A tidy workshop – which will not look like this very long

On Wednesday March 5th, Rolling Stock Group volunteers cleared the inner and outer parts of the workshop, tidying away building materials, timber and assorted bits and pieces. All our (increasingly large numbers of) tools are now logically distributed on the shelving. Your intrepid blogger, having skived off at a Halesworth Tourism Group meeting all morning, was occasionally asked – ‘what’s this?’ – about some unidentifiable piece of metal. The usual answer was ‘I’m sure that will be useful some time’.
The ceiling of the Southwold end of Coach 7, inside, has been mended and primed, ready for undercoat. The box covers which conceal the door mechanisms are similarly prepared. All the woodwork around the end windows has been sanded down ready for varnish. The handbrake cover is permanently fixed, ready for panelling to surround it.
The second solebar for Van 40 is loose fitted: now the long job (which I must admit we have been putting off) of drilling 100-or-so holes (some M12, some

OK – it’s not a VERY interesting picture – but it does represent many hours of work! Coach 7 Southwold end.

M16) through 3mm thick steel in mainly inaccessible places will have to be tackled. These holes are for the machine screws and bolts which affix the various timber underframe parts to the metal sub-frame.

Also illustrated are the two new track gauges, built for us by Peggs of Aldeburgh, for the SR’s thirty-six and a sixteenth inches gauge. They are very heavily engineered, which will prove useful in the rough conditions that they must endure in tracklaying. In case anyone is wondering about the design, the outer guides are adjustable, to accommodate various different rail head widths. Also, when a sharp curve (which will be wide to gauge) is laid, shims can be introduced against the inner faces, and the outer ones will, again, be adjusted to fit. When I say “sharp” – that is of course relative – we don’t plan to have anything tighter than three chains radius (66 yards) – and even this will only be found in short sections close to pointwork.

Van 40 in backgound, track gauges in foreground
Work on two vehicles – new SR track gauges – and a tidy workshop!