Work on slate waggons has been progressing well at Boston Lodge this year. Nos 797 & 942 have been returned to the operational slate train following replacement of wheelsets. 797 carries a different style number to the rest of the current fleet, but more worthy of note is that 942 is running on the prototype new wheelsets. Following initial hotbox issues this vehicle is now in fine fettle and running at the front of the gravity train loaded with 3 tons of Wales’ finest.

Waggon 797 (Photo: Bruce Brayne)Waggon 942Waggon 312Three 'new' waggons await grit blasting

At Easter replacement of the double head rail spine in braked 2-tonner 602 began. In the interests of conservation the new spine has been produced from similar rail. It would have been a lot easier to fabricate one from new steel but that would be no fun! This is the first vehicle to have been fitted with brand new couplings from the most recent batch and now awaits new wheelsets. Work is expected to begin on these in the near future. There are 100 curly spoke wheel castings waiting in the yard and CNC machined axles will hopefully be arriving soon.

The 'new' spine on waggon 602The new coupling on waggon 602Another new coupling is fitted to a waggonThe pair of waggons being worked on in Boston LodgeOld and new corner posts

Over the last few weeks two ‘new’ waggons from the Maenofferen purchase have been receiving attention to their under frames. They have been virtually completely stripped down to allow for replacement of components and repairs to various bits. They are now starting to go back together and these twins are currently waiting on profile cut new floors before the relatively easy task of rebuilding the bodywork can begin. Then, following a couple of weekends riveting, they will be off to the grit blasters before receiving several coats of paint to protect them from the Welsh weather (hopefully we won’t have to worry about this so much in days to come).

New wheel castings in the works yard

Next on the task list is the replacement of the floor in 316 which will utilise a clever cut and shut technique. There are a couple of waggons for display purposes and three waggons restored last year await imminent departure to the grit blasters, not forgetting essential maintenance to the running fleet of 50.

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