Thursday 28 February 2013

February Update

For a change thought we may start with a few Routemasters... In two of the three restoration bays currently are RM family vehicles, with 2203 being the open top that is being readied for the summer season and is being tidied up, having the awful cream interior repainted burgundy and has been converted from half top to open top. We have also removed the original type RMC/RCL doors that were fitted as they have been transplanted onto the vehicle next door to her.

RCL2226 has not operated as a bus for many, many years. It's last work was as a on location meal break vehicle for the crews and extras of TV and film work. With the interior largely gutted it has taken some time to acquire all the bits we needed but we are there now and the doors and rear end are being tackled first, although much of the interior is now already finished.

One of the reasons that we are preparing the two RM's for fleet use is purely the current and forward looking amount of work we have on. Some days in the summer will see up to 27 vintage buses out which is a record for us, so we need a couple of additional motors. One such job, in what seems like one of the only sunny days we have had in the month saw eight Routemaster family and two RT's head out. Seen here preparing for departure makes for a pleasing spectacle.

Now the reframing is complete DUF is moving along quite fast, which it needs to as it has work booked in June. Nothing like a deadline to focus attention we find. The paneling is now largely complete, wiring is going back in, the brakes have all been checked over and relined where necessary. The original sliding roof is being put back and all the runners and mechanisms have been made and fitted. The cab has been completed and the front mudguard is now back on having needed some serious repairs.

Meanwhile the rear end, luggage bay and entrance have also been completed. Whilst there is always a compromise between originality and modern requirements we try to blend the two as well as we can. Indicators is a classic example and whilst clearly an absolute necessity these days something brighter and safer yet more subtle is what we try to achieve. In this case we have removed the 'caravan' type modern rear lights that DUF had fitted in preservation and returned to a much earlier type rear end display. However all the rear end lights will be powered by extra bright LED's so whilst subtle looking they will be far safer in the dark and poor weather than what was there, so hopefully a win-win situation.

Offsite, the 10T10 continues to make staggering progress, whilst here at PT, our little Cub did her first job earlier this week now that we have completed 95% of the detail. All in all a busy period as always.