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 23, 2011

Sunday 21 August 2011

The day started with the usual time honored cup of tea and a chat. The completed cross compound compressor was on site as it had been delivered during the previous week and the first job for the day was to fit it to the smoke box. Once bolted down the associated pipes were hooked up including the governor and lubrication piping.

The two main reservoirs were offered up and fixed in place with the retaining straps. Sounds easy to say in one sentence but the alignment and fitting of the pipe work was no easy task. Anyone would think that we are getting good at this type of thing. The outstanding smaller valves such as the independent release valve were fitted into place and as the main reservoirs were now fitted we are basically done with the brakes. The only outstanding task will be the fitting of the three and four control pipes that run from the drivers brake valve to the distributing valve. These pipes cannot be fitted until the cab is in place.

The trailing pivot nuts were adjusted/backed off and after the usual three man pull helped by a four foot long extension bar, the unit settled down into position. The constant contact side bearings were checked for alignment and all was well. As we had a good turnout of volunteers we were able to also have another look at the stoker trough and it was decided to remove the two leading support brackets. As originally fitted they were held in with bolts however, later in life they are welded into place. That’s OK in service but it prevents the stoker trough from being removed as designed. The use of an angle grinder and about six cutting discs later and both brackets were removed. The fork lift made easy work to slide the trough out and as suspected it will require a full rebuild.

To say that we had a significant workday would be an understatement as we completed a few milestones that are noteworthy in context to the overall project. These being the completion of the brake system, the removal of the stoker trough and the adjustment of the pivots. Having completed these tasks the locomotive can now again be shunted safely. From a strategic overview there are no more strip and assessment tasks to complete. In essence we are putting 6029 back together and we hare now planning for the steam testing and subsequent operational systems checking. To this end the hind bunker/tank has be fitted to facilitate the up coming steam tests later this year. However we have a lot to do before this can take place... for instance the ash pan and fire grates still have to be rebuilt and the smoke box fit out will be the next major tasks. We still have to fit 20 superheater elements, the blast pipe, main steam lines and the front end throttle assembly.

Alan Gardner

Aug 15, 2011

Restoration in the open!

Just in case you thought that we always had it good here in Canberra, take a look at these two panoramas of our outdoor resto's. Its cold and the rain was about to set in and stop work.

6029 is coming along very nicely, and will soon be moved undercover to have some of the finer work completed. We are all looking forward to having a roof over our heads, with a dry environment free of rain and sunburn after 5 years in the open. In truth, we have had a really good run, with very few workdays called off due to bad weather, but with the drought over and summer coming, that may all change.

4468 however will have to remain out doors for a while longer. You can see from the picture, that there has been a lot of work done already on removing and controlling corrosion in the frames that support the body, but there is still a lot to do. Note that the shop bogies look so wrong under a large diesel... In their past life they were under a 30 class tender.

Aug 8, 2011

Saturday 6 August 2011

As the weather forecast wasn’t that promising, the team got off to an early start. Paul Nowland fitted up both the brakestands with the overhauled valves. While in this area, Tony fitted the new driver's side sub floor ably assisted by Paul. This is a two man job with Tony inserting the bolts on the top side and Paul tightening up the nuts on the bottom side, or was it the other way round?

Graeme Kidgell continued with the drivers side injector feed pipe system, working through to the steam starting valve adjacent to the outer firebox wrapper. The last pipe that joins the steam manifold to the injector starting valve was trial fitted and to no surprise, wasn’t even close. After a few goes at heating the pipe with the oxy it was decided that it would be replaced and in actual fact the pipe was found to be suffering from fatigue cracks. For safety reasons both the drivers and fireman’s side pipes will be replaced with new.

Just before lunch the team moved onto the final adjustment of the leading pivot and the new 3 ½ inch AF socket, and inch drive ratchet made this labour intensive job slightly easier. Well only just. The adjusting nuts were backed off and re-set. The next task will be to fit the pivot locking plate with four off 1 1/8” BSW nuts.

While the crew stopped for lunch the rain started coming down and a couple of morning showers soon turned into constant deluge. At 14:00 hours it was decide to call it a day and go home to a hot cup of tea.

Alan Gardner

Aug 7, 2011

The Air Compressor

Alan Gardner has been quietly working away on the Garratt's cross compound air compressor for a while now, with little bits being ordered here and there as money has become available. Some time ago the piston rods were hard chromed by Diamond Hard chrome in Sydney, and the castings were all sent to Melbourne specialist, Laurie Cameron from East Australian Engineering, where they were given a top notch overhaul. The bores were accurately re-machined and measured before being kindly returned to us by PBR member, Graham Clark on a trailer.

Just recently the new rings were ordered and that has allowed him to begin the reassembly in his spare time, and as you can see in the pictures, it is almost complete and looking very, very good. Now he is only waiting on some new gaskets, before it gets tested on air and refitted to the loco...

With stuff like this happening, you can really see the loco returning to steam in the not too distant future.