The more you look, the more you find… is one sure certainty in railway restoration, and none more so than for BRCW. This was only meant to be a quick wash and brush up while the generator was away, but after a few prods of suspicious looking areas, 33035 is once again receiving major surgery.
And once again it is the cabs that have revealed more rust and corrosion, with the chief culprits being the floor framing under both driver’s droplights. Although the side panels have been replated many times, nothing was done about the steady corrosion under the floor, where water must have collected from the leaking windows and roof, not to mention gallons of tea slung down the side. There were drain holes when the loco left the factory, but these were just a token gesture from the draughtsman at BRCW, being so small that they must have blocked up in no time. Starting at No1 End cab, what little that was left of this area was chopped out by Carl. A proper mansize drain channel was fitted along the bottom of the window, running into a mansize drain to the outside. The vertical channel for the door frame was reunited with the floor section for the first time in many years.
Even the tidy up in the engine room has expanded into a major exploration of the underworld, as floorplates have been lifted in a lucky dip to see what horrors await below. The choice seems to be either an oil well or a time team dig into the past, through layers of rust. This is inevitably what preservation is all about – cleaning and scraping the proverbial. Of course it is all worth while when it it restored and gleaming in new gloss paint – only to be sealed up again, never to be seen for another 50 years. Well a least the loco is a little lighter and fresher, and one day there will be nothing left to do?