It’s been a Big Weekend for the FR117 coach project. The bogies were fitted last weekend and the air connected up. The new electrical system has been tidied up to the extent that the coach could move; this involved the usual wrestling match with flexible conduits which seemed to take their inspiration from irate boa constrictors. With that done, it was time to summon an air-brake fitted diesel loco and Give It a Go. It’s fair to say that this was a bit of a nervy moment; however much measuring takes place, it’s always good to see things work in reality. The first step was to make sure that it would fit through the shed door – remember, it has changed a LOT since it was put in the shed. Then, careful checks were made as the coach traversed the sharper points in the yard, and onto the station. Measurements of stepping distances were made, and this needed a run down the mainline to Apedale Road platform. This also allowed a test of the new passenger emergency valve, which was found to be very effective. All seemed to go quite well, so the coach has now been returned to the shed. The electrical work is well advanced. Key stages now are the repaint and cleaning/refitting all the interior. However, we’re pretty confident that FR117 will now carry passengers at Apedale during the forthcoming operating season.