Work on the new support coach (Mark 1 BCK E21249) has continued at Darlington over the past three months. Paul Depledge has spent some time working on the electrical system, fitting the locomotive battery charger connections at the ends of the coach and pulling wires through the conduits to the connectors. Mick Robinson has completed the corridor connection overhaul and the refitting of the doors. The fitting of the luggage van doors was difficult as we were only using one out of the four originals - the remainder being beyond economic repair. The coach was purchased with four spare doors from a former Southern region Mark 1 EMU. However, as these were made at York as opposed to our coach which started life at Swindon, they required a fair amount of fitting and adjustment. A joiner is now completing the door linings and interior trim and M Machine’s Ian Matthews and Peter Horden have installed the ceilings in the luggage van and guard’s areas.
Mick has also finished making and fitting the pieces of galvanised steel sheet to cover all the exposed woodwork underneath – a new requirement for overhauled Mark 1 coaches, and has refitted the vacuum brake cylinders. He has also made progress on the Panda diesel generator frame including making the radiator air ducting and installing in the same frame the warm air convector which heats the workshop area.
The Trust’s two electrical volunteers Gordon Little and Gordon Wells have completed the reassembly of the 200A alternator and will test it shortly by mounting it in the lathe to turn the rotor. Gordon Little has re-manufactured the brush gear which was seized and short if brush springs.
Thanks to a kind offer from the MHR, the Trust has been able to acquire a replacement wheelset (the original had cracks which condemned it) and this has been subjected to ultrasonic and magnetic particle inspection by Serco which has confirmed that the wheelset is in good condition. It will shortly be moved to Rampart Carriage & Wagon in Derby where it will be painted and united with the second bogie which has been overhauled by Rampart.