The Trust’s intrepid Rolling Stock Group team, led by Bernie Ward, has completed the exterior of SR Coach 7 (the Belgian tram trailer). Restoring this coach has been a (more than) two year marathon. Although most of the main structure was sound, the paintwork, body and roof panels were in poor condition, and the toplight windows so badly rusted in place that they would neither open nor close. Of the concertina doors (so vital for our future disabled access), one was working, and the other three were rusted solid in place.

Coach 7 Southwold End – timber panelling and seat refurbished

The finished product is a testament to the team’s dedication – so anyone who thinks (as some do) that all we do is sit around and drink tea, is wrong! (Though I must admit that we do do quite a lot of that as well)
Not content with this achievement, the team has refurbished all the timber panelling in the “Halesworth end”, and varnished it, together with the complex panelling on the inside of all the doors, and the end seat. The floor covering at both ends is shot, so for the moment the floor boards are finished in paint, later to be covered with linoleum to match the central saloon. Some repairs are needed to the floor at the “Southwold end”, and a battery box will be provided to prevent the acid fumes from eating away at the structure (the battery is for the lights, and, eventually, for buzzer communication between the train guard and driver). One ceiling section remains to be completed, and the timber panelling will be sourced, treated and fitted in both ends, the central saloon

Bob painting the floor – completed interior door panelling in background

floor cleaned and polished, some seat bracket painting completed, the light assemblies refitted, a guard’s seat and equipment box provided, and the body can be signed off.

Coach 7 – Brake Third – on SR rails at the SRT workshop

Then we will tackle the underframe, which needs cleaning and painting, plus, perhaps, a little repair. Brake fitting will follow.
On SR covered van No. 40, timber is being sourced for the main structural frame of the body, while the few jobs remaining on the underframe are completed. Design work is in hand for the next wagon project – a classic SR high-curved-end open, on an underframe that SRT already possesses, thanks to a very generous donation.

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