Now with the underside fully accessible the extent of the damage to the buffer support and drag box, without any doubt caused by excessively heavy shunting, has been discovered to be much greater than previously realised. The headstock is damaged, causing misalignment during attempts to reinstall the buffer shanks. “Further back, the steel drag box too is so distorted that we are having to replace it,” commented Mike Lang, lead Trustee. “These additional frame repairs can be quite costly and inevitably delay the main rebuild work.”

However the wooden floor boards of the upper teak body can be easily removed for access, top and bottom, so removing frame members, while still awkward due to the riveted design, has been eased, dimensions carefully checked and specified for duplication by a specialist metal fabricator. “Our very first assessment is that it will add another unexpected £2000 to the rebuild total,” he said. 

Photo series shows the work in progress on the Barnum steel frame – and various revealing damage and rot to the drag box – courtesy Andrew Coalwood (17/08/19)

Caption – Rear buffer support beam member was originally straight! – Photo courtesy Keith Stimpson