2014 has seen the C&W very busy, making significant improvements to our running rake which has deteriorated in recent times due to our requirement to keep vehicles out in the open with the railway having no Carriage Shed. First up was the completion of CK M16155, which whilst physically completed in time for the Winter Steam Gala featuring 34007 'Wadebridge', she was returned to the C&W shed for full painting including lining out.
Next in was FO E13236, whose restoration was only completed in 2010. Being a more recently restored coach, the repair list was considerably smaller with the full repaint being the biggest task to hand. This was completed in time for the Spring Bank Holiday and saw her place in the works quickly taken by TSO E4354. This vehicle required a bit more work than first envisaged though, and so a considerable amount of welding was performed on the bodywork prior to preparation for a full repaint.
August saw the repairs & repaint to E4354 completed, and so she was shunted out of the C&W by Roger on Wednesday 20th as can be seen in the photos.
She was quickly swapped with TSO S4392, whose bodywork had become an eyesore, to such an extent she generated negative comments on TripAdvisor! Now inside the C&W shed though, it is planned to complete this vehicle in time for Santas enabling the CVR to run a 7-coach rake for all Santa Express trains.
Once the running rake has been improved, attention will then turn to RMB E1878 which is awaiting restoration following vandalism in recent years. This vehicle did once form part of the running set, and is named after former volunteer J.R. Burgees who spent many operating days serving snacks and drinks from the vehicle buffet whilst chatting to the various visitors of the railway. The vehicle was withdrawn for some minor repairs, but whilst stored at Oakamoor was sadly targeted by vandals and now requires a full restoration. However she will soon be of the same standard as the rest of the fleet, as can be seen in the pics of E4354.