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

Feb 5, 2013

Saturday 2 February 2012

Anyone who has restored a steam locomotive knows that it all becomes worthwhile when things actually start to work. It may be as simple a bench test of a minor component through to the first turn of the wheels.Today realized one of those moments with the successful partial test of the Westinghouse brake system.

After weeks of blowing clear pipes, testing components and chasing down air leaks the brake system was charged up to the prescribed values. The independent brake valve was placed in the slow application position, the brake cylinder gauge sprung to life and a familiar clunk could be herd as the brake blocks kissed up against the driving wheels.

This may not sound like much but for the team it is the beginnings of an operating locomotive. No, she is not moving under her own steam but it’s a significant start. We still have to complete the testing of what is called the automatic brake valve, but this will take place when the air compressor is fired up during the steam tests.

Having a good turnout of volunteers for the day meant we could tackle some of the awkward pipe work with the boiler feed lines fitted up to the clack valves. Theses pipes deliver the water at high velocity from the injectors to the boiler via the clack vales. The guys also installed the two ladders that allow access to the top of the boiler and even fitted the hand rails to the boiler.

Over in the cab area the timber and steel floor was being pieced together. This will allow safe access into the cab and the fitting of the valves and handles that protrude through the floor.

The hind unit fit out is progressing well with the last main steam pipe fitted along with the long reach rod that sites above it. The timber packing’s that the bunker sits on were fitted and screwed into place. The hind unit is now ready for the bunker to be installed however the all-important stoker trough is not yet completed.

A bit of late breaking news, as of Tuesday, the stoker trough has been bent by a very generous local fabrication company and is being delivered tomorrow and will no doubt be fitted to the castings and readied for reassembly over the coming weeks, a very big step towards the completion of the bunker assembly.

News like this would be complete without a reminder that donations are how we fund this restoration, and we need to find some more cash to fund the purchase of new piston rings for the cylinders and valves. The original ones, fitted to the loco in the 1960's are no longer serviceable with no tension in the bores, meaning they must be replaced. The cost of getting these made is, well, not cheap. One estimate has it at around $14000, yes, that is fourteen thousand, or somewhere between $300-600 a ring, and there are quite a few rings required.  We still have to keep the dollars coming in for the many smaller jobs however the whole projects critical path centers around this purchase. It is pleasing to see the piles of stored components dwindling and as each work day comes to an end 6029 is looking better for our efforts.