Project Update | Powder Van Restoration

With a reprieve from the recent inclement weather, the team were able to make a start on the restoration of the PV 22318 Powder Van.

Arriving in 2011 after initial restoration by the RailCorp apprentices, the Powder Van has taken pride of place on the on the platform at Cooma Railway Station with its internal display of example items from the period. The van is also significant to the region as it was used to transport explosives to Cooma for the construction of the Snowy Hydro Scheme.

Over the last 10 years, the elements have taken their toll on the canvas roof and after 5 years, temporary protection had to be installed to prevent water leaking into the interior of the van.

Over the past two days, our team of volunteers have begun the process of replacing the canvas roof which involves:

🔹 Carefully removing the wooden trim around the roof
🔹 Removing the old canvas including the many 100s of staples
🔹 Cleaning and repairing any damaged timbers
🔹 Applying sealant to the roof timber joints

Under Daryl’s expert guidance, it’s great to see some of our younger volunteers getting the opportunity to learn about the techniques used in the construction and repair of these beautiful examples of railway history.

In the new year the team will continue with:

🔹 Installing new canvas with navy dressing
🔹 Re-installing original timber trim around the roof

Once the new roof has been installed, the team will finish off with a new fresh coat of paint and lettering, just in time for it to take pride of place once again with our new station museum due to open in early 2022.

🤷‍♀️ Did you know that in order to prevent sparks (which don’t go well with 💥 explosives 💥) the metal fittings inside the van including screws and nails are made from brass and copper rather than steel? The new roof will be installed using new copper nails, just like it would have originally had.

Stay tuned for more updates on progress in the new year!