Restoring Met 353 – LTM Director’s perspective

Carriage 353

My first visit to the Boston Lodge works of the Ffestiniog Railway to see our restoration in progress. The carriage body is now nearly complete, with the teak panelling restored and revarnished. Work has started on fitting out the four compartments with their bench seats. The repairs and filling of gaps and holes has been beautifully done, just discernible from close up but not from  a distance. It is already hard to reconcile the carriage in its present state with the tired body removed from our store at the start of the Project. The two holes for the Pintsch patent gas lights to be dropped into the ceilings can be seen in each compartment. The wooden strakes, window corners and mirror surrounds were seen in the varnish shop ready for addition to the body.

Much work has recently been undertaken on cutting down the ex-BR under frame to fit the body. The Ffestiniog guys have resisted the temptation to go for the 2ft and I can report the under frame is definitely standard gauge! We came away most impressed with the knowledge and workmanship of Norman’s team and our apprentice. Work is on programme and we look forward to 353 taking its place behind Met 1 later in the autumn for running in.

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