NER Autocar - restoration progress

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Blink Bonny
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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Blink Bonny » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:58 pm

Ay up!

I always look forward to these updates. This is an important piece of our railway heritage and a miraculous survivor. Thanks, Autocar.
If I ain't here, I'm in Bilston, scoffing decent chips at last!!!!

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by 52D » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:35 pm

I was late for the AGM BB i missed the train but Autocar gave me the tour and its obvious how much work has gone into it and how much more is needed.
I wish i had the opportunity to do some physical work on it but with work commitments i cant oblige. The merry band of workers have done really well.
Hi interested in the area served by 52D. also researching colliery wagonways from same area.

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Autocar Publicity
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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Autocar Publicity » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:08 pm

Sorry chaps, no photos this time, but hopefully next week...

We have canvassed the roof. For the uninitiated, this is not just stretching a roll of any old fabric across the roof and using a stapler to secure it, but spreading a very thick goo across the timbers using a spatula, working it into every corner and crevice. This is what actually seals the roof and makes it watertight. The canvas - in our case a thick green fabric - goes on top and protects it from the weather, birds etc. and is tacked in place. (I paraphrase the explanation I was given when I watched this in progress.)

The engine room roof girders have been getting some attention and are now in anti-rust primer.

Some of the beading and external framework has been tacked on, this is one of these jobs where there's some set-up time to get the angles of the ends correct - a cross section looks like a rhombus or parallelogram and when two pieces butt up to each other, it's important to get this angle right.

Inside, there's been the last of the paint scraped off, though there's still some holes and scratches with traces left inside. We're thinking whether to paint these out with a suitable shade of brown and a modelling brush or to use coloured filler.

If anyone has any material for our newsletter, could they work on submitting it by mid-December? Richard's serial about the 7mm model will not have a piece in this issue, due to him having to attend to other things and not having much modelling time. I hope to be able to send the finished copy to the printers early January, suggesting an 'on-sale' date of late January.

We have issued a press release asking for restoration 'apprentices'. The feeling is that while we are very glad many of our volunteers are skilled craftsmen, we'd like a few younger members, both to learn skills and to guarantee the future of the autocar. Even after it's finished, there will still be ongoing maintenance, as well as all the other 'support' activities. We have a good team, but most of them are in their 50s and 60s. We hope that they will have at least 10-15 years of active membership left, however, sometimes health issues sneak up on you and spoil things.

Members will be welcome to join at any time, but this is a good time to join, with restoration in progress, they can see how the autocar is put together and learn new skills which they can use both in the project and elsewhere. They might also be able to look at the autocar in a couple of years time and be able to say,"I did that" and take pleasure in a job well done. The minimum age for volunteers is 16 (though there is no minimum membership age) and we are quite happy to train people up in practical restoration skills. Some of these will also be applicable in the 'real world', whether for tradesmen jobs or just basic DIY round the house.

One last piece of news, we are now members of the Heritage Railways Association.

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Autocar Publicity » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:35 pm

Here's the photographic supplement:

Two overall views:
autocar.jpg
Overall view 1st December 2011.jpg
And a look at our new beading:
Beading work.jpg
and a close-up of the roof canvassing:
Roof canvas close-up.jpg
Work on other things is continuing, including the chassis and seating.

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Autocar Publicity » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:32 pm

The chassis is one of the 'iceberg' parts of the project. A lot of work has gone into it, but little is heard or seen of it. As the photo shows, there's been a lot of metalwork done. Some of these new pieces have had to be machined to fit, which takes a lot of time. This is the more presentable end... we're working on the other. It's taking up more time than expected, but we want to get it right first time, so better to take an extra week now than have to spend ten fixing a problem in a few years time. (Just as a reminder, the chassis is actually from a 1920 GNR milk and brake van).
Chassis 15-12-2011 R.jpg
Bolts....jpg

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Blink Bonny » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:52 pm

Ay up!

Re the milk van chassis. Would this be the one that used to be at the Worth Valley before it was set on fire by those kind arsonists? If so, nice to see the chassis has found a good use.
If I ain't here, I'm in Bilston, scoffing decent chips at last!!!!

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Autocar Publicity » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:14 pm

No, ours was at the North Norfolk, in use as a crane runner. We swapped a GWR Macaw for it.

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Blink Bonny
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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Blink Bonny » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:48 pm

Ay up!

Wonder where the NNR got it from.....
If I ain't here, I'm in Bilston, scoffing decent chips at last!!!!

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Rlangham » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:29 pm

Good stuff, thanks for the update - Worsley Works are doing me an N gauge version of their Autocar kit which I hope to have soon - although that too will require a suitable donor chassis
Author of 'The North Eastern Railway in the First World War' - now available in paperback!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/North-Eastern-R ... 781554552/

Happy to help with anything relating to the railways in the First World War, just ask

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Autocar Publicity » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:41 pm

Blink Bonny wrote:Wonder where the NNR got it from.....
We're not sure, other than it replaced another Macaw then in use...
Rlangham wrote:Good stuff, thanks for the update - Worsley Works are doing me an N gauge version of their Autocar kit which I hope to have soon - although that too will require a suitable donor chassis
Last time I spoke to Allen, he was planning to do a 3mm version for a Leeds Model Railway Club member and a 4mm version of the autocoach. If anyone has any requests or orders, drop him an e-mail.


There's been quite a bit of work recently on the chassis and mechanicals. The full story is in the newsletter which is due to go off to the printers next week - it's a fortnight behind schedule due to some developing news and the Christmas/New Year holidays. The chassis is certainly looking a lot healthier now and we're starting on the timber bufferbeams needed to bring the underframe up to the correct length.
Bufferbeam.jpg
The roof panels are now receiving attention. We're cleaning them up and will paint them in a suitable primer this month.
ER roof needlegun.jpg
Further to our appeal for younger volunteers, we've had some interest (though there's still space for others) and this helps out on the more energetic jobs, such as needle-gunning umpteen square yards of sheet metal. It's a small, friendly team, with ages ranging from 17 to 60+ and this year is going to be the year when everything starts coming together. Though there is concern some people are taking too long over lunch...
A Sandwich.jpg
...and others are wandering off to photograph the nearby scenery...
Sunset Embsay 2.jpg

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Greedy Boards » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:27 pm

Hi Autocar

in addition to your newsletter, do you send updates to the NERA Team, for subsequent publication in their quarterly magazine 'North Eastern Express', or the Supplement?

The photographs & description would make a fascinating article for the main magazine.

Regards

Greedy Boards
North Eastern Matters

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Autocar Publicity » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:45 pm

NERA are on my list for press releases, I know they have run some of these. I've also sent them some photographs, including some of NER stock on NYMR, which they have used, including on the cover for the August 2011 issue.

As far as a more detailed piece is concerned, I am sure that when the autocar enters service, they (and many other periodicals) will want to run a piece. What the focus and slant of the piece is, well, I would need to talk to them.

We haven't done badly for coverage, both in the railway press and regional papers. Did you know I appeared on page 3 once? :wink:

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Ferrybridge Flyer » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:46 pm

I think some things are best kept to yourself!! Seriously,all credit to you and the guys for the work you've done so far,and what you will achieve.It will be a welcome guest at the Worth Valley!!
Bring back Ferrybridge station!

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Autocar Publicity » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:42 pm

And elsewhere!

Just to let you know that the latest newsletter (14) is now at the printers and should be with you by early February.

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Re: NER Autocar - restoration progress

Post by Autocar Publicity » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:58 pm

The newsletter is out, if you are not a member, you can purchase one from us either via mail order or by dropping in at Embsay station.

Lately, most of our work seems to have been on various bits of metal rather than timber. We're working on the engine room roof struts, removing rivets and cleaning them up. The roof sheets themselves have been cleaned up, mostly by needle gun and the cleaned ones painted with primer. This is taking some time, but cleaning at a rate of two and a bit sides of the sheets per day and painting at six sides a day, when there's around a dozen sheets, it's slow progress when there's only one or two of us working on them. I'll let those with a liking for mathematics work out how long we should take. Then they can tell me.

We had a meeting recently and afterwards took advantage of numbers to change the power bogie centre casting and move the bogie closer to the chassis. That afternoon was one of those which was bright sunshine one minute, followed by five minutes of a howling gale, hail and a sky as grey as the bogie, then back to sunshine. I took the attached in a spare moment when it wasn't hailing and there was no-one working on it who needed a hand.
Overview bogie.jpg
The underframe riveting is finally complete and the bare metal painted. Bolts are being bought this week to fit centre castings, plate work, headstocks and buffers.

Away from site, our engineering team has been busy planning. Our project engineer presented plans at the meeting, showing chassis steelwork, the power unit housing and driving position. We are hopeful that the underframe and bogies will go away very soon to Loughborough to join the engine and generator.

One point which did arise at the meeting, we have been able to get some original plans of the autocar and should be able to answer some queries. (I have been promised a CD with these on, but the post, the post...) One query I know Richard made for his model was the width of the seats - that dimension is on the plan but I have forgotten it, will check when the CD arrives. Also, interestingly, the seats originally appear to have been slatted wood, rather than upholstered, though when the autocars entered service, these must have been replaced by upholstered versions as many sources mention (praise!) these.

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