These views illustrate the extensive rebuilding of the bodywork undertaken on the vehicles.
As can be seen there was deep rooted corrosion in the bodywork, both to the outer skin of the bodywork and at many of the channel sections used in framework of the vehicle.
It had been impossible to fully repair the bodywork until all traces of the original asbestos insulation had been stripped by specialist contractors. Asbestos insulation was common in railway vehicles and indeed in general industrial and domestic use in this era. Modern HSE regulations forbid the use or exposure of the material. This was one aspect of the restoration where we definitely didn’t return the vehicle to original condition!
Corrosion had attacked not only the outer skin, but also many of the structural channel sections. These were cut out and replaced as necessary and the outer skin replaced. Corrosion was worst in the areas around the windows, especially at the lower corners, where incomplete sealing of the joints had allowed water to penetrate and collect behind the interior trim. The channel sections had also formed paths for ingress of moisture up from the solebars. As the metal corroded, the expansion of the rust had locally forced the skin away from the framing, leading to yet more possibilities for water to enter.
The windows are retained by a sealing rubber section requiring accurate cutting of the window profile. Unfortunately some work done by a previous contractor proved to be of poor quality and these poorly fitted sections had to be rectified by MRE.
The cab of Sc51043 in particular had suffered from extensive wasting of the structural floor sections, framing, and outer skin. The strength of the cab structure is vital to protect the driver in the event of any accident, therefore it was particularly important to restore the structural integrity of the cab.
The cab desk with all the drivers controls was dismantled and removed. New floor section of special corrugated sheeting was welded in.
No less than 6 major sections were cut out of the cab skin. The original pieces were fit only to be used as templates for cutting the replacement sections to size after fitting. Here we see the cab looking once again like a product of Swindon Works.