A2 986 - Coming Together

 
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Yes, the Journalistic standards were far better then, though the Reporter may have had some expert help in editing afterwards of course. I liked the part in one of those articles where the Reporter "walked down to the front and sat beside the smokebox" while the train was in motion (apparently a temporary railing was in place). The old 'tales from the footplate' are always a good read.

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  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
The A² 986 Test Run (Members Train) to Seymour was captured on the Albion railcams today:
https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/albion2/photo/28561741451
https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/albion2/photo/28360537600

Ran with 6 cars.
  VRworks Beginner







Looked and sounded great, well done to all involved in her restoration and running.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
My version of today's events, all taken at Seymour:

https://flic.kr/p/JGHs2L

https://flic.kr/p/KwiBpF



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UqdjkCa7AQ&feature=youtu.be
  Factory_Fill Deputy Commissioner
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
After having from afar watched the you tube put up by greensleeves yesterday, all I can say is congratulations to all involved in the huge task undertaken over many years to bring back to life this quite amazing machine.   Elsewhere I applauded the efforts of this team and that of the dedicated crew who undertook the restoration of the 6029 Grarrat in NSW.   These efforts which have spanned decades really go unnoticed until such time as the locomotive actually reappears in operation.   I think its only fitting that Steamrail ran this tour to acknowledge the efforts of those involved.   Its a fine achievement.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Full marks to everybody concerned. It is an immense pleasure to see an A2 working again - something that was common when I was a kid, and something I thought I would never see again. I am now a mess of nostalgia.
  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
After having from afar watched the you tube put up by greensleeves yesterday, all I can say is congratulations to all involved in the huge task undertaken over many years to bring back to life this quite amazing machine.   Elsewhere I applauded the efforts of this team and that of the dedicated crew who undertook the restoration of the 6029 Grarrat in NSW.   These efforts which have spanned decades really go unnoticed until such time as the locomotive actually reappears in operation.   I think its only fitting that Steamrail ran this tour to acknowledge the efforts of those involved.   Its a fine achievement.
Trainplanner
Agreed.

Begs the question whats next.    R700??

Regards
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
After having from afar watched the you tube put up by greensleeves yesterday, all I can say is congratulations to all involved in the huge task undertaken over many years to bring back to life this quite amazing machine.   Elsewhere I applauded the efforts of this team and that of the dedicated crew who undertook the restoration of the 6029 Grarrat in NSW.   These efforts which have spanned decades really go unnoticed until such time as the locomotive actually reappears in operation.   I think its only fitting that Steamrail ran this tour to acknowledge the efforts of those involved.   Its a fine achievement.
Agreed.

Begs the question whats next.    R700??

Regards
davesvline
No, another A2 using all the best bits from 884, 964, 995 or 996 or another D3 on the same basis to minimise the work and the cost. Better still X 36 or N 432.
Seriously though, I am thankful for all the effort that has gone into A2 986. The troops deserve a rest but, on the other hand, it would be sad to lose the experience and expertise.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I think the focus now is overhauling K160 and accrediting it for mainline use. R700 probably after that but that's a question to ask SRV. Having X36 restored is certainly a "wish" for many, but I would imagine considerable resources would be required. Just keeping operational locos maintained is itself a big job.

As for A2 986: it impresses all who see it in action. Question: was the A2 the first loco produced in decent numbers that was entirely designed and built in Australia? (Since many others before it were pattern engines built first in UK or USA).
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Begs the question: whats next? R700?
davesvline
The next challenge isn't going to be restoring yet another loco - it's going to be keeping all of the steam menagerie on the rails into the future. Steam is expensive to run and maintain; it follows that every loco restored is an additional recurring expense for your maintenance budget. You have to match that expense with more revenue, which means more tours.

Steamrail has 2x Ks, 2x Rs, a D3, a Y* and now an A2 - isn't that enough? Every other preservation group in the state (with the exception of the VGR and Puffing Billy) only have one steam locomotive each to take care of.

Dreaming is fine, but you've got to face reality sometime.

* Y112 isn't owned by Steamrail, but it is at least partially maintained by them

And just so I don't sound like a complete downer: it was a real privilege to see the A2 running up and down the mainline yesterday! A fantastic way for Steamrail to top off the decades of hard work that went into restoring her.
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border
After having from afar watched the you tube put up by greensleeves yesterday, all I can say is congratulations to all involved in the huge task undertaken over many years to bring back to life this quite amazing machine.   Elsewhere I applauded the efforts of this team and that of the dedicated crew who undertook the restoration of the 6029 Grarrat in NSW.   These efforts which have spanned decades really go unnoticed until such time as the locomotive actually reappears in operation.   I think its only fitting that Steamrail ran this tour to acknowledge the efforts of those involved.   Its a fine achievement.
Agreed.

Begs the question whats next.    R700??

Regards
No, another A2 using all the best bits from 884, 964, 995 or 996 or another D3 on the same basis to minimise the work and the cost. Better still X 36 or N 432.
Seriously though, I am thankful for all the effort that has gone into A2 986. The troops deserve a rest but, on the other hand, it would be sad to lose the experience and expertise.
YM-Mundrabilla
I would be very surprised if there was even enough good parts to make 1 more A2 out of all those Locos.
A major bottom end rebuild of the D3 would have to be in the not distant future.

I would also argree it is going to be a major challenge for steamrail to keep all their rollingstock running in the years to come.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Congratulations to all concerned - from those who had the courage to get it from the park all those years ago, down to the one who tightened the last bolt - and all those in between. Take a bow.

Not many Organisations in the world can claim to have 7 Operational Steam Loco's on their books, and of course maintaining what you have has to take priority over the next restoration. The Operating Loco's need to earn their keep too, as well as have serviceable carriages to pull to accommodate those who provide the income.
  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
Begs the question: whats next? R700?
The next challenge isn't going to be restoring yet another loco - it's going to be keeping all of the steam menagerie on the rails into the future. Steam is expensive to run and maintain; it follows that every loco restored is an additional recurring expense for your maintenance budget. You have to match that expense with more revenue, which means more tours.

Steamrail has 2x Ks, 2x Rs, a D3, a Y* and now an A2 - isn't that enough? Every other preservation group in the state (with the exception of the VGR and Puffing Billy) only have one steam locomotive each to take care of.

Dreaming is fine, but you've got to face reality sometime.

* Y112 isn't owned by Steamrail, but it is at least partially maintained by them

And just so I don't sound like a complete downer: it was a real privilege to see the A2 running up and down the mainline yesterday! A fantastic way for Steamrail to top off the decades of hard work that went into restoring her.
LancedDendrite
And in posing the question, without being able to ask anyone there to find out, the obvious question regarding loco restoration is "OK Steamrail, what next??"

I offered R700 as a guess. What does anyone else either in the know or not offer. This obviously taken with due consideration for the entities operating costs and sustaining what they have running. What its it that Steamrail
wish for next..... Who knows?


Pop quiz. What do rail fans wish for?? Another K?? R?? N?? The N is missing - what now? Who knows, and whats the suggestion
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
A new-build S class! Laughing
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
A new-build S class! Laughing
LancedDendrite
S 304. . . (Sir Harold Clapp.)

. . . or . . .

G 43. . . (Walhalla needs something with a bit of guts.)
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
S 304. . . (Sir Harold Clapp.)
Bogong

You can only name it for Clapp if it's built to run on standard gauge!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
S 304. . . (Sir Harold Clapp.)

You can only name it for Clapp if it's built to run on standard gauge!
LancedDendrite
Give 3801 (even with two boilers) a run for its money . Twisted Evil
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
A new-build S class! Laughing
S 304. . . (Sir Harold Clapp.)

. . . or . . .

G 43. . . (Walhalla needs something with a bit of guts.)
Bogong

If we're doing S304, I'd probably go with 'George Bass'- the diesel S304's name seeing as A60's already named after Clapp, and would more than likely get preserved itself some day.

Besides, the names from the steam S's carried to the diesel versions so hy not the other way? Razz


It may not be Steamrail, but there's the group building a V Class 2-8-0 from scratch. Maybe they could be the next big one?
  Loco Administrator Railpage 2 Developer

Location: Melbourne
Folks let's keep this discussion related to the A² Restoration. If you'd like to discuss what's next, please start a new thread.
  Clarke Hudswell Junior Train Controller

I travelled on the test run and I am now very happy to have had my first experience of travel behind an A2, that iconic VR design. I would like to congratulate Steamrail on such a fine achievement.


The A2 did not seem to be pushed too hard on the steep grades (short as they are on the NE line), but did some spirited running at speed at times. In particular, the running from Broadford to Wandong was particularly fine and, although I did not time it, speeds seemed to be not far off what one would expect from an R class. This should not come as a surprise, because on that train (6/280 ton), the A2 had a power/weight ratio of 3.1 (dbhp/t), whereas the R only improves on this by 10% (3.4 dbhp/t), a legacy of its much higher weight and only an extra 385 hp or so at best (ofc, steam locomotive power is not constant,  and I am not suggesting 986 was being operated at full power).


A pity it did not stop at Heathcote Junc on the Up, as scheduled, the take off on the grade would have been fascinating to see and hear.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

My understanding is that the bearings were routinely checked at Kilmore East on the Down and near Wallan on the Up?

Looks like the return trip had some parallel running with a V/Line Albury Up service looking at Youtube.... Laughing
  Clarke Hudswell Junior Train Controller

Yes, you are correct, stops were made at Kilmore East (Dn) and after Wallan (Up) to inspect the loco. Obviously it was fine, as there was no delay or easing up afterwards.


An Up Albury service paralleled us for a number of kms, running up and down beside us to give every one a good view. The VLine passengers would have had a great view of the A2. Nice to see a bit of old fashioned railway “fun”, and everyone except the VLine corporate types would have been happy. They would probably be bemoaning the loss of 30 seconds, and forgetting the goodwill generated. Reminds me of parallel runs here with 38s and with the Flying Scotsman.
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border
I travelled on the test run and I am now very happy to have had my first experience of travel behind an A2, that iconic VR design. I would like to congratulate Steamrail on such a fine achievement.


The A2 did not seem to be pushed too hard on the steep grades (short as they are on the NE line), but did some spirited running at speed at times. In particular, the running from Broadford to Wandong was particularly fine and, although I did not time it, speeds seemed to be not far off what one would expect from an R class. This should not come as a surprise, because on that train (6/280 ton), the A2 had a power/weight ratio of 3.1 (dbhp/t), whereas the R only improves on this by 10% (3.4 dbhp/t), a legacy of its much higher weight and only an extra 385 hp or so at best (ofc, steam locomotive power is not constant,  and I am not suggesting 986 was being operated at full power).


A pity it did not stop at Heathcote Junc on the Up, as scheduled, the take off on the grade would have been fascinating to see and hear.
Clarke Hudswell
I'm a little bit curious as to where the figures 3.1 dbhp per Ton for the A2 (makes approx 375 total) and 3.4 for an R (approx 640 total) come from.  The book I have just referred to quotes figures much higher.  It also states the R having as much as 800 Dbhp more at 37 Mph.  

However;
I will argree it did not seem to be being pushed on the grades, but remember it has cylinders larger in diameter than a R at 22" with only 29 sq/ft of Grate with much less heating surface overall as well.  So push it too hard and you'll run out of Steam pretty quick.

The running from Broadford to Wandong may have been not too far off an R, but a quick reference to the ol' VR grade book reveals no sustained climbing, so it about what I would expect considering the train was limited to a ceiling of 50 Mph.
  M636C Minister for Railways


I'm a little bit curious as to where the figures 3.1 dbhp per Ton for the A2 (makes approx 375 total) and 3.4 for an R (approx 640 total) come from.  The book I have just referred to quotes figures much higher.  It also states the R having as much as 800 Dbhp more at 37 Mph.  
NSWGR 3827
I think the figures referred to loco + train:

For the R (190 tonnes) + 280 tonnes of train = 470 tonnes @ 3.4 per tonne = 1598 HP

- sounds reasonable to me....

M636C

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