Within Weybourne Works, the heart of the North Norfolk Railway, lies the Carriage & Wagon workshop where all the major repairs and restoration work on the railway’s passenger rolling stock is carried out. The current facility was opened more than 15 years ago and has been progressively extended and refined since then to create the department in place today. Steps are constantly being taken to make the department increasingly self sufficient, the most recent example being the opening of a new mezzanine floor level in 2017, designed to reduce the reliance on disparate outside storage around the railway and to improve the cataloging of spare parts and tools to increase the department’s efficiency.
Up to four full length carriages can be housed comfortably alongside supporting machinery for coach fabrication, woodwork repairs and general mechanical and interior component repairs. The close proximity of other heavier engineering shops, notably the new build machine shop, means that when larger carriage components require more specialist repair this can be done on site in many cases. One example of this is the wheel lathe which routinely turns defects and “flats” out of the carriage wheelsets.
Approximately 25% of the C&W shed is used for the long term restoration of the railway’s notable collection of vintage (pre-1948) coaching stock, the remaining 75% being used for the heritage era vehicles (1948-mid 1960’s) that carry most of the railway’s day-to-day visitors. This range of vehicles spans several eras of carriage design, and the skills in place to maintain and restore this varied collection is correspondingly varied.
The Carriage & Wagon team consists of seven members of staff ably assisted by many more volunteers who all work in unison to undertake the overhaul and maintenance work.