Restoration of Wellington & Manawatu Railway Carriage No. 48, Winter 2022

Work on Wellington & Manawatu Railway carriage 48 has been slowed this year through side effects of precautions against the Covid-19 virus.


Carriage 48, drawn out into the sun..

Photo: Rob Merrifield



Progress has continued to be made on fittings, with reproduction door hinges and window lifters having been made. We thank Lionel Ford for his work in preparing engineering drawings for making the hinges, and making the necessary patterns from which the main castings were made; our foundry, the Heavy Metal Company; and Bruce Shadbolt for machining, finishing, and assembling the completed pieces.



Door hinge parts: left, as received from the foundry; right, ready for final assembly.

Photo: Bruce Shadbolt






Salvaged parts that have to be replaced and/or reproduced as we progress with restoration: left to right, window latch, door hinge, catch-plate for door locks.

Photo: Rob Merrifield






Attention is now turning towards making a full set of window latches for the carriages, which will enable all the main windows to be placed and fully secured.

Bruce Shadbolt is working on making reproduction kerosene lights to go in the saloons of this carriage. The original ones were elaborate proprietary late Victorian ones that came from the USA, as did most equipment used by the WMR Company.


Part assemblies for reproduction kerosene lamps to go in WMR 48. This shows the large central oil reservoirs with brackets holding burners and their glass chimneys. Two burners per lamp.

Photo: Bruce Shadbolt






Other parts that will have to be cast will be needed later. These include toplight (clerestory) sash openers, and racks over the windows for light luggage. Probably the biggest metalwork job remaining then will be to make the dead buffers that flanked the couplings as a safety measure for shunters in case a coupling broke (which has always been a risk to railwaymen).

Part restored entry doors await completion of woodwork, glazing, painting and varnishing, and hanging. Interior doors have yet to be made from new.

The Society is always grateful for donations which will help with the often considerable costs of making parts such as these.

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