Apolgies for the lack of updates recently. However all the latest news has been posted on the Railcar Associations Bulletin. This year, work has concentrated on cleaning and painting the sole bars, gangway end and battery box doors. The solebars have also been lettered. A replacement gangway bellows has been made, and the vacuum brake reservoirs are ready to be refitted. The pipes and hoses have been refitted to the buffer beams
The usable wooden framing to which the ceiling and panels above the cab windows are attached, has received two coats of preservative. The wooden 'doughnuts' which support the ceramic cab light fittings have been removed ready for repainting.
Work has begun on the restoration of 50211's cab. The redundant NRN equipment and wiring has also been removed. Panelling above the window, and the ceiling, damaged when the cab was checked for asbestos have been stripped out. The destination blind box being removed to allow access. Fortunately enough fragments remained to allow paper patterns to be pieced together. Card templates have been made from the patterns, checked to see they fit correctly, and are being used to cut new hardboard panels.
The wooden framing behind the panels is in poor condition, many pieces having rotted away, as are the timber surrounds to the windscreens. These have been carefully removed and copies have been ordered from a local joinery manufacturer. The cover to the handbrake linkage was found to be very fragile, and a new one is being fabricated
The new main and marker light switch panels have just been received from the engravers. Made to the original Park Royal specifications in tufnol. The marker light panel has a space for the deleted top centre marker light, and a '2' has been added to the rev indicator switch as it was missing from the drawing!
The class 103 drawings held at the National Railway Museum were examined last week, Much of the information needed for this seasons work on M56160 is available, and a few new things were learned... Many of the drawings were titled Crossley Motors, and the units were intended to have a top marker light. This was deleted in the spring of 1957, but the switch panel was not redesigned, and a space was left for the deleted switch!
A very common question is "how did it (M56160) get here?" It was moved into position as a training exercise by the 119 Recovery Company. REME! Two Foden EKA 6x6 recovery tractors were used, and despite weighing 25 tonnes each, one tractor managed to lift its front wheels off the ground pushing the trailer!
This weekend was another 'Jolly' over to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway for their excellent 'Multiple Memories' DMU gala. The chance to see the fleet in operation and ride in last years 'Railcar of the Year'- their class 119 could not be resisted! The superb Derby Lightweight 'Iris' was also in operation. The opportunity to do some research and take some record photos to show what's missing from M56160, and where the bits go was also taken! But now its back to the grind, cleaning up more electrical components for M56160!