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

Nov 16, 2013

Project 6029 Updates 3rd October to 2nd November

“Paint, copper and lights – oh the joy”

The last 4 weeks has seem some amazing progress and some learning experiences that only resolve one to work better and more efficiently. The learning is really something that is not anyone’s fault – we just simply do not have the full depth of knowledge and tools or the facilities that were around 50 years ago. Rest assured there is a wide range of ages in the volunteer group so we are spreading and sharing the knowledge as much as possible. With knowledge comes the efficiency.

So what has been happening?

Let’s start at the regulator. We have moved forward many leaps in the regulator valve assembly. Some may remember a bird had created quite a nice home and two vacuum cleaners later the associated bird poop and straw finally been cleared. The lapping of the 5 valve seats is now complete after many hours of sitting atop the boiler and hand cranking a socket to create the grinding action – great job guys and not an easy task. Once checked and quality checked the valves will be set in place and the cam and housing bolted down. The cover plate, a curved section of steel with handles has also been primed and painted 6029 Black, all ready and waiting now for the installation to happen.

The firebox has seen some interesting work. The coal is delivered to the firebox via the auger which apart from making an unbelievably loud noise when running partially crushes the coal into “bite” sized pieces. These then need to be flung to the front of the firebox, the sides, the middle and the back. This is done by 5 steam jets mounted onto the stoker table plate. The housing for the jets and the table plate all rest inside the firebox and need to be bolted onto the auger housing which in turn is bolted to the firebox. This meant a new tool had to be fashioned to enable bolts to be held while they were tightened. Also this all had to be done from inside the firebox. The five steam jets are managed by the fireman from the cab where they are mounted onto a manifold which allows for the distribution via 5 uniquely different valves. The unique handles allows the fireman to control coal flow to different parts of the firebox independently and perhaps more importantly, in the dark! 

The manifold and stoker motor steam feed pipe are supplied with steam by the one pipe delivering full boiler pressure, super heated steam, all regulated by one valve. This allows the jets and stoker motor and hence coal auger all operate together as one system. The stoker normally runs at a low pressure, and there is a valve available to the fireman that sends full pressure to the motor if there is a blockage in the auger. This all means that there are quite a few copper pipes to be refitted and wouldn't you know it, one is missing, and as always, it has special fittings on the end, meaning that we really need to locate the original that was removed a few years ago before the boiler was lifted out. Speaking of copper piping, there has been significant effort to renew many of the old lengths of pipe joining various systems on the loco including the stoker motor and oilers. The work is neat and really shows that testing is approaching.

The painting efforts continue. Those that have been able to see 6029 recently will note we are starting to cover exposed areas in primer and top coat including parts of the boiler cladding and smoke box. Getting that smooth finish is a challenge and the application of many coats and use of the spray gun will ensure this happens. Anyone with experience in spray painting that can assist or offer help please step up to the plate your help would be appreciated.

Painting and cleaning under the engine continues also – the rear tank has now seen intense cleaning and scraping plus application of primer ready for top coating. The rear light has been assembled and re-installed on its mounts. This can be seen in the attached photos and it really starts to put a statement out there that this project is moving continually towards completion. Anyone experienced in running electrical cable is welcome to step up and offer help shortly.

So where are we with water testing? Test one and two were conducted recently just prior to the visit from Thomas. Both showed leaks down the lines from the front tank through the balance pipe and into the injectors. The first set of leaks, from the front tank back to the balance valve was taken care of. When we tested for the second time a significant leak was detected in the pipe from the rear tank forward to the balance valve just under the cab – most inconvenient – plus the fireman’s side injector inlet union appears to require attention. The pipe under the cab poses a major challenge as essentially we are trying to stretch that pipe between two fittings mounted on the frame. The latter are very much fixed in position so the only adjustment is in the gaskets and that is not so simple to solve unfortunately. These leaks do need to be solved to stick to schedule so all attention will be focused on his activity next work day.

Last but not least, the last motion pins raised its ugly head last week – one tapered pin had sheared off many years back and presented us with a challenging drilling job. But all is not lost... word has just come through that Al has performed yet another splendid drilling job and removed the embedded length. What can be said except onward and forward!