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

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