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GWR 9581 (Formerly 5043) Wheelchair and Buffet Progress 2019.

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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


Progress Update 13th January 2019

By the start of December 2018, the replacement of one half of both bodysides of 9581 was more or less complete, with both sides replaced to the half way point, and the original framing at that end repaired for further service. New steel exterior cladding was fitted to all of this end, and the windows glazed. It also had its new steel roof supporting hoops (carlines) in place, making that end of the roof secure but its cladding had not received any remedial attention. At the other end the original structure of 5043 was still all in place;-one side painted in green primer (the green side) whilst the other (the red side) still bore traces of the BR maroon livery applied by the 2857 Society. During December 2018  repairs to that end framing were carried out to enable the original to be retained, thus both 90 year old ends will be fit for further service!

The weather on the last Saturday before Christmas, 22nd December 2018 seemed promising, and with a reasonable forecast for the following week, the LNER Group commenced the demolition of the remaining portion of the green side. We started by removing the side doors and inserting props to hold the roof up (Photo 1). Further accrow props were added to ensure that the roof was secure before side sections came off (Photo 2). The bottomside here was found to be rotten (Photo 3), and the entire side came off rather more easily than expected! The old bottomside timber was removed and recycled as loco lighting up wood, exposing the top flange of the steel underframe. This needed no more than cleaning and painting to make it fit for further service. Then a replacement hardwood bottomside was fitted (Photo 4). It was jointed to the existing new bottomside (fitted in 2018), mortised and tennoned to the existing underfloor joists and attached with new countersunk 20 mm bolts to the underframe. With a sound base to work from, and in a now practiced operation, the old and decayed cantrail was then replaced with new material. The cantrail forms the top of the side, and thus supports the roof, so its important to take care when doing this!

By the morning of January 7th, we were ready to fit the new side frame, that had been prefabricated a few months previously. By late afternoon on Tuesday 8th the side was all in place, secured and supporting the roof (Photo 5). Since then a number of steel cladding panels have been cut to size, drilled and temporarily fixed in place (Photo 6). Once all are in place, the window apertures will be accurately marked out before the panels are taken off, finally cut to shape, then dimpled to take the countersunk woodscrews that will then finally fasten them in place on 9581.

RG 13/1/19

5. New side frame

6. Making new panels

1. Missing doors with props

2. First side section removed

3. Rotten bottomside

4. Fitting new bottomside

GWR Wheelchair Buffet Progress 2018