Ashes to Ashes, Panels to Cars

Our car builder Davo has been very busy preparing the Australian red cedar panels for the final fit out of the “Lounge” end of L516. These panels were salvaged from the former NSWGR sleeping cars at the Zig Zag Railway (which were set for scrap) and Dave has done an outstanding job bringing them back to their former glory. It is sad to think that the cars at Zig Zag have since been reduced to a pile of ashes following the recent bushfires in the Blue Mountains, but it is great that this panelling has been saved and put to such a fitting use.

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One of the refurbished panels was test fitted between the window frames.

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Our weekday volunteers have also been making progress with the former Attendant’s compartment, which we plan to make into a toilet space. Work completed includes a small repair to the timber near the roof vent, while the window, sills and shutters have been installed along with associated timber panelling.

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Painting of the pressed metal roof started with a coat of etch primer, followed by the installation of the wooden light bases (using a string line to install them in a straight line).

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Outside, the our carpenters continue rebuilding the timber work around the door frame and upper ends. Some cosmetic work had been performed here a few years back, but a closer inspection revealed that some additional attention was required to replace rotten timber panelling.

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It doesn’t take the boys long to have it looking brand new. Taking the time to do this work now will help to ensure the car has a long low maintenance life in service.

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Meanwhile, Ross’ engineering expertise was called upon to replace some corroded steel stud plates used to hold the gangway curtain in place. These will be refitted in due course.

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After lunch, focus was turned to building out the corridor section near the toilet. Brett took the lead starting with a sturdy timber frame and a wide grin!

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…before installing the Masonite sheeting…

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…followed by fitting the original pressed metal sheets, which were then painted with etch primer.

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Next step is to manufacture the moulding to cover the join. See “Around the twist” post.


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