Vanfit B777654: Part 1

With the completion of our exterior works to ex-LMS “Octopussy” CCT No.37071, we have been free to be able to begin new wagon projects. We await a shunt to remove the CCT from our workspace in the shed and bring in the first new projects for attention, but until this has happened we will be able to make little progress with the running fleet. In the meantime while we are waiting, we have turned our attention to a couple of static vans in a rather publicly-prominent position in the platform at Wansford, which desperately require some cosmetic attention to remove the ‘scrapyard look’ they have had for several years.

NVR 150505 001 First up is 12T British Railways ‘Vanfit’ No.B777654. This one has particularly badly rusted ends which we will attempt to clean up to a repaintable state. Despite initial appearances the condition of this van is not actually too bad, and a cosmetic makeover should make a big visual improvement.

NVR 150505 003a The two/three lower planks to each side of the doors could really do with replacement, but they are solid enough to withstand being patched. This approach  is not something we would normally consider with wagons for the running fleet (unless the patch repair was really small), but for the purposes of a quick cosmetic smartening-up of a static vehicle we felt it worthwhile and the patch will provide a better base for painting. The plywood patch seen here (centre-right) was itself life-expired!

NVR 150505 004 The plywood patches in the process of being installed. We are having to be particularly efficient with materials at the present time, hence the use of several off-cuts for this job! If you can help us with the very important job of fundraising, please contact us via email or our Facebook page – without fundraising we will be severely limited in what we can achieve with the wagon fleet and we would really appreciate your support.

NVR 150505 019 By the end of the day we were able to clean up and prime both the wood and metalwork to the public platform side of the van. Unusually for NVR vans the roof covering is in good order, and needs no work. The doors will be rebuilt as soon as possible, and the vehicle will be repainted in ‘fitted’ (vacuum-braked) brown livery. At some point in between projects, the corrugated steel ends will also be tackled.

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