Behind the scenes at ‘Pilton East’
Chris Leigh visited the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway’s Essex workshops – dubbed ‘Pilton East’ – where it reconstructs its coaches using original materials. Currently in the works is Composite No. 5. The body and internal fittings are constructed in Essex and fitted on to the chassis and underframe, supplied by the Ffestiniog Railway’s Boston Lodge works. The next project is the restoration of brake van No. 23. This vehicle was discovered in a field near Barnstaple in the early 1990s. It was cosmetically restored in the Bristol area and went on display at Woody Bay. However, its body has deteriorated and its wooden underframe is in bad shape. This will be replaced with a new frame made out of metal, which will enable Van No. 23 to return to working order.