Restoration - Part 4
When 7960 was withdrawn from passenger traffic and converted for departmental use many of the internal metal fittings were removed. These included luggage racks, extractor fans, curtain rails, light fittings, window bars and numerous small items usually produced from brass castings.
Provided an original was available, often provided by the LNER Coach Fund, then it was comparatively easy to reproduce the small items by the lost wax method of casting. Using the original, as the pattern, exact copies can be made and requires little finishing work. The one draw back it that the copied items are slightly smaller than the originals, usually around 5 to 8%, due to metal contraction on cooling.
Fittings reproduced by this method include coat hooks, seat leg feet, escutcheons, anchors for door restraining straps, window bar holders and covers for communication cord adjustors.
The latest project is to reproduce 15 cupboard catches using an original kindly loaned by John Jolly of the Mangapps Farm Railway Museum.
With no originals to copy and no official drawings available reproducing the luggage racks has proved challenging. Official photos of the interior of both saloons were available and fortunately the racks were shown in some detail. In addition the back plates of the arms left impressions in the wood panelling thus confirming their shape and dimensions plus the positions of the holes for fixing screws. Armed with this information it was possible to produce working drawings from which patterns could be made for casting the arms.
The racks in the two saloons varied in several ways. The third class in addition to being finished in polished brass had three arms to a rack. The coat and hat hooks were a separate fitting fixed each side of the rack.
The first class racks finished in polished chrome had only two arms, each of which incorporated two hat hooks. The arms were consequently larger than in the third class.
The cast arms and brass rods required a considerable amount of machining, skillfully undertaken by Eric Southern, of Kidderminster C&W, before polishing and chroming. The racks are now fitted and only require netting to complete.
Thought is now being given to reproducing the ten missing table lamps.
Next page: Restoration Update
Castings for cupboard latches produced, from the original shown, loaned by Mangapps Farm Railway Museum.
Parts after polishing and chroming.
Selection of items produced from originals by lost wax method.
Two views of completed first class luggage racks.