2012 Focus – Buffet Car Rebuild

79443 bodywork
Above: The E&G Buffet Car undergoing major bodywork rebuilding during the Winter Woolies Work Week – February 2012

Stuart cutting out corroded framing on Sc79443

Stuart cutting out corroded framing on Sc79443

With the 3 car Ayrshire DMU virtually complete and in fairly regular service on the branch, attention has turned to the fourth and perhaps most historically significant of our vehicles, the ex Edinburgh-Glasgow Buffet Car Sc79443.

As can be seen, we are undertaking a complete rebuild of the bodywork of the vehicle. The corrosion suffered is extensive, but localised to the lower bodyside and the areas below the windows where water can leak into the vehicle.

The old panelling is completely removed over most of the body to reveal the framing. The framing is is cut out and replaced as necessary (generally all the lower sections). New sections of curved frame have been formed in jigs by cutting and welding straight sections of “Top Hat” and “Z” section steel pressings – a laborious process, but our normal supplier was unable to supply pre-formed sections of sufficient quality in time.

At the lower 9″ or so of the bodywork can be seen the fabricated “Box Section” that firmly joins body to the main frames and makes the bodywork a stressed part of the coach (compare the left and right hand sides of the coach to see the construction)

The semi stressed bodyshell was a major advance in terms of coach construction and safety on British Railways. The Swindon Intercity vehicles were a very important step in the development of the British Railways standard coach types and in view of this, a special article on Integral Construction has been added to the HISTORY section of our website.
79443 repairs
Here we see the new body panels being mounted to the repaired and primer painted frames.

The panels are made according to the original construction drawings for the trains and, as with the three “Ayrshire” vehicles our goal is to complete the restoration to as near as possible completely original condition using the same materials as the original.

We have still got quite a long way to go with this vehicle, but we’re getting there….

Ongoing Restoration Work at end December 2012: Painting new sections of key sheeting for 79443; continuing removal of corrosion and dirt from alloy window units for 79443; cleaning and rubbing down sliding lights for 79443; continuing painting of cantrail inside 79443; further cataloguing, tidying and reorganising of parts for 79443; finishing jobs in 3-car unit – determining positions of Turncap reservation holders and fitting them to saloon seats; reassembling, cleaning, priming and painting bodyside door 4 for 79443.

A varied selection of jobs suitable for all skill levels – why not get involved?