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
Jul 24, 2013
Update for the weekend 20 & 21 July
After what felt like the coldest start in the project's (selective) memory we got off to a steady flow of work. The first task was....Get that grate finished, so OK, down to it - locate all the holes for the grate mounting brackets, confirm they were the correct ones and carefully tap them out. The tap costs $75.00, so caution was a large part of the initial approach, however after getting used to the equipment, the speed of tapping could increase. Sixteen holes were tapped and two were adjusted and given over sized threads to handle the affects of wayward drilling. Try drilling upside down for a few hours and you understand why some holes were slightly off centre.
The brackets were all arranged and bolted home except for one stubborn one that ultimately needed drilling out to a larger diameter. There are four brackets running along the foundation ring on each side of the firebox. These hold in place two long iron castings that can only be described as long, with four semi-circle cut-outs along the top and look like instruments of torture if they were not so heavy. Essentially these elements hold cross bars that are half the width of the firebox and are supported at the semi circle cut outs on the foundation ring side and in the middle by the main longitudinal central brace. There are eight down each side. The rocking mechanism allows the grate to be divided into four sections and each section to be operated independently or together. An easy way to picture it is in plan view looking down. It is a grate made up of 8 cross pieces of two bars each supported by a central beam and on the outside by 4 beams end to end, two on each side. Better still come down and stick your head under the firebox and you will get the picture. Anyway, at quitting time the foundation of the grate was ready for the next days team to assemble and complete the rocking grate.
While there was patient murmurings going on under the firebox the dulcet tones of the rattle gun and some human words of encouragement (or were they threats?) were coming from on top. Yes the blower valve assembly, gland packing and assorted bolts were being put in place. Access was limited and angles were not easy, but none the less, success was ours and the blower valve mechanism was hooked up to the reach rods running from the cab on the driver?s side. All works as it should... off and on. All we need now is some steam!
Oh, and lets not forget the all important valve assembly and those pins... we'll get back to you on that. Seems our fabricator has lost the order for the last 6 pins. So we are awaiting these. Who would believe these could be on the critical path? We will update as soon as they arrive and are in place.
So as daylight faded on Saturday afternoon, we left 6029 with half the supports for the grate in place, and a blower valve operational and ready for testing. Excitement is building, anticipation and again the sense that it is very close now........
The Waugh rocking grate is American by design and was standard equipment in most US coal burning locomotives after the First World War. The design has no fixing other than the mounting plates and the middle main girder that attach under the fire box foundation ring. The rest simply falls into place starting with the support girders with the U shape pivots running either side of the fire box. 16 pivoting rocking bars drop into the U shape pivots and last but not least, 304 finger fire bars slot in to place. Easy...
The NSWGR specified this type off fire grate for the 60 class, and in fact it was standard to all new coal burning locomotive during the 1940's and 50's .
Wet drizzle and cold conditions greeted the Sunday crew at first light. Lucky for 6029 she now resides undercover in the main display shed at the museum.
The first job of the day was to fit the last two brackets that hold up the main support beams of the Waugh rocking grate. The rattle gun was put to good use as the crew tightened up the last of the nuts. After that the team set up a chain gang and yes, all the bits just dropped into place. The majority of the work could be completed from underneath but the last element had to be dropped into place from inside the fire box.
The reversing wheel assembly was one of the many smaller components that were out sourced to smaller workshops. It was delivered and fitted by Bruce and Keith from Sydney. It was pleasing to see the last of the cab components now fitted into place. Bruce also fitted the cylinder drain cock assemblies to each of the four cylinders. This is a small air driven cylinder that is fitted with a spring to keep the drain cock open. Compressed air is used to close off the drain valves when in operation.
The fitting of the fire grate is a significant milestone and in fact puts the project on track for that all important first fire. All tasks will now centre around the fitting of smaller components and operational testing.
Our next work day will see 6029 shunted out of the shed to fit the stoker motor and associated pipe work. We are calling for all hands on deck for the next few workdays as we are very close to that all important first match.
Oh, and last but not least, our friends at Goodwin Alco delivered some new builders plates, to replace the long lost ones. The new ones were cast from a replica plate made by the late Arthur Reynell in the '70's from printers lead.... A lick of paint and they will look brilliant...