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.
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.
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.