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 12, 2013

Saturday 3 August

Frigid, brass monkeys, the metaphors are endless for the morning that confronted the exceptionally large crowd of volunteers on this particular morning. Some Sydneysiders present were not used to single digit temperatures! The turnout was exceptionally pleasing as we knew that 6029 was to be re-positioned in the shed. This meant a shunt out and back in (yippee we get to see all the valve rods and connecting rods go round! – cried the author quietly). We needed her to be out of the shed to fit the stoker motor (that little engine that lived in Aladdin’s Cave being lovingly rebuilt) and also align her next to the water tanks – yep the water tanks - which means the first round of hydraulic testing of the tanks and associated lines up to the injectors can start shortly! A slight but delicious shiver of anticipation ran down the backs of the necks of some at this thought!

But, before the shunting some key things needed to be completed – grease nipples and greasing for example commenced immediately after the hands lost that layer of frost. The grease for the valve rods and associated pins is different from the grease needed for the main roller bearings at the crank pins. In fact using the wrong grease on the roller bearings will cause them to fail so care was taken not to mix grease guns and a mental note for on-going maintenance. That old nemesis of the valve and connecting rod pins that has been hanging around a bit like a demon that has haunted the author for some months (see previous blogs) – failed delivery of new pins, no pins, stubborn old pins not coming out and needing to ream some holes – was finally and totally put to an end with the glorious sound of a solid clunk from the hammer. All pins were in place and a smile was seen on one or two people. 

With a quick check of grease and oil and a run around for potentially fouling work gear near the road  the all clear was then given for 6029 to come out into the sun light and reveal the hard work that so many have done in getting to this point – truly fantastic and beautiful to see. Enough of the sentimentality – the sun was welcome as the metal was bloody cold to the touch.

Forklift to the ready and the stoker motor was raised, jiggled and placed in position for the guys to rattle the bolts home. Major step forward as the motor fitted in where it was meant to go and was aligned correctly.
Safety valves – all important for testing – were forked up to the lofty heights of the top of the boiler and yes bolted down and locked in. Beautifully gleaming in the light they are again important for the testing – did the message get through that testing is approaching?

Support frames for the rear bunker near the back of the cab were lifted, placed in position and miraculously they fitted correctly. This meant they could be bolted and rattled home. Another step closer and another task ticked off the ever shortening list to “to dos”. The blower assembly was also receiving attention as the remaining bolts and fittings were place in position and bolted home. Tick off another!

Let us not forget the juggling and bruised knuckles and climbing around and in the hind bunker to position and locate the rear reverser reach rod. Some tight enclosed spaces were accessed requiring some small amount of contortionist antics but as can be seen by the photos the task was completed. Tick three!
The boiler cladding could now be properly accessed and the remaining bolts tying the cladding in were located and tightened. A fiddly job but again another one on the list – tick! 

Of course the team needed to have the obligatory panoramic shot of the team – have a look at the photos. When you compare this photo to even only 6 months ago the changes are astounding and a credit to those who have worked on 6029. After the photo shoot the team addressed polishing the rods. Yep for the third and not last time these rods were buffed and polished with wire brushes to remove the built up surface rust – ever present whenever the loco is not in active service. A coat of some magic ointment was applied and will make a good protective coating that will slow down the rust build up over the next few months. 6029 will be partially in the open so this protection will be very helpful and minimize damage and work later on.

Unfortunately, polishing allows the user to look around the engine and notice the areas of unpainted or only undercoated metal. Oh well paint brushes will be one of the items for next work day plus some reaching and stretching as the spots are of course in places where the sun does not shine. So as the sun dipped below the horizon and the cold Snowy Mountain winds blew in 6029 was re-positioned part in the shed and part out. She did look good. Rods aligned for two wheel hub locking pins to driven home and bolted home the day came to a close.