A project which has not featured on these pages before is the ex- Ffestiniog Railway van. This was originally van 58 on Gods’s Own Railway – see write-up here. The FR has recently been upgrading the PW train fleet, and this vehicle became available. In due course, it joined the fleet at Apedale. We can see why the FR decided it no longer fitted their needs, as it was – to put it mildly – in need of some serious TLC. The plywood sidewalls were life expired, the steel floor was porous and the roof is waterproof in name only. Apart from that….. On the other hand, it was a great starting point for what we at Apedale needed, which is a decent tool and messing van to support extending the railway. One thing we cannot do when we extend is keep coming back to & from the workshops as we did for Phase One. It’s too far, and we don’t want to be crossing the Apedale Road more often than necessary. So, we must take everything with us. We must also provide somewhere for the gang to ride and to drink tea. Van 58 will do all these things and more. So, where are we? The plywood sides walls are no more, and work is currently in progress to remove the current, rotten, floor. This will be replaced entirely. Whilst the floor is out, we can deal with any underframe issues – although most of it looks in need of nothing more than a wire brush and a good dollop of paint. Both bogies have been overhauled, and the wheels machined to correct the back-to-back to MRT, rather than FR, standards. Still a long way to go, but before long we can start thinking about kitting it out with the on-board jacuzzi and all the other accouterments a modern PW gang deserve. As ever, get in touch here.