Carriage & Wagon Report May/June 2004
article by: Richard Johnson
At the moment it is a story of 'almost there'. Both the
Gangwayed Brake (BG) 81039 and the Ballast Hopper (Dogfish) are
81039 has had a considerable amount of work done to it. A
complete Santas Grotto has been built in each end; the Guards
compartment has been fully refurbished, a degree of welding had to
be undertaken to the bodywork and three windows had to be removed
and rebedded. It has been overhauled mechanically and all the
painting (both internal and external) is now virtually finished.
You should see it in action on the Local train or one of the
driving experience courses by the end of the month. That will be a
relief for guards currently having to use one of the 'Toad' brake
vans as the brake vehicle in that set.
Similarly, the Dogfish has been thoroughly overhauled
mechanically, and everything now works properly. It is being
repainted by Sylvie Ottwell into a very smart mid-grey, and should
be ready to be released back into traffic in a couple of weeks.
Once both the BG and the Dogfish are complete, we shall replace
them with two more vehicles in need of a total overhaul. The TSO
(Tourist Open second) 4772 mentioned in an earlier report is being
worked on outside, so much headway is already being made. This will
give us a flying start when we bring it under cover.
The Dogfish will be replaced in the shed with a 'Conflat' wagon
- railway shorthand for 'container flat'. This is a short flat
wagon built in the 1950's specifically to carry a wooden furniture
container. This was very much the forerunner of the large steel
shipping containers which are now so common. The furniture
container was initially taken by a road vehicle to be packed.
Remember all those three wheeled Scammell mechanical horses with
the small flat trailer?. That's what they were used for. After
packing, it was taken to be craned onto a conflat wagon to be sent
to its final destination. We also have a suitable original
container which is in the process of being restored, and when the
two are united it will recreate something which was commonplace in
the 1950's and 60's.
We are having a 'working week' in early July. In addition to
having a major tidy up, we are planning to erect a steel mezzanine
floor in the shed to give us much needed additional space. It is
currently a kit of parts. It seems to be a bit like a jig saw
puzzle, but inevitably without the helpful picture on the front of