The HSFV1 Project.

Work days 1 and 2


Over two recent weekends we started real work on HSFV1 to return it to the configuration that it exhibited during its original programme in the R&D Division at the RTC Derby. This mainly required removal of the deck timbers that were added when it was used for track loading work later in its life, but the timbers were added with little thought to any subsequent removal!

 During the first weekend, during the Electric Railway Museum's Open days on 21st -22nd May 2011, I was the only person working there, and my efforts were limited as I had to stop every now and then to explain HSFV1 to the visitors, but we did have two Yahoo Group members, Ben Goodwin and Shane Wilton, come to visit and they were both interested to help out on future dates. I did manage to free the main bolts holding the side timbers in place, and there were eight of them all told, each about 1 dia. and 9 long! Half of them were seriously rusted in place, but my 24 adjustable spanner persuaded them to come undone! I then found these side timbers were nailed to each and every cross timber with HUGE nails and as much of the outer edge of the cross timbers was rotten trying to lever them apart proved to be very difficult, and I only managed to free one side before the end of the weekend.


The second weekend took place on 25th June 2011 and I drove up there to find Tim and Martin Sage's car already parked by the entrance gate! I was amazed as I hadn't read Tim's reply to my call for assistance on the Yahoo Group that morning, but with three of us there we made very good progress. I'd bought along my new crowbar and a largish club hammer, and Andy from the ERM provided us with even more crowbars and hammers. This lot proved so effective that we'd removed the entire timber deck in about 1 hrs!

There were a few times when we thought the deck timbers were going to slide sideways clean off the vehicle, all in one piece and taking all of us with it, but we persuaded it to do otherwise by levering in the opposite direction for a while. When we finished we had a vast pile of timber alongside the vehicle, some of which was in quite reasonable condition and we sorted these out so the ERM crew could cut them up, the remainder we hauled to the scrap dump after hammering all the protruding nails flat, which was mainly done by Martin.

When we finished that lot I spent some time brushing the tons of wood chips off the deck and finally HSFV1 was looking a lot more like she should do.

Tim and Andy then decided that as they had the tools available to start cutting off the track loading beam they'd get on with that and Andy produced a monster angle cutter to start this, but the steel turned out to be very difficult to get at, and they broke more than one cutting wheel in the process.


Unfortunately we also found HSFV1 had some 'inhabitants' as we were constantly aware of lots of small wasps that were always buzzing about and we then found that they were going in and out of some ventilation holes in HSFV1's main central backbone! Andy tried taping over the holes, but the little beasties soon ate their way through that, and he even tried burning them out with a blow torch, but they just kept on buzzing about. Later on I bought two cans of Raid and the next morning I pumped half of one can into the nest and left the cans on the vehicle so anyone passing could zap the wasps. We'll see how good our efforts were the next time we do some work on her.


All in all it was a pretty successful period of work and it's great that we've started on the project.


Kit Spackman

APT-E Support Group

June 2011

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