A bit of a tricky task this week; putting right damage on CCT 37071 that was received in a collision many years ago. In the photo it can be seen that the timber top rail is completely smashed. Less obvious is that the steel stanchion is pushed inwards considerably, and that this section of the roof had dropped slightly. As this timber is helping to hold the roof up, it is important we repair it and make it as solid as possible. Perhaps it is just as well that this wagon was always intended to be used in a non-operational role.
The roof was jacked up slightly, and the steel stanchion was forced back outwards and into its correct alignment by judicious use of packing timbers and an Acro-prop. On the left can be seen a brace running across the van helping push the wall outwards, this will become the top rail of a necessary (but very conveniently located) partition wall to the interior of the van.
A closer view of the cut-out joint between the old and new timber rail, with the bolts temporarily located to hold the new timber in place. The steel angle and clamp on the right was used to pull the new timber into alignment with the old.
The far set of doors (just behind the diagonal Acro-prop) will be blanked off, to allow a substantial support structure to be constructed under the new section of top rail within the van and thus making this weak spot as robust as possible. The blank section will be covered with a set of dummy doors, so the exterior of the van will look exactly as it should.
Extra vertical timbers have been added for temporary support, until we are able to finish bracing everything up. It may be that we start to put in the timber side cladding on this side as a priority, in order to fully complete the bracing to the interior before attempting to access the roof, which requires stripping and re-covering.
Three of us were on site today, so with the timber repairs mostly being only a two-man job, I had to find something else to do. Fortunately (unfortunately?) this van has plenty of work elsewhere required, so I spent some time stripping the eastern headstock as the old paint/rust was pretty lumpy and uneven.
Headstock and buffers needle-gunned and wire-brushed…
…and treated to a coat of anti-corrosive white primer.