The main focus for April/May was to finish the exterior cab metalwork at both ends. Once the new plate had been ordered and cut to size, we drilled holes where the original rivets used to be and screwed the new panels in place for the time being until they could be welded.
With the two new panels now fitted, welded and the new window frames cut out, work moved to the rear end of the bus. The same procedures applied, removed the interior wall panels, strip the exterior metal, remove any rust and then paint before fitting new sheets of metal. Here is a brief display of the progress made;
From the photos above you can see that all four end panels are now in place. The white lines show where body filler was used to smooth the surface of the new plate after the weld was ground down.
To finish off, the new plate was painted in a cream undercoat for protection until the final coats of paint are applied.
Progress notes for April also include the fabrication of a new step at each end of the railbus (as seen in the photo above) and the beginnings of further work to the roof e.g. paint and rust removal.
We have also continued to remove external parts for restoration, such as the windows and vents. This will allow us to assess the damage (if any) to the window frames and allow bodywork restoration to continue without the fear of breaking a window.
With the windows removed, the sides of the railbus could now be needle gunned to remove the old paintwork. Fortunately the original metalwork is still sound and will require little interference.
And finally, many parts of the bus received a protective coat of paint or two over the last couple of weeks, these include; the side air vents, the engine housing, the exterior framework and the two removed snow ploughs.