Van 40 frame trial-assembled – apologies for the tarp – it was a very wet day indeed!

The most advanced part of the SRT’s Heritage Train took a big step forward recently, when the SOLD workshop in Lowestoft trial-assembled the main frame onto the underframe we built. The joints in the sapele mahogany are all beautifully made with traditional mortices and tenons – and the whole thing gives a good impression of the finished van.

Van 40 end detail, showing chamfer detail – tapered upright on left

Now the frame will be taken down again (as SOLD know it all fits), painted, and re-fitted permanently using dowels through the joints. Despite the lack of diagonals in this early-build design, the frame seems very stable – the tapers on the end uprights contribute to this. SRT are now trying to source the roof ribs – which would ideally be steam-bent, if we can find someone who still does that. Otherwise, it’ll be a matter of cutting the timber out of a large baulk – which will be very expensive and wasteful. Then the T&G can go on the roof and body – and SOLD can tackle the difficult job of building and hanging the sliding doors.

A reminder of what it will look like

These, unusually, run on double-flanged wheels on rails, and are only guided at the top – opposite to modern practice.  The metalwork will inevitably be expensive – although we have funding for the current timber work, more cash will be needed soon – see the Heritage Train section of this website.

Detail of some of the door mechanism – on Van 12 at the EATM (NB – it’s been painted since then!)
Van 40 starts to grow – Upwards and Outwards