Restoration of trailer coach 60528

This article is open, and was last modified on 30 March 2024.


[PHOTO: rail vehicle in train-shed: 53kB]

Above: Our third fully-restored Trailer Second Open coach, 60528, resplendent in its fresh green paintwork at St. Leonards Depot on 20 April 2023. The opalized window of the toilet is nearest the camera, prompting us to comment that—like our other active vehicles—this one was fitted last autumn with Controlled Emission Toilet equipment. Photo by Rhys Evans-Holmes.

[PHOTO: Saloon interior: 141kB]

Above: A view of one pair of seating bays, with the centre vestibule seen towards the top of the photo. The seat towards the top left is seat 17, one of the ‘single seats’ of which two are found in each ‘Hastings’ saloon where the adjacent doorway leaves insufficient width for two seats. These ‘single seats’ are much sought after by our passengers! Photo on 1 March 2024 by Richard Griffin.

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Above: The completed interior. In this view we can see the original sycamore veneer panelling, which was covered with Formica during BR days but has now been uncovered and restored; this feature is also to be seen in motor coach 60118 Tunbridge Wells. In the end we have opted for a blue and purple seating moquette which, although not previously used on our train, certainly to us looks smart. Tables and antimacassars have now been fitted too. Photo on 5 July 2023 by Rhys Evans-Holmes.

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Above: In late-February 2023, 60528 receives finishing touches to its door-trims at St. Leonards Depot; motor coach 60118 brings up the east end of ‘unit 1001’ which had the past weekend been out on our Medway Valley Venturer railtour to Faversham. Photo by Rhys Evans-Holmes.

History of the restoration work

Restoration work began in August 2002 on second-class open trailer No. 60528 which was then in ex-withdrawal condition. From early in 2005, work was put “on hold” because restoration of our fourth motor coach 60019 was seen as being of higher priority, because it would increase our options for providing two trains for service. Although this requirement hasn’t become a reality, the change in priority meant that work on 60528 was suspended for a considerable time.

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Above: During early 2009 work was progressing again at full strength, and at the start of March 2009 CDL was being fitted, the roof was being painted, the welding was nearly complete, the sycamore-veneer interior panelling had all been restored and varnished, and the windows had been re-sealed. This photo showing the Trojan moquette [then installed] in one of the saloons was taken on 8 March 2014.

The initial batch of work proceeded as described in the following paragraphs.

Staff at St. Leonards have been plating and welding bodywork areas affected by decades of seaside corrosion, a process they carried out to advantage on our active fleet. In late summer 2002 the underframe area was “needle-gunned” to remove the brittle, sometimes inches-thick accumulatation of brake-dust deposits, and painted with primer. In the second week of October, a batch of seat-cushions was sent away for re-upholstering; this will be [was then planned to have been] in the red material already used in Tunbridge Wells, since 60528 is to be another Club/First Class vehicle. The floor linoleum from the saloons has been restored, with replacement in certain areas where necessary.

In March 2003, the glass was removed from the sliding windows and thoroughly cleaned, being reinstalled with new rubber seals throughout; one saloon had the wooden panelling restored; and the under-seat heater-grilles were repaired where necessary, and repainted. Further work on these items and on the body of the vehicle has been continuing in August. On Tuesday 21 October 2003, all four wheelsets were sent off to Eastleigh for new bearings and new tyres; a second batch of seat-cushions was sent off for retrimming. The refurbished wheelsets were returned to the depot in early December, and one bogie has been fully repainted and now contains its wheelsets.

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One of 60528’s bogies is seen at St. Leonards Depot in January 2004, after priming (above), and following application of black gloss top-coat and fitting of new wheelsets (below). Photos by Andy Armitage.

[PHOTO: end-quarter view of bogie in depot following repaint: 65kB]

The wiring-conduit for the heater cables, which runs along on the underside of the underframe, suffers particularly from corrosion; these have now been completely replaced on one side, and inspected, cleaned, and replaced where necessary on the other. The whole underframe was painted with green primer, and black top-coat has now been applied throughout. All the seat-cushions have been retrimmed, and arrived back at St. Leonards on a Monday during March (probably 22nd, possibly 15th). In the second half of July 2004, 60528’s second bogie has been needle-gunned and painted with the green anti-corrosion primer; staff have also been cutting out & renewing bodywork pillars and floor supports on the toilet end, which has always suffered from the more severe corrosion problems on these vehicles.

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60528’s underframe being painted with primer, as seen from the inspection pits at St. Leonards depot. The yellow stands carry this end of the vehicle whilst the bogie is not in position; the king-pin for the latter is in the foreground. Photo by Rupert Griffin.

As of the start of 2005, both toilets have been completely refurbished, including new water pipes from the tanks. The first saloon is fully reassembled, with new/reconditioned windows and restored wooden panelling.

[PHOTO: interior view of restored lavatory cubicle: 41kB]

One of the carriage’s fully-restored toilets. Photo by Mike Pannell. [Note, April 2023: in autumn 2022 the toilets in this vehicle were retrofitted with Controlled Emission Toilet equipment, allowing us to remain compliant with Network Rail’s requirements.]