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