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CHR Totem

at Oswestry and Llynclys

Carriage & Wagon Department

Since we took possession of the site at Llynclys we have attempted to acquire as much historic stock as possible. It was realised from the start that when we are running services we would need this stock to enable us to run passenger services. This stock was getting increasingly difficult to source, so it was decided to acquire stock in various states of repair.

This is where the need for a repair and general maintenance plan for all the stock was put together, and a Carriage & Wagon department formed to implement the plan. Part of the plan involved the building of a covered accommodation at Llynclys, and planning permission was obtained. Read here about the story-so-far of the carriage and wagon shed.

Read here for any updates to the work done by the Carriage & Wagon Department.

However, in the absence of the proposed shed, the C&W Dept. have continued to make a start on carriage restoration, by initially renovating an enclosed wagon and making it secure, so that equipment can be safely stored prior to the main task of protecting our carriages from further deterioration, before making a start on full renovation.

(right) We can see the chosen wagon under restoration.

Carriage Roofs
Wagon under Restoration

The initial task in the renovation of any carriage that will be performed outside is to ensure that the roof is entirely watertight. If this task is not completed first, any work undertaken inside or externally on the bodywork will be wasted.

(left) Here we can see two of the carriages with their roofs in the process of being cleaned up and waterproofed.

Grinding Down

The job then is to work on the outside bodywork, to end up with a secure surface that will not deteriorate further once painted, it is necessary to grind out all traces of rust.......


....before filling up the depressions caused by the grinding with a good car-body filler....

Flattening Off


....once hardened, this filler can be smoothed down to blend in with carriage bodywork. At this point the carriage body can be primed and painted.

Corner Posts

As well as replacing the external bodywork at this point, to completely remedy this problem it is necessary to remove all the internal bodywork as well so that the new posts can be easily reached.

Corridor connection

Once all the bodywork, inside and out, is made completely waterproof, it is time to look at all the soft furnishings. A lot of the cushions have seen better days (left) and will require re-upholstery.

A common problem with our carriages is the rusting that has taken place in each of the four bottom corners of the carriage. It is not worth doing the work above at these points until the rotten metalwork is replaced with new metalwork as shown on the left.

Internal Corner

Another common problem on all coaches is the deterioration of the metalwork around the corridor connections. These are carefully dismantled, and the parts refurbished and reused, and the rotten metalwork underneath repaired.

Split Upholstery

All of our carriages have had a complete examination and have been assessed so that the work on them can be priced. Please see here for a rundown, with approximate costs, of the work that will be required for our carriages to be returned to traffic.

If you wish to help with any of this work, please contact Tony Warren or any member of his team. They can be found working most Sundays at Llynclys. If you feel that you are unable to physically help with this task, all donations to the fund are always gratefully accepted.