Tuesday 16 June 2009

The Restoration Chronicles - LNWR 2-plank wagon

First on the workbench, and number 1 in my fleet of somewhat eclectically recorded list of vehicles is an LNWR two-plank permanent way wagon.

This was built from the Ratio four-pack of wagons which I believe is still available.

To fit in with the permanent way purpose of the wagon, it is part-loaded with some C&L chairs, doing the job of covering up the lead sheet with which it is weighted.

So, what needs restoring? Initially, the diagnosis is quite promising:

- all of the buffers have survived, and are still freely sprung. No work needed there.

- The single sided brake gear is intact. Looking at it end-on, the lever guard is angled in slightly at the bottom, and could do with correction. I suspect that is a construction error that I made when I originally built this. Something to correct though, if possible.

- The wagon is fitted with compensated w-irons – de rigueur at the time that it was built. However the rocking one could do with a little bit of tightening up to stop it being quite so floppy. I think that I can get away with better trackbuilding, and less suspension movement in future. I suspect that my earlier attempts were overly influenced by the words of Iain Rice and his preference for light railway quality permanent way.

- even the bump stops that exist to protect the brake gear from the weight of the wagon side as it swings down are intact. On both sides. Which raises an interesting question.

Even if the long-lost kit instructions explained it, would bump stops (and the corresponding bash-plates be found on the wagon side that doesn’t have brake gear that needs protecting? My guess would be that yes, it does, as the stops would also stop damage to the axleboxes by the side swinging into them.

I’ll have to look for a prototype photograph to make sure…

Things that definitely do need work include replacing a number of the chairs where they have fallen off over the years.

Also, and this is the biggest problem of all, an aerial view shows that where I have piled the chairs against the side of the wagon, and glued them in place, the solvent has made the wagon side bow in. This really does need straightening out to be convincing.

The issue of coupling standards also needs to be addressed. More on the coupling dilemma at a future date, but even though the Sprat & Winkles on this have survived, I need to consider if they are of the right dimension for the future.

Enough typing for now. Time to pick up a knife and start work…

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