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.