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GWR 9581 (Formerly 5043) Wheelchair and Buffet Progress 2018.

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5043 after shunt and Turn at Bewdley, June 13th.


Progress Update 12th August 2018

Progress continues with the second half side, which is a repeat of the opposite half that we made earlier. All its steel panels have been cut and the screw holes drilled, countersunk (by pressing  "dimples" in the panels) and temporarily fixed in place with a few woodscrews. The centres of all the screw holes have been spotted through with a small drill. Next move will be to remove the panels and, to allow them to lie flat, countersink the wood, thus making clearances for said dimples or, where panels overlap, cut 1" dia holes in the lower panels. They will then be permanently screwed in place and the vertical seams welded to prevent future water ingress. Inside meanwhile, progress has continued with filling the frame recesses.

Now that the prototype is correct, the main batch of steel rolled sections to make the roof carlines has been ordered from Angle Ring for delivery later this month, allowing us to refurbish the roof frame as our main winter project. Meanwhile the window restoration continues, and enough should be finished in time for the half side to be glazed in early September. In the workshop, part of the third half side has been trial assembled, ready for fitting early in 2019 when time and weather will allow.

Its hoped to style the interior of the "new" 5043 in a similar manner to the GWR diagram H55 Buffet Cars in Art Deco style with teak veneered panelling. To achieve this end, many fittings need to be sourced. If we're lucky there may be enough in our stores, or another group may have some spares. Otherwise its often a long winded process of research, design, finding a manufacturer willing to quote, raising the cash, and finally making them. Currently we're looking into making new side door frames (the originals are 90 years old and very fragile), gangway bellows, saloon lamp fittings (extraordinary looking conical affairs with three light bulbs sticking out of the sides) and the rather splendid cast brass heater covers which will be a prominent feature of the finished carriage.

First fit of panels

Third half of frames trial assembled

GWR diagram H55 Buffet Car interior

Saloon lamp fitting

Heater cover

Door hung and first panel fitted


Progress Update 29-7-2018

It did prove possible to save the vast majority of the oak framing that was the Kidderminster end, with only a new corner post and some patching required. This end and the new half side were then clad outside in 1.5mm thick galvanised steel sheet, retained with stainless steel woodscrews and bedded in acrylic mastic. Internally the recesses were filled in with  1" thick redwood T&G to absorb the inevitable knocks from wheelchairs or to provide a base for attaching internal fittings. The refurbished quarter lights were fitted complete with shutter sliding gear, and all windows were glazed with safety glass. This work took until mid-June. On 13th June 5043 was taken on a return trip to Kidderminster turntable. On its return a few hours later the other side was brought alongside the working platform and within a fortnight and after supporting the roof, over 30 ft of rotten side framing had been removed. By 28th July 30 ft of replacement side framing was in place, including for the first time a new bottom side section, and made strong and secure with screws, bolts, knee irons and gusset plates. The lower steel panels had been cut ready for fitting, and the corner door hung. A start had been made on the forthcoming roof refurbishment; a well known local firm of section benders had successfully rolled angle iron sections for a trial carline (the semi elliptical hoop that goes across the carriage forming the shape of the roof). The complete component was assembled by Mike and Rob, and fitted in place. That leaves 29 carlines to go!

T&G Internal panelling

Carriage on the turntable

Awaiting return to Bewdley

Panelling and frames removed

New bottom side in position

New frames installed

New carline assembly


Restoration Progress 18-3-2018

By mid March 2018 the very rotten wooden framework of half of one side (the one from behind the bar to the first double door) had been replaced with new frame timber to the new configuration. Several components were refurbished for 5043 including a side door, several quarterlights and some sliding window frames.  The refurbished door was in position and made to work. The framework of the end nearest to Kidderminster seemed at this stage to be sound enough to repair rather than replace.

The first quarterlight to be refurbished

The new frame work


Progress Update 30th September 2018

Work over the past six weeks has been concentrated mainly on the completion of the rebuilt sides of the Bar/WC end of 5043. This is best appreciated by referring to the photos below. In summary, half of the sides and one end of the rebuilt 5043 are now complete, leaving the other half for 2019. The framework for the roof is under construction, again for completion in 2019 and its anticipated that the roof panelling, gutters and fittings will be completed by full time SVR staff over the winter of 2019/20. The long task of fitting out will then commence!

1)  The exterior galvanised steel panelling was completed by making and screwing on rectangular pieces that formed the tops and bottoms of the windows. These were then MIG welded to the surrounding steel and the welds treated with rust inhibitor.

2)  Meanwhile inside, the spaces in the framework were covered with “sub-cladding”, the purposes of which are to strengthen the sides to resist knocks and to provide a strong base on which to screw fittings such as bar shelves, seat ends and coathooks.

3)  The windows were glazed. This involved a considerable amount of work including the refurbishment of the quarter light/sliding shutter assemblies and the construction of frames to hold the glass in position. Finally all can be assembled using traditional and hard to obtain imperial sized specialist fasteners and proprietary sealant.

4)  Meanwhile the interior sub cladding was finished, with a consequent improvement in the look of the interior. T&G softwood was used in the WC and behind the bar where wall fittings could be anticipated, whilst 6mm marine plywood sufficed elsewhere.

5)  This general view shews the refurbished bar and kitchen area.  The photographer was standing in the area to be occupied by the future WC. Six of the new steel carlines, rolled from mild steel angle by Angle Ring Ltd and assembled by the group’s welder, can be seen in position;-they’re the ones painted green.

6)  A detail of the roof shewing two new (green) steel carlines and two old ones made from steam pressed oak. It’s hoped that some of the oak will survive as ceiling supports by being bolted onto the steel. A round hole for a roof vent can be seen, in common with all the others it was plated over some years ago. The numbers appear to be dimensions chalked on by the builders 90 years ago.

5043 will shortly be shunted to bring the next section of side to be tackled alongside the working platform;-The wooden frame for this side has actually been assembled, but before it can be fitted to 5043 a considerable amount of stores and workshop reorganisation will be needed. Watch this space……

RG 30/9/18

1) Panneling complete but before windows were fitted

2) Bar area internal sub-cladding part complete

3) Half side complete with windows fitted

4) Internal sub cladding in bar area complete

5) General view of bar area

6) Detail of roof interior

Progress Update 4th November 2018
Since September 5043 has shewn little change, but restoration work has, of course continued unabated in several fronts.

1) The rebuilding of quarterlight and sliding shutter assemblies continues with only three out of fourteen to go. Dave, who has spent close on 100 days dismantling, straightening, making new bits, tapping holes and reassembling is looking forward to his just reward;- the same job on the sliding shutters themselves!

2) A set of eight new droplighghts is halfway to being finished.These are basically a pane of toughened glass surrounded by a wooden frame, but GWR droplights are particularly complex components with a sprung loaded draught excluder flap in addittion to a leather strap fitted to each bottom rail.

3) The assembly of the new roof carlines also continues, with half of the thirty now drilled and assembled. Ten are in place and holding up the roof of the restored section. The tarpaulin cover is still essential however, as the galvanised steel roof still needs repair!

4) The wooden framework for the remaining new sides has been assembled, and awaits fitting in place once the days start to get longer. The wait gives the Group the opportunity to relocate and upgrade  its workshops with the aid of financial support from the SVR Guarantee Company.

5043 has recently been shunted into a new position approximately 25ft south of its previous one, bringing the next section alongside the working platform.
RG 4/11/18

Bar and toilet wall that was renewed in Summer 18

The Bar side is visible to visitors to Bewdley

The old corridor side awaits replacement

Saloon frame to replace the old corridor side

Saloon side frame with new roof carlines visible above

4 Months later
5043 before the repositioning shunt at Bewdley, October 10

The Wheelchair accessible Buffet Car is being created by rebuilding the bodyshell of the already much modified GWR 3rd 5043. The finished carriage will be a catering vehicle, and thus should be numbered as such in the 95XX or 96XX series. With the bodyshell design based on GWR Diagram H33, the number of one of these carriages, the long scrapped 9581 was chosen to be carried in service. At a meeting held on 6th November 2018 between the ES Project Manager, 5043 Project Leader and several experienced Fundraisers from the SVRCT and LNER Carriage Group, it was suggested that it would save confusion if 5043 were to become 9581 with immediate effect. With the rebuild more than 50% complete, this was agreed and the Accessible Buffet car is now known as 9581"

RG 10/11/2018

GWR Wheelchair Buffet Progress 2019 Jan - June