Development

With Santas out of the way, and the bulk of the Winter Maintenance Programme completed, we are now focussing on what might be termed development projects.FR120, the ex-Ffestiniog Railway coach is now a prime focus. This vehicle will join FR117 in providing a “wet weather” train. The conversion to operate at Apedale will be much more complex than for FR117, because FR120 will be provided with an accessible doorway and a Guard’s area, along with the equipment to provide compressed air for the train brakes. On the other hand, we learnt quite a few lessons from the work on FR117. The FR retained the original bogies, so the coach is being fitted with ex-South Africa three-piece bogies. These are being overhauled. Yesterday saw the re-assembly of the first of these. It’s a small but significant step with the project.Elsewhere, work continued on the overhaul of a Ruston gearbox, with its outrageously complex central drum. The owner has a FB page for the work, which (hopefully) we’ll share here later.Motor Rail 21520 gained its cab, and is now beginning to look like a completed loco.The steam locos were washed out and work started to make them ready for boiler exam – but that’s not terribly photogenic!