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

Apr 25, 2013

PROJECT 6029 Update for the weekend of 20 April

This weekend was a surprise to some of us – cold but sunny. The day kicked off well with a number of targets set for completion. It was also pleasing to see visitors walking around and asking questions and mirroring the enthusiasm that the team have in seeing the first match being thrown in! We also welcome a new first timer John to the team.

Task one for the day was to continue drilling out and inserting new studs into the foundation ring of the boiler. As many may remember the boiler we are using is not 6029’s original boiler and it had received a number of modifications in its previous life. This meant that the original studs had been removed and/or cut off. As you may expect, there are a large number of studs that need to be replaced and doing this requires you to lie on your back and then drill out the studs above our head. Andy has worked out he gets the best results by using 3 stages of drilling and one of threading to make good each stud – how many are there to do? At time of going to press, this is a number greater than 10 and most likely closer to 30. Does someone want to guess? Even better, does someone want to help? There are few who can say they have laid under a Garrett and survived! Seriously, this task is important and if you would like to show off your ability to accurately drill heavy metal please come along and have a go. We cannot fit the grate or ashpan to the boiler until this task is completed.

The generator was also carried out of the shed and lifted into place beside the boiler on the fireman’s side. Given the Garrett was in the shed and as usual parked in a very inconvenient location, this meant an awkward manual lift was needed for a very heavy and odd shaped object. Fortunately the generated landed on its mounts correctly and safely. Alan and Howard located bolts and tightened it down.

The water pipe elbow mounted on the base of the rear tank was attached. It attaches on the driver’s side midway between the middle two driving wheels and presented another awkward lift but no where near as heavy as the generator. Made of brass it was rattle gunned into place on the tank and then joined to the water pipe leading forward to the injectors.

All valve rods have now been joined. This meant that checking and correct placement of the locking split pins could proceed. Each engine was approached with four pairs of eyes, each pin and its locking pins was assessed and noted (there are 8 pins with two locking split pins on each engine). Additionally, locking pins and nuts on the connecting rods were reviewed and checked. Missing grease nipples and split pins on the connecting rods were also identified and any split pins missing on key components were noted – the mounting brackets for the outer bearing of the expansion link being one of these items. We need 24 new locking split pins to complete the correct locking of the rods. There is great satisfaction in seeing these pins and rods joining up again. Its going to be satisfying shortly to be able to say to anyone that you worked on those shiny spinning rods – if you want to be able to say that please come along and have a go with a grease gun, spanner or an angle grinder polishing them. There are not many days left before we sign off the rods to our project manager for inspection!

Again spread the word that we need small or big change for those piston rings, we need to be able to pay for them before we order them, I am sure you can imagine that rings around 20" diameter do not come cheap. The rings are the last major milestone/hurdle for the project. Also, and this is a long shot, but if you have access to a CNC lathe or know someone who does, and would like to be able to that you contributed to the project, we need to get about 40 tapered pins produced. They are not particulary large or difficult to produce, being about 4" long, but they do need an accurate taper, so give it a thought... If you can slip a foreign order through at work, or you are lucky enough to have a CNC lathe at home, put up your hand and help us out. Drop me a line if you think you can help... mike@project6029.com

Apr 3, 2013

Key achievements for Saturdays 16th Feb, 2nd and 16th March

Its been a while since the last progress report, but here it is.

The Aladdin’s Cave team have pulled miracles and returned a beautiful stoker motor – well done Ian... We must not forget though that at the same time, deep in bowels of the engine shed activities have progressed as well. The efforts of many involved in the project have continued across the last month with many achievements and milestones being met.

The workdays of Saturday 16 February, 2 March and 16 March have seen some tasks closed out that are on the critical path to placing the coal bunker over the hind engine. The much needed live steam pipes carry steam to the rear valves and cylinders has been bolted and joined. The massive “flexible” joint that allows the engine to articulate has been cleaned, primed and awaits reassembly with appropriate large amounts of grease. Then installation under the driver’s cab – that should be a fun task!

The wooden mounts that separate the mounting points on the frame from the bunker’s mounting points to minimize wear have now been bolted down and painted. The all important coal trough not only received shaping, cutting and drilling but a total covering of primer. The task of drilling the steel for bolt holes and cutting excess off was no mean effort but let’s not forget that the painting, single handed, has meant we now have a trough ready and awaiting installation. In fact it has now been moved around to be position in front of the coal bunker ready for such a moment.

The coal bunker has not been left alone and has received some well needed attention – again a single handed painting effort for most of the time plus some assistance late in the day meant that the inside was primed and the top coated. A further milestone was applying top coat to the rear deck and a first coat of spayed on top coat on external surfaces. Alan even got carried away and painted the numbers on the rear panel. Surprising for some, but that final touch did actual mean we are really moving towards the “fire on” phase of the project.

The driver's side rear, engine valve gear has caused some frustration due to one particularly stubborn pin and locking split pins on the union link (ref: Walschaerts Valve Gear ). To date all other rods and pins are now assembled and we await the links inspection before we can finish the reassembly. Once completed, this will mean all valve gear and connecting rods are complete, awaiting a quality and assembly inspection to verify pins are all locked and bolts correctly tightened.

There have been other achievements that have been hidden away from many – for example a proof of concept was conducted on the lighting system. This involved the use of switches and LEDs to produce the required red and white needed at either end of the locomotive. The fun part will be running the cables – there is a lot of them and many meters of conduit to be thread through.

The steam turbine has been restored in Aladdin’s second cave – it has been tested and works when being turned by a hand drill. Another superb example of restoration work and it too now awaits mounting on the boiler.

The boiler cladding has been installed – the crinoline straps need aligning and tightening but that is a minor step. There has been some very handy welding work conducted on the cladding to allow holes to be placed for wash out plugs and regrettably cover over holes that were not quite in line. The cladding does look good though.

The power reverser reach rod was placed in location – stretching from cab, forward to the link on the power reverser itself – it now awaits pins and surrounding items to be assembled prior to complete mounting.

The ash pan and grate are also receiving attention – the rusted hulk is being steadily cut back and built back up with new steel. This will be another fun task to install as we have to slide it under the fire box and lift it up. Such challenges are all part of the fun of getting this locomotive moving under its own steam!

We must not forget the need we have of rings for the valves and pistons – we need yours and all your friends to dig deep for that extra small amount of cash. Many small donations can easily add up to a considerable amount so please spread the word and see how you go.