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Restoration Roundup: June 2024


Now all the dust has settled, we are going to aim to once again start with regular restoration updates on 309 624. The updates will mainly focus on BDTC 75965 and MBS 61928 at the EARM, but major updates on DTS 75972 sent to us by the Rushden, Higham and Wellingborough Railway will also be covered.


The first of these articles will cover from Mid April 2024 to now, this being the first month and a half of the vehicles at their new homes.


BDTC 75965


This vehicle was the first to leave the Lavender line and arrive at EARM on Tuesday 16th April 2024. Once it was down and shunted to its new home, the first and most important job was sealing the windows once more. Many were smashed just days before the move and there had been no time to clean the damage, let alone seal the holes.


This work was completed a week after arrival, with a couple of members of Chappels "Team Wednesday" gang assisting in the work. clear waterproof polythene sheets have been taped to the outside of the unit with duct tape. It's not a pretty fix, but it keeps the water out until we can bring the vehicle inside to replace the glass.


The standard class section of the vehicle has been partially taken up, to enable cleaning of all of the loose glass which fell in hard to reach places. Eventually, the floors and walls around the windows will also have to be replaced, as they have unfortunately suffered some damage from water ingress.


After this, it's mostly been a job of cleaning, tidying and sorting the interior space. With site visits severely restricted previously, priority has always gone to bigger jobs. The luxury of it being "home" now means we have had team members attending almost daily. The first class has been given a good spring clean, and the cab has been tidied and work started to replace the rotten material and get the broken cab window ready to have new glass fitted.


MBS 61928


The MBS thankfully only suffered one smashed droplight, which was covered at the same time as those on 75965. The interior has been given a light clean, with the guards compartment also being cleared of spares ready for public viewing.


And just this Wednesday gone, Team Wednesday delivered again and have been building a new set of steps up to the guards compartment. Until this point, we had been using the only set of steps available to us on site, unfortunately they are not tall enough and therefore not fit for use by the public. It's been the main thing holding us back from allowing people on the units to have a look around so hopefully once these are complete, we can offer internal guided tours of the set.


DTS 75972 (Rushden)


At rushden progress has been swift in accepting the vehicle on site and beginning work. Plans have been drawn up and the team there have already made excellent progress on stripping back the roof and beginning to prime it. One half has been complete and the vehicle is due to be shunted soon to allow the other half to be done.


Our first public open day was at the end of April for Chappels annual transport Extravaganza. Unfortunately because of the issues with access described above we were not able to offer internal tours of the unit. However we still managed ground level tours throughout the day, alongside a sales stand which helped us raise vital funds.


Looking ahead to July we hope to see the completion of the access steps to the vehicle to enable us to offer proper guided tours. We're also hoping to make further inroads into the Electrics and air systems to allow us to get the unit lit up For the first time in over a decade.


Thank you for all of your support, please keep an eye on the group for regular updates including the relaunch of the CEPG shop which is due very soon.


Below are some photos highlighting progress since arrival:




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