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 29, 2010

What is the best way to find something you have misplaced?

At the last work day, it was found that spacer that is part of the lateral control assembly could not be found... Now I ask you... What is the most reliable way to find it?

Make a new one! And that is exactly what has been done. Al had a new one made a day or so after the last workday, so we can be sure that the original will be staring at us the moment we finish the assembly of that last bogie... Murphy's law pretty much guarantees it!

Dec 22, 2010

Sunday 19 December 2010

Following on from the efforts of the team at Eveleigh on Saturday the guys at Canberra started bright an early for the last workday of 2010.

The leading engine unit was once again lifted to allow the leading inner bogie to be rolled out clear. Four new ¼-½ inch BSP nipples were fitted to replace the worn out brass type. A trial fit of the flexible hoses confirmed all was well with the grease lubrication system to this bogie.

New replacement packing plates for the centre pivot bowl had been ordered in the past week and were on site ready for fitting. It was decided to replace the old 3/8 liner with the same as we may have vary the packing when the locomotive is being weighed. After the packing was in place, the composite low friction liner and locking ring was installed with an easy tap in fit. With a final check of all clearances the bogie was rolled into place and the engine unit was lowered into place with all being well. The flexible grease pipes were installed and fresh grease pumped through. The four inch diameter king pin was lowered into place, the locking plate and split pin fitted and finally we could say job done. Now onto the hind unit! Thanks to Paul Nowland, Graeme Kidgell, Shaun Barker and Marc Miller.

Pater Reynell washed down some of more gummed up components of the hind unit. This is in preparation for the removal of the hind unit draft package. The draft package is directly behind the headstock and is attached to the shank of the coupling. In essence the draft package absorbs most of the in-train buffing forces and from past experience we expect hours of fun here. When Peter has finish with the external clean up of the hind unit, the draft packaged will be dropped out for full inspection.

The day came to a sudden end at 13:30 hours as the rain set in for the rest of the day. Yes the joys of working out doors.

Alan Gardner

Dec 19, 2010

Saturday 18th December, Cab Progress

The last workday for 2010 at Eveleigh saw a lot of progress, yes, a lot! Just the two Mikes(Reynell and Ridley) got stuck in to it and the pictures show what can be done when a plan starts to come together.

First order of the day was to build a frame to support the entire cab and to hold everything square. You can see from the pictures that the frame is more than a few sticks of timber. The frame will remain attached to the cab until it is reunited with the boiler cradle.Once square and rigid, the work became much easier as it was much easier to create the required reference points and to reattach each component.

Some more parts were collected from our old mates at R&L Wall in Lidcombe on Friday and today saw them all fitted without too much problem. The new rear quarter panels still require a bit of bending, and a few pieces welded in, but overall, everything went together very well and it was well worth the effort of replacing the badly damaged panels.

You may also notice that the spectacle plates have been replaced. The old ones had suffered badly in places, as had most of the cab. Full points must go to Ian and Chris from R&L Wall, as they not only made the new ones, but also did an amazing job of saving all the fittings from the old panels without damaging any..... Thanks Chris!

There will be little adjustment required to the panel above the fireman's window as well, a problem that was only revealed as the surrounding panels were reattached. No problem however, as the generous application of heat and a swift whack from a large hammer should see the problem corrected at the next workday.

The next workday should see all the panels in their final positions and the cab ready to be riveted as required.... Now wont that be nice!

Mike Reynell

Dec 8, 2010

Saturday 4 December 2010

The leading engine unit is now staring to look like a complete locomotive. Andy Hays and Howard Moffatt spent a few hours going over the last bits of the grey primer. The trailing end of the leading unit was given a final coat of black in preparation for the fitting of the leading inner bogie. This bogie has been finished for some time now, but could not be fitted as a new centre pivot bush was being manufactured. The new bush was completed by a contractor early on in the week. The female pivot on the bogie was full of water due to Canberra wet spring and as a result of this some surface rust had to be cleaned off before the bush could fitted. Lachlan took out the water and cleaned out the surface rust. The bush was fitted with a good size for size fit and some long tack welds were also applied to ensued that the bush will remain properly fitted. The leading engine unit was lifted and the bogie rolled into place with no issues. There is nothing more pleasing when a plan comes together like clockwork.

Andrew Bridger and Graeme Kidgell continued with the strip down and assessment of the hind unit valve gear and motion. It all looks to be in good condition but the years of grime will see endless hours of polishing.

From an overview perspective the fitting of the last two bogies to the hind unit will be the top priority but before this can take place, many components that the bogies stop access to will have to be addressed. Items such as the coupling and draft gear will have to now be dropped out. Hey haven’t we done this before, oh yes....its a Garratt. Twice the loco and twice the fun!

Alan Gardner

Dec 6, 2010

Saturday 4th December

The Sydney Chapter...
While most went to Canberra to work at Garratt Central, the two Mikes (Reynell and Ridley) spent a very productive day at Eveleigh, fitting some of the long awaited replacement panels to what was left of the Cab.

The first thing to be done was the fitting of the panel above the window. This panel had so much damage from corrosion that some parts were totally gone, a product of years in the weather and the corrosive nature of soot that has collected between the joins in the metal. Once the panels above the windows were fitted, the rest of the replacement window frame was prepared and carefully fitted, before being welded in.

With the window frames reconstructed, the cab sides were again stood up and positioned so that the rest of the cab can be reconstructed and temporarily bolted together, before our friends from the powerhouse museum come in and rivet the whole thing back together properly, a milestone many of us will be glad to see come and go. That milestone is still a month or two away however, as we are still waiting on a few of the panels, and with only one workday before Christmas,time is going to get the better of us.


Nov 23, 2010

Sunday 21 November 2010

With the majority of the bogie overhaul work completed, some of the team has now moved onto the connecting and coupling rods. Some high tensile pull rods have now replaced the mild steel ones that failed last workday, and have proven up to the task of helping the strip down.

As a result of this all of the coupling, connecting rods and valve gear has now been stripped off the leading engine unit. There are now many hours of cleaning and crack testing for the crew to undertake. The magnetic particle crack detector will help speed up this process, but only after the years of 60 class road grime is cleaned off. Every pin and bush will be measured, recorded and assessed for fit and limit of wear. A painstaking task, but when completed we will have an accurate record of the motion, and a picture of what work is ahead of us for the first half of next year. As this type of work cannot take place out doors, the stripped motion is now off site and out of the weather.

Unfortunately, our resident photographer Howard Moffatt could not attend our last workday so we only have a few pictures to show and will just have to wait until the next workday to see where we are at.

Alan Gardner

Nov 9, 2010

Saturday 6 November 2010

The early morning light revealed to all that the leading outer bogie was almost ready for final installation. All it needed was the fitting of two Nathan four way oil distributors. The two outer bogies are about 6 inches longer than the inner bogies and this means that much of the associated bracketry is subtly different. Our first attempt to reassemble this bogie resulted in a tactical retreat when we found that the available overhauled assemblies of oil distributers were of the short type from the inner bogies. Thanks to Ian for overhauling a long set set in record time. Once the correct ones were fitted and the bogie turned over to the correct orientation (right side up), all of the bolts and split pins were double checked for tightness and proper fit. Well worth the effort as three split pins were missing. A final few dollops of black paint and we were good to go for the final fit.

The leading engine unit was lifted clear of the temporary wooden blocks and the bogie was pushed into position. A few grunts and groans later and yes she was in place. The flexible oil lines were connected up and the air operated grease gun delivered a few pumps of grease to each point on the bogie. There are only about 228 grease points on the entire locomotive… There are plenty of things to remember when preparing the locomotive for service.

After the bogie was back in place, the guard irons were bolted up with all new bolts fitted. While we were at it, we had a good look at the leading steps. It comes as no surprise that the fireman’s side step had a twist that looked unsightly. The decision was made to remove it and send it out to be straightened. A 200 ton press soon sorted out these issues and a fresh coat of paint will be applied before it is re fitted.

After lunch (thanks to this week’s chief cook Lindz) the strip down of the right hand leading coupling rods commenced with vigour. The crew has never done this type of work before and soon learnt about the fine detail points regarding disassembly. The main driving bearing is the same type roller as fitted to the big end. The extra-long strong back rods (3/4 all thread from Bunnings) could only hold to about 20 tons of pressure and being mild steel, snapped like carrots. It was worth the try, but four high tensile rods will be ordered before the next workday.

Back over at the cylinders, David Clark continued with the drilling out and tapping of the ½ inch BSW holes and yes each one is almost glass hard. David is slowly getting through this hard task but he advises that he spends more time sharpening drills that drilling holes.

Ian Senini dropped in to show the first of the overhauled Nathan mechanical lubricators. To say that the end product is magnificent is truly an understatement. It will almost be a crime to fit them to the finished locomotive as they look better than new. A separate report will be posted shortly featuring the overhaul of the mechanical lubricators.

Our next workday is Sunday the 21st of November. Work will continue with the coupling rod strip down. All motion and valve gear enthusiasts are welcome.

Alan Gardner

Oct 18, 2010

Sunday 17 October 2010

Work on the leading engine unit continues as the highest priority. Andy Hayes and David Clark continued to drill out the broken set screw that attach the sheet metal cladding to the cylinders. The screws that are closest to the valves would not un screw and in most cases snapped off. Drilling the broken screws has not been easy as the drill bits are losing their edge very quickly and the team has had lots of practice sharpening drills. The completed holes then receive a dot of pink spray paint and the cylinders seem to now have pink spot fever. The leading drivers side cylinder is all most completed...only three to go guys.

Ian reports that one of the four mechanical lubricators is now completed. As previously reported Ian has been doing this work in the comfort of his home workshop. Well done Ian, again only three to go.

Alan and Jack Barker continued with the front tank by drilling out two broken bolts that mount the electrical conduit to tank. The bronze plate with the numbers 6029 was refitted to the leading fireman's side. Not a high priority job but satisfying all the same.

The rebuilt bogie lateral control springs are now on site and were fitted to the hind inner bogie. This bogie was found to be in the worst condition out of the four. This can be attributed to the fact that it is located directly under the coal conveyor's screw. It is now looks almost like new, minus about four wheel barrow loads of coal dust.

Thanks to David for cooking lunch.

Alan Gardner

Oct 6, 2010

A brief interlude...

It is pleasing to report that it is now three years since we first started work days on site at the Canberra railway museum. As far as the project goes we are well past the half way stage and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter after each work day. It seems like it was only yesterday that a small group of enthusiastic volunteers was standing in front of 6029 ready to get their hands dirty. Since that day we have achieved many milestones but more importantly many new friendships. To date we have registered 73 people who have helped out. A heartfelt thanks to everyone.

A direct result of the project success has been the willingness of many other groups and individuals who have offered both in kind and finical assistance. Without this help we would still have many years ahead of us. The many individuals have been mentioned in past reports and again thanks goes out to them. Our greatest supporters are our old mates at Goodwin Alco and in particular Steve Preston and Bob Gioia. Their help has been significant to the project’s success but again lifelong friendships have been forged. An ironic note is that Goodwin Alco were the manufactures of diesels, so it could be suggested that they look at becoming Garratt- Goodwin Alco! Naturally steam always comes first!

Saturday 2 October 2010,

Work continued on bogies 3 and 4 , the last bogie frame was cleaned down and standard grey primer as applied. Three lateral control springs are all that stand in the way of the final assembly of bogies 3 & 4. The springs have been rebuilt by an external contractor and the final buckling will be completed in the next few weeks.

Now that the bogie work is coming to an end, some of the team are now focusing on the leading engine unit. Andy Hays is methodically drilling and tapping out 68 cylinder cladding bolt holes(per cylinder) in preparation of the fitting of the sheets. Our newest team member Andrew Bridger started the strip down of the leading engine unit valve gear and motion. The big end bearing puller tool has proven its worth with both con-rods removed with no fuss. All roller bearing are in good condition but will be pressed out to facilitate the NDT and polishing of the rods. David Clark started the rebuild of the king pin locking mechanism for the hind inner bogie.

Our next workday is Sunday the 17th of October.

Alan Gardner

Sep 20, 2010

Sunday 20 September 2010

A quick check of the weather radar confirmed that all would be well for the up coming days work. The rain fall in the past month has help ease Canberra's water shortage but it hasn't helped to progress of work on 6029.

The initial job of the day was to have another go at extracting the first of the four connecting rods. The pin at the little end was knocked out with little resistance but the hydraulic pulling tool was required to complete the extraction of the big end. The roller bearing is in good condition but it will be pressed out to facilitate the crack testing and polishing etc.

Andy Hays started to drilling out the broken bolts that secure the cylinder cladding to the cylinders. We anticipate many hours of fun here. Andy will also strip down the old cylinder covers to recover some of the more complicated tin work.

The leading outer bogie was once again lifted out following on from the first trial fit. One of the horn keep plates was removed as it was twisted, we suspect as the result of a derailment in government service. A replacement keep was fitted and all is now well. This bogie is almost ready for its final fit.

Mike Ridley continued with the strip down and assessment of the brake/electrical systems. As predicted some of the pipe work is full of grease and grime and as a consequence of this Mike has rigged up a flexible cleaning snake.

As the temperature is steadily increasing our attention will again re focus on painting, be it all over black.

Alan Gardner

Sep 13, 2010

Saturday 4th

Unfortunately today was more or less a washout. Quite amazing really when you consider that in the three years we have been working on the Garratt, this is one of only a few days when the weather has stopped us doing almost anything.

Some work was done however. Alan worked on the blast pipe, and more importantly, got to test our new toy, an 80 Ton low profile hydraulic kit from Enerpac. This will finally allow us to remove the motion, that has resisted all attempts so far. Word has it that there was 50 Tons on the gauge before the first bearing sleeve gave into Al's persistence.

Next Sunday should see all the motion off the loco and maybe even the first unit up on stands to finally allow the proper inspection of the driving wheels, axle boxes and springing. Watch this space for the next report


Aug 16, 2010

Sunday 16 August 2010

The rebuild of the four bogies has been the main focus of project in recent times. Today realised a major milestone with the completion of the leading outer bogie...well almost. more about that later.

As we are now well into the bogies the week preceding our workday was dedicated to the planning of what would be a very busy day. The team took on the challenge to reassemble the leading outer bogie from start to finish in one day. The previous workdays had all components completed, ready to go and the usual mid week notice of the workday outlined the plan for the upcoming day.

The first job was to lift the centre pivot casting on the bogie frame. Once in place, the lateral control springs are fitted and the springs pre-loaded to allow the fourth and final pin to be fitted. The lateral spring assembly requires about 5 tons of force to preload the spring before the last pin can be inserted. The team was relieved to see the pin fitted without incident, and with a lot less effort than that required on the first bogie.

Back over at the leading engine unit our resident frame expert, Andy Hays was preparing the engine unit to receive the leading bogie. The last coat of paint ensured a good protective coating and the myriad of flexible lube hoses were all fitted. The surface rust on the bogie pivot was cleaned off for the last time.

Following on from past experience and lessons learned it was decided to turn the bogie frame upside-down for assembly. This allows easy access to all of the components and as a result, the work is much easier and more comfortable for all involved. Again prior planning, and a little experience makes all the difference.

The next job was to assemble the primary leaf springs and equalising beams. The original springs were both broken and have been replaced with springs that were in stock, that originally came from Eveleigh workshops circa 1970 at the end of the steam era. The completed assemblies were lifted into place, and followed by both axle assemblies. The keep plates and bolts were fitted with the help of the rattle gun. All of the bolts are assembled with safety split pins. This arduous task delighted the crew no end, but is a sure sign that things wont come off in the future.

All was going well until Murphy struck. The inner and outer bogies are different in several ways. The most obvious is that outer bogies have no braking system. More subtle is that the outer bogie has a wheelbase about 6" longer than the inner bogie. This is to create enough clearance around the cylinders. Unfortunately this also meant that the bracketry is also different. The installed brackets for the Nathan four way oil distributers did not line up properly. Upon investigation it was found that the available brackets were from one of the inner bogies, and are about 3 inches shorter than the outer bogies. In reality, this is no big issue, but our plan to have the leading bogie completely assembled and installed by day’s end was not going to happen. Ian Senini(Father Chistmas) advised that he would have the correct brackets completed by the next workday to allow the final assembly to be completed. Eventually,after that small setback, the bogie was turned over and lifted into position in front of the engine unit. With a watchful eye, the engine unit was lifted, the bogie rolled in and lowered gently back onto the bogie. A site to behold. The bogie was so keen to get back under the engine unit, that it literally had to be held back until the engine unit was high enough. Those roller bearings really do roll easily, even after a million miles or more.

The opportunity was also taken to lift the leading inner bogie into position behind the leading engine unit. This bogie cannot be lifted into place until a new pivot bush is machined and fitted. We are hopeful that this work will be completed in the next few weeks allowing us to put this back under the engine unit as well.

Marc Miller continued with the upgrade and fit out of the MHG Guards/tool van. All of the tools now have a home and each storage area is even labelled. Marc was kind enough to donate and assemmble a brand new gas BBQ. This upgrade was welcomed by the team at lunch time as the usual smoke filled atmosphere was surprisingly clear.

The next few workdays will see the majority of the work on the leading engine unit completed. This will include the final installation of both bogies. and the temporary fitting of the leading tank. The tank is now starting to look like new, but can’t be fitted permanently until all the lube and steam lines have been checked and proven under pressure. The coming months, leading up to years end should see the leading unit looking very much like a 60 class again.

Alan Gardner

Aug 9, 2010

7 August 2010

As is typical for this time of year, the temperature gauge dropped to -3 degrees C overnight. At 8am the ground was covered in ice and the puddles of water were frozen solid. The only thing for the crew to do was to get stuck into work. Fortunately, we now have hot water, tea and coffee in our work van so we were at least warm on the inside.

Leading engine unit...
Paul Nowland completed the installation of the of the leading coupling and the draft gear. The newly purchased impact sockets and rattle gun made light work of a difficult job. Paul was happy to finish the painting of the auto coupling and headstock area. Tony continued with the application of all over black on leading engine unit and Alan completed the hook up of the brake cylinder linkages.

Boiler Cradle...
Mike Ridley continued with the clean down and assessment of the brake system piping on the boiler cradle and as usual lots of crud has been found. Mike has a patient meticulous approach to his work and he is plodding through each pipe individually. His patience will help ensure a reliable brake system.

David Clark removed the blow down valve silencer as the mounting straps were almost corroded through. A clean down of the drum revealed that it is made of 6mm thick copper sheet. In today’s prices a very expensive sub assembly. David made up two new straps ready for re installation, however the copper drum has been stored under lock and key as it is now all nice and shiny.

The leading bogie lateral control springs were fitted to the bogie centre section. The centre pivot and pins were cleaned up in preparation for the final fit. The equalising beams received their final costs of back paint. As a result of the above mentioned work this bogie is now ready for final assembly.

Front Tank...
Following the repairs and the first coats of paint by Mobile Fabrications, Peter Reynell has again commenced painting on the Garratt. He was one of those involved in the painting of the loco in 1975, and it looks like he will be the one painting it again in 2010. Peter has painted the front tank black, and reports that it is now ready for pinstriping. He also reports that if there is some help to sand and prep the bunker, it too can be painted black before the end of the month... Are there any potential volunteers reading the blog that would like to join us and help to prepare the bunker for paint?

As previously reported there is always significant activity occuring behind the scenes between work days. Ian Senini is rebuilding the four Nathan mechanical lubricators and has almost completed the first one. Rust and crud are typically found on a locomotive that has not been is service for long periods and 6029’s lubricators are no exception. Ian reports that although they are mechanically sound the crud could have resulted in a major failure.

The Westinghouse air compressor is another one of those jobs that has been ticking along and it is pleasing to report that East Australian Engineering in Melbourne have completed all of the machining. The only outstanding machining work will be the manufacture of a full set of piston rings and the rebuild of the small mechanical lubricator. The machined cylinders and heads were kindly delivered by Graeme and Kay Clark who are members at Puffing Billy Railway in Melbourne. Many thanks to the Clark’s.... it pays to have friends who are interstate.

Marc Miller continued with the fit out of the project tool van. Our donated lathe and mill drill (thanks to Peter Reynell) were installed and are ready for use.

Our resident professional photographer, Howard Moffat is away covering the federal election so apologies that we don’t have any photos for this report. Fortunately the federal election is only two weeks away so we are hopeful that Howard will be available for our workdays in September.

Alan Gardner

Jul 6, 2010

Saturday 3 July 2010

Saturday 3 July 2010

8:00 am Saturday morning, temperature -3 deg C. Yes its winter in the nation’s capital, ice is on the ground, the fog is thick and not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. First job, boil jug, second job turn on heater and third job look for that mouse.

For anyone who has worked in a railway yard, the only thing to do in cold weather is to get stuck into work, as this is the best way to get warm. Another trick is do any job that involves the use of the oxy torch. Hence why boiler makers are everyone’s friend in winter. So Shaun Barker and the project manger stripped down the suspect bogie bearing axle box. The first job was to cut off the counter sunk bolts that hold the manganese liners in place. They could not be removed with a spanner as the flats on the nuts had long disappeared and the only way to remove them was to cut them off. The next job was to undo the four long keep bolts that hold the two halves of the axle box together. As usual the last of the four bolts would not budge. So again bring in the oxy torch. The nut was sacrificed but the 18 inch long bolt was saved for re use.

As the sun started to break through the fog the team gradually got going on those bogies. Kyle, Mike and Howard stated with the strip down with the last of the four bogies. As we are now tooled up it only took three hours to complete. No surprises here just more of that crud. As previously reported one of the main driving springs has two broken top leafs and further to this the top retaining plate is missing. Fortunately the retaining key was still in place. Mike Reynell will put his skills to use and make up a replacement one and has also offered to make a few spares.

Mike Ridley continued working through the brake system piping. This also involves the servicing and greasing of the many isolating cocks. The end result being cocks that are easy to operate. Mike anticipates that the distributing valve will be going back in place in the near future.

Andy Heys, Roger Maynard and Howard Moffat continued on with the myriad of tasks around the leading engine unit. Andy is also coming in between workdays to help kick things along. Thanks Andy.

Lunch was again very busy as the 4468 crew come over to enjoy the culinary delights of Peter Reynell. Oscar the dog was also enjoying the left over sausages. It’s very pleasing to see 20+ old mates on site swapping stories and generally enjoying themselves.

The front tank now sports a new coat of grey primmer thanks to the team at mobile fabrications. They have now completed all of the hot work with only the sand blasting and undercoating stage to be completed.

Our next workday is Sunday the 18th of July. Dress is informal but warm cloths are recommended . Brrrrrr!

Alan Gardner

Jun 25, 2010

Wednesday 26 June 2010

As with any large engineering project the rebuild of 6029 is being tracked against a project Gantt chart. Today’s review of the chart showed a commencement date of 16 June 2007. So its three years to today’s date that we actually started the planning process. Work on the ground didn’t start until October of that year as it took a few months of preparation before we could start getting our hands dirty.

To celebrate this anniversary I thought I would take the opportunity to post an abridged overview in general terms. So after three years what have we found and what is the actual damage to date.

From day one 6029 was complete but looked very tired. It last ran in 1981 and was withdrawn with boiler issues, around the thermic siphon area. The initial assessment included the spare boiler the society sourced 1n the early 1990’s. It was found to be in almost new condition with little or no thinning of all plate work etc. The main problem was the smoke box area that had been modified for use in a saw mill, which has seen a new floor fitted along with the reworking of the steampipes, superheater header and not to mention 50 new elements. The elements looked to be in good condition externally but were found to be full of water. When pressure tested they started springing leaks to the point that they could only be used as a water sprinkler. So the decision was made to go for a complete new set and to date 30 have been fitted. The final twenty will be fitted in the next couple of months while the boiler is on the ground.

At the fire box end the extraction of the life expired ash pan mounting studs continues. At the back head, the foundation ring studs are almost completed and must be screwed in place before the boiler is placed in the frame. The reason being that one of the lateral cradle beams is a L section that would not allow access under the foundation ring of the boiler if it was in place. The sheet metal cladding is best fitted to the boiler while it on the ground. As previously reported it can be likened to wrestling an octopus while standing on your head. This is further complicated when the boiler is placed in the frame and is 10 feet off the ground. Ian Senini has completed all the cladding around the fire box before the anticipated boiler lift, well done Ian. Mike Reynell overhauled all of the boiler fittings and to his credit all have been tested and work well.

The boiler cradle yielded no surprises but as suspected some plate wastage around the cab area was found. This is very typical on all steam locomotive restorations as the mixture of coal dust and the cab hose make for an acidic mix. Fortunately this had not progressed far and the whole area was de rusted and repaired. The same cannot be said for the cab and the team at Eveleigh have welded new sections into the side sheets and all is well. The fire bed drop grate was completely seized and further investigation revealed that the coal dust and water had done its job here. As a consequence of this the decision has been made to replace the manual level system with one that is actuated by air cylinders. Our older firemen(project manager included) will be most grateful of this decision. Not to mention that the crew will have more room to place their feet comfortably on the foot plate without getting tangled up in the shaker levers. The timber cab floor was found to be in poor condition and will be replaced with new.

The cab was transferred to Eveleigh in 2008 with the help of our friends at Goodwin Alco. The rebuild of the cab has been very time consuming but the end result speaks for itself. We have had an offer from the team at the Powerhouse Museum to assist with the re riveting in putting the cab back together. With a look at 3265’s coal tender we anticipate a superb job that will ensure the historic appearance of 6029. We are also very grateful to 3801LTD for allowing us to do this work at the very place where the 6029 was put together all those years ago.

Both the bunker and front tank have required some patchwork to bring them up to standard. During the 1990’s the previous maintenance team had the foresight to have the interior of both tanks sandblasted and coated. The new patches will require the same treatment while there is still more work to be completed on the internal baffles. An interesting observation was that we found the original shipment stencilling on the back side sheet. It reads 'Loco 6029 consigned – Syd Australia'. The amusing part of this story is that it is one of a small number of original parts of 6029. We have now identified parts from almost every member of the class.

The engine units have been a challenge that cannot be described in glowing terms. The amount of coal dust, cylinder oil, brake block dust and road grime found is almost unbelievable. It is estimated that the removed grime would easily fill a small dump truck. The team has vowed to never allow the accumulation of this much crud again. Having said that, it highlights that these locomotives were work horses and did thier job well, but were not pampered with the same love as the high speed express locomotives. The area around all the cylinders was covered in up to one inch of that crud. Our team has been beavering away on this terrible task and the project manger has also shared the pain to try and prevent a mutiny. Anyone who comes out of the area at day’s end usually has a case of black oil spot fever.

Very early in the project all of the axles were ultrasonically tested by a specialist contractor and were all given the green light. Before this took place we were all holding our breath as this could have slowed the project significantly if the results came back with that word, 'fail'. Grease samples from all of the axles boxes were sent away for analysis and all drivers are ok. One of the bogies axle boxes has shown signs of overheating and will be investigated further before it is reassembled.

The four bogies have been one of the most significant challenges and now that we are up to number four, we have become very proficient in their strip down and rebuild. To date we have replace four broken main and three lateral control springs. All had at least one broken leaf and in one instance the retaining collar could not be found. Each bogie has two Nathan four way distributers and Ian Senini is progressively reconditioning them. The bogies are fitted with eighteen flexible high pressure grease hoses, all have been replaced ($$). Many of the steel bushes on the spring equalising beams have been replaced as most were worn over specification.

So after three years and many thousands of hours work we can start to see that light at the end of the tunnel. After we have completed the four bogies we will start and have a serious look at the engine units. The team has already started on the top end of the leading unit but this is only the start. The horn stays were known to fracture in service and the microscope will need to be applied here .As previously reported the valve gear has been removed and found to be in good condition. The connecting and coupling rods are next on the list after the big end bearing extractor has been completed.

Interesting times ahead

Alan Gardner

Jun 21, 2010

Sunday 20 June 2010

The day started with a visit from Father Christmas (AKA Ian Senini) who asked everyone to gather around his trailer. One by one we were all given a component that Ian had completed at his home workshop. This included two Nathan four way oil distributers, stoker controls and the first of the DV5 mechanical lubricators. Ho ho ho!

The last of the four bogies was removed and as expected it was covered in bucket loads of crud(technical term for cylinder oil and coal dust). It was with great confidence that the guys started the strip down of this last bogie. Following on from the expertise gained from the first three bogies the decision was made to roll the bogie upside down. This allows for easy access to the myriad of split pins and the eventual use of the torque gun. It now takes about four hours to strip a bogie compared to four days when we first started. Although this work has been enjoyable the team is now looking forward to a different challenge that will hopefully not include working on our backs.

The completed draft package was lifted into position, but it took a bit of grunting and groaning before the last bolt was tightened up. The next job in this area will be to fit up the leading coupling. We have also ordered new flexible brake hoses so the front end of 6029 will soon start to look like a finished locomotive.

Work continued on the Westinghouse brake distributing valve and the fitting of two new cup seals to the leading brake cylinders. The old leather seals were still serviceable however the opportunity was take to replace them because they cannot be accessed once the locomotive is completed. In fact the front tank has to be lifted off before access can be obtained!

The steam cleaner is receiving some long overdue repairs with David building a new trolley at his home in Cootamundra. Thanks David

Now that the we are well into the bogies, planning is now focusing on the engine units proper. The next big chunk of work will be the removal of connecting and coupling rods. The big end roller bearings require the manufacture of a pulling tool. This tool screws onto the inner race of the bearing and with the push of a hydraulic ram the inner race is popped off. This will allow the removal of the connecting rod, all be it with the overhead crane. Most of the valve gear has already been removed and assessed to be in good condition, but we anticipate many hours of metal polishing here.

Our next workday is Saturday 3 July.

Alan Gardner

Jun 15, 2010

Tuesday 15 June

Between workdays.

The enthusiasm of our workforce is something that I am very proud of. One example of this is the willingness of the team to organise extra workdays whenever possible. Last Sunday Paul, Andy and Tony continued on with the rebuild of the leading bogie. The main fame is presently turned upside down allowing access to all of the nooks and crannies that are usually inaccessible. Thanks guys...job well done.

As Monday was a public holiday, the Sydney team continued with the rebuild of the cab at Eveleigh.

Mike Ridley got stuck into areas beneath the cab floor that had corroded due to the accumulation of water and coal dust. The corroded areas had been replaced with new metal a few weeks ago, but needed to have the welds dressed and the whole area cleaned and painted.

Ron Denholm removed old rivets from one of the side panels to allow the frames to be separated from the panels, allowing the corrosion that was presently distorting the panels to be removed and treated. Mike Reynell fitted new material making up the new door frames and Ian Macdonald delivered some new panels to replace some that were beyond repair and took away some old panels, including the roof, to use as templates so that he can manufacture the replacements we require to bring the cab back to life.

Peter Reynell spent a lot of the day drilling holes in new components preparing them for fitting in the near future. He finished making the brackets that will attach the roof to the cab sides....Thanks again guys.

Alan Gardner

May 31, 2010

Monday 31 May 2010.

The Westinghouse brake system fitted to 6029 is the number 6 type. Originally designed as the next generation, state of the art system, it was first used on the diesel powered Burlington Railroad Zephyr high speed rail motors of the 1930’s. It was adapted to Australian use in the 1940’s as the A6 ET type. A denoting Australian, 6 being the system type and ET denoting engine and tender. Later versions would also have 3 and 4 control pipes that would allow the driver of the leading locomotive to apply and release the independent locomotive brakes when double heading etc. Naturally 6029 does not have a coal tender but for all other purposes she is fitted with a A6ET brake system. Maybe it could be renamed A6EB, the B denoting a bunker, but that would be a little over the top.

During the winter months, many of the small brake components are being overhauled off site. The first of the brake components to be tackled is the air compressor. This vital piece of equipment is probably the most important sub assembly on the locomotive second only to the boiler. For instance if the air compressor fails in traffic the locomotive is effectively un-serviceable until it is fixed. From the outset is was decided to completely overhaul the compressor to the highest possible standard to ensure that as far as possible,it will give reliable service.

Presently the air compressor has been stripped down to the last nut and bolt. All of the cylinder bores were measured and although still within limits it was decided to machine all bores back to completely parallel. Both of the piston rods have been hard chromed with only new piston rings to be ordered. When fitted 6029’s compressor will be almost better than new and we anticipate many years of trouble free operation.

The distributing valve has been stripped for assessment. As suspected it was full of gummed up dirt and grease. The triple valve portions piston ring was seized solid. These rings are very expensive to replace and very easy to break. After soaking the ring and piston in acetone for a few days it eventually freed up. The relay portion is fitted with a neoprene cup seal. This seal was found to be in good condition and will be ok for future use. The usual primer and 2 coats of black enamel have been applied in preparation for assembly and eventual testing.

The duplex air compressor governor, feed vales x 4 and the drivers brake valves will be next on the list. Looks like there will be many more hours work in the shed this winter.

Alan Gardner

May 26, 2010

Monday 24 May 2010

A major milestone completed.

Our resident old mate, Ian Senini advised me this morning that the sheet metal cladding around the fire box area was completed. The email simply said FINISHED.

Ian took on this intricate job late last year and I can report that this task was not easy. Anyone who has worked on sheet metal boiler cladding will tell you that it can be likened to wrestling an octopus while standing on your head. The sheets are bulky, awkward and cumbersome to fit. Ian ended up making most sheets from new and in turn spray painted each sheet in gloss black.

Ian has advised that he is now looking forward to getting back to a heavy metal job. As a consequence of this he now has all four Nathan mechanical lubricators at his home workshop. This will be a great winters job in front of the heater , cant wait to see the end result. See you in Spring time Ian!

Thanks also to Ian's wife Ailsa; two more sets of hands are sometimes needed.

Alan Gardner

May 19, 2010

Sunday 16 May 2010

The cladding of the firebox area continued with Ian fitting the last of the sheets that cover the flexible stay caps. Now that most of the sheets are in place, Paul was able to fit the steam isolating valves that feed steam to the power reverser and the turbo generator. The pipes that run on top of the cladding sheets were taken out of storage and assessed for condition and repair. All future boiler work will now focus at the smoke box end. This will start with the fitting of the last 20 super heater elements that arrived a few weeks ago.

A parallel task to the bogie rebuilds is the leading unit draft package and the cleaning of the leading engine frame. This work was completed and all of the associated assemblies will fitted at our next workday. This will facilitate the final fitting of the two completed bogies(when finished) to the leading engine unit. David and Tony continued with the clean down and assessment of the leading bogie. Thanks to Paul, Howard and Milton, as they were able to transfer most of the grime from the leading engine unit onto themselves. Our new volunteer Andy, was introduced to the electric wire brush and by day’s end had more parts ready for painting.

Specialist contactors are now on site repairing the front tank and addressing the associated rust issues. When they have completed the hot work, the tank will be sand blasted and prime coated, ready for lifting back onto the engine unit when the time comes.

Our next workday is Saturday 5 June.

Alan Gardner

May 11, 2010

Tuesday 11 May 2010.

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed donations to the project recently. As a result of this great effort the front tank is now receiving some attention. The old repair patches are being cut out and renewed with new steel sections. Some internal baffle plates will also be replaced. When the hot work is completed the whole tank will be sand blasted and prime coated by a specialist contractor. Our onsite spray painter, Peter Reynell, will soon apply some serious top coats of basic black. It has been a few years since Peter first painted 6029 but he assures us that he has not lost his skill in this area. Maybe a bit slower though.

This Sunday the 16th of May is our next workday and the leading bogie and leading engine unit will the top priority tasks. If we realise a good turn up of volunteers for the next few workdays we will soon be fitting both bogies and the front tank to the leading engine unit. WOW!

Ian has almost completed the cladding around the firebox area and he will soon be looking for a new Job. Ian has offered to put his skills to work on the mechanical lubricators, well done Ian. Bruce is also working away at home on the power reverser and Mike & Co are progressing well with the Cab at Eveleigh. He advises that the assembly stage is about to start.

So as you can see we are progressing on several fronts so please make the effort to come along and help get 6029 steaming. Again, if we get good numbers we should see the leading engine unit back together in the next couple of months.

Please note our project supporters are now listed on this page. Particular thanks to Goodwin Alco. Also thanks to Mike for keeping the blog page up to date and our project mascot, Oscar the Border Collie.

Alan Gardner

May 4, 2010

John and Kyle’s Excellent Adventure.

When the call went out for a volunteer to collect the super heater elements from Ballarat, I thought that this would be a bit of an adventure, so the hand shot up.

I was selected from the throng, and set about the logistics. My copilot was to be John.

Friday April 30 saw us on the road, and well clear of Yass, before sunrise. We didn’t get to see sunrise, more of an increase in light between fog patches. The drive was quite uneventful. I have not been on the Hume since the Coolac bypass was finished. Also notable was the extended dual carriageway into Albury and the start of works to bypass Tarcutta. As well as other things I can’t remember.

Our trusty Avis Isuzu performed flawlessly. We made Ballarat by about 4pm. We found Glenn at home on his RDO. The elements had been neatly stacked in five packs of four. Each pack consisted of four elements the same size. Here is where a little excitement started. The longest elements were 4.5m, and the truck was 4.2m. We had a vague plan to remove the doors and let the last foot hang in the breeze. This plan proved to be not needed. John has an uncanny spatial awareness about him, and was convinced we could make it work without removing doors. This was done by restacking the packs. Each new pack had one of each sized element. This meant we were able to get the first three packs in the truck diagonally, and the remaining five elements were placed on the tray under the frames that Glenn had made. The photos paint a better picture.

After an hour or so, the truck was loaded, and we were very relieved not to have had to remove the doors.

Glenn took us down to the Steamrail yard and showed us around. They have a number of D3’s there, and two R Class locos. Class leader R700 is under restoration. It didn’t look much, as most of it is elsewhere. Sound familiar? I had known that the R Class locos were gauge convertible. I had no idea how you would do this, but now I have. They have packers in the frame that you remove. This makes it narrower. All you need is new axles, new bogies? And a lot of plumbing redone, and you’re away. I imagine this is a pretty serious job, and could take a while. I think the clock is on R766, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

After a stroll around the yard, in which time we saw three (3) passenger trains arrive at nearby Ballarat Station, we said our farewells to Glenn and headed out for dinner.

Saturday saw us on the road soon after 5.30 am and back at Kingston before 4pm. There the friendly folk, and their forklift, helped unload the truck, and the job was done.

Bring on the hot steam!

Friday 30 April and Saturday 1 May.

As Canberra is realising perfect autumn weather, the opportunity was taken to continue with cleaning of the bogies and the leading engine unit. As we were working for two days, Roger and Jacquie Maynard came down from Sydney to help out. As Barry is also helping with the rebuild of 4468 he took the opportunity to dedicate Friday to 6029. At day’s end the leading engine unit pilot beam and cylinders started looking like new. Still plenty of grime under the cylinders but progress is steady.

Saturday was business as usual, with the continued effort on the bogies. At long last the life expired centre pivot liner was removed with the help of an oxy gouging tip. This is quite a large bush at 19 ¼ inches in diameter and it is too big for our small machine shop. Quotes are being obtained from local contractors. The leading engine unit front bogie strip down was also completed. The two outer bogies are about 12 inches longer than the inner bogie. A quick check with the tape measure confirmed that this would allow clearance of the steam cylinders. This bogie was literally covered in congealed cylinder oil, but fortunately no coal dust as per the inner bogies. This has conserved the metal under the oil so we anticipate no major issues with the reassembly. Naturally, after the steam cleaner has done its job, all the components will be inspected and reassembled.

As we are well into the bogie rebuilds the opportunity has been taken to clean up around the leading unit cylinders. Everyone who has taken on this job (project manager included) has emerged from under the engine units with black spots all over themselves. Tony and Roger took a turn at this insidious dirty task and it is pleasing to report that this area is now looking great in grey undercoat. Our next workday should complete the final top coats of black paint. The team also had time to start cleaning up around the brake cylinders and we are now ready to reassemble both cylinders.

Ian continued with the cladding of the fire box and notes with some confidence that he has only three sheets to go! Great job Ian.

Now for the big news. The last of the superheater elements were delivered from the specialist contractor in Victoria. If anyone wants to learn how to fit elements please don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks to Kyle and John for offering to go down to Victoria for a nice short drive.

Our next workday is Sunday 16 May, all are welcome.

Alan Gardner

Apr 29, 2010

6029 in 1981

Here is a YouTube video from 1981 by Graeme Reid. Some of his description is below.

reidgck April 20, 2010In June 1981 the Canberra branch of the Australian Railway Historical Society, operated a tour with Garratt 6209 from Canberra, Australia's national capital
(ACT), to Sydney, and then to Parkes in the central west of the state of New South Wales, and back via a circular route via Cootamundra and Goulburn.

This video was taken in the time when home video filming was new. Anyhow, after all this time, I attained some softwear and figured out how to use it, enabling the editing and the transforming of the action, to appropriate files for posting on the net which didn't even exist in those days. Soundtracks to scenes are all the original.

After the introduction shot, the first action scene was taken high in the Blue Mountains just before Lithgow at the restored Zig Zag Railway location. The scenes after that, were taken west of Bathurst beginning with a shot before sunrise in which the Garratt, the headlight of which is piercing the dawning light, demonstrates its whistle in a shrill mode, and gives a sample of its power and bark while approaching a level crossing. There are various other scenes in this 10 minute video. Much had to be edited out because of time limits. Some such scenes were the crossing of interstate freight trains, one scene is with a 46 class electric and a 45 class diesel electric up front which passed at the Zig Zag site, and the Indian Pacific passenger train from Perth, and others.

See the rest of his comments here and part 2 of the video here

Apr 21, 2010

Wednesday 21 April 2010. A personal perspective.

Recently I was asked some pertinent questions with regard to the rapid progress of the project. In particular how can we get things done so quickly and why can we do it where others have failed. All good questions and in some respect they not easily answered. I guess that from the outset we have to question why we do it and what do we get out of volunteering on such a project. For instance if you are looking to make big dollars in your work life then forget about steam preservation. If you are looking for awards, praise and public recognition then forget about steam preservation. If you don’t like long hard hours and dirty work then forget about steam preservation.

So in the first instance we have to ask why? Well as someone once said, because we can. For me it’s the sight, smell and power of a steam locomotive that does it. Personally, to see a static locomotive in a museum is not enough, as the locomotive wasn’t built to stand still, it was built to go. As important as it is to conserve an artefact, for me, to preserve it as originally designed, is much more important. So that’s why I do it, nothing more and nothing less. Having said that, there is something else that can’t be defined in words, rather it’s a personal satisfaction. I just love steam locomotives and yes, the bigger the better.

It’s now three years since we started the project and I hope my drive and enthusiasm for 6029 has rubbed off onto others. From the outset I knew that we could not achieve our goals without building a strong team. It is with some satisfaction that we recently realised that over seventy different people have physically worked on the project. Yes some have come and gone but most have stayed. I believe that this is directly attributed to the teams can do attitude and the rapid overall progress. I am not going to say that its always been a bed of roses and that we have never been criticized. Words like... you will never do it... you won’t get it done in that time and... you can’t do it for that much have been offered. In my mind that’s just a reflection on the person making the comment. What they are saying is "I can’t do it so how can you." Well again its simple, because I can.

From the projects perspective we have now turned the corner. The first of the four bogies is completed with the second well on the way. The replacement boiler is certified ready to be lifted onto the boiler cradle. As can be seen by the recent photos our attention is now turning to the engine units proper. Many parallel, off site tasks are taking place. The cab at Eveleigh is almost ready for re assembly and we have accepted an offer to help out with the riveting. The power reverser, cylinder drains, boiler cladding, cab floor and Nathan lubrication systems are all being rebuilt thanks to our network of volunteers. So yes it’s all happening.

The big question now being asked is when will it be finished. Well as Jack Corrick of US rail preservation once said. The speed at which the project progresses is directly proportionate to how much you have to spend. But having said that, it can’t be done with just money, we need willing hands and we need them now. It all gets down to help, both financially and physically. If you have donated money in past, thanks, but I would ask you to consider digging deep again, and you haven’t donated before please consider it now. Having said that, helping out on our workdays is just as important. We have many tasks that just require willing hands and yes it dirty hard work. If you aren’t the strong type then painting can be just as satisfying.

Exciting times indeed and why, well its because we can.

Alan Gardner

Apr 19, 2010

One Mans Shed

It must be said that several of the people involved in the restoration of 6029 are contributing more than could ever have been expected. Ian is one of those people, dedicating a huge amount of time and effort to restore the boiler cladding and some boiler fittings to better than new condition. You will have seen the results of his panel beating in other posts.

Something you will not have seen, is the amount of work he puts in at home, repairing and re-manufacturing parts required for the project. Take a look at the photos and you will see that his workshop is being put to very good use, and I think the we can all agree that his help is most welcome...

Thanks Ian, from everyone involved in the project!

Sunday 18th of April 2010

As there was no steam services this weekend Paul Nowland and Dave Malcolm dedicated Saturday to 6029. Paul fitted the replacement manganese liners on the inner hind bogie and then continued with wire brushing the myriad of small bogie components. Dave helped out with some weld repairs to the lateral control spring links for the leading inner bogie. Paul spent Saturday night on site in one of our luxurious TAM sleeping cars. Fortunately for Paul the weather was quite mild.

Sunday morning started with Paul setting up the power leads and air compressor lines in preparation of the day’s work. It was pleasing to see a good workforce turn up so the opportunity was taken to give the work site a good clean up . Kyle and John (the bogie boys) fitted the last of the brake components to the inner leading bogie. It is now safe to say that this bogie is now finished, well done guys only three to go.

Ian and Paul fitted the boiler cladding sheets to the fireman’s side of the fire box. The end product was a joy to behold as it was to Ian’s usual high standard. The boiler cladding sheets are being fitted before the boiler is lifted onto the cradle. This will allow the easy fitting of the injector starting vales and feed lines.

Marc, Peter, Josh and Howard worked on and around the leading engine unit. As usual bucket loads of grime and baked on cylinder oil gave way to the cast steel engine bead. The two leading sand boxes were removed and as suspected they were full of congealed 30 year old locomotive sand. As this problem was anticipated both were dried out on a pre prepared wood fire. One hour later the sand was easily drained and blown clear with compressed air. The removal of the sand boxes facilitated access to the two brake cylinders and both piston were stripped out for assessment. The cup seals were found to be in good condition and were cleaned down with the steam cleaner. The draft package for the leading engine unit was steam cleaned and will soon be painted in preparation for its final fit.

The above mentioned describes a series of parallel tasks that form part of the critical path plan. The work around the leading engine unit must take place before the two bogies are finally lifted into position. All being well the leading tank will then be lifted for its final fit. However to realise this major milestone we need your help now. No skills required just willing hands. To move things along we will be holding a two day work session. This will be the 30th of April and Saturday the 1st of May. All welcome.

So it’s all hands on deck as we are starting to put 6029 back together and we need your help now!

Alan Gardner

Apr 7, 2010

Saturday 3 April 2010

4:30 am, yes the joys of operating steam locomotives, early starts and cold mornings. Some of the team started the day by helping with the light up of locomotives 1210 and 3016. We could only imagine how it will be when 6029 is being prepared for operation. After both engines whistled out it was time for a cup of tea and a well earned break.

Malcolm had the privilege of manning the steam cleaner and as usual bucket loads of oil and grime revealed actual metal that is the leading engine unit. Between blasts of the steam cleaner, Mike started the strip down of the leading coupling. As usual all the bolts weren’t going to let go easily but with the aid of the oxy torch they eventually let go. With a few grunts and pulls the coupling fell to the ground. The draft package behind the coupling was next and yes more frozen bolts. The keep plate dropped and with a few taps of the sledge hammer, the whole assembly let go. The draft gear takes all of the buffing forces of the train and it is always inspected during maintenance to ensure that it is in good condition. Having said that a few hours with the steam cleaner will be required before this inspection can take place. After the draft package was removed, Malcolm moved in with, yes, the steam cleaner. One more run over with the electric wire brushes and at long last some metal primer was applied to the engine frame and cylinder area.

As usual the bogie work continued with the fitting of the flexible hoses and Nathan four way distributing valves. This system delivers oil to the bogie horn guides and axle box slides. David continued with the clean down of the equalising beams for the second bogie. These beams have two sets of hardened bushes fitted and all are in poor condition. Mike is organising the manufacture of a replacement set.

The last job for the day was to clean up around the site and re organise the more components in preparation for the next work day!

Our next workday is Sunday the 18th of April.

Alan Gardner

Mar 22, 2010

Sunday 22 March 2010

Before we started work today, Paul presented three pressure gauges he has completed at home. One steam drifting and two brake, all looking magnificent. This is typical of the many tasks that are taking place behind the scenes and one reason why the project is progressing so well. One pleasing fact is that almost every day a sub project is being carried and in turn is being stored ready for fitting as required.

The bogie work continued with the fitting of the Nathan four way oil distributers to the inner leading bogie. These sub assemblies were rebuilt by Ian at his home workshop and are a testament to his skills. Kyle, Stuart and Paul fitted most of the completed components required to complete this bogie. The bogie team’s advice is that the second one will be completed in much less time as they now have a firm grip on how to rebuild 60 class bogies.

Ian continued with the fitting of the boiler cladding crinoline bands in preparation for the installation of the fireman’s side cladding sheets to the fire box area. It was noted that some spiders have taken up residence in the installed cladding however the first fire should sort this out. After lunch Gavin assisted Ian with the installation of the sheet metal cladding for the main stream pipe that runs down the fireman’s side of the boiler cradle.

Howard continued with the de-greasing and steam cleaning of the leading engine unit. The years of grime and cylinder oil are gradually allowing access to actual metal. All of this work has facilitated a preliminary inspection of the draft package behind the leading coupler. The coupling and draft package will be removed at the next workday.

Alan Gardner

Mar 12, 2010

More progress

Paul has been doing some work at home on the Garratt's pressure gauges and sent these before and after pictures of the gauges. Great stuff Paul, just 11 to go!

Mar 8, 2010

Saturday 6 March 2010

As we are restoring 6029 outdoors we always make a note as to what we can expect with the weather for the upcoming workday. Showers with the possibility of rain and at 9am things were quite wet. Lucky for us the showers had cleared by lunch time and ironically we were feeling the effects of the sun by day’s end. As most of the loco ops guys were in Sydney with our operating locomotive 3016, the BBQ was held down on the 6029 work site. The 4468 diesel guys came over for lunch and as usual we solved all of the world’s problems before we went back to work.

The first bogie is now almost complete with only a few minor tasks left to do. These being the fitting of the pedestal keep plates and the manufacture of a new centre pivot bowl. The lateral control springs had to be fitted before lowering the frame into position. They were assembled with the aid of the ten ton hydraulic portable power pack. It took a few goes and we were all happy when the last pin was fitted. The reassembly went very smoothly, however the bolts holding the inner manganese liners had to be modified as they were rubbing against the suspension equalising beams. The bogie work site is starting to look like a traditional bogie repair shop and visitors can now compare a completed bogie with the striped down version.

Ian is continuing to fit the boiler cladding sheets and as a result of his efforts the drivers side is now complete. He is now concentrating on the fireman side. Now that drivers side cladding is fitted the injector feed pipes and starting valve were trial fitted and as expected some adjustments are required. Paul removed the old insulating rope to facilitate the annealing of these pipes. One advantage of copper feed pipe is that they can be adjusted for alignment after annealing. Unfortunately steam engineering of the 1950’s didn’t allow for true replication with manufacturing. As a result of this each boiler is slightly different dimensionally and most pipes have to be adjusted for fit. Ian has also experienced this issue with the cladding sheet metal and several trail fits and adjustments are required before final fitting.

Our next workday day is Sunday 21 March 2010.

Mar 4, 2010

Progress happens when you are not looking

Progress is being made all over the place. Photos below show the progress being made on the super-heater elements in Melbourne while in Sydney, some more exposed metal has been painted and the long awaited reassembly has started on the cab at Eveleigh.

Included is a picture of the Garratt in 1975, when it was last painted. A scene not too far away, as long as donations keep coming in.

Feb 23, 2010

Sunday 21 February 2010

Again work is continuing on the bogies with yet more grime removal. Stuart and Paul experienced the joys of broken stud removal. Typically these studs are rusted in solid and the only way to remove them is by drilling them out and re threading by means by of a tap. No not something that is attached to a sink, rather the tool that cuts the thread. The centre has to be accurately marked and centre popped. A small pilot drill is applied and then the tapping size drill is last to go through. A small picking chisel extracts the remanding thread and the tap is screwed through by means of the tap wrench. Sounds easy but its not, as it is very easy to drill off centre and a slight change of angle can be disastrous. Fortunately Stuart served his apprentiship with the Victorian Railways at it Newport workshops. Stuart advised that it had been some time since he had done this type of work however with only one broken drill by days end this was judged as a good result. Stuart shared his skills with Paul and as a result both are now qualified as stud extractors or words to that effect! One can picture them as bouncers at a night club extracting studs. After they were finished with the studs the bogie was given its fist coat of black paint.

After cooking the BBQ Barry set to the leading head stock by use of the electric grinder and wire brush. As usual most of the old paint flakes ended up on Barry but the headstock now looks great.

Alan cut out the rusted centre bowl from the from the leading inner bogie. This should delight our bogie guys Kyle and John as both had the day off due to other commitments. Safe to come back guys, jobs done! In truth both have done a magnificent job so far, and a day off now and then is well deserved.

A big thankyou to all who organised the fund raiser trip to Kandos on Saturday the 20th of February. Thanks also to all who supported the project by purchasing tickets. Last but not least a thankyou to 3801 LTD for making their carriage available, it was a great day out.

The next workday will be Saturday the 6th of March.


Feb 7, 2010

Saturday 6th of February 2010.

The rebuild of the bogies continues, all be it slowly. Kyle and John completed the assembly of the first equalising beams and main springs assemblies. The bogie frame is almost ready to be lifted on the wheels. The centre pivot liner must be replaced and our efforts to date have only realised colourful language and frustration. Kyle and John have assured us that they will have the liner extracted at the next workday. Vince cleaned up the four horn keep plates as they will be needed when the bogie frame is lifted onto the wheels.

Malcolm cleaned down and crack tested the eight manganese liners for the second bogie. Only sixteen to go hey Malcom! These liners were completely seized against the axle boxes.

Peter Anderson, Peter Reynell and the Alan stripped down the Nathan lubrication system around the leading unit cylinders. This allowed access to the engine bed and cylinder castings. The build up of baked on cylinder oil and grime in this area is significant. This grime is up to 25 mm thick and the use of the steam cleaner made no progress with its removal. Most of the day was spent chiselling baked on cylinder oil by hand. As the lubrication components were removed they were carefully tagged and stored for eventual overhaul. Lots of home work for the project manager.

Our next workday is Sunday 21st of February.

Jan 20, 2010

16-17 January 2010, The hard slog!

16-17 January 2010, The hard slog!

The success of our first super weekend for 2010 cannot be understated. However having said that, the work on the four bogies is not glamorous or exciting, rather its dirty and very exhausting work. The many years of outdoor storage coupled with the loads of grime is gradually being overcome. To this end our dedicated team completed the strip down of the second bogie. The usual crack testing and extensive use of the electric wire brushes facilitated the application of grey primer paint. The assessment of the stripped down bogie is as follows.

1. Bogie frame casting cleaned, crack tested and prime coated. All mounting studs to be replaced with new.

2. 8 off manganese horn liners, replace 2 and repair 4.

3. Replace all bushes and some suspension pins.

4. Replace 2 off bogie bearing springs, very expensive fortunately we have several spares in stock.

The main roller bearings will require assessment, however 30 years of grime will have to be removed first.

The third bogie strip down commenced but the ability to access the bolts was hampered by inches of baked on grime and cylinder oil. This bogie supports the leading unit cylinders and it seems that the NSWGR railway maintenance crews didn’t have pay for the bill for cylinder oil. Further visual investigation around the leading cylinders confirmed that all the oil lube lines are either loose or in very poor condition. These lube lines are high pressure hydraulic type and they are not cheap to replace.

Work continued on the boiler cladding around the fire box area. The re-use of the sheet meal that came off the old boiler is causing Ian a few headaches. However the end result is a site to behold.

The MHG service van now has 415v and 240V power and lights. We are now on the lookout for a fridge and hot water unit or at very least a kettle. A big thankyou to Pat the electrician for his work on this van.

By the end of the two days all of the team were happy to go home and like me probably spent a significant amount of time in the shower scrubbing off dirt and grease.


As the bogies are going together we are putting together an accurate cost against this critical work. When we finish the bogies the locomotive will start to go back together. However without the funds we will have to defer the reassembly until we have the finance.

We need $ 10,100

• $3,200 : Hydraulic pressure hoses. Theses hoses deliver the oil to the horn guides from the Nathan mechanical lubricators.
• $2,000: To replace broken manganese horn liners.
• $2,500: To replaced the bogie pivot bowl liners.
• $1,000: For replacement of studs, bolts washers.
• $1,400: For the replacement of worn bushes and pins.

Sponsor a specific item.

Naturally any donation helps, however we are also asking to donate against a specific item. For example if a donation is offered against an item from the above list, a certificate will be issued. This certificate will be an official 6029 donation certificate listing the item and the downers name. Because all of the items listed are over $1,000, two free tickets will be allocated for the first official run of 6029.

Remember we are at the turn around point, when the bogies are finished we start on the home straight!

Alan Gardner

Jan 3, 2010

Saturday, 2nd of January 2010

As previously reported the four bogies are the main focus of work until they are completed.

•Bogie number one was moved in preparation of its lift back onto its wheels. The wheels are now in place on the track adjacent to the bogie frame. The centre pivot casting was fitted onto the bogie frame to facilitate the fitting of the lateral control springs. Once the lateral control springs are fitted the bogie frame will be lifted onto the wheels, equalising beams and main springs.

•Bogie number two was stripped down to almost the last nut and bolt. However one wheel set was seized solid in the horn guides.The use of crow bars and our hydraulic porta-power facilitated its removal. This bogie was situated directly below the cab and a consequence of this every passage and hole was literally filled with coal dust and cylinder oil. The crew anticipates many enjoyable hours removing all the gunk and grime....NOT!

•Bogie number three was rolled out clear of the leading engine unit. As anticipated, it's condition is better than the first two, as it is further away from coal dust, heat and cylinder oil. No work will take place on the bogie until the first two are completed. Its overhaul will be faster as there is no brake gear on the outer bogies.

•Bogie number four, being the last, is still in place at the outer end of the hind unit. The King pin and guard iron’s will have to be removed before it can be rolled clear of the engine units. A line up of all staff will take place at the next work day to determine who is the smallest and skinniest member of our team. This lucky person will have the privilege of removing the last of the four king pins. Did we mention that this is the dirtiest part of the loco!

Thanks to Kyle, Stuart, Barry, Paul, Mike and Peter. These guys, and John (wasn’t in today), are fast becoming 60 class bogie experts.

Back over at the boiler, Ian continues to beaver away with the fire box crinoline support bands. He's also prepping the sheet metal for its final fit once the crinoline bands are completed. Mike has delivered the safety valves x 3. He has also finishing the rework of the front end regulator cams and valves at his Sydney workshop.

The next workday is Sunday the 17th of January, all welcome.

Alan Gardner.