Up to date information regarding the restoration of steam locomotive 6029 in Canberra, ACT Australia. Beyer Garratt 6029 is an EX NSWGR locomotive and was a member of the largest, and most powerful class in Australia. The restoration to full working order is being undertaken by volunteers in Canberra.
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
May 14, 2013
Project 6029 Update 4 May, 2013
The autumn days are proving to be a great bonus to the team – cool sharp mornings with
plenty of sun shine and mild temperatures during the day.
The team gathered early as there had been a rumor that the cylinder covers had been
removed from the lead engine. And the team were impressed! During the week Alan and
with the some assistance of James Simper had removed the covers from the right front
cylinder and valve housing to reveal a delightful sight – grease! And no rust. Mike Potter
removed the pistons and piston valves for storage many years ago had done a great job in
sealing the cylinders to prevent corrosion. Not even possums had got in!
The right front was soon removed and it also revealed – yep grease!
So far the front left cylinder on first preliminary measurements is showing a diameter that
is within tolerances – there is only a few thou or so available. Good news. That is a good
omen for the remaining 3.
Speaking of omens this is the second work day in a row that a new team member has
come along to assist. In addition there were 7 plus Alan and Sean (lets not forget Jack
too) to get stuck into some of the work. A large number of people saw some excellent
The casing (oyster is the name that describes this clam shaped object) around the
universal joint that allows a flexible join between the stoker auger in the tender to the
auger under the cab was checked and cleaned. Roger replaced some well corroded studs
and cleaned an area up on the housing that required welding. Alan completed the task and
the housing was finished off with some regulation black paint. More on this house later.
The tender received 3 main pieces of work. Our new member James, being a qualified
welder provided much needed skills to heat, bend and weld an after market plate that the
NSWGR had bolted to the cab end of the coal bunker. This plate and one on the other
side are essentially spacers between the two cast saddles that support the tender at the
cab end by attaching to the plates and to the frame. The saddles will be installed shortly
after some essential parts are placed in the space between the frame and the bunker – that
oyster mentioned earlier, the stoker motor and the usual spaghetti junction of oil, water
and steam pipes and lets not forget the reversing reach rod for the hind engine.
Andy, ably assisted by his apprentice, Toby was making good the 20 odd bolts that join
the coal bunker to the auger trough. These bolts were well and truly “stuffed” when
we disassembled the unit so Andy and Toby have their work cut out sourcing bolts and
reaming out the holes. If you look closely at some of the pictures of the coal bunked side
on behind the cab you may see a series of what looks like short vertical tubes. These are
the surrounds for the bolts that Andy and Toby are working on.
Toby also continued painting the top deck of the coal bunker/tank at the rear of the unit.
Never and easy job that is necessary but was still well done.
Some 8 of the 20 odd mounting bolts were inserted and tightened on tender unit.
Critically these are spring loaded to the frame making a semi flexible union between
the tender and the frame. Strangely the bolts and springs are never the same length and
this meant squeezing each spring to allow the washer and nut to be threaded onto the
bolt. These are tough short springs that are not easily compressed. There are a number of
springs missing or broken so the remained bolts will await their arrival before completing
Moving towards the front of the boiler the smoke box and connecting pipes from the
compressor were cleaned, polished and painted and then the exhausted was stuffed with
sound deadening material and prepared to be attached. All hands, oxy, grinders and
gentle persuasion as is characteristic of the team meant this task took 4 of us to complete
– but it was done!
Lastly the taper pins for all the rods have been ordered and these should arrive shortly.
The last troublesome pin (LH1) which joins the radius rod to the reversing lifting arm
on the driver’s side hind engine was polished enough with emery paper to be able to be
reinserted in its mount. This means that we can on arrival of the taper pins complete and
sign off the valve gear and connecting rods – what could possibly go wrong?
Lastly the weekend saw more polishing and protecting and painting of more of the cab
light fittings and junction boxes.
Of course the day could not be complete without trying to assemble “the Oyster”. This
clever housing surrounds a universal joint that joins the bunker auger to the cab auger.
The latter is inclined steeply to pass under the cab floor. Naturally this required some
manual lifting to persuade the two augers to be rotated then extended back from the cab,
up an incline and aligned so a bolt could be inserted into the universal joint – get the
picture? Awkward and heavy. But done! Apparently the auger when working is so noisy
it rivals the rest of the engine in decibels!
Next we needed to extended the casing covering the cab auger back and up to align with
that oyster – given the time of day and the weights involved we determined that more
careful planning of the lift and the use of power jacks would be wiser – so we retired for
an evening beer instead.
Now for a treat... From the archives of Howard Moffat, here are some images from time long since passed, and often forgotten.
A great day’s work from all and pleasing to see some major tasks started and others