Restoration of trailer coach 60502

This article was opened on 1 November 2020

We have begun work to restore a fourth trailer coach for use in our train.

Our fleet includes 6 Trailer Second Open carriages from ‘Hastings’ narrow-bodied stock.

Two of them (60501 and 60529) have been active in our train since its main-line preservation career began in 1996, and a third (60528) has been undergoing restoration as time permits.

60502 is one of three such trailer coaches from the original unit 1001, one of the seven ‘6S’ short-underframed units. 60502 was in as-withdrawn condition, which means no work had been carried out since withdrawal from BR service in 1986. Its bodyside skin was already quite corroded in places: this has allowed moisture inside the skin where it has been attacking the framework of the vehicle, and ultimately could compromise its structural integrity.

It was felt that we should act promptly to begin restoration of this vehicle by addressing the corrosion issues and repairing framework members where required. The alternative would have been to do nothing and watch the vehicle disintegrate in storage, at which point it would have only scrap value.

Photos from Spring 2020

[PHOTO: patches of primer on train body: 37kB]

Above: Trailer coach 60502 looks piebald in this view from April 2020, with the juxtaposition of red lead oxide primer on 1980s-vintage BR Blue & Grey livery—which has since disappeared beneath grey undercoat. This is the ‘long’ end of the coach, having 4 seating-bays.

[PHOTO: train body in grey primer: 36kB]

Above: The BR livery has been covered by grey undercoat, in this view of the ‘short’ saloon (having only 3 window-bays, rather than the 4 as found on units 1011 onwards). The toilet is beyond the vestibule door.

[PHOTO: Detail view of carriage end: 44kB]

Above: The lowest portion of the bodyside on the end of this carriage has been cut away, to reveal the serious corrosion which has taken hold of the collision-pillar—it is entirely absent at its lower end where it should have transferred load onto the baseplate and solebar. This is what happens when railway vehicles impregnated with sea-spray are left to sit for over 30 years! Hand-painted wording on the blue paint (revealed beneath the grime) refers to various heavy maintenance activities carried out on this vehicle in the 1980s under BR ownership.

[PHOTO: Vestibule interior featuring collision pillar: 56kB]

Above: Accordingly, the wooden panelling in the vestibule was removed to reveal the collision pilar, seen here amid insulation, part of the doorframe, electrical cable and pneumatic pipe. Apart from its lowest extremity as seen in the previous photo, the pillar is in fine condition and is a very substantial piece of metal—as befits its purpose. The team at St. Leonards Depot has cut back the damaged portion and has welded in a replacement section, a task already carried out where necessary on our active vehicles.

[PHOTO: Detail view of carriage end: 44kB]

Above: The new section of collision-pillar has been welded in, and will subsequently be painted to protect it against future corrosion; the bodyskin was further cut back to facilitate these works (compare with a previous photo); it in turn will be patched, welded, filled, sanded, primed and painted. In common with various such areas on the rest of our train, it will be impossible to see where such work was carried out even under close examination!