Leek Coach Update
(1 year ago) NSRC News
2020 saw the NSRC take the lead on acquiring more coaches to support the future expansion of services into Leek. Whilst the first COVID lockdown disrupted both ourselves and the CVR, this project still proved to be a relative success, and come early summer our volunteers and staff from Batt Holden Limited were able to make extensive progress with the first restoration - TSO E3809.
The plan had been to have the coach ready for our Santa trains, but sadly time ran out on the team and combined with low volunteer numbers due to the ever changing restrictions, we had to admit defeat. However we came so close, and a full report of what was achieved featured in The Knotty and on our Facebook page. As Governement restrictions are lifted, our full time staff have returned to normal hours and are being supported by our volunteer teams as before. It is planned to see the vehicle enter service in 2021, where it will be utilised for the popular Polar Express Train Ride that will be making its Churnet Valley debut this Christmas.
Efforts have focussed on what is the south end, which appears to have been the worst effected from sitting outside for a number of years. Upon removing the outer skin it was obvious that a repair had previously been carried out but instead of completing a full repair, plates had been fitted covering over the damaged sections. This had allowed water to collect behind the platework and substantial corrosion to occur leading to us now needing to replace the complete side panel, all of the framework, as well as three roof sections and associated beams. The inner crash repairs have required the obligatory bottom section replacement alongside the full floor - a common repair for many Mk1 restorations these days. Both buffers and their housings have been completely overhauled during this time along with the corridor connection slide guide receiving such treatment also.
We will provide further updates in due course, with us looking to have E3809 re-enter service during this year. For now though if you wish to support our coach appeal, we are less than £1000 short of the £14,000 needed to cover the purchase of this and two other vehicles. If you are able to support please do no matter how small, for as shown last year £5 here and there soon builds up when combined together.