Steamranger Heritage Railway locomotive RX224

 
  class400railcar Junior Train Controller

Location: Zig Zag
G'day

With both RX207 and 621 now operational, and F251 and 520 put to the side for the forseeable future, I would assume that Steamrangers attention is now focussed on Rx 224. So I ask if anybody knows how this is currently progressing.
Any information would be appreciated.

Thank You

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  monday Chief Commissioner

Its only been about 'two or three' years away from running for about the last 21 years.

Yes, you'd think it would be happening by now, but dont hold your breath on this one.

In the mean time (as it always happens) something like 621 will get a nasty paint scratch or 207 may lose some of its polish shine... and therefore either/or will have to be systematically withdrawn from traffic for another 15 months whilst metallurgists, radiologists, neurologists and other 'technical specialists' are consulted and lots of fuddy-duddying around about 'whats-to-do' with this slightly not perfect engine...  Rolling Eyes
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller

From what I understand but not 100 %

RX 224 is now the main focus for steamranger .

When steamranger got new boiler tubes for 621 they also got some for RX 224 . When RX 207 got a new tender they also did some work for a new tender for RX 224 .

And the word is they maybe thinking of 520 as the project after Rx224 . People might start to see donation tins out and about soon for 520 .

When did RX 224 last run ?
  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
G'day

With both RX207 and 621 now operational, and F251 and 520 put to the side for the forseeable future, I would assume that Steamrangers attention is now focussed on Rx 224. So I ask if anybody knows how this is currently progressing.
Any information would be appreciated.

Thank You
"class400railcar"


I understand there's still a bit of work to be done with 207. While it was operational for a while, there are a few other issues being sorted out at the moment.
  waylander Station Master

The repairs to 621 were only completed thanks to the generous donation by a private donor. Otherwise the cost of the boiler tubes would have been prohibitive and better spend elsewhere, thus why work on 621 was sidelined till the donation was made. Then proclamation of the tubes from the UK has a long lead time. While waiting for the tubes to arrive the opportunity was taken to rectify a list of other problems e.g. the damage done to the rod after a level crossing accident. All these operations take time especially when they have to be outsourced to another business if the work is outside the ability of steamrangers workshop.

It was the same situation with Rx207, the tires had a lead time in excess of 2 months from South Africa. Before the tires could even be ordered the loco required to be lifted and the old tires removed to get the correct internal dimensions for the new ones. Lifting the loco takes a lot of preparation and work and the actual lift itself using jacks takes a long time unless the very much so more expensive method of cranes is used (again a waste of money). And the actual fitting and machining of the tires to the wheels had to be outsourced. Unfortunately very few places are left in Australia (Adelaide especially) with the equipment required to undertake these size jobs. Most of this equipment being disposed of by the railways at the end of steam. What equipment is left is often tied up with high priced contracts associated with the mining boom leaving steamranger to fit their jobs inbetween other contracts or pay those high prices as well. If steamranger had an open checkbook a lot of things would be done differently unfortunately in the world we live in $$$ have to be made to stretch as best as possible.

207 is currently at mount barker for a minor service + boiler washout etc, and to install some mod cons + correct some minor teething problems all ready for the summer cockle train season. Once that is completed work will resume on Rx224. As mentioned above the tubes were purchased at the same time as 621's as the tubes in the rx are a diameter that is not available in Australia, and two tender water tanks were built at the same time one for 224 and one for 207.

If your interested go to mount barker and have a look somebody would be more than willing to show you around. Just dont bag a society for doing the best it can under the circumstances, there are far better people to bag.
  class400railcar Junior Train Controller

Location: Zig Zag
The repairs to 621 were only completed thanks to the generous donation by a private donor. Otherwise the cost of the boiler tubes would have been prohibitive and better spend elsewhere, thus why work on 621 was sidelined till the donation was made. Then proclamation of the tubes from the UK has a long lead time. While waiting for the tubes to arrive the opportunity was taken to rectify a list of other problems e.g. the damage done to the rod after a level crossing accident. All these operations take time especially when they have to be outsourced to another business if the work is outside the ability of steamrangers workshop.

It was the same situation with Rx207, the tires had a lead time in excess of 2 months from South Africa. Before the tires could even be ordered the loco required to be lifted and the old tires removed to get the correct internal dimensions for the new ones. Lifting the loco takes a lot of preparation and work and the actual lift itself using jacks takes a long time unless the very much so more expensive method of cranes is used (again a waste of money). And the actual fitting and machining of the tires to the wheels had to be outsourced. Unfortunately very few places are left in Australia (Adelaide especially) with the equipment required to undertake these size jobs. Most of this equipment being disposed of by the railways at the end of steam. What equipment is left is often tied up with high priced contracts associated with the mining boom leaving steamranger to fit their jobs inbetween other contracts or pay those high prices as well. If steamranger had an open checkbook a lot of things would be done differently unfortunately in the world we live in $$$ have to be made to stretch as best as possible.

207 is currently at mount barker for a minor service + boiler washout etc, and to install some mod cons + correct some minor teething problems all ready for the summer cockle train season. Once that is completed work will resume on Rx224. As mentioned above the tubes were purchased at the same time as 621's as the tubes in the rx are a diameter that is not available in Australia, and two tender water tanks were built at the same time one for 224 and one for 207.

If your interested go to mount barker and have a look somebody would be more than willing to show you around. Just dont bag a society for doing the best it can under the circumstances, there are far better people to bag.
"waylander"

G'day

Thanks Waylander. That seems to be the information i was looking for. I can understand why Steamranger would put money before time, especially in these times

As for what has been said about 520 being next on the list (Thank You BIG-BEAR) I thought that under the theme of what Steamranger may do next, I could ask if anybody knows if repainting 958 into maroon and silver would be an economical task for them.

Thank you all for your responses
  42101 Banned

Location: Banned
The repairs to 621 were only completed thanks to the generous donation by a private donor. Otherwise the cost of the boiler tubes would have been prohibitive and better spend elsewhere, thus why work on 621 was sidelined till the donation was made. Then proclamation of the tubes from the UK has a long lead time. While waiting for the tubes to arrive the opportunity was taken to rectify a list of other problems e.g. the damage done to the rod after a level crossing accident. All these operations take time especially when they have to be outsourced to another business if the work is outside the ability of steamrangers workshop.

It was the same situation with Rx207, the tires had a lead time in excess of 2 months from South Africa. Before the tires could even be ordered the loco required to be lifted and the old tires removed to get the correct internal dimensions for the new ones. Lifting the loco takes a lot of preparation and work and the actual lift itself using jacks takes a long time unless the very much so more expensive method of cranes is used (again a waste of money). And the actual fitting and machining of the tires to the wheels had to be outsourced. Unfortunately very few places are left in Australia (Adelaide especially) with the equipment required to undertake these size jobs. Most of this equipment being disposed of by the railways at the end of steam. What equipment is left is often tied up with high priced contracts associated with the mining boom leaving steamranger to fit their jobs inbetween other contracts or pay those high prices as well. If steamranger had an open checkbook a lot of things would be done differently unfortunately in the world we live in $$$ have to be made to stretch as best as possible.

207 is currently at mount barker for a minor service + boiler washout etc, and to install some mod cons + correct some minor teething problems all ready for the summer cockle train season. Once that is completed work will resume on Rx224. As mentioned above the tubes were purchased at the same time as 621's as the tubes in the rx are a diameter that is not available in Australia, and two tender water tanks were built at the same time one for 224 and one for 207.

If your interested go to mount barker and have a look somebody would be more than willing to show you around. Just dont bag a society for doing the best it can under the circumstances, there are far better people to bag.
"waylander"


So Steamranger has not heard of QR Ipswich workshops then.....they can and do manufacture tubes and wheelsets/Tyres including manufacturing a full set of driving wheel tyres for 3801.
  monday Chief Commissioner

42101 - QR ipswich shops I dont think are in that business anymore.  I think its just a glorified static train museum these days where you can ride a traverser... happy to be corrected though by a QLD'er.

Re SRHR - they could have the entire resources of the SAR devoted to them and still find someway to have their steam fleet out for copious, unnecessary amounts of time aiming for the 'ideal' and ever unachievable and ever un-maintainable standard.

What these means in practice is that:-

a) jobs take much longer and are more expensive (using up more valuable resources) than they need to be, rather that just being fit for purpose - i.e. towing 100t choofing along at 40km/h on the beach for a few dozen times per year, but rather setting the locomotives up like its about to run the Mount Gambier mixed everyday for the next 12 months.  The standard of the RX's compared with comparable locos like 3237 and 3016 is to be commened on one hand because they are great mechanically, but from a business perspective represent excessive resource consumption (time, $ and volunteer effort) compared to what necessarily needs to be spent to get by.  A stitch in time, doesnt always save nine, particularly with steam locos.

... and ...

b) the opportunity cost, which is the ticket sales foregone (which you never get back) because you never bloody well had the kettle on the train in the first place, so people didnt book a ticket.

If it were solely a model club with no front-end ticket sales required, great aim for the highest possible standard, if there are bigger things at play like aiming to keep your business alive, do what is necessary and safe but dont go nuts.

Yes, I speak from experience with many many many years of interaction with SRHR personnel, employees and management.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
42101 - QR ipswich shops I dont think are in that business anymore.  I think its just a glorified static train museum these days where you can ride a traverser... happy to be corrected though by a QLD'er.
"monday"


I'm not an authority on the Ipswich workshops by any stretch of the imagination, but the workshops are still operating as workshops.
  nic Chief Train Controller

Location: Brisbane, QLD
Ipswich is still very much an active steam workshops; they even tendered to construct 3801's new welded boiler (a contract subsequently awarded to DB Meningen), and are engaged in major work including new boiler and tender construction for their own steam fleet. They are and would be more than capable of conducting any and all work Steamranger required. The question would be if Steamranger could afford it.
  waylander Station Master

Thats exactly the point, It was found to be significantly cheaper to source the materials overseas than from local sources. Unfortunately its much the same with most things you need here in Australia.
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
... and therefore either/or will have to be systematically withdrawn from traffic for another 15 months whilst metallurgists, radiologists, neurologists and other 'technical specialists' are consulted ...
"monday"


You're letting brain experts near railfans why?

That would be an interesting meeting...
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
... and therefore either/or will have to be systematically withdrawn from traffic for another 15 months whilst metallurgists, radiologists, neurologists and other 'technical specialists' are consulted ...
"monday"


You're letting brain experts near railfans why?

That would be an interesting meeting...
"Sir Thomas Bent"
Errrrr...Next question?!
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
... and therefore either/or will have to be systematically withdrawn from traffic for another 15 months whilst metallurgists, radiologists, neurologists and other 'technical specialists' are consulted ...
"monday"


You're letting brain experts near railfans why?

That would be an interesting meeting...
"Sir Thomas Bent"
Errrrr...Next question?!
"TheRev"

I don't see the connection between Railfans and anything to do with brains... can someone please explain..... Very HappyVery Happy
  SARRX207 Station Staff

Hi all as I work for steamranger as a volunteer I have heard rumors that they wont get it done next year as it is a big task and then they will be fixing rx 207 as she has a crack in her boiler plate which means she will be out of service for 6 months according to mechanical services and then when RX 224 is complete they will then be rebuilding f 251 suburban class tank engine and after she has come back then they will get 520 sir malcom Barclay Harvey back and so that will be the end of steam engines to rebuild until they need servicing and I have heard about 520 steamranger are already looking at buying a new tender for 520 if you need any more info come for a ride or come to the mt barker steamfest on the 25-26 may 2013 they are giving workshop tours $2.00 train rides from mt barker to Cameron road or if need any more info on the trip here is the link    http://www.steamrangerheritagerailway.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51&Itemid=63
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
With respect, Steamrangers own website suggests 520 requires an expensive rebuild. Which is unlikely, given the cost and lack of justification for such a powerful locomotive.
  MaskedRailfan Train Controller

Does Steamranger have a 'team' dedicated to working on Rx 224?
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
Dedicated Mask, but not just to Rx 224, work is prioritised, trafficable loco's/equipment get priority (as they earn the $$$$, to pay for running costs), suspect 224 will now have to wait until 207's boiler issue either repaired or 207 put aside.
  2811 Train Controller

Location: Brisbane
A few things. Ipswich workshops have been scaled back over the years, and more recently most of the fitters that worked there on the steam loco's have been given voluntary early retirement leaving only a few fitters there. Only 1089 has been running over the last 18 months. 974 went for a test run last week after having a driving axle bearing repaired. Now it's out running 1089 will be withdrawn for a tone up.

Several retired fitters have come back a couple of times a week volunteering on finishing getting the Blue Baby boiler finished and a few other things such as new injectors and redoing the pistons.  

So they don't have the manpower to do any outside work.

Also, the tyres for 3801 were made in Sth Africa and were fitted at a contractor in Ipswich, not at the workshops.
  SARRX207 Station Staff

no 207's boiler is not holding anything up on 224 she is just a slow process of slowly rebuilding her back to her glory
  SARRX207 Station Staff

With respect, Steamrangers own website suggests 520 requires an expensive rebuild.
locojoe67

Hi there as I'm a volunteer with steamranger and hear a lot of things about our locos that we have 520 will cost aprox 300,000 dollars to restore and put 520 back to original running condition
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
I'll give you a tip in the politest way that I possibly can: never open with the line "as I'm a volunteer with XXXXXXX group". It never looks good.

Also, sometimes what you hear at SteamRanger, should stay at SteamRanger - the last thing you want is not to be trusted with information that may or may not be for ears, and eyes away from there. It will also prevent well-meaning people from bombarding you with questions you don't know the answer to, or for information you're not supposed to share.

I'm not saying you can't share information, but to be very careful of what you do share.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
I concur with 2811s comment above. The Workshops staffing has diminished over time, suggesting ability to offer services is also in decline.

My impression is that the place is continuing to evolve and changing focus, with more emphasis on displays and far less on the actual workshops capability. Although visitor numbers are fairly static too, apparently. It IS a big and expensive place to run.

The pace of restoration has certainly dropped off over time. I am surprised that the DD is getting the attention that it is. But given its operational flexibility and the Thomas similarities, perhaps it is seen as a better loco for both varied use and pr purposes than some of the other alternatives.

Disclaimer: I am NOT associated with the workshops, nor do i volunteer there. More informed speculation from better connected observers always welcome.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Cut and paste directly from steamrangers website:

" 520 will require over $300,000 of work to put it back in reliable condition, which cannot be justified at present due to the very minimal use the loco would have now that the need for a high power loco to bring trains up the ranges from Adelaide has vanished due to standardisation of the main interstate track and SteamRanger now only running bfrom Mt Barker to the south coast. It has therefore been placed in indefinite long term storage at Mt Barker whilst our limited resources are dedicated to maintaining our operationally more flexible 621 and Rx class locos. "

Source:
http://www.steamranger.org.au/enthusiast/steam.htm

Enough said.

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