Saturday, January 3, 2009

New year attack.

New Year, same job.
2009 has arrived and work has recommenced mostly continuing from where we left off - floor & body tidy ups but some roof progress has been made as well!
Bob started the day tidying up the rough edges, screws etc that were still in the floor inhibiting the progress.

The removal of the rotten floor continued and we decided that the best way forward was to take out the bottom section of the vestibule wall. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

With the lower partition section out the vestibule lino was lifted and there were no doubts that the entire floor needed to be replaced. The under wall joist in this section was some of the worst found so far.

To replace the floor joists top grade kiln dried hardwood machined to 34mm to match that taken out was ordered. After measuring up Steve makes the first cut to get the replacement floor underway.

Starting with the hard jobs is usually a sound approach. Here Steves measures the cuts required to fit in the vestibule wall joist which had to fit around remaining joists and conduits.

The first section of joists are in and the bolts test fitted down through the frame of the car.

Once finally fitted the joists were removed and given a coat of blackjack to help protect them from future water ingress. Uncle Bob demonstrated the technique....

...and then Jack took over.

The result was coated timber that should last another 45 years at least!

With the joists ready the specialists moved in to cut the flooring. After surveying the sheet requirements, the best cut strategy was determined so to minimise the wastage of the Marine grade ply wood. After marking out, the saw was again in action.

With so many obstacles the vestibule area sheets are the trickiest to cut and fit.

With the floor up and the "wood butchers" working out their cuts attention turned to the doorway entrances and tread plates.
With the flooring gone the silicone was picked out of the screw and drain holes to remove the brass tread plates......

....and the tread pulled clear of the supporting timber.

With the tread up and the timber out the old rusted bolts were removed - eventually!

Throughout the car some rivets have been found to be loose so the decision was made to drill out and replace the angle mounting section around the entrance doors.

With the metal work completed the wood men can return.

The new year attack was a 2 day effort and accommodation was booked at the nearby Court House Hotel. A "bonus" of this location was the rooms being located in former NSWGR 600/700 class railcars - the forerunners of the 620/720 sets.

Despite being "grounded" the cars still feature many original fittings and provided a comfortable bed for the night. These self contained rooms provide an ideal overnight stay. 4 rooms are available, the hotel can be contacted on (02)49385122.

Next day Kingy arrived early (!) and full of enthusiasm to tidy up the car exteriors. First the blisters got the disc treatment.....

....then the tidy up with a fine sand......

...and finally a coat of etch primer to treat the surface.

The blisters arnt extensive all over but theres still a few to do up and down the cars.

Also on the outside of the car, Bob prepared the side sheeting for painting by removing the various stickers.

After heating, peeling, scraping, peeling, polishing, peeling, scratching, peeling...... the L7 logos were removed. These were put on with good glue!

The roofs of the cars were silver throughout their lives and various colour schemes until the introduction of the Cityrail "prong" colour scheme when they were painted grey.

An inspection of the roof reveals that the CountryNet radio Satellite Dome antenna has been removed but the GPS & UHF antennas are in place.

In preparation for the full heritage repaint and to seal the roof to prevent leaking during outdoor storage Pete has now applied a coat of roofing silver. First the edges and joints get a touch up from the brush....

... and then the trusty rollers finish the job. The outcome is a gleaming, shiney roof. Lets hope it cools the car interiors down too!

This before & after shot shows the difference. 629 has now been done too.

The car end canopys are fibreglass mouldings and have suffered with the outer surface badly worn, possibly from tree damage.
To ensure they continue to serve for many years they have been given a quick buff to remove the flaking and rough edges......

....and then coated with prep and sealer coats to protect the fibreglass.

After the treatment it looks like it should be on the commissioners train.

At the end of another work attack the cars are again closer to being ready for their next move. Its amazing what a few oldmates can achieve with planning and team work. Thanks guys.