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Conflat containers

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by pmh_74, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    Hi folks,

    Back in 2005/2006 I "rescued" some Conflat containers with every intention of restoring them. Fast forward to now and it is quite apparent that I'm never going to get them done. I could throw some money at them, what I really don't have is sufficient time, and the situation can't carry on like this as they are in the way of a building project, and need to be moved by mid-November.

    So there are a couple of options, (1) give them away to anyone who wants them, or (2) engage the services of someone to rebuild them, but either way they need to be shifted by mid-November or will be scrapped.

    There are nominally three containers although one is probably not viable. Actually, to rebuild any of them would be a challenge as the steel flitch plates (which sit 'inside' the bottom timbers) are rotten, so the only realistic way to rebuild any of them is to reduce them to a pile of components and start again. We have to assume that all of the wood is only fit for the bonfire; if any can be salvaged it's a bonus, but it's probably only fit for patterns.

    The containers are:

    BK9232B (Swindon 1958) - all-plywood clad, end doors only. Of all of them this would be the one I would most like to get restored to go on my Conflat wagon. It's also probably the easiest job (simplest construction). However one of the top longitudinal timbers is split in two and during a ham-fisted attempt at moving it a few months ago, the roof half collapsed, so it is in a fragile state and I couldn't say whether it could be lifted or would need dismantling.

    BD50343B (St. Rollox 1957) - pressed steel end, planked body, side and end doors. This one lost its end doors many years ago and lost its side doors and cladding before I got hold of it so it is basically a 'skeleton'. However I did manage to rescue doors from BD50342B (the consecutive number is a total coincidence, it was at the other end of the country). So the pile of bits should include enough metalwork to replace the missing bits. This one would probably lift onto a hi-ab lorry (I said probably; no guarantees!)

    BD48839B (Wolverton 1957) - same as above. During the same ham-fisted attempt at moving them this one completely collapsed, so all that remains is a sorry looking pile of scrap. However, it was complete so there should be enough metal bits to rebuild this one too, if anyone is brave enough.

    Both of the BD containers are suffering from severe tinworm of the pressed steel ends. These are similar to those on many box vans although not quite the same (containers are narrower). The pile of bits does include the steel end from BD50342B although we had to cut it into bits for transport, I think it also includes the similar end (different roof profile, so different curve to the top) from a BC container (BC9937B, if you must know). Between these there might be sufficient of the crinkly steel for a competent welder to produce a half decent steel end for one or possibly both of the BD containers. Actually I have some other components off the BC too, but probably not enough to build a complete one even assuming you had the drawings.

    Fundamentally we have to assume that upon completion of rebuild, all that will remain of the originals will be the numbers and some of the less delicate steel parts. These are not for the faint hearted. However, I will reiterate that I am willing to keep one (the BK) or perhaps two of them, and provide some funding, if someone can take on the restoration, but it would have to be done off-site. Equally I will gift them (except the BK, probably) to anyone who wants to restore them for use elsewhere.

    So... any interest? The deadline to clear the site they're standing on is mid-November, and if they're not shifted by then the BDs will be scrapped and the BK at best will be reduced to a pile of parts and stored somewhere (and since I have no idea when I will get onto rebuilding it, this might just be delayed scrapping really).

    Photos (but from 2005/2006, not indicative of current condition):
    BD48839B - www.conflat.com/pics/sklrbd1.jpg
    BD50343B - www.conflat.com/pics/343r1455.jpg
    BK9232B - www.conflat.com/pics/sklrbk1.jpg

    All currently at Swithland on the GCR but not for much longer.

    Thanks,
    Phil
     
  2. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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