SLO Compartments Project – Getting ready for the ‘Elf Express’

The last lap, almost ready for the ‘Elf Express’

Following on from the 27th November report, converting our two SLO carriages to all compartments is nearing completion after a big effort from the sadly depleted team of C&W volunteers. We’ve lost several of the regulars either through catching the nasty virus or self-isolating. However, the rest of the team and some from other tasks, working within Covid restrictions, are doing a great job of sub-dividing the carriages into private Covid secure compartments, now nearing completion. These are all full height solid timber partitions and have fire seals between the top of each partition and the original carriage roof to meet the required fire protection.

To complete this, white intumescent paint has been applied above the new cant rail while below intumescent varnish is being added onto the stained plywood. This requires four coats in total making it a rather longer job than the white and finishing it is now in sight, just in time for the first “Elf Express” departure. The attached photo shows one of the partitions, part stained, but otherwise completed.

As well as the internal work, repairs to the underside steam heating pipework have required our specialist external contractor to remove some remaining asbestos lagging. This required the carriage to be high on the jacks between coats of varnish and back down again for the next one. As a result, and to get the end result on time, one carriage body has resembled a yo-yo, but all’s in aid of Santa and his Elves!

Final job will be adding the vital Christmas decorations by Santa’s helpers but hopefully that will be slightly more straightforward than what preceded it.