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

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