The timetable for completion of the external restoration depends entirely on Bombardier’s workload at Ilford in the next six months. We hope, though, to have two vehicles completed by summer – naturally we will be conducting further site visits as the restoration continues. As the restoration is to be carried out in support of Bombardier’s apprenticeship program, the Bluebell hopes to invite staff to visit their locomotive & carriage & wagon works to see how the heritage sector tackle restoration of vehicles.
“A cold, damp 4VEP stands on Ilford Carriage Sidings.”
After the meeting was concluded we adjourned to examine the unit. We were pleasantly surprised to find that, despite storage without power and in the open for nearly a year, the unit has remained in relatively good condition. The paintworkhas faded further – what was once Rail Blue can now best be described as “Sky Blue with Streaky Bits” – but the corrosion around the nose ends of the Driving Trailers has not significantly worsened. The interior is unsurprisingly damp and cold,but thanks to the relatively dry weather of the past few months no further notable water ingress has occurred. During the inspection we mentioned that it would be good to see the unit made as water tight “as possible” – Mark One stock and4VEPs in particular are notorious for leaks and drafts so the ambition is to make sure that the unit is as impervious to the weather as practical. One of the areas the Bombardier will address for us is the re-seating of the windows on the unit which will improve matters greatly.
“A Cold, Somewhat Damp First Class Corridor.”
The big result for the 4VEP is that Bombardier now have a window in between their regular work to allow restoration to start. We look forward to seeing the first vehicle under cover within the next month or so. Regular visits will be conducted by the SETG while the overhaul is carried out so that we can continue to update the Bluebell Railway’s membership and the wider public on the unit’s progress.
As always, the updates will also be posted on the SETG Facebook page and the Bluebell Railway’s website.
If you use Twitter, please follow No. 3417’s progress on @Gordon_3417.