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North Eastern Railway directors coach

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by Michael Proctor, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. Michael Proctor

    Michael Proctor New Member

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    The Aln Valley Railway carriage and wagon team are currently restoring an 1896 NER Directors saloon. The buffer beams are wooden and badly rotted.

    We have some conflicting views on what we should replace them with. The first suggestion was green oak, which we've rejected on the basis that it's likely to split and twist. We've considered pitch pine, but are having trouble locating something of the right quality. More recently we've had western red cedar and Douglas fir suggested.

    If anyone has experience of replacing wooden buffer beams or can suggest the best material to use, that would be really helpful.
     
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  2. William Fletcher

    William Fletcher New Member

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    Go talk to Stanegate Restorations in Haltwhistle
     
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  3. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    We at Havenstreet have bought green oak but have kept it for a couple of years before using it, in that time the worst of the twists and shakes have occurred. We have had no trouble with any of the vehicles that have been rebuilt. You could purchase seasoned Oak which you could use immediately. You may be surprised at the relatively low cost.
     
  4. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    Oak will be fine but it will need seasoning either kiln or air (one year per inch of thickness). However to avoid problems with splitting (shakes) you must try and avoid the very centre of the tree, which also contains the pith which is susceptible to rotting.

    So you need to try and get your headstocks out of a big a log as possible, ideally each one being cut from one quarter of a tree with no large knots in it, small ones are fine and can increase the strength of the timber.

    Sawdust.
     
  5. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    As suggested above, @StoneRoad of this parish is from Stanegate Restorations and may be able to advise.


    Keith
     
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  6. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    Also remember if the wood is green it must be over size, so you can plain it back flat as when drying it will twist otherwise your head stock will land up thin because of this. Oak will be the best wood to use for this as well.
     
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  7. Michael Proctor

    Michael Proctor New Member

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    Looks like oak is the favourite so far then. We'll need to source some already seasoned as the coach is privately owned and we've committed to a 2 year restoration project in return for a 10 year loan.
     
  8. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    I suggest that you source English Oak........some of the 'oak' from some Countries is of poor quality.

    Nick
     
  9. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    Is it still owned by Graham Binns?

    Dave
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Oh!
     
  11. daveannjon

    daveannjon Member

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    Exactly. I did some work on it when it was at Buxton, lovely vehicle used I believe by Sir Vincent Raven. There was a little trapdoor in the floor with a mechanism presumably for a speed indicator of some sort.

    Peak Rail foolishly promised to keep it under cover - when they didn't Mr Binns sued.

    Dave
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Not the first time he's done that, I believe.
     
  13. anorakeric

    anorakeric New Member

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    It spent its early years in preservation at Worth Valley outside as there was no option then, I seem to recall it being in the Railway Children livery (or it might have been the 4-wheel one) so possibly used in the filming, but not to the extent of the Old Gentleman's Saloon though.
     
  14. Michael Proctor

    Michael Proctor New Member

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    We've been having a lot of discussion about whether it appeared in the Railway Children. One of our intrepid members has even watched the film through several times, but didn't spot it. Apparently the BBC did a TV version in the late 50s, but no footage still exists, so we can't confirm that.

    The coach still belongs to Graeme Binns, or more accurately to his wife Jenny. It was at Peak Rail for a while and more recently at Tanfield. Somewhere along the line it's suffered some vandalism and theft, but overall it's in remarkable condition for its age.

    Apart from needing new buffer beams and reconstruction of the woodwork on the veranda, it really just needs re roofing and a few damaged panels replacing. Crucially the interior is mainly complete and intact, including the original furniture.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    The BBC version filmed on the Worth Valley was in 1968 (with the lovely Jenny Agutter) and still exists. There were two earlier BBC versions, in 1951 & 1957 which are believed to no longer exist. The latter was filmed at Baynards on the Guildford - Horsham line.
     
  16. anorakeric

    anorakeric New Member

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    I seem to recall it in a quarter rear colour long shot framed by trees probably taken from the west side of the straight between Haworth and Oxenhope. I might have been a still featured is Jim Shipley's book about the making of the film, will have a dig for my copy.
     
  17. Michael Proctor

    Michael Proctor New Member

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    Thanks that would really good. If it was in the film, we'd like to use it in our publicity.
     
  18. anorakeric

    anorakeric New Member

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    Hi again, good and bad news. At the time of the filming there were 3 NER saloons at KWVR, the Old Gents, your 6-wheeler and a 4-wheeler (last numbers E902179E, E900269E and E900270E). The Old Gents was owned by the late John Dawson and the other two I believe by the Ainsworth family, who owned 69023 as Joem and had helped out with other purchases. As far as I can recall both the small saloons were repainted from a previous filming livery to Railway Children red and creamy white, but sadly only the 4-wheel was used. The book I mentioned contains a number of photos and a copy of the filming schedule to confirm that. Although it was scheduled for 9 days of filming the only bit in the film is I think a rear view of a few seconds on Oxenhope straight.
     
  19. Michael Proctor

    Michael Proctor New Member

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    Thanks. It's good to have a definitive answer.
     
  20. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Member

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    I wrote a long condition report and costed restoration report for that vehicle some time ago.

    My choices of timber for headstocks would be Iroko or Oak if it is to be used, or spend time outside.


    I've used both green and seasoned oak, sourced from the UK, Europe and further afield.
    Green Oak is fine for coal waggons that stay outside, but it does shake and rapidly rusts ironwork ...
     

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