Restoration of trailer coach 60502

This article was opened on 1 November 2020, and was
last updated on 5 March 2022.

Work is proceeding on the restoration of 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three such trailer coaches from the original unit 1001, one of the seven ‘6S’ short-underframed units. 60502 was in as-withdrawn condition, which means no work had been carried out since withdrawal from BR service in 1986.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.

Photographic updates are given below, with the most recent ones towards the top of the page.

Photos from February 2022

On 24 & 25 February, Rhys Evans-Holmes took these photos depicting significant progress which has been made to the repairs on the bodyside of this vehicle:

[PHOTO: Railway carriage bodyside under repair: 30kB]

Above: The same part of the solebar which was depicted in the Autumn (below) is seen looking as good as new, following work to weld in a replacement section. Above it, the (unfinished and unpainted in this view) mend to the foot of the bodyside itself is seen.

[PHOTO: Railway carriage under repair: 50kB]

Above & below: The solebar has been repaired in two places, with further repairs needed as may be seen in the area beneath the lavatory; the rest of it is now in good order. The windows have been re-fitted to the ‘long’ (4-bay) saloon.

[PHOTO: Railway carriage under repair: 54kB]

Photos from Autumn 2021

[PHOTO: Corner of rail vehicle: 36kB]

Above: Following on from the previous (Spring 2020) section, an end-face of the vehicle has been re-skinned following repair and strengthening of the collision pillar.

[PHOTO: Gangway end: 41kB]

Above: The gangway end and its rubbing plates have been fully refurbished and re-equipped with flexible ‘curtains’, and refitted to the vehicle’s end-face. Photo by Andrew King.

[PHOTO: Rusting solebar: 54kB]

Above: In the 30-plus years since this vehicle last moved on the railway network, the deterioration of its fabric has continued. This deterioration had already been such as to hasten the fleet’s withdrawal from BR — lest we forget, sister trailer coach 60509 was withdrawn because of excessive body corrosion as long ago as March 1983! In specific areas where rainwater has been funnelled down the bodyside, the solebar has rusted right through as can be seen. The untidy patch above it at the base of the bodyside was a BR-era mend. Fortunately it will be seen that much of the structure including the underframe itself is in much better condition, and we intend to weld new section into this area.

[PHOTO: Underframe structure: 35kB]

Above: The underframe and conduiting on 60502 is generally in much better condition than the foregoing photo would suggest; it has all been repainted with primer.

[PHOTO: Bodyside under repair: 30kB]

Above: The BR-era longitudinal patch, characteristic of a sizeable proportion of the ‘Hastings’ fleet in the twilight of its revenue days, has been removed here to expose the internal structure and to remedy any defects thus exposed. A much neater patch will then be applied, which (like as on our vehicles in main-line preservation) will be impervious to the elements and also virtually impossible to spot. Photo by Andrew King.

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!