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 12, 2012

Things are still happening!

Its been a few weeks since we had any updates on the progress of 6029, but rest assured, things have been happening...

Over the last month the Saturday work days have resulted in a number of milestones being achieved.

Firstly, the cab windows are almost completely remounted, including the round porthole windows at the front of the cab that had been previously blanked off by the NSWGR. Andy has labored hard and delivered some highly polished brass window mounts, great wood work around the side cab frames and completed the mounting of the small gutters running along the roof line. Andy is now off on a well earned Christmas holiday back in Manchester, maybe he might meet some of the people who originally built 6029.

The fireman's side of the hind engine unit has now seen two major milestones being achieved. Firstly after much heating with the old faithful oxy wrench, the split pins holding the rod union pins in place were finally extracted allowing the team to reassemble the complete set of valve linkages.  All rods had to be located and where necessary, either re-polished or polished for the first time - the Canberra weather does create problems for bare unprotected metal. Some manual labor was needed to lift and lock in the expansion link and the associated bearing housing. Of course the bearing housing has specific length bolts that can only be seen to be in the wrong hole after tightening with the rattle gun - this makes for good practice on the gun and a great lesson learnt... "all things are numbered for a reason" !

All paint on the frame (actually ancient grease and muck) behind the driving wheels on the RH engine was stripped and then red oxide undercoat applied followed a week later with the infamous black top coat - it takes some 24 hours for the oxide paint to dry hence the delay of a week in apply the top coat. We await quality inspection to determine if another coat is needed or areas were missed.

The driver's side hind became the focus for the afternoon of the 8th. Three of the team were able to commence grease and muck removal from the frame behind the driving wheels and with the able assistance of Ryan and Patrick there only remained one section of frame to clean out of four sections by end of day light. delicate moving of the engine 50 centimeters forward and back allowed access to most parts of the frame. Naturally moving an engine this size tends to squash anything left on the rails which was demonstrated admirably by an air hose...it  found out much to its detriment it was no match for a bogie wheel!

Part of the valve linkage was also re-assembled - the valve crosshead, combination lever, union link and lifting arm were all located, polished and assembled. The valve cross head and associate bearing surfaces were cleaned and polished before installing - quality inspection will reveal any areas of rework (see Wikipedia for a description of the valve rods and assembly).

The next major hurdle will be moving the two large and naturally heavy connecting rods to a place were they can be polished and then mounted. We may even need to pinch bar 6029 a few meters - moving such a heavy machine with such a small effort is really a credit to Mr. Levers. We await the forklift drivers comments on where he can move the rods to.

Naturally over the last few weekends things have not always gone to plan and this time round it was split pins - very strong tapered steel pins that are inserted into holes in the valve assembly rods either end of a link pin to hold it in place. These are in short supply so Alan is sourcing some more. When located these will be inserted into each link union and this will complete the assembly.



Nov 4, 2012

Super Week November 2012

Super week started early Monday morning with the usual cup of tea and a chat. It was pleasing to see some of the old faces and even some newcomers.

The first job for the day was to move 6029 out of the shed as this would allow the fork lift close unrestricted access to the locomotive. The team spent a good hour cleaning and oiling up 6029 to ensure a trouble free shunt. Diesel locomotive D25 was fired up and with little effort, 6029 moved gracefully out of the shed. The team was delighted to see the motion and valve gear rotating and oscillating as it should...a tribute to all who were involved.

Once outside, the power reverser mounting bracket was lifted and attached on the driver’s side of the boiler. Next the power reverser itself but it was soon realized that the centre actuating lever would have to be fitted first, so the reverser was lifted off to fit the lever. Back on again and with some gentle alignment the assembly was soon complete. It took some time to find the pins that connect the actuating lever to push and pull rods (being a Garratt is goes both ways). Once found in the store all was well, a after a quick clean-up, and a few drops of oil, the pins fitted snugly into place. These pins must be a good fit with only minimal clearance as any lost motion would compromise the valve setting and the operating efficiency of the valve gear. Believe it or not this is the first stage of the all-important valve setting. The first step is to establish true mid gear from the reverser down to the expansion links x 4. Again no lost motion is allowed in all pins and bushes. After a quick check it was confirmed that all was well.

The smoke stack was assembled along with the petticoat pipe however this whole assembly was too big for our forklift and a crane contractor was called in to complete the lift onto and into the smoke box. Once lowered into place, the alignment of the smoke stack to the blast pipe was checked and some extra work will be required to complete this task in the future.

The main steam pipe that delivers live steam from the smokebox to the hind unit was lagged and both lens rings that join the pipe at either end were given a final lap. The finished pipe assembly was fitted into place on the outside of the boiler cradle. This pipe is connected to an expansion section that includes a sliding joint. This section has been in storage for a few years and once located it was stripped for a final paint in all over basic black.

The stoker feed screw and delivery sections were next on the list for attention. The stoker trough was set up on stands to facilitate cutting out the worn through sections with new sections. It was soon realized that all was not well and the further the job progressed, the more rust was found. The obvious decision was to cut out the trough and replace it with new. The castings will be kept including the reduction gear box that makes up the trailing end. Every rivet was cut off and punched out with the sledge hammer.

The remaining castings were cleaned up in preparation for painting. The gear box was eventually stripped down with a bucket load of black gummy grease oozing out once the rear cover was removed. The state of the grease indicate that this gear box has not been cleaned out for many years however it has done its job as the gear train is in good condition. Many of the parts will be washed clean and reassembled as time permits. A new stoker trough will be sourced and once on site the stoker trough will be re assembled.

Saturday was dedicated to a site clean-up and a general go slow as the team was feeling the effects on working six days straight. Oh well back to the office next Monday.

Oct 16, 2012

6 and 7 October 2012

Work on the leading tank and engine unit is now almost complete. The team finished off fitting the myriad of split pins that are part of the bolt assembly securing the leading tank to the engine unit. The piping that runs the water from the tank to the engine units was fitted with all new bolts and fixtures. This also included the flexible pipes that bridge the engine units to the boiler cradle. These 10 inch diameter flexible pipes are in fact are very hard to line up and screw into place. After a few hours of pushing and pulling the pipes were in place and ready for use.

The cab work continued with the fitting of the windows to the cab side doors. Safety glass has been ordered for the leading windows including the two round port holes that the NSWGR blanked off many years ago. The re en-statement of these windows is part of the overall plan to out shop 6029 in its 1950's configuration as far as practicable.

On Sunday work commenced on the fit out of the smoke box with the installation of the blast pipe. With the blast pipe fitted the next job will be to fit the smoke stack aligned and secured home. The steam pipes and elbows that deliver steam from the super heater header to the the cylinders were taken out of storage ready for fitting. These pipes are bolted together with convex lenz rings that allow for any mis-alignment. The rings will have to be lapped in by hand and we are looking for volunteers who have the willingness and patience to complete this vital task.

Sep 14, 2012

An overview of work to date

After five years of toil through freezing winters and hot summer heat waves we are now at a point where we are now have to consider how we will operate 6029. From the teams perspective we have to actually pinch ourselves as we have come so far from that first workday in August 2007.

6029 now resides in the museums large shed in preparation of the final paint job over summer. The myriad of smaller components that have been stored, ready for use, are now seeing the light as they are fitted on to the locomotive proper.

The leading tank is now in place and the valve gear on the leading engine unit is almost done and dusted.
Our last workday involved the laying out of the pipe work for the smoke box including the blast pipe with all of the small bore pipe work.

The off-site teams have now almost completed the rebuild of the stoker motor and power reversing gear.
This all means that yes, we are heading in the right direction towards throwing that first match in the firebox.

Having said all that we need your help now both financially and with man power. Our workdays are now held every Saturday. If you would like to donate to our appeal, all donations are tax deductible.
2013 is now shaping up to be the year of 6029 and yes you are most welcome to join us for the ride.

Alan Gardner

1 September 2012

The re assembly of the left leading valve gear and coupling rods
continued with the fitting of the coupling rod. As this rod is very
heavy, a chain block was used to lift it into position. This task is
not easy and requires a specific sequence to be followed as the crew
found out. Yes you can fit the roller bearing around the wrong way
and no, you cant fit the tapered sleeve to match.

The 18 fitted bolts that secure the front tank to the main frame were
taken out of storage and cleaned up with the wire brush. These bolt
assemblies are unique as the are fitted with a spring that the
prevents the nuts loosening off. Having said that it also makes is
hard to fit. The crew still had to make more timber packing to
fits between the tank and the main frame, so it was off to the timber
store to find some hard wood.

The cab timber lining received another coat of clear varnish and the
support strapping was painted in gloss black The next work day should
see all the roof work finished and with this done, the electrical
conduit will be next.

Our workdays are now held every Saturday and as the weather is now
warning up we are planing to hold a super week in October
(accommodation available). Date to be advised.

Alan Gardner

Jul 25, 2012

Sunday 15 July 2012

6029 was towed out of the workshop by locomotive D25 (one of those diesels) to facilitate the placement of the front tank onto the leading engine unit. It was pleasing to note that the large mass of 265 tonnes gave little resistance mainly due to the free running roller bearings.

Once in position the team took the optionality to pose for the camera and it was pleasing to see the locomotive basking in the sun. The front tank was carefully lowered into place by a specialist crane contractor and again, there was a slight pause for the cameras. The crane was utilised to remove the hind bunker to facilitate the next stage in the rebuild program.

D25 pushed 6029 back into the shed just in time for lunch. After a good feed the crew jumped back into the fitting of the leading coupling and connecting rods. The valve gear re-work continued with the team progressing well with the polishing and re-fit.

The overall work plan is to continue with the fitting of all the motion components (coupling, connecting, valve gear) and with the rear bunker now out of the way, the hind lubrication system.

The hind bunker stoker motor system including the screw trough will be the next major task in the coming months. Significantly this represents the last of the of the major rebuilds and once completed the hind bunker will be lowered back into place.

The obvious question is when will the steam trials start. To keep a long story short, its basically up to our ability to raise funds and the continued support of our volunteer work force. In real terms we are about 80% through the project and if we can increase our volunteer work force with just a few more regulars we will be lighting the first match later this year. If you haven't been on site for a while or even if you are a new face you will be most welcome.

Work days are now every Saturday and the third Sunday of every month.

Jun 25, 2012

Weekly Progressions

As the restoration progresses, so does the frequency of work. Alan has now begun having workdays every Saturday, and progress is starting to bear this out. Last Saturday saw the front tank tested for leaks, and we can report that the tank held no new surprises, and no leaks either, at least not in the lower 18". Filling it any further, without the support offered by the locos frames, would have meant the possibility of permanent damage, so any leaks above this point will be addressed when, and if we find them.

Progress was also made with the leading unit motion, more rods have been refitted, and it wont be long before they are all back on, at least on the front unit anyway. Work continues also on the cab roof and the multitude of piping for the stoker system. 

If you can offer a hand any Saturday, and indeed almost any weekday, drop us a line and we can get you started.

Jun 18, 2012

Sunday 17 June 2012

The installation of the coupling and connecting rods continued on the right hand leading engine unit. These components were originally crack tested and assessed a few years back and while in storage, had developed the usual layer of surface rust. This was easily was polished off while the locking split pins were fitted to the castellated lock nuts on the coupling rods before the team turned its attention the largest component being the connecting rod. This is a one piece forging that is over ten feet long. The roller bearing was given one last clean out and inspection, then after an initial team meeting (how are we going to do this), the rod was fitted into place. As the rod is very heavy, and we are undercover and without any form of crane, a system of rollers and levers were deployed. To the teams amazement, this task was completed with relative ease. It seems that Mr. Isaac Newton actually did know a thing or two, and not sleeping through the all those physics lectures many years ago actually paid off. Thanks to David, Tony and Patrick for the elbow grease used to polishing the rods. Only three sets to go boys!

Back over in the cab, Andy continued with the fitting of the timber roof lining. This job has to be completed before the electrical conduits can be fully fitted, but more importantly, completion will allow the fitting of the whistle cords. Andy has been working on this job between workdays and estimates that it will be completed in the next month.

Ian and his team have also been working in the cab area, but in this case it’s all under the floor. The myriad of pipes and valves that control the stoker motor continue to be fitted, all be it with continued reference to the original drawings. Ian has copied the pipe drawing and used colored pencils to sort out what goes where.

The front tank is almost ready for the vital water test with only a blanking plate to be fitted in place . This job will have to be done in the mid-afternoon the allow ice to thaw... It is, after all, the middle of winter here.

Alan Gardner

Jun 5, 2012

Saturday 2 June 2012

The 6029 management team recently met to review the project plan against the original Gantt chart. In general terms we are tracking well, and the large inventory of stripped components is reducing in size as they are progressively refitted to the locomotive. It is estimated that about 10% of the inventory is still to be fitted, however this means the 90% is fitted ready for operation. From a personal perspective, I am delighted with the high standard of work that the team has achieved, and a testament to this can be seen in the photos posted every month.  Some recent examples have been the Nathan mechanical lubricators, the air compressor and now the stoker motor. All have been completely stripped down to the last nut and bolt and been rebuilt better than new using the best materials available and to the highest possible standard. Another pleasing fact is that as the team rebuilds these sub-assemblies they are in fact becoming content experts on steam technology of the 1950’s. This expertise means that the end product that we are now realizing is something that the team can be very proud of.

Our extended network of help, led by our friends at Goodwin Alco has also helped the project significantly. The cab now looks as good as new, infact 80% of the cabs sheets are new, including the seats, new timber window frames and safety glass. The roof is presently being re-lined with cedar boards and yes, once again with help from Goodwin Alco.

The main focus of work in the winter months will be the fitting of the coupling and connecting rods followed soon after by the valve gear. Again the team is becoming very proficient at fitting the components of steam technology. However the fitting of the forged connecting rods will be facilitated with the use of contemporary lifting equipment.

We are now at a stage where the obvious question is being asked, when will 6029 be back in steam? Putting aside an end date guestimate, the answer will be in a review of what we still have to complete. That  Gantt chart still lists the ash pan, boiler cladding sheets, smoke box, steam piping, electrical system and the stoker trough, not to mention all of the small bore copper piping that is required to complete the brake system.

The big news is that we will be holding another super week on a date yet to be advised. For those who don’t know, we take a holiday from our day jobs to spend a full week working on 6029. A bit of a conundrum for the project manager, as he has now been appointed the museums general manager full time.  

Alan Gardner

May 22, 2012

With winter fast approaching, the early morning starts are very cold to say the least. Today was no exception with ice on the ground and the thermometer reading minus 5°C at 7am. After several hot coffee's, the team continued with the preparation around the underside of the leading water tank. The years of splashed up cylinder oil and road grime have been removed and the usual grey under coat and all over black have been applied. It is hoped that this work will be completed at the next workday in preparation for the final fit of the tank to the leading engine unit. Thanks to David and Malcolm, as working upside down is not easy.

The coupling and connecting rods have been crack tested and the polishing is realising good results. The driving wheels have been lined up and the locomotive was moved forward for about four feet to facilitate the best position for the eventual fitting of the coupling rods.The valve gear fit out is progressing, but we will need more willing hands to help progress what could be called arduous work.

The cab fit out is gaining momentum with a small team lead by our resident expert, Ian. The myriad of steam and air pipes are slowly going back together and the pile of stored pipes is getting smaller every workday. Graeme has worked out the best way to refit the control valves for the air compressor and the blower control with the fitting of the spindles (20 foot long) that run from the cab thought the boiler hand rail connecting to the vales attached at the smoke box end.

Our next workday is Saturday 2 June all welcome. Winter woollies will be essential.

Alan Gardner

Apr 24, 2012

Quiet Progress

While the blog, and actual physical work on the Garratt has been a bit slow in the last month or so, due in part to the need to perform some maintenance on the societies steam work horse, 3016, there has been some magnificent progress made in Ian Senini's garage.

If you have been following the blog for a while, you may remember the quality of the work he did on the mechanical lubricators , and it comes as no surprise that his next restoration task is being carried out to the same standard. Ian, and Glenn Bridgart have been hard at work on the stoker motor and Cardew valves, all of which have suffered from the years in service and years in open storage.

The Cardew valves, used to prevent damage from any excess water in the cylinders, being mostly brass, have suffered very little and look a treat now that they are clean, but the springs inside them are a different story and may require replacement before too long.

The stoker motor is also getting the royal treatment and while it is complete, and was not seized by exposure, is going to need a little work to set it right. The crank will need to have the journals chrome plated to repair some pitting and the piston rods will likely get the same treatment. Otherwise it has cleaned up very well and no doubt will give sterling service when it is finished.

A little work has been done on the front tank, and another day or so should see its underside completed and ready to fit. One badly corroded area of the floor will have to be replaced, but better now than when it is full of water and on the loco. David slaved away for hours removing the years of grease and grime that had accumulated under the tank, with a fair bit of elbow grease and some determination. Well done, its not the most glamorous job, but it still needs to be done.

Last but not least, there are a few images this monthof 3016 leaving Goulburn roundhouse after the maintenance work had been completed nearby.

Remember that the next workday is Saturday the 5th of May at the Canberra Museum, jobs for everyone and if your lucky, a BBQ lunch as well

Mike Reynell

Mar 16, 2012

Workday Cancelled

Unfortunately, due to some unavoidable commitments, Alan has had to cancel the workday scheduled for Sunday the 18th. Work will continue as normal on the following workday, Saturday the 7th of April at the Canberra Railway Museum.

Feb 22, 2012

Sunday 19 February 2012

The clean up of the coupling rods and valve gear continues with the crew getting well organised with a production line set up. David starts of the process with the de-greaser and scraper to remove the residual hard grease and road grime. Next Howard gives each rod the once over with the eclectic powered wire bush flowed by David with the polishing wheels and the end result speaks for itself. When completed each rod is stored adjacent to the locomotive ready for final fitting.

Ian was seen under the boiler cradle installing the newly completed blow down muffler that is piped to the two blowdown valves either side of the boiler. Ian advises that he still has to disassemble the whole system for final painting and then re-fit.

Paul and Carl had to squeeze under the smoke box to re-fit the exhaust ball joint from the leading engine unit. The joint itself was spotlessly cleaned some time ago and after a re check it was again proved ok to fit. The four 7/8 BSW bolts were tightened and finished off with the split pins. While in this area they also had a go at fitting the live steam ball joint to the leading unit. With all of theses task now completed the team is looking forward to standing up straight in the smoke box, and because of their effort,s the fit out of the blast pipe and the live steam pipes can now start. Oh did we mention that we still have to hand lap all those lens rings before we can fit the pipes.

The leading tank was at long last moved out of storage by a crane contractor and placed on stands to allow for cleaning of the underside before fitting. While on the stands all of the plumbing that facilitates water feed and draining have been dusted off and trial fitted.

Our next work day in on Saturday the 3rd of March and if we get a good turn out we will prep the leading tank for final fitting soon after.

Alan Gardner

Feb 10, 2012

Saturday 4th February 2012 The critical path work for the leading engine units is now all but complete with the lubrication system now tested. Ian continued to check and double check all of the copper pipes and he also identified some pinch points that may lead to failures further down the track. Rectifing these points will include extra brackets to will stop the pipes from vibrating or working loose. The lubricator drives from the valve gear is now fitted and the end result speaks for itself.

The valve gear and coupling rods were taken out of storage and are being checked for fit and final assembly. The coupling rods were hard grease lubricated and the residual grease is very hard to remove but the condition of all pins and bushing suggest that it did the job well. The polishing and crack testing of the rods will take quite a few workdays to complete but this work is necessary to ensure that no defects are present. The smoke box fit out is continuing with the unenviable task of lapping the lense rings that make the steam tight joint between the main steam pipes . Carl and Andy had a go with two rings almost good to go and we estimate we only have about 12 to go.... just in the smoke box area. Keep going guys! The leading tank will now be transferred to the front of the shed with the use of an external crane contractor. Some preparation work is still to be completed on the mounting pads at the bottom of the tank. Our next work day will focus on the leading water tank to ensure that it will be ready for final fitting to the leading unit soon there after. Alan Gardner

Jan 30, 2012

Weekday Progress

News just in.... The lubrication system on the leading engine unit has now been fully primed and tested.

Ian Senini has been working on the lubrication systems for some time, and did a wonderful job of restoring the mechanical lubricators for us. He has spent some time during the last weeks getting the lubrication lines connected and ready for test, and last week was able to prime all the lines and check for leaks. This achievement means that the front tank will soon be put back on permanently.... and then, given that there are two engine units, he will start on the hind unit.

From the collection of Howard Moffat, here is a picture he took in 1979 of a tour 6029 hauled on the Michalego line. Wont be long and it will be possible to take picture like it once again.

Jan 16, 2012

Sunday 15 January 2012

The install of the remaining super heater elements continued as the first job for the day. Fortunately we were able to source the six remaining tee bolts ew required courtesy of a ex NSWGR 36 class super heater header that has been stored on site for many years. With the bolts sorted the team moved quickly into the task at hand, and in no time the last bolt was tightened up home. With the elements out of the way the guys cleaned up all the tools and swept out the smoke box clean.

The steam pipes that run from the super heater header inside the smoke box were next in the critical path and as usual they had to be cleaned up for assessment. The flange spherical faces that make up the steam tight joint were wire brushed and the tedious job of lapping each face commenced. Many of the old bolts were seized in place and had to be heated to red hot before being driven out. All new bolts have been ordered well in advance ready for fitting of the pipes but we still are a few workdays away from this.

The sand box fit out continued with three of the four leading, sand traps, air connections and pipes fitted. Some of the pipes required re setting and welding for alignment, but this task is made easy with the oxy torch and sledge hammer. This work is being completed before the leading tank is fitted into place as it is easer to do this with un-restricted access.

Thanks to Ian, the testing of the leading lubrication system will now take place mid week between workdays. A test pressure gauge will be fitted to what is called the terminal check valves that is located in close proximity to each cylinder. Once pumped up to just below 225 psi all lube lines will be visually examined for leaks, and any pipes that need repair will be fixed as required. After the integrity of the pipes and lubricators is proven the system will be flushed through and primed. This will have to be done again before the steam tests commence but the hard to get at pipes will be good to go one the tank is in place.

Our next workday will be an interesting one as we will be prepping the leading tank for final fit and if all goes to plan, 6029 will be shunted out of the shed for the fitting of the tank.

Alan Gardner

Jan 10, 2012

The first workday for 2012 was well attended and as luck would have it many hands do make light work, particularly when you are installing super heater elements. With 20 of 50 still to go the team was divided up into three groups to facilitate delivery from storage, lifting from ground to footplate level and finally installation in the smoke box.

With everyone ready to go it was soon realized that the smoke box door would not open past 20 deg as it was fouling a very large nut that adjusts the boiler cradle pivots. After some minor adjustment the door was clear to open and the elements were soon being pushed into what is called the flue tubes. Once in position a very large tee clamp bolts is fitted and secured with a 1" BSW nut. The first element took about one hour to fit and by mid afternoon this was down to about ten minutes from start to finish. The down side being that it was getting very hot by mid afternoon so it was decided to stop with just 6 elements to go. This decision was also influenced by the fact that we are 4 tee bolts short. Needless to say that the sourcing of tee bolts is the highest priority on the shopping list.

The last of the rebuilt sand boxes was fitted into place and the sand delivery pipes have been dusted off from storage. They are bent in all directions to clear the wheels and brake gear  but once marred up to the adjacent box the fit is quite obvious. The sand traps x 8 are progressively being cleaned out and air tested before final fit and once fitted the crew looks forward to filling them with sand for the fist time in many years.

Our next workday is Sunday the 15th of January, all welcome.