Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Progress After a Break

I missed a Saturday at Bitton while I visited Hay on Wye with its bookshops. Plenty for railway enthusiasts there - and for any other kind of enthusiast!

When I returned to the AVR last Saturday I found there'd been significant progress.

While I was away Ollie and his crew had fitted the axle-guides, the buffer bodies and painted the outside of the timber frame.

You can see the spring-hangers on the underside of the sole-bars in those shots. Andy has milled those down to accommodate the thicker metal of the new springs.

Ollie and I spent some time on Saturday cutting to length the new bolts to support the springs in the hangers, cutting a new thread on them and cross drilling them for the split-pins that will stop them undoing in use.


We are restoring the wagon's drop-doors, which had been all but completely removed by a previous user. All that was left were the catch mechanisms that held the doors up until released to drop out the contents. So we didn't know what size metal to use for the hinges.

Ollie told me that there is a similar wagon at the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust in Washford near Watchet. So yesterday I went there by train and bus to measure the ironwork.

We'd had some discussion about how thick those hinges should be. It turned out that they are 5/8" thick by 2" wide and the pins are 1" diameter bar.

The Somerset and Dorset is well worth a visit. It occupies one station and yard on the West Somerset Railway. The whole railway is a credit to the people who run it and to Somerset Council who had the foresight to buy the line when it was closed down. The people at Washford were very friendly and gave me a guided tour of the yard and shed. They have enviable workshops and a good little selection of freight and passenger stock. I shall be going back there to ride on the railway and to visit the Somerset and Dorset Trust again.

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