3801 Boiler

 
  nswtrains Deputy Commissioner

And just think how many $$$ could have been saved had the Boiler been made out here, this project is turning into a farce!!
What do you mean "turning into a farce."  

It has been a farce for years, its only the scale of that farce which keeps escalating.
7334
Oh you are all experts not. An Australian company was eventually employed to repair the original boiler and they have had trouble because there were unforeseen problems with this particular boiler. I am not sure anyone is capable of building such a boiler in Australia without a great deal of difficulty as the skills have been lost.

I do not think you can blame the volunteers etc working on 3801 as the available funding has changed quite a deal over the years. Initially it was just Thirlmere on a limited budget with the main aim to get the boiler sorted. However, the decision to build a new one in Germany was not a decision taken by Thirlmere but by the original Rail Heritage organisation so you can hardly blame Thirlmere.

Now who stuffed up that process is still not obvious but it was indeed badly executed by the manufacturer due to the defective plans supplied.

Then it was decided that the old boiler be repaired locally and because of the delay the new Rail Heritage Organisation threw in more dosh to ensure the loco could run for a long time without overhaul. I think the decision to procure new wheel bearings falls in that category.

So what it takes another 2 years. Once completed it will be a superb machine that will give pleasure to a lot of people for many years, and not just hypocritical rail fans.

Please stop the whinging as it is becoming quite tedious.

Sponsored advertisement

  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
And just think how many $$$ could have been saved had the Boiler been made out here, this project is turning into a farce!!
What do you mean "turning into a farce."  

It has been a farce for years, its only the scale of that farce which keeps escalating.
Oh you are all experts not. An Australian company was eventually employed to repair the original boiler and they have had trouble because there were unforeseen problems with this particular boiler. I am not sure anyone is capable of building such a boiler in Australia without a great deal of difficulty as the skills have been lost.

I do not think you can blame the volunteers etc working on 3801 as the available funding has changed quite a deal over the years. Initially it was just Thirlmere on a limited budget with the main aim to get the boiler sorted. However, the decision to build a new one in Germany was not a decision taken by Thirlmere but by the original Rail Heritage organisation so you can hardly blame Thirlmere.

Now who stuffed up that process is still not obvious but it was indeed badly executed by the manufacturer due to the defective plans supplied.

Then it was decided that the old boiler be repaired locally and because of the delay the new Rail Heritage Organisation threw in more dosh to ensure the loco could run for a long time without overhaul. I think the decision to procure new wheel bearings falls in that category.

So what it takes another 2 years. Once completed it will be a superb machine that will give pleasure to a lot of people for many years, and not just hypocritical rail fans.

Please stop the whinging as it is becoming quite tedious.
nswtrains
Have to take exception to the assertion that the skills to build a new boiler in this country are lost, the facilities to build new boilers still exist in the Queensland Railways Workshop Museum at Ipswich and as for skills there are still boilermakers who have the skills.
It would make sense to keep these skills alive for the future to actually build a couple of new boilers from scratch with a program to train some apprentices in the necessary skills, a new boiler for a 38 could be a starting point, then perhaps a boiler for an R class, a new boiler for a PB perhaps or for an AC 16.  They would all be long term jobs and could be financed by the Federal Government and subsidized by the state governments as skill training programs to provide apprentices with additional skills in their trades.
  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place
And just think how many $$$ could have been saved had the Boiler been made out here, this project is turning into a farce!!
What do you mean "turning into a farce."  

It has been a farce for years, its only the scale of that farce which keeps escalating.
Oh you are all experts not. An Australian company was eventually employed to repair the original boiler and they have had trouble because there were unforeseen problems with this particular boiler. I am not sure anyone is capable of building such a boiler in Australia without a great deal of difficulty as the skills have been lost.

I do not think you can blame the volunteers etc working on 3801 as the available funding has changed quite a deal over the years. Initially it was just Thirlmere on a limited budget with the main aim to get the boiler sorted. However, the decision to build a new one in Germany was not a decision taken by Thirlmere but by the original Rail Heritage organisation so you can hardly blame Thirlmere.

Now who stuffed up that process is still not obvious but it was indeed badly executed by the manufacturer due to the defective plans supplied.

Then it was decided that the old boiler be repaired locally and because of the delay the new Rail Heritage Organisation threw in more dosh to ensure the loco could run for a long time without overhaul. I think the decision to procure new wheel bearings falls in that category.

So what it takes another 2 years. Once completed it will be a superb machine that will give pleasure to a lot of people for many years, and not just hypocritical rail fans.

Please stop the whinging as it is becoming quite tedious.
nswtrains
I am not whinging and I have purposely stayed out of any discussions on this until now.  The simple facts are that this project has dragged on through what appears to be mismanagement or just plain incompetence.  As someone else commented on the previous page "Is there anyone involved with the overhaul of 3801 who understands the words, "Project Management"? It would appear that this skill is lacking.

I am not having a shot at the volunteers whom I have no doubt are as frustrated as anyone and more so than most due to the amount of time and effort which they have individually and collectively dedicated to the project.  They deserve our gratitude, nothing less, and they certainly have mine.

I am also not having a shot at Ainsworths who have been handed what I would assume is a complex, difficult, and challenging task and are presumably working their way through it in a competent and professional manner.  I am also quite prepared to accept that when they eventually hand back the boiler it will have been repaired in a competent and technically sound manner, that it will be fit for purpose, and that it will actually fit the locomotive, which will make a nice change.  

The farce is that it has taken so long to get to this point due to mismanagement and that we now appear to be in a situation where bearings which have been inspected previously are now to be replaced involving disassembly of some of the locomotive a second time.

It is called "critical path analysis".  In its simplest form it involves working out the steps to take and in what order to take them to avoid doing things twice or having task A interfere with task B.  This does not appear to have happened.

What is tedious is the ongoing lack of progress.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
And just think how many $$$ could have been saved had the Boiler been made out here, this project is turning into a farce!!
What do you mean "turning into a farce."  

It has been a farce for years, its only the scale of that farce which keeps escalating.
Oh you are all experts not. An Australian company was eventually employed to repair the original boiler and they have had trouble because there were unforeseen problems with this particular boiler. I am not sure anyone is capable of building such a boiler in Australia without a great deal of difficulty as the skills have been lost.

I do not think you can blame the volunteers etc working on 3801 as the available funding has changed quite a deal over the years. Initially it was just Thirlmere on a limited budget with the main aim to get the boiler sorted. However, the decision to build a new one in Germany was not a decision taken by Thirlmere but by the original Rail Heritage organisation so you can hardly blame Thirlmere.

Now who stuffed up that process is still not obvious but it was indeed badly executed by the manufacturer due to the defective plans supplied.

Then it was decided that the old boiler be repaired locally and because of the delay the new Rail Heritage Organisation threw in more dosh to ensure the loco could run for a long time without overhaul. I think the decision to procure new wheel bearings falls in that category.

So what it takes another 2 years. Once completed it will be a superb machine that will give pleasure to a lot of people for many years, and not just hypocritical rail fans.

Please stop the whinging as it is becoming quite tedious.
Have to take exception to the assertion that the skills to build a new boiler in this country are lost, the facilities to build new boilers still exist in the Queensland Railways Workshop Museum at Ipswich and as for skills there are still boilermakers who have the skills.
It would make sense to keep these skills alive for the future to actually build a couple of new boilers from scratch with a program to train some apprentices in the necessary skills, a new boiler for a 38 could be a starting point, then perhaps a boiler for an R class, a new boiler for a PB perhaps or for an AC 16.  They would all be long term jobs and could be financed by the Federal Government and subsidized by the state governments as skill training programs to provide apprentices with additional skills in their trades.
Mufreight
We would rather pay people the dole (or not pay if we can get away with it).
  a6et Minister for Railways

And just think how many $$$ could have been saved had the Boiler been made out here, this project is turning into a farce!!
What do you mean "turning into a farce."  

It has been a farce for years, its only the scale of that farce which keeps escalating.
Oh you are all experts not. An Australian company was eventually employed to repair the original boiler and they have had trouble because there were unforeseen problems with this particular boiler. I am not sure anyone is capable of building such a boiler in Australia without a great deal of difficulty as the skills have been lost.

I do not think you can blame the volunteers etc working on 3801 as the available funding has changed quite a deal over the years. Initially it was just Thirlmere on a limited budget with the main aim to get the boiler sorted. However, the decision to build a new one in Germany was not a decision taken by Thirlmere but by the original Rail Heritage organisation so you can hardly blame Thirlmere.

Now who stuffed up that process is still not obvious but it was indeed badly executed by the manufacturer due to the defective plans supplied.

Then it was decided that the old boiler be repaired locally and because of the delay the new Rail Heritage Organisation threw in more dosh to ensure the loco could run for a long time without overhaul. I think the decision to procure new wheel bearings falls in that category.

So what it takes another 2 years. Once completed it will be a superb machine that will give pleasure to a lot of people for many years, and not just hypocritical rail fans.

Please stop the whinging as it is becoming quite tedious.
Have to take exception to the assertion that the skills to build a new boiler in this country are lost, the facilities to build new boilers still exist in the Queensland Railways Workshop Museum at Ipswich and as for skills there are still boilermakers who have the skills.
It would make sense to keep these skills alive for the future to actually build a couple of new boilers from scratch with a program to train some apprentices in the necessary skills, a new boiler for a 38 could be a starting point, then perhaps a boiler for an R class, a new boiler for a PB perhaps or for an AC 16.  They would all be long term jobs and could be financed by the Federal Government and subsidized by the state governments as skill training programs to provide apprentices with additional skills in their trades.
Mufreight
Likewise the aspect that a new boiler was built in Sydney for 3265 for its RTS.

I am sure there are enough competent factories that could build new boilers for any steam engine in this country, certainly old skills and trades need to be kept in this country as its become a lost art and trade, not just for boilers but for a heck of a lot of other areas as well.

Also, why did 3801 have to be taken to Chullora for the work?  After all the LES would have been perfectly satisfactory a location for the work to have been carried out, not only that but the cost of hiring cranes to do the lifts at Chullora would not have been cheap, that amount of money could well have been used to restore the heavy lift Overhead cranes at the LES, lets not forget they were perfectly adequate for the use during the building of the 38, 58 and assembly of the garratt's there as well.

Being close to good public transport could also be an advantage in getting volunteers to work there, &/or for training them in the skills/trades for the future, certainly better location than Chullora and Thirlmere in that area.
  michaelgm Chief Train Controller

Nswtrains, not claiming to be an expert but CLEARLY the people who have been calling the shots previously are not either.
  BrigadierBrasso Station Staff

And just think how many $$$ could have been saved had the Boiler been made out here, this project is turning into a farce!!
What do you mean "turning into a farce."  

It has been a farce for years, its only the scale of that farce which keeps escalating.
Oh you are all experts not. An Australian company was eventually employed to repair the original boiler and they have had trouble because there were unforeseen problems with this particular boiler. I am not sure anyone is capable of building such a boiler in Australia without a great deal of difficulty as the skills have been lost.

I do not think you can blame the volunteers etc working on 3801 as the available funding has changed quite a deal over the years. Initially it was just Thirlmere on a limited budget with the main aim to get the boiler sorted. However, the decision to build a new one in Germany was not a decision taken by Thirlmere but by the original Rail Heritage organisation so you can hardly blame Thirlmere.

Now who stuffed up that process is still not obvious but it was indeed badly executed by the manufacturer due to the defective plans supplied.

Then it was decided that the old boiler be repaired locally and because of the delay the new Rail Heritage Organisation threw in more dosh to ensure the loco could run for a long time without overhaul. I think the decision to procure new wheel bearings falls in that category.

So what it takes another 2 years. Once completed it will be a superb machine that will give pleasure to a lot of people for many years, and not just hypocritical rail fans.

Please stop the whinging as it is becoming quite tedious.
nswtrains
Nobody is blaming volunteers. The project managers responsible on the other hand should be facing some form of accountability for the poor performance.  Bare in mind that they would be on contracts worth at least $100k a year, so by projects end the wage bill alone will easily top the $1 million dollar mark.  With that kind of money, the farce that the project is should be subject to external and independant review, much the way the Flying Scotsman project was in the UK.

You are also wrong about the project timeline.  It was intially managed by Office of Rail Heritage, funded fully by the NSW Government and two tenders were let- One for the construction of the new boiler by DKM in Germany (Now sitting in the open at Broadmeadow and unusable without major work) and one to the RTM for the Mechanical Overhaul. When ORH was disbanded, THNSW took over management of the boiler project as well.  The decision to repair the old came much later on.

The decision on the bearings has only occured in the past 4 months (after it had been reassembled a 2nd time) when it was found that the manner of there signing off by the project manager in '1st rebuild' did not meet acceptable standards (then or now).  It has nothing to do with "Oh we have more time we'll take care of them".  It was an oversight, plain and simple.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
' It was an oversight, plain and simple.'
'Oversight' or 'incompetence' ?
  BrigadierBrasso Station Staff

' It was an oversight, plain and simple.'
'Oversight' or 'incompetence' ?
YM-Mundrabilla
They can be one and the same. In this case....hmmmm
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border
If you read the latest report, it says the bearings are to be replaced now while the loco is still in bits, to save doing it in two or so years time.  The bearings were looked at a few years ago and at that time, they were assessed as being okay for limited use, with constant monitoring but would need to be replaced after roughly five or so years of that limited use.  With the boiler still being repaired, the decision has been taken to change 'em out now and so save the extra expense and 'down time' in the future.
With the Loco dismantled to the extent of having Wheels out and Boxes removed, the decision to reassemble them only to take the whole thing apart after 5 years can hardly be described as a good use of manpower.  

The next questions that comes to mind is, are the Bearings available off the shelf? or is there going to have to be modifications made to enable what bearings are available to be fitted?, or will they have to be made to order?
The process of changing them I suspect will take quite some time especially with the wheelsets with inside bearings as both tyres and wheels will need to be removed, there is also the risk of damaging axles while pressing the wheels off.
Thanks NSWGR 3827.

Is it possible/permissible to press wheels off an axle and then re-press the same wheels onto the same axle whilst retaining the same measurements (wheel bore and axle seat etc) and still achieve the necessary interference fit, please?

I was wondering whether you would need new axles to provide the necessary 'fit'?
YM-Mundrabilla
Provided neither axle nor wheel centre are damaged during removal it should be possible.  The Tyres however will have to be removed first.

Once reassembled the Driving Wheels will also have to be Checked to see they are still in quarter.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
If you read the latest report, it says the bearings are to be replaced now while the loco is still in bits, to save doing it in two or so years time.  The bearings were looked at a few years ago and at that time, they were assessed as being okay for limited use, with constant monitoring but would need to be replaced after roughly five or so years of that limited use.  With the boiler still being repaired, the decision has been taken to change 'em out now and so save the extra expense and 'down time' in the future.
With the Loco dismantled to the extent of having Wheels out and Boxes removed, the decision to reassemble them only to take the whole thing apart after 5 years can hardly be described as a good use of manpower.  

The next questions that comes to mind is, are the Bearings available off the shelf? or is there going to have to be modifications made to enable what bearings are available to be fitted?, or will they have to be made to order?
The process of changing them I suspect will take quite some time especially with the wheelsets with inside bearings as both tyres and wheels will need to be removed, there is also the risk of damaging axles while pressing the wheels off.
Thanks NSWGR 3827.

Is it possible/permissible to press wheels off an axle and then re-press the same wheels onto the same axle whilst retaining the same measurements (wheel bore and axle seat etc) and still achieve the necessary interference fit, please?

I was wondering whether you would need new axles to provide the necessary 'fit'?
Provided neither axle nor wheel centre are damaged during removal it should be possible.  The Tyres however will have to be removed first.

Once reassembled the Driving Wheels will also have to be Checked to see they are still in quarter.
NSWGR 3827
Thanks again NSWGR 3827.
Like everything else, I don't suppose that one can go on doing this sort of thing time and time again 'indefinitely'.
Whatever happens the driving wheels must be preserved at all costs ??
  TheFish Chief Train Controller

Location: Pyongyang
The takeaway from this is there needs to be a full review of the 3801 overhaul when it is completed so that lessons are learned.  

THNSW needs to be authentic and open with its information.

It doesn't matter to me when the job is done if the job is done right. What does matter is not being informed. As a THNSW member why am I finding out about these bearings months ago on a Facebook group and then seeing the official announcement when the public does? If you are going to be obsessively PR oriented with your news updates with the public, which is how THNSW seems to go about its updates, at least inform your own membership more frequently about what is going on. This is not only good practice but generates support and interest. It was clear with the 3526 unveiling that this was being used as a PR deflection of the bad publicity that has surrounded 3801.

We need a dedicated boiler shop in NSW.

I volunteer at a heritage railway in the UK and have seen how a dedicated boiler workshop and a dedicated group of boiler staff can work. And it could work with the minimal extra expense to THNSW after initial set up if THNSW oversees the boiler shop and it and all other customers pay 'cost price' for all work done. We need dedicated staff working on boilers to ensure they are highly enough skilled, letting other fitters focus on mechanical work. Volunteer labour could also be used to assist paid labour with appropriate training and the boiler shop staff could also be contracted out to various operators at cost price to assist and oversee operational boiler running maintenance. Essentially THNSW would be contracting to its own sub organisation instead of outside firms. A further option would be to set up a facility in partnership with an existing engineering firm.  

There are enough steam operators in NSW, big and small, to ensure that there is constant work. What these operators all struggle with is having the skills and experience to do their own boiler work individually.  If the staff of this facility do the major repairs of boilers and oversee the running maintenance for the different heritage operators this will ease the responsibility from volunteers as well as provide the means to develop volunteer labour to be as skilled as it possibly can be.  I've seen it work, and it can work for NSW.
  viaprojects Junior Train Controller

 

There are enough steam operators in NSW, big and small, to ensure that there is constant work.
TheFish


big problem compared to the UK....

1- the main site for the work was in the middle of the city.. workshops at Redfern ...
2- big problem of using the rail network even if the work shops were still open...
3- any current rail workshops are limited by skilled persons or tools
  a6et Minister for Railways

 

There are enough steam operators in NSW, big and small, to ensure that there is constant work.


big problem compared to the UK....

1- the main site for the work was in the middle of the city.. workshops at Redfern ...
2- big problem of using the rail network even if the work shops were still open...
3- any current rail workshops are limited by skilled persons or tools
viaprojects
1: Its an advantage being so close to Redfern station for workers to travel to/from compared to no PT at Chullora and Thirlmere.
2: The rail network is still accessible from the LES through the dive, just as ETR and XPL sets, can also access Illawarra line.
3: That would be a problem no matter where they are located, for heavy overhauls.  Although having a facility close to main line rail as well as a station that all city Sydney trains stop at for ease of access for workers is a benefit for the future.
The LES has huge potential if it was to get much of the old ""Lost"" machinery or replacement tools, the heavy lift O/head cranes gives it a capacity far beyond what is currently available elsewhere.  

It is time that new workers to be trained in trade skills that can be used not just for the work on steam locomotives but no doubt in other areas as well.
  ssaunders Train Controller

I don't think it matters which location the work is completed at, the fact is it's still not completed and the comptenancy of the people involved from the beginning needs to be looked at.

It should be noted that 3112 is nearly completed at Goulburn workshop which seems to be a full overhaul, I guess they didn't want to tender for the job.
  exarmidale Train Controller

The LES is totally unacceptable as a heavy maintenance facility as the overhead cranes are fixed strategically to their tracks to stop the walls caving in.
We all need to get this notion out of our heads that it is suitable.
You can’t use mobile cranes inside and if you were to do so outside then would severely impact on Sydney and NSW Train Operations.

You are all reminded that Mirvac owns all the attached workshops and that these are gong to be renovated to their requirements.

All this hoo-ha about using the LES is just wasting breath.

Locomotive 3801 belongs to NSW Government and it is the one responsible and yes inherited a crap procurement job that originated from the Office of Rail Heritage more than 10 years ago.

Under the circumstances Chullora is currently the best option.

Someone mentioned work on 3112. This is a privately owned Loco by I believe a multi millionaire.

Heavens forbid maybe the government should have thrown millions at Loco 3801 and you would then miss out on valuable medical and school infrastructure.
Just think if you needed an operation or treatment and due to funds diverted to something like 3801 pales into insignificance if you need medical treatment.
  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place
Heavens forbid maybe the government should have thrown millions at Loco 3801 and you would then miss out on valuable medical and school infrastructure.
Just think if you needed an operation or treatment and due to funds diverted to something like 3801 pales into insignificance if you need medical treatment.
exarmidale
Which is why people got upset about the government wanting to spend a couple of BILLION to rebuild football stadiums.

Everything government (and any of us as individuals for that matter) spends money on is a choice between competing priorities.

The whole project seems to have been a succession of poor decisions which I imagine has increased the cost and what worries me is the prospect that government gets fed up and pulls the funding and we wind up with another 3813 AKA the worlds biggest Airfix kit.
  NSWGR 3827 Deputy Commissioner

Location: South of the Border

We need a dedicated boiler shop in NSW.

I volunteer at a heritage railway in the UK and have seen how a dedicated boiler workshop and a dedicated group of boiler staff can work. And it could work with the minimal extra expense to THNSW after initial set up if THNSW oversees the boiler shop and it and all other customers pay 'cost price' for all work done. We need dedicated staff working on boilers to ensure they are highly enough skilled, letting other fitters focus on mechanical work. Volunteer labour could also be used to assist paid labour with appropriate training and the boiler shop staff could also be contracted out to various operators at cost price to assist and oversee operational boiler running maintenance. Essentially THNSW would be contracting to its own sub organisation instead of outside firms. A further option would be to set up a facility in partnership with an existing engineering firm.  

There are enough steam operators in NSW, big and small, to ensure that there is constant work. What these operators all struggle with is having the skills and experience to do their own boiler work individually.  If the staff of this facility do the major repairs of boilers and oversee the running maintenance for the different heritage operators this will ease the responsibility from volunteers as well as provide the means to develop volunteer labour to be as skilled as it possibly can be.  I've seen it work, and it can work for NSW.
TheFish
I would argue you don't need a dedicated Boiler Shop, what is needed is a Good Feedwater Treatment regime.
  TheFish Chief Train Controller

Location: Pyongyang

We need a dedicated boiler shop in NSW.

I volunteer at a heritage railway in the UK and have seen how a dedicated boiler workshop and a dedicated group of boiler staff can work. And it could work with the minimal extra expense to THNSW after initial set up if THNSW oversees the boiler shop and it and all other customers pay 'cost price' for all work done. We need dedicated staff working on boilers to ensure they are highly enough skilled, letting other fitters focus on mechanical work. Volunteer labour could also be used to assist paid labour with appropriate training and the boiler shop staff could also be contracted out to various operators at cost price to assist and oversee operational boiler running maintenance. Essentially THNSW would be contracting to its own sub organisation instead of outside firms. A further option would be to set up a facility in partnership with an existing engineering firm.  

There are enough steam operators in NSW, big and small, to ensure that there is constant work. What these operators all struggle with is having the skills and experience to do their own boiler work individually.  If the staff of this facility do the major repairs of boilers and oversee the running maintenance for the different heritage operators this will ease the responsibility from volunteers as well as provide the means to develop volunteer labour to be as skilled as it possibly can be.  I've seen it work, and it can work for NSW.I would argue you don't need a dedicated Boiler Shop, what is needed is a Good Feedwater Treatment regime.
NSWGR 3827
Even with the best treatment regimes boilers, especially reconditioned ones, will eventually wear out.  Water quality is only one half of the equation.  The other half is thermal stress.  This can be minimized but will sooner or later deteriorate the condition of a boiler.  

You need both.
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Ok, I know the full story now but not willing to let all the cats out of the bag without giving TPTB the opportunity to do it first. Here's a bit;

Project management : You've got your wish. John Snider (from Sydney Trains) has been seconded to THNSW as Project Manager 3801 Project, as of March. John is of course well known as the project manager who climbed the almost impossible challenges to get electric set F1 back on the track recently. If the 3801 project wasn't well managed in the past, it is now.

Wheel Bearings : It has been decided that the existing wheel bearings are unrecoverable. No manufacturer is willing to undertake the manufacture of a suitable set of replacements under warranty at any price. The approach will now be to substitute a different set of axle boxes which use more conventional, modern bearing assemblies.

Boiler : Yes, there are problems. Not going to say what they are, but they revolve around the boiler having been modified in the past. The new firebox has been manufactured from the original 38 blueprints. The challenge now is to get the two talking to each other.

Heritage can be a smeg. One thing always leads to another. I've always learned it's never a good idea to put a deadline on a heritage project, let alone a budget.

Cheers..
  M636C Minister for Railways

Ok, I know the full story now but not willing to let all the cats out of the bag without giving TPTB the opportunity to do it first. Here's a bit;

Project management : You've got your wish. John Snider (from Sydney Trains) has been seconded to THNSW as Project Manager 3801 Project, as of March. John is of course well known as the project manager who climbed the almost impossible challenges to get electric set F1 back on the track recently. If the 3801 project wasn't well managed in the past, it is now.

Wheel Bearings : It has been decided that the existing wheel bearings are unrecoverable. No manufacturer is willing to undertake the manufacture of a suitable set of replacements under warranty at any price. The approach will now be to substitute a different set of axle boxes which use more conventional, modern bearing assemblies.

Boiler : Yes, there are problems. Not going to say what they are, but they revolve around the boiler having been modified in the past. The new firebox has been manufactured from the original 38 blueprints. The challenge now is to get the two talking to each other.

Heritage can be a smeg. One thing always leads to another. I've always learned it's never a good idea to put a deadline on a heritage project, let alone a budget.

Cheers..
zordmaker
As I mentioned on the Tornado thread, they seem happy to release details straight away, while here it is like pulling teeth without anaesthetic to get any real information.

For those who don't know, the 38 class were fitted with Swedish SKF self aligning roller bearings. The outer race was spherical on the inner face and barrel shaped rollers were used in two rows to match the surface. This allowed the bearing to cope with bending and deflection of the axle without damage. Each main coupled axle had four of these bearings, two each side. I assume from the statement that SKF no longer make these bearings. Hoffman in the UK made similar bearings in the 1950s.

It is of course possible to use conventional tapered roller bearings, but the application will require careful design to avoid the problems the SKF boxes avoided through their original design. On freight wagons with heavy loads, it has been found that placing the bearings closer together can avoid some of the problems from bending and deflection.

This is unlikely to be cheap, even if completely standard bearings can be used. I'd expect that new axles might be required, since he new bearings are unlikely to be exactly the same size as the old ones.

When the 3801 boiler was rebuilt in the 1980s, a welded inner firebox was substituted for the original riveted design. This presented a problem with the location of some stays which would have been on a welded seam on the welded firebox, although not a problem with the riveted design. As a result some stays were deleted and the boiler was limited to 215 psig rather than the original 245 psig. In the rebuild it was hoped to avoid this problem but apparently more work is needed, possibly in locating the extra stays.



I hope we do get some management this time. It must be hard for the contractors and volunteers when unexpected problems arise.

Peter
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ok, I know the full story now but not willing to let all the cats out of the bag without giving TPTB the opportunity to do it first. Here's a bit;

Project management : You've got your wish. John Snider (from Sydney Trains) has been seconded to THNSW as Project Manager 3801 Project, as of March. John is of course well known as the project manager who climbed the almost impossible challenges to get electric set F1 back on the track recently. If the 3801 project wasn't well managed in the past, it is now.

Wheel Bearings : It has been decided that the existing wheel bearings are unrecoverable. No manufacturer is willing to undertake the manufacture of a suitable set of replacements under warranty at any price. The approach will now be to substitute a different set of axle boxes which use more conventional, modern bearing assemblies.

Boiler : Yes, there are problems. Not going to say what they are, but they revolve around the boiler having been modified in the past. The new firebox has been manufactured from the original 38 blueprints. The challenge now is to get the two talking to each other.

Heritage can be a smeg. One thing always leads to another. I've always learned it's never a good idea to put a deadline on a heritage project, let alone a budget.

Cheers..
zordmaker
Thanks Zordmaker.

It's great to get some real information in lieu of everyone being treated as mushrooms (or worse).

There are many who are interested in a level of technical detail and are competent to understand at least some of it. Not all are foamers in need of 'feed water treatment' should they see or hear a 38 class.

TPTB* need to take a lesson from the latest unfortunate Tornado incident in the UK so far as available information is concerned.

Unfortunately, so much in some areas of Australian Preservation comes over as either 'cover up', 'what would you understand' or 'conspiracy'. I am not suggesting that this is deliberate but that is the way it emerges.

* The powers that be I assume.

EDIT at 1438 on 18/4 - just tidied it up a bit.
  M636C Minister for Railways

This has just been drawn to my attention:

http://www.skf.com/au/products/bearings-units-housings/roller-bearings/carb-toroidal-roller-bearings/index.html

These might be an alternative, assuming they come in the right size...

Does anyone know what was done about lateral thrust in the 38 class?

EDIT;
This is the type of bearing in the 38 now, which SKF still seem to make...

http://www.skf.com/au/products/bearings-units-housings/roller-bearings/spherical-roller-bearings/index.html


Peter
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW

It's great to get some real information in lieu of everyone being treated as mushrooms (or worse).

There are many who are interested in a level of technical detail and are competent to understand at least some of it. Not all are foamers in need of 'feed water treatment' should they see or hear a 38 class.

TPTB* need to take a lesson from the latest unfortunate Tornado incident in the UK so far as available information is concerned.

Unfortunately, so much in some areas of Australian Preservation comes over as either 'cover up', 'what would you understand' or 'conspiracy'. I am not suggesting that this is deliberate but that is the way it emerges.

* The powers that be I assume.

EDIT at 1438 on 18/4 - just tidied it up a bit.
YM-Mundrabilla

Yes, TPTB is correct.

It might be unrelated, but to explain:

Sometimes there's good reason behind "TPTB" keeping quiet. Good TPTB know when to tell all, and when to shut up. Bad TPTB just stay quiet all the time.. and sadly let the rumour mill freewheel to their own detriment.

The main reason for "cover up" is usually because projects are often on the receiving end of unstated benefits that "TPTB" don't want other Government divisions or even ministers to find out about. Without these "benefits", the project would just stop.

The 3801 project is a good one to quote in this regard because quite a lot of $ is not coming out of that $5m handed to THNSW every year by the NSW Govt. There are separate money streams for the 3801 project currently coming out of (gawd knows what column) in TfNSW's books. There's also favoritism being shown to it by some other entities. Entities who might not really want to have that fact known widely otherwise "trouble makers" will no doubt make a fuss about it, cry "unfair!!" and have it stopped. So those lovely three letters "CIC" come out. ("Commercial in confidence").

"Officially", The NSW Govt spends $5m per year on transport heritage. However "unofficially", this figure is much larger. Favours may also not be financial. They can often be simply allowing use of land, personnel, all sorts of things. This sort of thing has always been at the centre of rail heritage in NSW. Without it, we wouldn't have any preserved trains at all or (more importantly) anywhere to put them.

Another area of cross pollination most would be unaware of (and it needs to stay that way) is the position of Sydney Trains. While on the surface everything has its price, underneath there's still quite a lot of stuff that gets done with people scratching each others' backs. ST has long recognized the valued contribution of the rail heritage sector in things (for example)  like making "hook and haul" services available to move their stuff around which they can no longer move themselves. ST has a separate "heritage" budget (quite a large one, lets put it this way, it dwarfs THNSW's annual total budget) which it uses to manage the day to day heritage assets in it's possession which it still relies on to provide the services it is appointed by the Government to provide. Some of this budget overlaps responsibilities of THNSW (particularly in regards to land assets) but also moveable heritage (where ST uses or intends or requires to use those assets for it's own purposes).

Quite often THNSW and ST will help each other if ST think it can be done without impacting on their own primary operations. Naturally these deals are "hush hush" a lot of the time - and thats why "TPTB" are often quiet. They don't want to make it obvious (particularly to the state opposition) that there are potentially more than one set of hands in any particular cookie jar.

The story of 3801 is a sorry one, where many ministers and politicians are still likely to turn around and become very agitated that "more good money is being thrown after bad". Indeed Rail Heritage itself is still on the nose in many political circles, noting how much money was wasted on building Trainworks and useless Boilers by the previous administration.

What the Govt actually want to see is heritage trains running, drawing in crowds who then travel on them, descend on whatever towns and places they visit, opening their wallets and contribute back to the economy. It's a very different approach to the stauch "user pays" approach of the previous government.

THNSW have an impossibly enormous task. They manage and are responsible for far more rolling stock than they or anyone else could ever need. They have nowhere to store it all and they are saddled with a rapidly dwindling human resource with an average age of 67, with which to do anything with it. It's no use having a wallet full of cash if there's nobody who can carry out the work.

The 3801 Bearing and Boiler / Firebox situation is very much this in reality. The expertise and infrastructure is gone and so they are having to start again from scratch. I can think of at least five key people in this field who have died within the last three years. They took all that knowledge with them.

Our situation at HET (Heritage electric set F1 et.al) is similar. Whilst we appreciate the assistance of THNSW and Sydney Trains in the work that was needed to get the train back up and running, these are the facts: Our principle electrical engineer is 82. Our principle mechanical engineer is 74. Even their principal electrical tradesman (me) is now 50. We are the envy of some other preservation groups in that we now have a growing band of young volunteers coming on board, but the opportunities for training them are still slow and few. The two key fitters responsible for F1's certification at present within ST are also similarly aged and make me look young.

The track outside our workshops has holes you can put your shoe through. To move anything in or out of it is akin to trying to make the planets align, restricted to Saturday nights when we need to have three other ST divisions cooperate and just agree to be there. The 3801 project (and most other THNSW projects) face similar challenges. Where we once had five accredited heritage main line operators we now have only three, and with one of those teetering.

This Sunday I will go to work on 4 car electric set W3 which only two years ago, was tested and apparently "ready for operation". Every cover we remove tells yet another horror story. We then devise methods we _hope_ will resolve problems we never knew were there and then toil for hours to make it happen, trying desperately to teach new hands how this stuff works before the old ones are no longer around.

There are no conspiracies. All I see all around me are good people busting their guts and trying their hardest to do something before everybody dies.

Please help us.

Please.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
There are no conspiracies. All I see all around me are good people busting their guts and trying their hardest to do something before everybody dies.

Please help us.

Please.
zordmaker

Congratulations @zordmaker on one of the best posts I have ever read on Railpage! I am a member of a couple of heritage rail organisations too, however I'm on the wrong side of 65 and am kept busy with other priorities. As I've said many times before, I hope my small financial contributions to such organisations help. For those who are young enough and have circumstances that allow it, yes, please help.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: