The Lavender Line
Some of our dedicated volunteers have undertaken the lengthy task of restoring our resident 108 carriage in order to ensure it is safe and ready for use by the spring. Our 108 carriage arrived at the railway in 2008 and has become a very useful coach for passenger use; it weighs 22.5 tons and has a driver cab at one end which makes it ideal for the push pull service we operate at the Lavender line. The carriage was immediately painted into Southern railway green upon arrival with new early BR crests placed on the sides. Since then the carriage hasn’t undergone any serious restoration until now. Its been necessary to carry out these tasks due to the damaged roof at one end which was causing a dampness issue during the winter. One of our regular working members has carried out the tasks of reproofing this section and revamping the inside of the carriage to ensure it is up to the standards of carry passengers. It is hoped this work will be completed by early spring ready for any normal operating steam days in which it can be seen paired with out shark brake van.
The Lavender line took hold of this monster of a wagon some years ago and it has never seen any real usage. Due to it only being air braked it is not currently compatible with any of our locomotives and therefore has only been used as a water storage tanker on special events such as galas. But some of our dedicated volunteers have taken it upon themselves to restore this tanker and bring it back to its former glory. Barry Monk our P way man has already begun steam cleaning the paint work over the pit, this will allow us to see how much work is needed and at what sort of level. After Barry has cleaned the wagon off our other dedicated Wednesday gang member Roger will undertake the lengthy task of stripping the old paintwork off and ensuring the metal work is ready for the new coat of paint. Once this task is done Roger will then undertake the painting of the tanker which has been agreed will be silver and red as it was when it first arrived at Isfield. Once the cosmetic restoration has taken place there are plans to through vacuum pipe the tanker so it can be adapted with steam use, this means we will be able to use it on some of our goods trains days and give a unique difference to a freight train.