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

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