Having been withdrawn from GWR service over 18 months ago for restoration back to 1964 as built condition as D6948, the former West Coast Railways maroon class 37 no. 37248 is making the slow transformation back to its original condition of almost 50 years ago. Here's the latest progress update:
Following the re-fitting of body skirts to each end and the removal of headlights and aerial fittings, the last 3 months have been focussed on the rest of the body. Although it means a lot more work in the short term, the decision was taken early on to strip the exterior of the loco back to bare metal to remove any corrosion. This will be followed by re-filling where required before the application of primer, undercoat and top coats, as it was felt that this would ensure maximum longevity for both paintwork and the bodyshell underneath. Coupled with the investment in our new shed, this will help ensure a long life.
After several months of needle gunning and sanding, all West Coast Railways maroon paint has been removed and a coat of primer applied to the noses and bodysides. The roof has just been started upon in early August as has the long job of filling the bodysides ready for painting.
Internally, both cabs have been stripped and repainted. New ceilings and panelling have been refitted. The radiator tunnels giving access from the engine room to no.1 cab have been refurbished with corrosion removed and new paint applied. The electrical cubicle in both the no.2 cab side and engine room side have been repainted.
Apart from filling and painting, and the re-assembly of cab fittings, the main job remaining is the fitting of a new main steam pipe under the body connecting the steam heat generator outlet to each buffer beam steam heat connection. The required pipework has been delivered.