please don’t point them out because I’m trying to big up the task to keep the team happy!)
The other thing we can’t do it without is Support Coaches! Without them we can’t run trips on the main line. (We know, We’ve tried! – It doesn’t work, nor does hiring a coach, we need to have our own coaches ready for when the engines go off on their travels).
So we “just” have to finish the two support coaches: Luckily Hugh, Dave, Andy Morgan, James, James’s Friends, Tom Allen, Mick Allen, Alison, Tony, Andy Carter and a cast of various assorted floor fitters, gas men, and testers have been busy at Rothley since Christmas.
In 17099 we decided that various bits of the floor needed replacing, which meant that some of the lino would have to be taken up and replaced, so it made sense to fit a new hardwearing floor covering throughout the living accommodation. Luckily, one of the cleaners at Loughborough - Peter Raiment - is MD of Blackburn Flooring and was able to give the association a good price on some very hardwearing flooring (as used & tested in the mess rooms at Loughborough shed). This meant that the old lino and carpet needed to be removed. Taking up the carpet wasn’t difficult – although it raised the dust of ages and exposed the ghost of the chalk mark on the underside of the carpet where in the dim & distant past someone had chalked 17099 on the back of the carpet.
Taking up the threshold strips also showed how much the garish orange carpet had faded over the decades; the compartments must originally have been almost painfully bright with orange seats, carpet and curtains!
Removing the lino was more of a challenge as it had been stuck down to the under floor with copious quantities of bitumen. In some of the compartments the floor was not fit for re-use having suffered from water ingress over the years, so Hugh had to chop out the old plywood and fit a new floor. Similar treatment was needed in parts of the corridor. In some areas it wasn’t just the plywood that needed replacing: various areas of the coach also needed patching with “sparkly glue” luckily Dave Wright was on hand with a welding rig - Which became good training for James Hazell!
Here Mick Allen is giving Dave a hand.
Now that the outside of 17099 has been patched, Andy Morgan has got his brushes out and is busy painting the coach maroon while Hugh has cleaned & painted the bogies – with help from James’s Friends Jessica Oakman, Rachel Hunt & Sarah Padbury.
Sarah, Jessica & Rachel who all thought they were just visiting!
It’s not just flooring: inside the coach we now have a gas cooker (just awaiting the replacement burners to convert it to propane), and a fridge which are in the kitchen you saw in the last news article. In the workshop area we now have a workbench and racks for tools, equipment and supplies. It’s all taking shape.
Meanwhile back at Loughborough 17064 is also coming along: Malcolm, Steve, Gary and Mark have been busy keeping that job going while Dave’s team are at work on ’99. The cooker on ’64 has been plumbed in, by “Alpha Plumbing” (who also did the work on ’99) and the team are busy ticking off tasks on the checklists taped to the outside of each compartment.
Both teams deserve a huge thank you for their hard work, both coaches are nearing completion, but there are still a number of jobs to do before they are ready to go out on the mainline in less than 3 weeks!!! Please come and help if you can spare the time, and don’t forget that we also need to ‘just’ replace the boiler on the Five and fit the elements in the Arthur. (That last task is probably taking place as I write this because Jim & John Street are at Loughborough this weekend giving a hand with fitting the elements. Thanks Guys).
Apologies for the grainy quality of some of the pictures, they were taken on a mobile phone