Museum working party 9th May 2024

The sun was shining on Wharf yard this morning, glinting on the pristine grey paint of the new bogie ballast wagon, parked in the centre road after its delivery earlier this week.

Andy Sheffield, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen were on site to take the yellow protective cover off the slightly less than pristine wagon no 164, now partly dismantled for renewal of the paint. The first task was to roll the wagon partway into the Gunpowder Store so that we could slide the new Corris wagon frame off the top and into the Store. This accomplished we took apart the upper set of bars, that we removed the bolts and brackets from last week, and discarded the two shorter end pieces as the rot had gone too far in the ends to be salvaged.

Andy and Charles set to with chisels to clean out the rotted timber of the two long bars and clean up the wood filler that had been used in the last re-paint a few years back. John set to work on two of the corner brackets, knocking off flaking paint and rust with a welders hammer and then cleaning back to bare metal with a wire brush in one of the angle grinders. The first train entered Wharf Station somewhat late, was rapidly turned around, and duly waved off .

We joined David Broadbent and Max Birchenough on the platform to have our morning coffee chat and chocolate biscuits, welcoming Tom Place when he arrived. Tom showed us an interesting newspaper cutting from a Canadian paper detailing a monumental steam train trip that is crossing Canada, the USA and terminating in Mexico. The loco heading the train is a Canadian Pacific Hudson (4-6-4) N0. 2186 that has been specially prepared for the promotional event marking the merger of Canadian Pacific and the Kansas City Southern railroads.

Back on the narrow gauge we returned to our labours with Andy and Charles using a flap wheel fitted angle grinder to remove any loose paint and provide a key in the sound surface. The bare timber, especially the fixing holes were treated with wood preservative, to keep the bars in good condition for a few more years exposure to Tywyn weather. John finished his cleaning of the two corner brackets and applied an anti rust treatment to the inner faces as these had suffered the most corrosion pitting that even the wire brush could not clean off 100%. The bars and brackets were then stacked on top of the wagon frame and covered over once more before all the tools and trestles were packed away in the Gunpowder Store for another week.

Photos by John Olsen