Readers of the DFR Society website will know that we are in the process of replacing our existing GWR Accommodation Coach with an ex-charter Mark 1 carriage, which lived a previous life as a support coach for Riviera Trains (click here for more details). On 19th January, Chairman Alastair Clarke and Treasurer Tim McLennan paid a visit to Cranmore Traincare and Maintenance Services, based on the East Somerset Railway, to see the latest progress.
Work at Cranmore is now largely complete, having received work to the interior and exterior bodywork. The electric system has been fully reviewed and overhauled, with power sockets added to each of the 5 bedroom compartments. A new shower unit has been added, and all of the doors and windows have been overhauled - given that none of them worked when we first viewed the vehicle in mid-2018, this is a vast improvement!
As you can see, there is still work to do at Norchard once the vehicle arrives. The coach will be cleaned and painted, and soft furnishings, carpets and walls inside will be cleaned or replaced as appropriate. We hope to have the coach moved within the next couple of weeks, so if you fancy helping out to get our new arrival into tiptop condition, get in touch.
Ultimately, the coach will prove to be a big upgrade on our current accommodation which we hope will encourage volunteers from further afield to join the DFR, as well as offering an alternative for those volunteers with early starts or late finishes. Once a permanent accommodation block is built, in conjunction with a locomotive running shed, there will remain the option to revert the carriage to passenger service.
Check out some of the pictures below which demonstrate the sort of work the gentlemen at Cranmore have been carrying out!