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Railway Vehicle Preservations


31st December 2012 - RVP 'CHRISTMAS' MEAL 2013 – 26th JANUARY 2013

Following the practice established in recent years our Christmas meal will take place on the Saturday night of the January gala – this time, to keep the profit within the railway, it will be at the GCR’s new 'Platform' restaurant adjacent to Leicester North station (around 7:30pm). Cost for the meal is Ł12. Bar and beer will be available.

It is intended that the GCR will provide a rail connection (DMU) from the other GCR stations (a collecting tin for donations to cover the fuel will be passed round on the day) – details to follow (let me know if you will use this transport).

There is a limit on maximum numbers – Please let me know (Darren@rvp-ltd.org.uk) asap if you are coming; I’ll need payment by cheque (payable to me) either posted to me or given to me at the railway (I’m there 12th January)

19th October 2012 - Time of the AGM

To all members of RVP. Please note that the time of the AGM is at 11am on the 24th November 2012 and not 2pm as stated in the letter sent out recently.

13th September 2012 - Mountsorrel Branch

Some recent clips of work on the branch.

Saturday 2nd September: A trip along the line by Trustees of RVP to view work on the branch, with track now extending to the limit of RVP's land.

Saturday 2nd September: A trip along the line by Trustees of RVP to view work on the branch, with track now extending to the limit of RVP's land.

Saturday 2nd September: A trip along the line by Trustees of RVP to view work on the branch, with track now extending to the limit of RVP's land.

Monday 11th September: Ballast laying along the branch.

26th August 2012 - Updates

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BGP 4050 inside the carriage works at Rothley. The vehicle is seen 'floating' in air (it is supported at either end by some jacks) waiting for its overhauled bogies to be wheeled back into the shed.

More images are available in the gallery.

© Phil Payne

RVP AGM: There are only six places left on the dining train that follows on from the RVP AGM on 24th November 2012, contact Darren Martin if you are interested.

APPEAL: Our sales stand, which is normally open at GCR galas is running low on stock. So if you have any books, DVDs, etc that you can donate to RVP please bring them along to Rothley where they would be gratefully received.

15th August 2012 - Dining Train

Price for the dining train on the 24th November, following the AGM, is Ł25 per person. Bookings are on a first come, first served basis, contact Darren Martin if you are interested.

14th August 2012 - Date for AGM set

RVP's AGM will be at Lovatt House, 11am, 24th November 2012.

Following this will be a dining train (1pm) for any members who wish to go for dinner on the train – Bill Ford is yet to confirm the price, but it will be less than the usual.

Bookings for the dining train to sent to Darren Martin please (let Darren know if your booking is conditional on a suitable price!).

24th July 2012 - Update on TTO 23981

An update on the appeal total can be found here.

4th July 2012 - Mail by Rail Gala - 7th & 8th July

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Beavertail E1719E at Quorn upon return from the NRM at York and the Railfest event, standing alongside Thompson BZ 70654, which has recently completed its second overhaul by RVP members.

During the 9 day event the coach, we understand, had between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors, with many commenting on the high standard of restoration of the vehicle; a tribute to the team who worked on the vehicle over the recent months to ensure that it made the event. We also managed to run out of GCR leaflets during the event, something we need to remedy if there are such events in the future.

© Darren Martin

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RVP's rake of TPO coaches stand in Quorn yard on 30th June 2012 being prepared for the Mail by Rail gala.

It is 30 years since the first exchange of mails, using the TPO apparatus at Quorn, with 506 Butler Henderson and the LNER TPO set back in May 1982. This years event also sees the launch into traffic of another TPO vehicle – 80345 'Richard Yeo', which arrived at the GCR in late March of this year from Didcot Railway Centre.

During 1991 Royal Mail decided to name one of its TPOs 'The Borders Mail' to publicise a new TPO service it had introduced, this was then followed in 1995 by the naming of a number of other coaches after people involved in the TPO service. The last coach involved in this process was none other that 80345 “Richard Yeo”, which was named on 14th January 2002. The coaches involved in the namings always came from a recently overhauled coach and 80345 had been given a major overhaul in November 2001. 80345 continued to work up until the withdrawal of all TPO services on the night of 9th/10th January 2004 only two years after it was named. Ironically, 80345’s last duty was on the final night on the North West Down TPO, which is one of the services it was originally built for in 1968.

© Darren Martin

Richard Yeo worked for TPO section on the duty known as 'Carriage Liaison Duty', which meant he was responsible for ensuring that there were enough TPO coaches available to meet the needs of the service. He would liaise with the railway operator, then EWS, to ensure that the correct vehicles were available for each service and that the specified number of spare vehicles were ready to be used in the case of a failed coach.

80345 'Richard Yeo' has already been through the workshops at Rothley and has been repainted in to the 1950’s TPO livery. The rededication of the vehicle is scheduled to take place at Loughborough at 12:15 on the Saturday of the event, so please come along. Richard Yeo, who initially saved the coach for preservation, will be at the GCR for both days of the gala and his knowledge of the railway postal system is second to none.

In addition to the TPO set both the Beavertail observation car and Gresley LNER buffet car will also be in service this weekend, which has never occurred before on the GCR. Note: A special bottled real ale will be available on both the Beavertail and LNER buffet car from 12:15 on the Saturday … I can’t say anymore than that at the moment, you will just have to pop along to the event to find out more!!!

Finally, TPO exchanges at Quorn are scheduled to take place at 11:17, 12:47, 14:47 & 16:17 on both days of the gala and RVP's sales stand will also be at Quorn along with the Thompson BZ.

2nd July 2012 - All change at the top

You may be aware that Tim Pryce has stood down as RVP Chairman, purely because of pressures of running his own business. The board have therefore persuaded me to rejoin and have elected me Chairman again. I am pleased to say that Tim has agreed to remain on the board and becomes Deputy Chairman. The remainder of the board is as before (Nev Goodman, Paul Harrison, Robert Parker, Gordon Maslin, Mike & Chris Lang, Brian Hallett).

It is a pleasure to come back; in the 2 years or so since I originally stood down RVP has continued to thrive – we now have more restored coaches than ever, a section of our own railway, and numbers of volunteers regularly turning up well beyond anything achieved in the past (and that’s without counting the remarkable number of people involved in the branch project which extends beyond our boundaries). At the railway yesterday Quorn yard contained 8 carriages; 6 of which are under RVP’s direct control and all fully restored, plus two further TPO vehicles owned by a member. The impression given on driving into the car park was truly impressive. At Rothley we have two fully restored teak carriages on the same shed road – again something we’ve spent a long time seeking to achieve. This coming weekend all of these vehicles are expected to be in use on the GCR trains.

There is real progress being made, but as ever much more to do! It seems clear to me that there is no need for any major change in the way we organise and do our work in practical terms (though do let me know if you disagree!).

Financially though we do need to make a change – in recent years David Petterson has continued to do the accounts (despite standing down three years ago!), assisted by Robert. To match the increased activity rate we need to centralise the accounting and ensure we get the maximum value out of every pound we raise using the privileges we are given by our charitable status (particularly Gift Aid). To do this my wife, Jane, has offered her accounting skills to take over from David – and the financial admin will be done by myself to keep everything at the same address.

The chequebook will be held at Rothley shed and can be signed by any two board members – if you have bills for RVP to pay please speak to any board member to get payment.

All donations and monies for paying in to RVP should come to me, either in person or by post to: 26 Cliff Park Avenue, Wakefield, WF1 2DW

As ever cheques should be payable to RVP Ltd, and if your donation is for a specific project please write this on the back. If you are a taxpayer please also a gift aid declaration if you are able (forms on the website – http://www.rvp-ltd.org.uk/images/GIFTAID.doc )

Note that anything sent to other addresses on various leaflets will still reach us.

To give an example of how we can better make use of our limited financial resources; several of our working members are happy to pay for items out of their own pocket. This is of course, very welcome! However it is often better to make a equivalent donation to RVP and then ask us to pay for the items – this allows us to reclaim VAT and Gift Aid (where relevant) which can increase the value of the original donation by over 40%. As long as whatever we are paying for is being used for RVP’s aims (which generally means used to restore one of our vehicles, the branch, or workshop equipment) this is a perfectly legitimate way for us to fund raise and help increase our overall funding level significantly. (Incidentally if you don’t know what RVP owns - newly updated stockbook now available at Ł3 each!, from me or at Rothley). Let me know if you need any clarification on this or have any other ideas for gaining us funds.

Thanks for your continued support – if at all possible please be at the railway next weekend to see the largest number of coaches we have yet turned out for a single event. I’ll gladly sell you a beer in the Beavertail!


7th June 2012 - Mountsorrel Railway Agrees Rail Supply Deal

We are very pleased to announce that the Mountsorrel Railway project has agreed a deal to potentially secure all the rail needed to complete track laying to the end of the line at Mountsorrel!

If we can raise the missing Ł8,000 by the end of June we anticipate having track laid all the way to Bond Lane as early as February next year! Almost all of the other track materials required to do this are already on site, so this date is very realistic. Everyone involved with the project is tremendously excited and we are exploring every avenue possible to raise the missing funds, but time is very tight and we only have just over three weeks to do this.

Full details can be found on the Mountsorrel Railway website

1st June 2012 - E1719E Update

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Beavertail E1719 at York on the Friday before Railfest opens to the public. E1719 is attached to 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley

© Darren Martin

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The interior of E1719 at York on the Friday before the opening of Railfest 2012

© Darren Martin

29th May 2012 - E1719E Update

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The Beavertail at the start of its journey to the NRM's Railfest 2012 event. The gentleman seen by the vehicle is Nev Goodman, who has project managed the latest overhaul of the coach.

© Nev Goodman

22nd April 2012 - E1719E Update

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Former LNER Beavertail inside Rothley shed on Saturday 21st April 2012, nearing the end of its current overhaul. The vehicle will soon be on its way to York to appear at Railfest 2012.

© Chris Lang

9th April 2012 - Updates

Beavertail 1719 - It is pleasing to report that the axles on LNER Beavertail E1719E have been ultrasonic tested and have been passed as fit to travel over the national network in order to attend the National Railway Museum’s 'Railfest 2012' in June. Work continues on the repaint of the coach at Rothley and we are still on target to have the coach ready for York, with a start being made on the gloss this coming week.

An update on Project X can be found here.

1st April 2012 - Project X launched

Members of Railway Vehicle Preservations TPO crew have announced plans to construct an item of rolling stock that failed to enter preservation, despite the last vehicles having been withdrawn from traffic in the early 1980s – A Diesel Brake Tender.

Details can be found here.

26th January 2012 - GCR Winter Gala

Just a quick reminder that this coming weekend is the Great Central Railway's Winter Gala and our very own LNER buffer car, 24278, will be in use on one of the sets. The TPO set is also in operation with exchanges taking place at 10.33am, 12.18pm and 4.33pm, there is also an additional night time run on Saturday at 6.03pm

1st January 2012 - A REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2011 AT THE ROTHLEY C & W WORKS by New Goodman (RVP Director).

At the time of writing this review of the year we are just two weeks away from 2012. Where did 2011 go?

The year started off with Railway Vehicle Preservations Board endorsing an agreement reached with the Great Central Railway General Manager, Bill Ford, which would see a new approach to the restoration and maintenance of RVP and GCR carriages. The management of the shed and scheduling of work was put in the hands of long serving RVP Director Mike Lang. The GCR had reduced its paid C&W works employees to just one and the spirit of the GCR/RVP agreement called upon RVP members to volunteer to take on work on GCR carriages. In return for that cooperation RVP would be given full access to all the GCR shed facilities and could call upon the GCR paid and voluntary staff for advice and assistance on RVP vehicles when needed. There would also be a more flexible use of the roads in the shed and the yard that would take into account RVP priorities along with those of the GCR, without prejudice to the existing agreement that “road 1” would be for RVP use. Also as part of the deal was a promise that the GCR would, within reason, contribute to the funding of RVP projects.

So how has it all worked in practice? Well, in spite of some completely unforeseen priorities on the use of the shed, over all it has worked reasonably well.

RVP members completed the total makeover of the only surviving operational BZ, the six wheeled Guards Parcel van 76054E, which was returned to traffic by May. Internal paintwork and roofing was done by RVP members and John Robinson made an excellent job of the external panel painting.

Our other major restoration project RB 24278, also at this time, was occupying a road in the shed. This total rebuild project was at an advanced stage but the acquisition of roof fan fittings had been delayed and it was vital to ensure before moving the vehicle into the open yard that it would be fully weather proof. As soon as that was achieved 24278 moved out but work still continued on internal fittings. Credit for this project must go to all RVP volunteers who have worked on it over the past eleven years or so but in more recent years Robert Parker has pushed the project forward. At the time of writing work on some internal fittings was still to be completed but the end is in sight. Even so, in its incomplete condition, the vehicle has seen some operational service at GCR galas.

Moving 24278 into the yard area provided space in the shed for GCR vehicles to receive attention.

With the BZ gone this provided space in the shed for the pigeon van BGP 4050 to be brought into the shed so that we could remedy the cracked roof canvas (it had to be replaced) and to address the extremely poor condition of the teak panels which would need some cracks repairing and all the teak panels would then be taken back to bare wood, re varnished and lined out again. It was expected that this project would take up the rest 2011.

Then out of the blue, to RVP at least, the GCR entered into an arrangement with BBCTV to film an edition of Top Gear which would be featuring a train of caravans converted internally into small carriages that could be joined together and towed by a car along a railway line. All good fun but to do this the Top Gear engineering team took over complete control of all the shed space. All carriages were moved out into the yard area and it then took a month for the Top Gear project to be completed.

However, when the Top Gear crowd had left it provided an ideal opportunity to carry out a job that was long overdue - a complete clean up of the shed removing all unwanted equipment and junk that had accumulated over many years. Most of the dust was removed from the walls and finally the whole floor area was treated to a repaint. Most of this task was done by Nigel Croxon, Chris Lang and me. It was a real transformation but I wonder for how long it will remain like that.

We have been very fortunate to have had some new volunteers join RVP during the past 12/18 months bringing new expertise and skills. Sanding and rubbing down teak panels in readiness for re varnishing does require a great deal of patience, care and real effort if a good surface is to be achieved. Thankfully, we could call on Paul Johnson, Dave Wells, and new member Mick Follows to set the standard required by other volunteers who have assisted with this tedious task on 4050. Importantly, Paul, Dave and Mick have been prepared to attend on some days during the week in addition to the normal Monday and Saturday attendances. This has provided continuity and expedited the task. So much so, at the time of writing this review, no less than ten coats of varnish had been applied with each being rubbed down and dust cleaned, mainly by Mick Follows, and all the lining out has been completed by Paul. (He had plenty of practice on 24278)

As a consequence of RVP volunteers only having one RVP vehicle to work on (4050) and the necessary jobs on that were being done by our “specialists”, it meant that those of us with general DIY skills could take on all kinds of tasks. Mike Lang would identify suitable jobs that could be performed by RVP volunteers on GCR Mk1 carriages. Some RVP members have been doing work not related to RVP vehicles since the beginning of the year and I think that does reflect our contribution to the flexibility spirit required by the GCR/RVP agreement and it would be appropriate to note some of the wide ranging tasks RVP volunteers have been doing.

Our carpenters Phil Bradley, Mick Green, Dave Wells, have been repairing/rebuilding Mk1 doors, window frames, replacing floors and any other jobs needing woodworking skills. We have addressed problems in the store room of the “Ellis” cafe. The “Burton Boys” have also made a major contribution. They normally work on RVP’s Mk1 TPO set but in addition they have turned their engineering and metal working skills to cutting up scrap Mk1s, repairing damaged bogies, replacing seating in Mk1 carriages and replacing steam and vacuum systems to mention just a few of the jobs they have done. Brian Hallett and Darren and Les Martin have also worked with them on some of the tasks.

Then we have the Monday Team for which I take most of the responsibility or blame. We have cleaned Mk1 windows for refitting, rubbed down and varnished internal panels and wooden fixtures, cleaned compartments, scabbled carriage roofs (a noisy and tedious job of removing old paint from the metal roofs of Mk1s). Much of this rotten job has also been done by Chris and Mike Lang, both RVP members. Chris has also spent many hours on the long winded process of overhauling the very sick diesel shunting engine “Bardon”. Ray Prince and Derek Vaux, sometimes assisted by Jim Thomson, have every Monday all year been making dagger boards for Loughborough Station canopy. Initially this job was being done by Mick Green and Dave Wells who designed the templates for use on the saw and router and who continue to repair any damaged dagger boards. Maurice Spencer, Geoff Garner and Michael Fletcher have spent many hours painting undercarriages, bogies and just about anything else that stopped moving for a while. John Calton and John Knights have performed various jobs on Mk1s

There were also many jobs that needed to be done around the Rothley site. Most of these have fallen to Nigel Croxon, Geoff James, Dick Stroud, Michael Fletcher and me. We have cleared rubbish and generally tidied the site, clearing debris/leaves from the shed gutter. We cleared some of the carriages awaiting restoration of much of the accumulated, obsolete and not required spares being stored in them making valuable space available for materials we do need to keep. Lots of rotten old timber, useless off cuts, tree/ hedge cuttings have been safely burned. Scrap metal has been collected and made ready for weighing in. The current task is preparing the foundation for a pathway to be slabbed running from the end of the site concrete apron, alongside our containers and the up siding as far as materials will go. This will provide a much safer and easier access especially when using wheeled barrows to shift heavy materials.

A detailed record of the work done by RVP volunteers, not directly related to RVP vehicles, has not been kept during the year. The forgoing are just some of the jobs recalled. It is by no means all and I’m not too sure of the sequence of events or who did exactly what. It does boil down to every one of our hands-on volunteers cooperating with the spirit and intention of our joint RVP/GCR understanding.

I’ve tried to credit members to specific jobs but the reality is that all of RVP’s working volunteers have helped each other and on many occasions it has been all hands to the “pumps” regardless of the job or whether it was GCR or RVP work.

RVP is going to be under pressure right from the start of 2012 with our priority to return 1719E, the Beavertail Observation Car, back to the top quality carriage of showroom standard as it was when it was restored to operational traffic back in 2005. We need to complete that task by mid May so that it can attend the 9 day “Railfest” event at York in early June at the request of the National Railway Museum.

It would be nice to think we might find space and time to start work on the major task of restoring the Gresley TPO set at present mothballed under canvas in Swithland siding. Ah well! Dream on.

Here’s to 2012.

Nev Goodman
18th December 2011.