14th, 15th January 2016

A weekend of 2 halves; snow and ice on Saturday, and rain and fog on Sunday. Our work reflected this weather. Saturday was the day of the big burn up, with 2 large fires consuming a lot of the scrub and branches cut down over the last month or so. After a slow start, the fires soon developed into larger ones which rapidly ate all the branches and brush. By darkness the west side was just about clear of scrub, leaving just the old logs to be recovered. Hopefully we can burn off the blackthorn on the east side next weekend.
On Sunday it was time to deal with 2 of the wagons at the Station. First up though was thoroughly gritting the walkways, as the early morning rain had frozen on contact with the cold ground resulting in a nasty layer of ice everywhere. The old NER box van body was first to be tackled. The double layer of floor planks were lifted as many had rotten ends. Between the 2 layers were some old sacking and lime bags used, we think, to keep out the draughts. We believe the second layer was added once the van became a grounded body, to prevent people falling though the rotten first layer. We then began refitting the floor, jointing the good parts of the original planks on top of the underframe beams. This framing is in excellent condition and will be good for a long time. Any exposed steel framing was cleaned down and primed at the same time.
Secondly, half the team moved on to the CCT. Here we hoped to cut out the final rotten section of the side beam; however, cutting revealed the rot went a lot further back than we hoped. To that end, we have had to take off the steel door runner channel to expose the whole extent of the problem. This has revealed we need to replace a somewhat larger piece, approximately 12’ long. Elsewhere on the van, we have continued replacing some of the old roof screws with bolts, to hold the roof planks tight against the hoops.

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