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Shark Progress


Work started on this Ballast Brake in November 2008 though it has not been the sole object of attention during the intervening period as the completion of the LOWMAC B904551 and GRAMPUS ballast wagon DB988228 were the major priorities.

The SHARK bodywork, after over 25 years service on the NYMR, proved to be decidedly ‘tired’ with numerous dropped panelling and rotten framing evident before we started. Subsequent stripping out revealed the need for even more repair work, involving some quite substantial splicing of new framework into the floor, corner pillars and door frames. Fortunately all the timber framing requirements have been able to be sourced from hardwood off-cuts in the Permanent Way yard.

The unusual 7” width tongue and groove boarding has proved difficult to obtain and or match. We are currently in the process of acquiring new router & planer equipment for New Bridge shed. Thus hopefully, in the near future, we will learn the skills necessary to manufacture new boarding to the correct profile to finish the outstanding areas.

Nothing has been wasted in the refurbishment. The removed boards were rotten at the ends where water had got in through the screw fixing holes. After cutting down, the sound (though shorter) boards have been used to manufacture new end lockers for the verandas. The old lockers were discarded many years ago due to rotting. Freshly discarded contractor shuttering timber, from a bridge decking job at Grosmont, proved ideal framework for this task- once a bit of dried concrete slop was quickly and easily chipped off.

The stove and stove pipe have both been skilfully repaired and a new staying bracket manufactured to anchor the pipe to the bodywork. Several new brackets have been made for the foot boards, to replace badly corroded originals.

I hate to think of the cost of the paint as a timber vehicle of this size drinks the stuff. Fortunately the York Group Treasurer has been very accommodating.

The van will emerge in original 1957 Engineer’s black livery carrying the fairly local directional labelling ‘DISTRICT ENGINEER’S STOREYARD CROFT JUNCTION DARLINGTON NER,’ which has been a nightmare to fit onto the end panel in standard sized lettering. Photographic evidence of a similar vehicle carrying this labelling shows that the problem was solved by the original sign-writer by slightly constricting the lettering and running over onto the end framing. I have followed suit.  DB 993894 was allocated from new to the Western Region and was marked up as ‘RETURN TO HIRWAUN’ which is at Merthyr Tydfil, though the NYMR acquired it from Healey Mills.

Currently work is centred on completion of the painting of the interior of the saloon and manufacturing new footboards for the east side.

Photo below shows rot encountered in the North West cornerpost after the end bracket had been removed, unfortunately this was after the painter had got a bit ahead of himself.
New hardwood timber spliced into the post and part of the crossrail.

Nick Carter


Update 18th Feb 2010

Photo’s below shows the corner post after new timber was spliced in and the bodyside and roof interior repainting completed. Also shows a view through the cabin after completion of the interior paintwork . Prominent are the hanbrake wheel and the south end plough ‘ships wheel’ control gear.
The paintwork is now in the original 1957 build colour scheme. The fetching ‘1960s striped curtains’ in the background are in reality the radiator of the New Bridge  350 hp diesel shunter yard pilot currently in the shed for rectification of a persistant earth leakage fault.
We are rapidly running out of jobs to do on the SHARK. The cabin plastic windows have been cleaned with Brasso – an effective way of getting rid of the discolouration. This week, the framework for the new equipment foot lockers at the north end, has been cut, jointed and assembled and some of the handrails have been receiving gloss white paint – a sure sign that the end of the refurbishment is in sight.

Work remaining to do is completion of NE corner repanelling in T+G. Replacement of top step boards and Finish painting.
Photo taken below N Carter wed 10-03-10
Showing NE corner showing work required to complete. Awaiting timber to be machined to profile.

shark van workshop

30th April 2010
All timber repanelling work now completed, new footboards profiled and fitted, red undercoat and topcoat applied also Black gloss paint work completed. Final lettering out still to complete.
Mon 10th May in traffic on Ballast working overnight to Goathland.
Photo taken May 13th by Mark Thompson.
nymr shark van