6029 is owned by the Australian Railway Historical Society, ACT Division and the restoration is proudly supported by their tourist operations and by the generous donations of members and public supporters.
The society operates rail tours out of Canberra with our heritage fleet of steam and diesel locomotives and rolling stock every few weeks.
To travel in style on any of our tours, or to learn more about our collection and operations, go to Canberrarailwaymuseum.org

Dec 21, 2009

Sunday 20 December 2009

Work is slowly progressing on the first and second bogies. The assembly of the spring and equalising beams was completed with surprising ease. The last of the keep plates and support bracings are now ready for fitting. All repairs have now been completed on the first bogie. The second bogie was jacked up and all of the keep plate bolts were removed to facilitate the lift of the frame off the wheels.

The boiler now sports the copper drain pipes that attach to the gauge glass assemblies. New and reconditioned cladding sheets are being fitted around the fire box area. The injector steam starting vales were cleaned down for assessment and found to be in serviceable condition. They will be fitted after the cladding is installed.

The next workday will be January the 3rd of January 2010. All welcome.

Dec 7, 2009

Saturday 5 December 2009.

Saturday 5 December 2009.

The rebuild of the bogies continued with most of the components now completed on the first. Ian has finished the machining of the replacement pins and Barry applied the top coats of black. The replacement manganese horn plates were fitted by Shaun while John and Kyle continued on with the assessment of the horn keep plates and associated parts. We are now hopeful that the first bogie will be completed before the years end. The experience gained will ensure the speedy rebuild of the next three bogies. The last outer bogies do not have air brakes fitted so this will make for much faster progress.

Mike Ridley came down from Sydney on Friday and he was able complete two straight days work. Mike has concentrated his efforts on the boiler cradle with the fitting of the reverser reach rods and he has now moved onto the power reverser mounting bracket. Mike is also looking at the mountain of electrical conduit with regard to the eventual re-wire.

We welcome two new members to our growing team. Paul Newland and Joseph Spinella cleaned out and re-organised the JLX box van adjacent to 6029. We now have room to work on the motion and valve gear. Paul and Joseph started to clean down the valve gear in preparation for crack testing.

The fitting of new sheet metal cladding to the boiler continues. The copper drain pipes for the gauge glasses and water column test cocks were bent up using the time honoured method of filling the pipes with sand before heating. Ian has taken the large bore copper pipes for the stoker system home for overhaul. When completed, the back head piping will be fitted in preparation of the final steam test.

The reach rods from the control handle to the front end throttle were assessed and given the usual grey primer clean up. Mike Reynell has been rebuilding the camshaft and main valves at home. Thanks to Malcolm for supplying the old maintenance manuals for the front end throttle. Mike advises that he will come down from Sydney for a few days and he intends to complete the final fit out of the front end throttle and sub assemblies.

Our next workday is Sunday 20 December.

Nov 17, 2009

Sunday November 15 2009.

Work on the MHG support van is progressing well. We now have a decent workbench and tool storage. Pat the electrician has been beavering away behind the scenes installing power points and lights. The grinder, cupboards and bench drill have been installed and as a consequence of this we now can now actually work efficiently. Before we had the van we wasted countless hours setting up and packing away equipment every work day. Thanks to the efforts of all involved we can just plug in the power and start working.

As previously reported the four bogies are main focus of work. The years of grime and rust are now giving away to what resembles an almost a new bogie. Originally we were only replacing the worn mounting studs however when using the torque gun they were snapping like carrots. So all are now being replaced with new.

Our resident fitter, boilermaker, sheet metal, and generally good bloke Ian continues to work at home at what ever is asked of him. The cladding on the back head of the boiler has now started to progress forwards along the firebox area. As a consequence of this, the final fitting of copper pipe work has started. The labyrinth of small bore copper pipes is being annealed and assessed for condition and re fitting.

In general terms we are at the hard slog stage, and although the cleaning, assessing and painting is hard work, we are realising some very pleasing results. Having said that we can only do it with help and presently we have no shortage of tasks that are looking for willing helpers. No skills are necessary and on site tuition is available.

If you haven’t come along to a work day for some time or even if you are new to Project 6029, please come along, all welcome.

Our next workday is Saturday the 5th of December, again all welcome.

Alan Gardner

Oct 21, 2009

Sunday 18 October,

The first of the four bogies is now starting to look like it is brand new ex-works. The brake cylinders have been re fitted and the many sub assemblies have had the usual three coats of paint. Some of the bushings and pins will need to be replaced. John continued with the strip down of the second bogie and we are hopeful that we can lift the bogie frame off the wheels on the next workday. The repaired lateral control springs should be back on site in the next few weeks.

Mike continued with the re fitting of the overhauled reverser reach rods that run down the drivers side of the boiler cradle. One of the last jobs for the day was to lift both of the long reach rods into position. Yes that’s correct we are starting to put it back together.

Since starting the project, we have had no workshop facilities on site. Thanks to the continued efforts of Barry, Stuart, Marc and Pat the electrician, we now have a mobile workshop. As a consequence of this we are now looking for a bar fridge(already found), kettle and seats.

Our next workday is Saturday 7th November 2009.

Alan Gardner

Oct 10, 2009

Saturday 3 October 2009

Canberra is presently experiencing significant rain fall and it goes without saying that it's most welcome. However as we have no shed for 6029 the weather can influence our workdays. As a result of the poor wether the fit out of our new workshop (the MHG guards van) progressed significantly. Stuart fitted a new bench in the perishable goods end and he has plans to fit a vice and bench grinder in this area. When completed we will at last have an indoors work area that will be a welcome change to all. Pat, our resident electrician has promised to fit some power points and lights and we may even be able to boil the kettle in the near future. If any one wants to help out with the painting and fit out please come along as this work can happen any time mid week or even weekends.

Between showers, John continued with the stripping down of the second bogie, he also had time in the past week for some work at home by cleaning up some small components for the bogies. We joke that after four bogies, John will be the resident bogie specialist. If the weather holds off on the next workday it is anticipated that the second bogie will be completely stripped down for assessment.

The project manager and our friend from the USA, Jack Corrick spent most of the day studying SKF drawings for the big end bearings. The end result being the partial disassembly of one big end. We now need a special pulling tool to facilitate the removal of the inner bearing assembly. Mike Reynell has offered to make this vital equipment up. Thanks also to Craig Mackey for suppling the NSWGR drawings and bearing manual.

Roger Maynard started cleaning down the four Nathan DV mechanical lubricators however no undercoat could be applied due to the wet weather. The preliminary assessment has shown that they are in good condition.

The last jobs on the boiler cradle are being completed by Howard and he had the unenviable task of removing the last of the sound deadening boards from underneath the cab floor. The attempt by the manufacture with sound deadening was poorly applied, with the use of timber and alternative modern martials will be sourced for this area.

By the days, end we were all wet and tired, however the day’s efforts had at least allowed us to be one step closer to steaming 6029. We now have an indoors workshop and the previosly unknown, black art of the SKF roller big end bearing has revealed it self to the next generation of steam fitters.

Please make the effort to come along to the next workday (Sunday the 18th of October) as we need lots of mussel power and willing hands.

Alan Gardner

Sep 23, 2009

Sunday 21 September 2009

Once again Canberra turned on some beautiful spring weather and as a result of this the painting of the boiler cradle was completed. Stuart and Howard disappeared under the cab floor area applying the last coats of black enamel. The cradle reversing reach rods and rollers were also painted ready for fitting.

Mike Reynell delivered the steam pipe spacing rings made by an external contractor in Sydney. These rings will
facilite the fitting of the insulation and cladding to the main steam pipe that runs down the right side of the boiler cradle to the hind engine unit.

The front end throttle overhaul is being completed by Mike Reynell at his Sydney works. Mike showed off his handy work with the completed repair of the throttle shaft. He is now focusing on the main vales and associated fittings. Ian has also been beavering away at home with the last of the backhead sheets and he advises that the final fit is only days away. His biggest issues has been the neighbours washing and the over-spray drifting over the fence.

The re-assembly of the first bogie continued with the repaired manganese liner’s fitted. The brake equipment for this bogie was assessed and re-painted for eventual fitting.

Our next work day is Saturday the 3rd of October. Work will again focus on the bogie rebuilds.

Alan Gardner

Sep 7, 2009

Saturday 5th September

The boiler cradle strip down and assessment was completed with the removal of the leading pivot. This sub assembly is in poor condition and subject to detailed measurement, it may have to be sent out for re-machining. The damage sustained is a direct result of no lubrication and as a consequence of this, two extra feed lines will taken off the mechanical lubrication system. This will ensure lubrication to this vital part of the locomotive. The boiler cradle reach rods were repaired and given the usual undercoat treatment. The next workday should see the reach rods and roller assemblies re fitted. The two main reservoir air tanks are now ready for the hydrostatic test and if all goes will they will be re fitted in place.

The second of the four bogies was rolled clear of the hind unit and as expected it resisted all of the way. The locking pin that retains the king pin was completely seized and several attempts to remove it was unsuccessful. As a consequence of this a large part of the morning was dedicated to the cleaning out of the hollow passages in the main frame casting. This allowed access to the locking pin assembly inside the main farm. After we extracted bucket loads of coal and gunk we could at last see the seized locking pin. The usual heating with the oxy torch did not seem to do much and it was looking like a "too hard" scenario would prevail here. However to our surprise, with several blows of the sledge hammer the pin stated to move. After we extracted the locking pin the King pin dropped straight to the ground without fuss. Half an hour later the bogie was clear of the hind engine unit. As can be seen in the photos years of grime will have to be removed before disassembly can take place.

The first bogie that was removed last month now sports its second coat of black paint. All of the components are progressively being repaired and painted. Our next few workdays should complete this bogie with significant progress on the second one. It is anticipated that the last two bogies will be relatively quick to complete as they do not have brake gear fitted.

Our next few workdays will focus on the bogies and when competed the re assembly stage of the project will start in earnest. However we still need your help either financially or in person. Our next workday is Sunday the 20th of September and could I please ask that you take the time to come along and help. Lunch is provided!

Alan Gardner

Aug 29, 2009

Raffle Winners

The Project 6029 raffle has now been run and won. Thanks to everyone who have supported the project and purchased tickets. The raffle was very well supported with sales coming from as far afield as America and England. Thanks should also go to those who took on the task of selling the tickets.

The winner of the Eureka 60 class model was Mr S Buck of Roseville, NSW.

Second place, The 60 Class book was won by Mr T Kilgannon of Dundas Valley, NSW.

Thanks again

Aug 18, 2009

Turbo generator

Thanks to the efforts of our good friend Percy Forrester 6029 now has a Stones 32 volt generator. A few months ago we put out a plea and as usual Percy has come up with the goods. The delivery took place from Queensland thanks to Percy’s friend Paul.

Well done Percy!!

Alan Gardner

Aug 3, 2009

Saturday 1 August 2009

The first of the four bogies is now looking great with a top coat of black enamel paint. The two bogie lateral control springs have been dispatched to Sydney for rebuild and the overhaul of Nathan oil distribution system is completed. It is anticipated that this bogie will be completed in the next couple of months. Interesting to note that it is stamped as 6018.

The boiler cradle is looking great as the overhauled components are progressively being bolted back. The three rollers and brackets that support the cradle revering gear are now ready for fitting. Again we can confirm with these components that we are not rebuilding 6029,rather it’s a collection of 60 class components that are being badged as 6029. The numbers on the three rollers are 6019,6024 and 6027.

The refit of the back head boiler cladding continued with the with about 90% of cladding sheets finished. So yet again the usual undercoat and two top coats are being applied. At this stage we will only complete the cladding of the fire box area until the boiler is lifted onto the cradle.

Our next workday is Sunday the 16th of August.

Alan Gardner

Jul 12, 2009

Superweek Report


Monday morning 7:30 am -4 degrees. The first job as the highest priority was to light the fire. In fact this would be repeated every morning.

As planned the boiler cradle strip down was completed and the usual undercoat and two top coats of black were applied. The reversing gear was completely seized and the rollers that facilitate easy movement had in fact worn flat when the locomotive was in operation. A compete new set of rollers is being manufactured. The pivot centre oil lines and boxes were repaired and fitted ready for use. The re fit steam delivery pipes from the smoke box to the hind unit started, however we have to order a new set of inch BSW studs and nuts to complete the job. Thanks to the efforts of Mike Ridley, Peter Gleeson, Stuart Edwards, Barry Peffer and Roger Maynard.

On the engine unit side the first of the four bogies was completely stripped down to the last nut and bolt. The lessens learnt here is that even the sub assemblies are heavy. The bogie frame was cleaned down and crack tested with no significant issues found. Three of the manganese horn liners will be replaced due to cracking in the corners. The many smaller components were progressively stripped cleaned and assessed. As previously reported the lateral control springs are in poor condition and by weeks end they were dispatched to Sydney for rebuild. Thanks to Ian Senini, Malcolm Cluett and David Griffiths.

In all 290 hours of work was completed for the week realising another significant milestone. Thanks to the efforts of all involved the boiler cradle is now almost compete. We can now move onto the overhaul of the four bogies and when completed reassembly of the locomotive proper will commence. In parallel the bogie work we will continue with the strip down of the motion and the assessment of the engine units.

We are now at what can be called the turning point of the project, however as is always the biggest threat to the project is money. We now have some big ticket items that will have to be competed in the next six months. These are,

· 20 off super heater elements. $27,000.
· Hard chroming of piston and valve rods.$ 12,000.
· Spring repairs and rebuilds. $10,000.
· Piston rings for vales, cylinders and air compressor . $14,000.
· Sundries. $20,000.

So now for the big news, if we realise the above $89,000 6029 will be steaming in 2011. We have the team and the skills to do the job, so it all gets down to money, its as simple as that. So please keep the donations coming in, no matter how small every bit counts. Collectively we can once again see Australia’s largest stem locomotive gracing the rail network.

Keep steaming,

Alan Gardner

Jul 6, 2009

Superweek 2009 has started

The July superweek has started and there has been a good turnout with the promise of a few more participants later in the week.

Saturday 4 July Workday

Report from Peter Reynell

Another successful day, made the more memorable because it was the 33rd anniversary of the Garratt’s first trip under ARHS ACT Accreditation. And we had a little party to celebrate. Lindsay Richmond [another survivor of those early days] and I reminisced over some slides [yes, even a projector was used!] and about 25 people from the various work parties on site were shown the good old days and a good time…our ARHS on train catering crew including Chris S and Lindy S put on a much better than usual spread. Imagine Roast Beef, Oven baked Chicken fillet, party pies and salad , as well as hot doggies; sausages and all the accomaniements.And even cake!
Thanks, crew, you did us proud.

A special thanks to Brian Nye, Chief Executive of the Australasian Railway Association for coming along to offer some very encouraging words.

Oh, and we did some work too..ends were rescued from the old superheater elements, more black paint went on the boiler cradle and Paul Quinn lit a huge fire under the engine unit which eventually liberated the very frozen solid pony truck bearing which caused the angst months ago when the pony truck came off the rails. A long overdue apology to Lindsay, we always chose to blame his trackwork..sorry, Oldmate. (Some did, some knew better...Mike)

Work on the bogies has commenced with the front units hind bogie receiving attention. The lateral control springs from all four bogies should be in Sydney by the end of the week to be overhauled while the crew work on the bogies.

Jun 28, 2009

Like a house of cards

Saturday morning saw Mike Riddley, Mike and Peter Reynell turn up to take advantage of the comfortable work area in the Eveleigh large erecting shop.

Today saw more than a little progress on the cab. In the past, nearly all the work has concentrated on removing years of built up corrosion and muck from the panels so that the damage can be identified and assessed.

We finally have given up trying to do the repair work in situ, and the decision was made to reduce the cab to smaller sub-assemblies so that the panels can be repaired properly and the corrosion that has until now been trapped between the riveted components can be removed properly.

With a few rows of rivets and bolts removed, the cab quickly fell apart like a heavy house of cards. The rear panel of the cab took five or six people to lift onto trestles.

The roof vents were also liberated from the roof panel so that they can be repaired separately before being refitted to the new roof.

Over the next few weeks, replacement components will be arranged so that the corroded areas can be removed and new metal welded back in. There is a new roof to be cut and rolled, the angles that mount the cab to the loco frame will need to be replaced, and some paneling around the windows will need attention.

It seems like a lot of work, considering that it just a cab, but once it is finished, I doubt it will need to be touched for another 20 or 30 years.

Jun 22, 2009

Sunday 21 June 2009

The start to the day was significantly delayed due very wet conditions that did not clear until midday. After the weather cleared David and Alf salvaged the useful parts off the unserviceable super heater elements.

Barry Peffer having returned from his overseas work, was reunited with the needle gun on the boiler cradle. Shaun Barker continued with the strip down and assessment of the front pivot. Gavin and Paul jacked up and removed the first of the four bogies revealing many years of grime and rust. As a result of this the leading unit is now a 4,8,0 and will soon be an 0,8,0. As suspected the lateral control springs will have to be send out for reconditioning.

Peter went out on the local steam train to Bungendore to sell raffle tickets, thanks Peter! Bruce drove down from Sydney to measure up the compressor bores confirming that they are within specification. Bruce also gave us a look at the great work he is dong with the power reverser and has promised some photos for the blog.

Our next work day is Saturday the 4th of July and Super week will start on Monday the 6th of July.

Alan Gardner.


Alan Gardner
Peter Reynell
Gavin Woolf
Paul Quinn
Shaun Barker
Jake Barker
Barry Peffer
David Villiers
Alf Spiteri

Jun 19, 2009

There has been some new content added to the history channel...Check it out here

Jun 15, 2009

a nice shade of grey..

The contractors have been in and completed the sandblasting and priming of the bunker, and what a difference it makes!

Jun 14, 2009

Progress report..... Saturday 13 June

AT Eveleigh; in the Large Erecting Shop, "Cabin Boy" Ron Denholm and I liberated some 55 year old rust from the area around the Firemans side door and window where the outside plating had buckled from the internal pressure. Fortunately the frame work has not deteriorated as much as has the plate work, so repair will be relatively easy.

IN Canberra the rear bunker has been sandblasted and undercoated in a trendy shade of grey by a contractor, so there is another painting job.

Photos when they come to hand.

Next Canberra work Day SUNDAY 21 June

Jun 7, 2009

Saturday 6 June Canberra workday

Another fantastic turnout, another productive day..although the wind chill factor in the afternoon reminded us that it IS winter, and that 40 degree celsius summer is now behind us.

Tasks undertaken included:
  • more pressure washing, now about half way finished on the front engine unit; thanks again, Roger
  • more painting, thanks Stu
  • cross compound air compressor dismantled, with some challenges, including the b*****y thing creating a vacuum which made the removal of one piston a challenge; thanks Ian, Shaun, Shane and all the other expert advisers.
  • removal of the pivot bearing at the front end of the boiler cradle; thanks to Marc, Kyle and John [and again, more experts]
AND , to show that we do not only pull things apart, the compressor was test fitted to the smokebox to prove that the new support plate will work.

In attendance:
Alan Gardner
Al's mate Graham Kidgell from the little railway near Melbourne
Peter Reynell
Shane Bollard
Shaun Barker
Ian Senini
Marc Millar
Mike Ridley
Stu Edwards
Kyle Rollinson
John Kempton
Roger Maynard
Also on site were Lindsay Richmond, who made lunch, thanks Oldmate; Paul Quinn, vibrating on a bogie frame;
Andy D, Jack Barker, Gav W. ; Dave and Keith Malcolm lighting 3016 for todays' Bungendore train, and David Villiers as cleaner and polisher.

Next workdays
  • at Eveleigh..Saturday 13 June...contact peter@project6029.com for access and job details.
  • at Kingston [Canberra Railway Museum] Sunday 21 June
The next Superweek is planned to commence on the 4th of July, the anniversary of the first workday, and then 6-10th of July.

May 30, 2009

MHG Workvan

Barry Peffer has been working to clean up the MHG brake van to prepare it for our use as a work and breakdown van. Here are a few pictures showing his progress. The pictures as usual are taken by Howard Moffat, our staff photographer, who is doing a great job of recording the faces and progress being made on this project.

May 28, 2009

Thursday 28th May 2009.

The quiet achievers. 

Work has been progressing between our weekend workdays at a steady pace. We now have 30 brand new superheater elements installed thanks to Gavin and Ian. David Malcolm  has arranged to borrow an element tester from our friends at the RTM. This will facilitate the high pressure testing of the required 20 elements that will have to be re conditioned. This  will make up the complete  set of 50. We will also take the opportunity to repair and test the spare elements while we have the test equipment on site.

Ian has also completed the rebuild on the bottom smoke box front plate and has now moved onto the replacement bracket and plate work for the air compressor mount. If this is not enough Ian is also making the new the sheet metal pockets for the wash out plugs at home. Well done and a big thankyou to Ian.

Between his bus driving shifts, Stuart has been dropping in to apply the many coats of paint required on the boiler cradle. Thanks to his efforts and the weekend crew  we should see the boiler cradle work completed in June. A great team effort.

After the boiler cradle we intend to start work on the four bogies as we are already  aware that the lateral control springs will require a rebuild. Typically when bogies are stripped down all of the working components tend to yield a lot of work for all concerned. So we anticipate many hours of crack testing, weld repair and even replacement of some components.

The air compressor strip down has commenced with the bottom cover removed. Again 20 plus years of inaction has every bolt resisting until the last turn. It was planned to send out the two piston rods for hard chroming, however a close inspection has revealed that the railways applied this previously.

The regulator rod will be sent out for hard chroming shortly, as when the fitting of the  superheater elements is completed the regulator will have to be fitted to facilitate the  planed hydrostatic and steam tests.

Our next workday is Saturday 6 June. Yes winter already.

Alan Gardner

May 18, 2009

Workday Report 18 May 2009

Work on 6029 progressed rapidly this week as we completed three consecutive days on the project.

Friday 15 May.

Gavin and Ian held their regular Friday session with the installation of 10 new superheater elements. Lindsay Richmond also helped out with the heavy lifting, thanks Lindz. The last job for the day was to lift the smoke box front plate into position.

Saturday 16May

The Eveleigh work team removed the life expired roof off the cab revealing many years of rust and subsequent damage. Mike will complete a full set of CAD drawings to outsource the construction of new roof sheets.

Sunday 17 May.

The installation of the smoke box front plate was completed by Ian and old mate Alan Kent. The bottom plate attachment was yielding some problems, however Ian has assured us that it will be sorted out next week. After the last of the new elements were removed from the storage van, Marc started to clean of each ball end for installation next Friday.

The donated workbenches were reassembled and we now have four workstations that will assist with the repair and rebuild of the many small components. Gavin has sourced a six inch vice that we can install on one of the benches. Wow!!

The Boiler cradle is staring to look like a new one as Stuart, Howard, and just about everyone is having a go with the re paint. Gavin and Peter removed the water delivery pipes revealing some active corrosion that will require some major surgery.

Our next work day will be Saturday the 6th of June and work will continue on the boiler cradle.

We will now be holding weekly workdays every Friday, so if you have the time to help out please come along . Lunch is BYO and Gavin will be supervisor for all mid week work and if you intended coming along please let him know in advance.

Alan Gardner.

The Cab in Eveleigh

These photos by Steve Preston, show that the cab is now without a roof, and its removal shows the corrosion and damage caused by years of neglect. A large amount of metal will need to be replaced before the cab is reunited with the frames, which should happen in a few months.

Sunday 17 May

This day, which turned into delightful Autumn day, was attended by
Alan Gardner
Gavin Woolf
Alan Kent
Marc Millar
Stuart Edwards
Ian Senini
Alf Spiteri
David Villiers
Kyle Rollinson
Vince Patrech
John Kempton
Peter Anderson
Peter Reynell
and Howard Moffat
I will leave it to Al to list the days achievements...this post is to recognise those who were there yesterday.

a big weekend

Saturday 16 May saw a two person work party at Eveleigh take the can opener to the cab, thus creating the worlds' first convertable Garratt.

You ask why?

Even in Canberra's relatively dry climate, the enemy of all things steel appears. In this case, the worst parts are the window cut outs where the gutters naturally collected, but not necessarily diverted rain, and areas near the doors where two or three layers of plate are now interspersed with oxidised steel.

Best to fix it "proper" now; roof off will give better access.

And the roof itself is a maze of holes where everything that could be hung, was. Even the ceiling was held up [or down] by a bolt through the roof.Actually, many bolts.

Then, more holes for the colonial conversion to dual control. Another heavy casting, more holes in the roof.

May 4, 2009

Saturday 2nd of May 2009

The boiler cradle rebuild continued with the continued efforts of Howard and Stuart. Stuart has also been coming in on the weekdays and as a result we should see the cradle frame completed in the next couple of months. Marc put his nine inch angle grinder to good use to prep the final welds required on the smoke box floor. Andrew Duffy removed the four Nathan mechanical lubricators off the engine units and we can now assess and bench test this vita equipment. Rodger Maynard continued to steam clean the leading engine and thanks to his efforts we should be able to start the application of paint soon.

Many of the boiler cladding sheets for the back head are in poor condition and Gavin’s new plasma cutter was put to good use for the first time. Marc and Ted experienced the joys of sheet metal work and a result the back head sheets are now about 90% complete.

Back in Sydney Mike Reynell is organising the manufacture of 50+ element washers and when completed we can start installing the new elements. As usual Bruce s continuing with the machining of the many replacement components.

Our next workday is Sunday the 17th of May starting at about 9 am, all welcome!

Alan Gardner

Apr 25, 2009

hi ho; hi ho..its off to work we go...

on Saturday 2 May [and happy birthday Mike R] and Sunday 17th ...location..the big engine@ Canberra Railway Museum.Lots to do, something for everyone.

Apr 24, 2009

Sunday 20 April 2009

It is pleasing to report that work day was well attended, resulting in some excellent progress.

Even before the weekend Bruce has been busy manufacturing many of the small components required to keep up with the re assembly work. Because of Bruce’s efforts the centrifugal steam separator in the dome was final fitted by Gavin, although it was a tight squeeze. With only some minor work required Gavin will re fit the steam dome and complete the final out of the boiler.

The boiler cradle clean up and assessment continued at a rapid rate. Marc continued with the steam cleaner and Howard was assisted by Stuart on the needle gun. Alan completed the work on the main steam lines under the cab. David and Stuart helped out with the cladding sheets for the back head as they will have to be fitted before the boiler is lowered into the cradle.

Two new volunteers Kyle Rowlingson and John Kempton started on the day and as a result the hind engine unit some sports some gloss black paint. During the afternoon the superheater header was trial fitted and all being well the next workday should see it fitted into place.

If we can keep up the good attendance we anticipate completing the boiler cradle work in the next couple of months. In parallel work is continuing on the change over boiler and this work should be completed about the same time line as the cradle.

Thanks to the efforts of Carl on the super heater header two weeks ago we will put off lowering the boiler on to the cradle and inturn the elements will be fitted while the boiler is on the ground. To this end we are proposing to hold a super week in July to facilitate the fitting of the elements and smoke box. So If you have some annual leave up your sleave and would like to enjoy a full week straight of steam fitting you are most welcome. Accommodation is available in our luxurious BAM sleeper carriages thanks to Matt and Trev.

As the preparation work on the boiler and cradle is coming to a end we will start to look at the removal of the four bogies from off the engine units. Preliminary inspection has revealed some very sick lateral control springs and some of the horn liners will need replacing also. As soon as we can get our crane driver Michael Potter away from his ever expanding family we will lift the engine units clear of the bogies. Our old mates from Eveleigh have offered to come down when the warmer weather returns in September and we are hope that they can help out with the bogie rebuilds.

Alan Gardner

As you can see, pictures this month show that the visible progress is now starting to accelerate, and you will see that the grey undercoat, that was becoming quite dominant in last months pictures, is now starting to disappear under top coats of black and red paint. Great stuff!

Apr 20, 2009

What happened away from Steamfest 18/19 April

yes, the world continued on...Mike Ridley continued work on the cab at Eveleigh [though he was tempted to look at other activity centered around preparing a 38 class, the fiftyniner and the P [actually, two P class in the shed this day] . And a wonderful opportunity to chew the fat with like-minded people from all over over the best BBQ lunch in the rail restoration movement.

On the big day in Canberra ten or so turned up to work on the big engine which saw the superheater header offered back to the smokebox, the main steam pipe reinstalled [thanks, Bruce for making the special bolt, and Mike for finally remembering where he hid the strap and Gav for hiding in the boiler whilst doing the work!] and more painting, painting and painting. Three new faces too, and of course the second best BBQ!

All this with our little mate, 3016 steaming out to Bungendore, again..and having a bit of a slip on the way back..look at Andy's blog for info on that .

There is a feeling now of [mild] confidence as we are more putting it back together than pulling it apart. Help us by donating or coming along and doing a bit.

Work days in Canberra are FIRST SATURDAY and THIRD SUNDAY...but see Alans [forthcoming] comments about the JULY superweek.

Apr 6, 2009

Saturday 4 April workday

Note..next workday is Sunday 19 April; 0900-1600 or thereabouts.

A great day...perfect weather yes, it does sometimes happen in Canberra! Come along on the 19th to experience it.

Al and Gav played tinplaters ..they made good progress in cutting, shaping and fitting cladding [for out - of staters "cleading"] around the "new" boiler firebox area, looks sooooo good without rust holes!

Peter R wondered aloud if he could still spray paint and found that the lessons learned first time around could still be remembered, Al's comment was "looks like you have a job, again!

Howard M, Mike Ridley Roger and Stewart [sorry, do not know if I got this right] worked away at the boiler frame..rust removal...undercoat and even some black enamel. It looks great chaps!

On a broader aspect other things were happening too on Saturday:
the 1 2 1 0 was being steamed and beautifully polished by Brigadeer Brasso amd David Carroll along with a new recruit; the purpose being to provide a backdrop for some wedding fotos.
[ a picta, please, Mr VP MacAndo?]

the 3016 was having a paint tone-up by Dave Malcolm and Andy, looks good, guys!

Our Heritage diesel 4807 was off at the Highland Games with a full load of happy customers, Brigadoon looked to being well celebrated when Mike Ridley and I took a happy snap on the way home.

Mar 29, 2009

Worth a read...The Down Home with Andy!

One of our guys has recently started a blog that will talk in general terms of his railway experiences, and some about the daily operations of the Canberra Railway Museum. Click here to have a look. I am sure it will develop into an interesting read!

Mar 26, 2009

eating humble pie...

A sincere apology to Dennis Rittson... we mistakenly attributed four of his photos to the wrong photographer.

The pix are 6029 and K153 running side by side on the way to Wangaratta in June 1980.
two uncaptioned shots during the Great Circle tour in June 1981.

As soon a webmasterMike can, he will make the corrections.

Meantime, sorry Dennis

Mar 18, 2009

Sunday 15 March

The super heater header was examined for any flaws and found to be in good condition. The last of the fitted bolts were extracted and all of the mounting flanges were cleaned out and assessed. The lapping in of the pilot, drifting and main valves x 4 was completed. All studs where extracted and the holes were tapped out clean to ¾ BSW. The header was turned on its side and the re-machining of the 100 element seats started with the aid of Gavin’s magnetic base drill. The two main reservoirs for the brake system were removed in preparation for and internal examination by our boiler inspector. Some of the support brackets for the steam exhaust lines were also removed for replacement.

Our next workday will be held on the Saturday the 4th of April 2009. The main focus of work will be the boiler cradle.

Alan Gardner

Mar 10, 2009

where are you Ron?

Cabin Boy, we are missing you..Mike and I [in my role as 'gofetch'] have begun the rust repairs, last Saturdaay we worked in the back corner on the drivers side.

Mike Ridley patiently and carefully treated the cladding ring and other parts re-assembled on the previous workday.

Thanks again the the chaps at the LES for your hospitality.

Mar 9, 2009

Saturday March 7, 2009.

A beautiful autumn day with mild temperatures was a welcome change from the summer scorchers we have experienced on previous work days. An early phone call from the guys at Eveleigh was pleasing to note as on this day work is progressing in parallel on many fronts all over NSW. The new smoke box floor is now fitted and the temporary attachment of the blast pipe will facilitate the final fit of the smoke stack. The superheater header is work continuing with the lapping in of the pilot and drifting valves. The clean down and assessment of the boiler cradle revealed no issues and a coat of grey primer was applied to the entire right hand side. The two main reservoirs were disassembled in preparation for internal inspection and hydrostatic test. Work continues on the hind unit and the headstock received its second coat of red paint.

Alan Gardner

While the work continued in Canberra, work is also being undertaken in Sydney at the Large Erecting Shop in Eveleigh. The guys from 3801 Limited have made some space, and along with a few of the Canberra regulars, are restoring the cab to its previous glory. Ron Denholm has done a great job of removing years of grime and corrosion, having spent many a day with the needle gun, and now we are starting to repair the damage of years in the open. There is a lot of corroded material to remove and replace, some pieces to be re manufactured, and some modifications to be done before it is reunited with the frame in Canberra

Feb 25, 2009

Sunday 22 February 2009 

The critical work path was the main focus of the day . Gavin almost competed the installation of the smoke box floor and the blast pipe can now be temporarily fitted to facilitate the final fitting of the smoke stack.  The old boiler cladding sheets were test fitted around the firebox area to facilitate the measuring up of new pieces. This work is being brought forward to ensure the cab can be lifted straight onto the boiler when delivered from Sydney. Howard, Michael and Barry continued with the cleaning and painting of the boiler cradle. Michael levelled the boiler cradle and it now sit true on the stands.   As usual Peter cooked a delightful lunch and gave the site a much need clean up.

Our next workday will be on  Saturday the 7th of March. Work will continue  on the cradle and replacement boiler. We still have to make up four timber supports for the boiler cradle to facilitate  the fitting of boiler onto the cradle. After this vital milestone is reached, the fit out of the feed water system and fire grate will commence, when completed  we will steam test the boiler.

Alan Gardner

Feb 19, 2009


Humbly, a correction..our next Canberra work day is Sunday 22 February 2009; and yes,it is out of pattern because whilst we all like 6029 working with her on Valentines day was seen by some to be an abberation!

Also, due to the kindness of our Sydney hosts, there will be a Cab work day at Eveliegh on Saturday 21 February.

Feb 13, 2009

Interested in a little Garratt history?

MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) in Manchester, England, is celebrating 100 years since the development of one of the world’s most successful steam locomotives with a new archive display on Beyer-Garratts. Click Here for more information.

Feb 8, 2009

Not a cool workday; Saturday 7 February 2009

Well, we have worked through the extremes of Canberra's weather, yesterday must have been near 40 degrees Celsius.

But Alan got off to an early start, still cussing whoever did the stationary boiler modifications..but most of that is now behind us, studs that had been removed from the foundation ring have now been replaced, preparatory to re-installing the ash pan. And other fire box fittings are being placed on the replacement boiler, but no thought of steaming yesterday as it was a total fire ban day.

Peter got up close and personal [and early] with some piping under the cab which carries steam to the stoker motor. Surprisingly, one line still contained water.

Ted Coulter drove the new air driven needlegun to paint that I applied way back in 1973/4[,there is a product endorsement sponsorship opportunity here]; Howard Moffat applied a coat of red [same product] to the front engine buffer beam casting and Vince and new worker Mike Ridley[welcome Mike] ground and scraped, and painted wheels and boiler cradle till the weather was just too hot. David Carroll grabbed what he thought might be the coolest task, operating the Steam cleaner, but his reward was to become very dirty. Just hope the can clean up before Valentine's day.

Next workday..Third Sunday, which is 21 February.

For those that have been following the project and the photos of the work taken by Howard, take a look at the photos taken today... In just two weeks the worksite has transformed, so much so that some may think they are no longer looking at a Garratt.

And a note from Alan

Critical path work 
Many jobs are being carryout in parallel as labour permits; however the highest priority work is classified as critical path. The term critical path in the sequence or order of work ensures that the overall project is completed in the most cost effective manner at the earliest completion date. With this type of project work specific tasks are carried out in parallel rather than sequentially. Thanks to the efforts of many people off site work is being completed and will be available for assembly as the project progress. To give and example the cab, power reverser, stoker engine are all offsite being overhauled as part of the boiler and cradle works. 

Onwards and forward
With all of the above in parallel tasks progressing the replacement boiler and the cradle will be the focus.  Within the next few months these two major components will be joined together in preparation for the final steam test. However funds are tight and before we can complete this major mile stone we will need to raise about $5,000, so could I ask you all to dig deep and ensure that we can steam 6029 sooner rather than later. For tax deductible donations go to the link at the top of this blog page. 
So if we can raise the funds we can complete the following.
Smoke box & boiler
1. Install the replacement floor.
2. Repair and fit super heater /smoke box cover.
3. Remove smoke box door plate 
4. Repair and install super heater header and fittings.
5. Fit all ash pan / foundation ring mounting studs.
6. Fit all cleading sheets and insulation to blackhead.
Boiler cradle 
1. Strip clean and repair frame as required 
2. Make and fit additional cradle support stands 
3. Level main cradle 
So as you can see from the above if we can keep the attendance   up at the work day we will have a progressive and exciting year ahead. 

Alan Gardner  

Feb 7, 2009

Awsome Meccano

Most us played with Meccano when we were young, but this note and pics from England show some of what you really can do with Meccano!

Hi Alan,
I would like to submit some photographs of my recent construction of an Meccano model representation of  AD60 no. 6029 in 2.5ins gauge. The mid red and mid green is correct for Binns road, Liverpool, Lancs. Meccano of the period 1946 -1956/57 and entirely appropriate to the early fifties AD60 heavy freight batch articulated locomotives construction period in my native Lancahire at the Beyer Peacock works in West Gorton Manchester. 

I have fitted the laterboiler bogie brakes and the extended bunker.
I have purposely omitted the acoustic enhancement piping for alerting crews to warning detonators placed on track.

I offer it as encouragement to the volunteer team engaged on the project to have her in working condition by 2014 for the New South Wales Railway Centenary celebrations.

A true leviathan of steam weighing in at 260tons in working order.

Special Thanks:
A copy of this e-mail is sent to 'Meccanoman' Dave Taylor of Great Dunmow, Essex, UK, for his supply of various special items and to my dearest sister Elaine Fairhurst and her husband Harry of Mount Eliza, Victoria, Aus, for their support with literature and an DVD of 6029 in action.

Best of luck meanwhile with the project.

Tom Martland

Tom adds in a follow-up mail that the model is driven by a motor in the coal bunker space, and the driving wheels have a coupled braking arrangement...

Feb 3, 2009


that our next workday at the Canberra Railway Museum is Saturday 7 February 2009; come earl if you wish as the weather man is promising a hot day. Bring water, a hat and suncream, and a cheap paintbrush.

Come one, come all..join in the fun...

Jan 20, 2009

Stop Press

We are delighted to report that the boiler cradle was lifted off the engine units this morning. Howard Moffat was on site and we should have the photos on the blog in the next few days.
This is a significant point in the project as it is quite literally full steam ahead to the next stage (steam test the boiler), after we have completed any repairs on the cradle we can then lower the boiler into position. Again if we can get a good turnout for the next few work days(please bring paint brush) we should be able to complete the preparation work to ensure we can meet this significant milestone.
A big thankyou to all who have helped up to this point and another big thankyou to Gavin who who comes along to our workdays as a volunteer. As you know, funds are tight and it is membership renewal time again.Could I ask you to dig deep and help us put 6029 back in traffic sooner rather than later.

Keep Steaming


Jan 19, 2009

Sunday 18 January

It is pleasing to report that the first workday for 2009 was well attended and in fact we achieved over 100 hours of work for the day. Preliminary work was completed to facilitate removal of the boiler cradle with the end result being a full set of stands to enable the cradle to be set up level and gain easy access to all of its nooks and crannies for inspection and repair. We anticipate lifting the cradle onto the stand in the next few weeks. Mike and Marc fitted the internal steam pipe into the boiler and it was pleasing to once again actually see components being fitted rather than taking them off. The next part of the steam circuit fit out will be the header and work has commenced with the assessment and associated repairs. Mike Potter once again made good use of the over head crane and the front tank has been moved into position to allow easy access for the anticipated weld repairs. With the fine weather conditions the painting of the hind engine unit commenced with excellent results. This also included the strip down and undercoating of the headstocks. The last job of the day was the removal of the injectors and associated piping off the boiler cradle.

News received from Ron in Eveleigh is that he has almost finished painting the interior of the cab and work will start soon on the corrosion repairs as required.

Help needed:

As we are no moving in the assemble stages of the project we are asking for help to paint this 260 ton monster, no special skills necessary just a willingness to help out and put up with the projects managers silly jokes.

Alan Gardner

Jan 15, 2009

A message from Alan

Dear 6029 friends... 

Please note that our first workday for the year is this Sunday the 18th  of Jan. We now have access to air tools on site and we can therefore move onto the fun jobs of painting and the like.  One fun tool that  we now have is the needle gun and from now on it will be in use on every workday. This will be very handy for the crud that the steam cleaner would not lift.

 This year we will continue with the fit out of the boiler and boiler cradle if we can get some good numbers of volunteers we anticipate having the new boiler in the cradle soon after Easter.  However towards the end of 2008 numbers on our workdays fell significantly the end result being a slow down in work. So again if you want to see the boiler in steam after Easter we need you NOW!!

 Please remember a lot of work now needs no trade skills, just a willingness to get dirty, do repetitive work, have a happy disposition, willingness to learn and paint stuff.    

 See you Sunday!

 Alan Gardner