Sunday, 29 August 2010

Frame ends fitted & panelling starts

Both frame ends have been fitted onto the main structure this week. Handbrake columns have been fitted in both cabs and the car's glazing has been fitted - with the surrounding timberwork in the saloons in progress. Work has also started on the panelling of the tram.

Panels are on-hand for the area underneath the windscreen whilst Blackpool Transport has lent us the Balloon-car roof dome in the hope that a panel off this cabn be used to create the Railcoach roof dome where it meets the former sunshine roof.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Steel ends fabricated - and ready for fitting

Two new steel-framed cabs, fabricated offsite at South Shore Metal Fabrications, arrived today and have been put into position ready for fitting. There are some minor tweaks to undertake, but once these are complete, the ends can be panelled and glazed. In the interim, handbrake & controllers will be put into place and painting of the cabs has started.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Plenty of seats inside the car...

Partly to satisfy a need to ensure the seat frames were all correctly aligned, but also to inspire us further along the road to completion, a trial fitting of seat backs was undertaken today. It certainly transforms the internal appearance of 279 - making it look much more complete. A full set of seats are to be retrimmed at the BusWorks in Blackpool in the traditional dark green tram moquette.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Swingover seats refitted

Swingover seat frames have been refitted to 279 this week, following powder coating and modifications to fit the seat rail fitted to '679' when it received bus seats. On the exterior repanelling of the cant-rail has started whilst at South Shore Metal Fabrications, the steel-framed ends are progressing well. But more of that next week...

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

New half-drop windows fitted

Eight new half-drop window units, fabricated by Cheshire Vehicle Windows, have been fitted to 279. The units were ordered after problems sourcing sufficient original units for 279 and the need to fit toughened safety glass. Interior woodwork has been revarnished and refitted, whilst 24 swing-over seat frames have been repaired and powder coated in green gloss ready for refitting.
After a false start, South Shore Metal Fabrications are fabricating new cab frames for 279, based on photos supplied and an original cab end from Balloon Car 717.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

No.1 end new cab underframe fitted

Progress on 679's transformation to EE Railcoach 279 has slowed awaiting the fabrication of the new steel cab underframe at the No.1 end of the car. However, this is now fitted and was painted in protective red oxide today. This end is now ready for floor-boarding and refitting the handbrake and compressor govenor equipment.

Other news is that new half-drop window units are on order from Cheshire Vehicle Windows.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Fits like a glove!

Further fabrication work has taken place today and this view shows the trial fitting of a cab door (borrowed off Balloon car 704) to test the critical shape of the offside corner. The door from 704 has been used to get the gentle slope of the lower portion of the cab frame and the windscreen rake. From this critical section, the nearside pillar can be fabricated.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Framework assembly starts

The assembly of the EE Railcoach end profile has commenced on 279 today, recreating an appearance last seen on this car in 1960 and that disappeared from the tramway in 1973 after car 615 was withdrawn for rebuild in OMO car 11. Steel is being used for "crash-worthiness" in common with Blackpool Transport's own Balloon car rebuilds.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Controller refitted

The Z6 controller and handbrake column have been put back onto the No.2 end cab floor in advance of the steel framed end being fitted this week.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Cab floor fitted

In preparation for the steel framed ends being fitted, rapid progress has been made fitting the new plywood cab floor. Arcen Construction, a local Blackpool firm, is making the cab framing but in advance of this the hand-brake and Z6 controller will be refitted.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

279 now fitted with Railcoach underframe

Another milestone in the restoration of 279 has been achieved today - the refitting of a Railcoach shaped cab underframe. The steelwork is actually the same shape as a Balloon car and, now fitted, work can progress rapidly on fitting a cab floor and then the new steel framed cab ends.

A cab door has been borrowed off Balloon Car 704 to help inform the shape of the cab framing.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Cab end prepared for new underframe

The No.2 cab end has been prepared for its new underframe which has involved removing the brake pipe work and sorting out all traction and auxiliary wiring.

It is hoped to have the traditional Railcoach style cab underframe refitted next weekend and as soon as this is in place, the fabrication of the end framing will commence.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Window frames prepared for glazing

Work on "279" this week has concentrated on the cab ends and preparing the window frames. The No.2 end cab underframe has been cut off whilst the floorboarding at No.1 end has been substantially stripped and now awaits the removal of the Z6 controller before the underframe can be cut-off at this end too.

Other progress has been the completion of preparation work on the internal window frames ready for re-fitting glazing and half drop window units. The frames have been given a coat of protection red oxide paint.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

January 2010 - Progress Report

Now that the window frames on the exterior have been cleaned up, attention has turned to the interior. Each window frame has been cleaned up and old screws/nails etc. removed ready to receive new glass and timber surrounds. However, first the frames will be treated with protective paint. It has also been decided to remove the decorative timber underneath the frames and treat the main framework behind.