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February 2012 Progress Report

By Hugh McQuade

LMS 2886 at Bridgnorth

2886 has had the replacement Guards door for the second side built and brought up to smooth undercoat red. It was hung on the vehicle on Saturday 11th February. This is the first doorway to be returned to working order on this side of 2886. Three more doors are receiving attention simultaneously at different sites.One being built 'new' using remachined doorposts from 33002 will be a 'window' door for a pair of luggage doors. Its partner, an original 2886 'blank' door is being heavily repaired, but will return to hang in its original location. Another 'blank' was taken off the vehicle on the 11th and was dismantled to begin repairs. It too should resume its railway career in its original position.

Rebuilding doors takes a disproportionate amount of time relative to the amount of space they occupy on a vehicle. This is because they are harshly treated in service and readily ingest water through having windows that slide up and down.

Internal wall planks were fixed in place upon No.1 end of 2886. Great care has been take to get them lying level and for the joints to meet up with the planks on the side walls. 2886's wooden frame is not quite square at floor level, so adjustments to the bottom edges have had to be done to ensure the layers above don't run out of true.

A stock of side and end planks sufficient to keep busy for a few weeks was manufactured late last year, and when this stock is exhausted we will have some more made. Storage space is limited so we only get in what we need for a few weeks at a time.

Twelve short floor joists at the North (No.2) end have been removed and damaged ones earmarked for repair or replacement. Several of these had cracked at the joints and are unrepairable. They will be copied in Keruing an oily hardwood, and additionally Neoprene support blocks have been bought to reinforce the joint areas as we return the joists to 2886. So far 8 out of 60 have been inserted in two visits in February.

The floor divides into five distinct sections, and new steel sheets for the first two sections currently under repair have been ordered for delivery in February.

Brass castings for two 'check straps' have been made for us, and are to be machined and polished during the month. Two ornate leather straps made for us by a member in Portugal are to hand also. Only one luggage door on each side requires these straps in order for the guards door not to be obstructed by the neighbouring door being opened beyond 90 degrees. It is common to see check straps on corner doors to prevent shunters being hit on the head, but for them to feature in mid-body is rare. We were alerted to this by the general drawing which clearly shows the check strap on only one door, and by the absence of bumpstops on the same door and adjacent body panel.

7960 at Kidderminster

Stainless steel for the splashbacks on the pantry walls was delivered at the beginning of February and is to be drilled at fitted in the next few days. The two pieces that form the bodyside corner need to be in place before the gas fitters arrive at the end of the month to install the new boiler and gas pipework.

Two replica cast iron builders plates were fitted on February 8th. These had been made late last year and painted last month. 7960 was built at Doncaster in 1936, and despite the great efforts made on it in the last 20 years at Bewdley and Kidderminster we prefer to show off its original birthplace and year of manufacture, despite so little of the original surviving.

The sink unit is now irrevocably fastened to the wall and its understructure. Doors for the understructure have started to be made. The two halves of the dresser are now complete with brassware and only await several strong men and an ice free day before being carried into 7960. Replica "Imperiston" fan cowls have been delivered from Railway Vehicle Preservations Ltd for the kitchen ceiling during the month. These may not be installed for some time as a lot of work to panel the ceiling and install fans is still to be done. The opportunity to buy into a multiple railway order was not to be missed.

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