3801 Boiler

 
  lkernan Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Did you check to plans to see if it will fit?
neillfarmer

Why start now?

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  a6et Minister for Railways

Did you check to plans to see if it will fit?
Neill Farmer
neillfarmer
That's a good question Neil.

From my experience working on 59cl I know they had the same size grate area as the 38cl but the firebox was a different shape, slightly narrower and longer. Firing a coalie it was easier to pack the back corners on the bank but you had to have a good arm to get the coal to both front corners.

The shovelling plate was at a very good height and you did not bend your back as much as with other classes and the tender types. However, the cab back plate was wider than other similar all weather cabs and unless you positioned yourself well, it was very easy to crack your elbow on the side of the back plate on the 59cl. Did it a few times and it darnwell hurt. Never had that with other similar loco's, and as you were conscious of it, it also hindered you in getting the front corners fired.

Other thing is that to put the boiler on to one of the Baldwyn frames what overall body design would one use?  The length of the 59cl frame is likely less than the 38cl what about width? as I mention above the cab design was different, also the firebox. Also I doubt the 38cl boiler would be as economical as the 59cl in coal use, as the 59's steamed better and used less coal on goods trains Enfield - Goulburn than the 38cl used.

Other aspect to consider also, is that while they were an 80Km/h loco. They were darn rough at that speed though, at 100Km/h they are not going to be any better.
  apw5910 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Call it a 39 class.
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
Fit the now homeless boiler to a 59 cl frame??? 5908, 5910, 5916? It's capable of generating more than enough steam. Adjust and balance to make it a 100Kmh or greater runner. It could be great tour loco.

Structural issues?

Efficiency issues?

Dollar issues?

Regulation issues?
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
zordmaker
Clarifying a bit. I was mentally including the HR aspect in the Dollar issues. The only way this could ever happen is in a supported environment, eg thinking back to the 3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing. I don't have any of this type of engineering expertise or access to drawings. I do know in other fields that things never designed to interface can be made to interface when they are of comparable size. I ask the question here knowing there are some who can speak to the idea. There exists one new boiler and two/three static/unspoken for locos, so can something be done to use these? The usage I was thinking of was day trips from Sydney to the Illawarra/Short South, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

From my very limited knowledge I was expecting what a6et said about efficiency. I also can remember riding in a 59 at 15 secs to the 1/4 mile and needing to hang on.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Did you check to plans to see if it will fit?
Neill Farmer
neillfarmer

Presumably the Meiningen drawings show the dimensions of the boiler that they built.

I've never seen them and nobody has clearly explained how the new boiler dimensions differ from those of the 38 class.

I seem to recall that the problem related to the depth of the firebox, being deeper than the frame allowed..
If this is so, since the 59 has the same general design of cast steel bed as the 38, it is possible that it wouldn't fit that frame either.

I didn't think there was a distinct shortage of 59 class boilers or that those available are beyond repair.

But if someone is interested in improving 59 class riding at speed, check out:

https://www.p2steam.com/design-study/

Again the Brits seem to have been there before us as they were with their boiler.

Peter
  M636C Minister for Railways

Call it a 39 class.
apw5910
The numbers prefixed by 3 (or 4, had they got that far) were for six coupled locomotives.

The numbers prefixed by 5 or 6 were for eight coupled locomotives.

Class D61 is the first available for a new eight coupled locomotive.

Peter
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Fit the now homeless boiler to a 59 cl frame??? 5908, 5910, 5916? It's capable of generating more than enough steam. Adjust and balance to make it a 100Kmh or greater runner. It could be great tour loco.

Structural issues?

Efficiency issues?

Dollar issues?

Regulation issues?
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
Clarifying a bit. I was mentally including the HR aspect in the Dollar issues. The only way this could ever happen is in a supported environment, eg thinking back to the 3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing. I don't have any of this type of engineering expertise or access to drawings. I do know in other fields that things never designed to interface can be made to interface when they are of comparable size. I ask the question here knowing there are some who can speak to the idea. There exists one new boiler and two/three static/unspoken for locos, so can something be done to use these? The usage I was thinking of was day trips from Sydney to the Illawarra/Short South, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

From my very limited knowledge I was expecting what a6et said about efficiency. I also can remember riding in a 59 at 15 secs to the 1/4 mile and needing to hang on.
GrahamH
Herein lies this erroneous assumption that all you need to do is throw dollars at something and it'll work out OK. Thats what went wrong with the first boiler. The truth is, the environment in which we train people to do this work no longer exists - so it doesn't matter how much salary you want to attach to a position when you advertise it, you will still not get anyone answering the position because people with those skills simply no longer exist - and never will. Unless we're willing to create a new NSWGR then wait another 10 to 20 years while the shed cleaners filter through and pop out the other end as train crew and railway engineers, HR will forever be the primary challenge of running any heritage rail operation.

Even the "3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing" was 30 years ago.

So unless you're willing to pay a few billion $ to create a world where these people can gain experience, you can't "include the HR aspect in the dollar issues" anymore.

Because no amount of dollars can buy skills that simply no longer exist.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Fit the now homeless boiler to a 59 cl frame??? 5908, 5910, 5916? It's capable of generating more than enough steam. Adjust and balance to make it a 100Kmh or greater runner. It could be great tour loco.

Structural issues?

Efficiency issues?

Dollar issues?

Regulation issues?
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
Clarifying a bit. I was mentally including the HR aspect in the Dollar issues. The only way this could ever happen is in a supported environment, eg thinking back to the 3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing. I don't have any of this type of engineering expertise or access to drawings. I do know in other fields that things never designed to interface can be made to interface when they are of comparable size. I ask the question here knowing there are some who can speak to the idea. There exists one new boiler and two/three static/unspoken for locos, so can something be done to use these? The usage I was thinking of was day trips from Sydney to the Illawarra/Short South, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

From my very limited knowledge I was expecting what a6et said about efficiency. I also can remember riding in a 59 at 15 secs to the 1/4 mile and needing to hang on.
Herein lies this erroneous assumption that all you need to do is throw dollars at something and it'll work out OK. Thats what went wrong with the first boiler. The truth is, the environment in which we train people to do this work no longer exists - so it doesn't matter how much salary you want to attach to a position when you advertise it, you will still not get anyone answering the position because people with those skills simply no longer exist - and never will. Unless we're willing to create a new NSWGR then wait another 10 to 20 years while the shed cleaners filter through and pop out the other end as train crew and railway engineers, HR will forever be the primary challenge of running any heritage rail operation.

Even the "3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing" was 30 years ago.

So unless you're willing to pay a few billion $ to create a world where these people can gain experience, you can't "include the HR aspect in the dollar issues" anymore.

Because no amount of dollars can buy skills that simply no longer exist.
zordmaker
There are still competent professional engineers (at least here in Victoria) but they have two disadvantages:

  1. They cost money because they know what they are doing and they also know what needs to be done.
  2. They are are not based in NSW.
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Fit the now homeless boiler to a 59 cl frame??? 5908, 5910, 5916? It's capable of generating more than enough steam. Adjust and balance to make it a 100Kmh or greater runner. It could be great tour loco.

Structural issues?

Efficiency issues?

Dollar issues?

Regulation issues?
Definitely Number Three.

And you forgot the most important one :

HUMAN RESOURCE ISSUES
Clarifying a bit. I was mentally including the HR aspect in the Dollar issues. The only way this could ever happen is in a supported environment, eg thinking back to the 3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing. I don't have any of this type of engineering expertise or access to drawings. I do know in other fields that things never designed to interface can be made to interface when they are of comparable size. I ask the question here knowing there are some who can speak to the idea. There exists one new boiler and two/three static/unspoken for locos, so can something be done to use these? The usage I was thinking of was day trips from Sydney to the Illawarra/Short South, Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

From my very limited knowledge I was expecting what a6et said about efficiency. I also can remember riding in a 59 at 15 secs to the 1/4 mile and needing to hang on.
Herein lies this erroneous assumption that all you need to do is throw dollars at something and it'll work out OK. Thats what went wrong with the first boiler. The truth is, the environment in which we train people to do this work no longer exists - so it doesn't matter how much salary you want to attach to a position when you advertise it, you will still not get anyone answering the position because people with those skills simply no longer exist - and never will. Unless we're willing to create a new NSWGR then wait another 10 to 20 years while the shed cleaners filter through and pop out the other end as train crew and railway engineers, HR will forever be the primary challenge of running any heritage rail operation.

Even the "3801 Hunter Valley Training Coy type of thing" was 30 years ago.

So unless you're willing to pay a few billion $ to create a world where these people can gain experience, you can't "include the HR aspect in the dollar issues" anymore.

Because no amount of dollars can buy skills that simply no longer exist.
There are still competent professional engineers (at least here in Victoria) but they have two disadvantages:

  1. They cost money because they know what they are doing and they also know what needs to be done.
  2. There are not based in NSW.
YM-Mundrabilla
Good to hear.

Assuming they're not retired and they're not engaged on other work, got any phone numbers?

We can't keep grabbing in desperation to find people who won't be there tomorrow.

This entire sector is at five minutes to midnight.
  neillfarmer Junior Train Controller

One of the problems is that a blend of skills are now needed at both an engineering level and at a trade level. The advances in welding now permit repairs that would never be allowed or attempted back in the steam era. Assessing what can and can't be done to a steam loco boiler relies more on recent welding engineering knowledge than steam age riveting knowledge. Then, again,when a riveted lap seam is replaced by a butt weld the tensile strength across the join will be as good as the parent metal, but how do we assess the loss of stiffness that the riveted lap seam added to the boiler?
Old boiler people are a reticent lot and for good reason, they know full well the dangers of stepping outside tried and true practice.



Neill Farmer
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
One of the problems is that a blend of skills are now needed at both an engineering level and at a trade level. The advances in welding now permit repairs that would never be allowed or attempted back in the steam era. Assessing what can and can't be done to a steam loco boiler relies more on recent welding engineering knowledge than steam age riveting knowledge. Then, again,when a riveted lap seam is replaced by a butt weld the tensile strength across the join will be as good as the parent metal, but how do we assess the loss of stiffness that the riveted lap seam added to the boiler?
Old boiler people are a reticent lot and for good reason, they know full well the dangers of stepping outside tried and true practice.



Neill Farmer
neillfarmer
Agreed.

So what we're facing in modern railway preservation is a situation where new, un chartered engineering takes place. A situation where neither the old hands nor the new generation can quite wrap their skills around the situation.

In effect, it's necessary in many of these cases to start again from scratch. Neither the old nor the new work methods can be used - a third and quite complex blend of both is called for.

This sort of thing of course was done back in the past too.. but in that case we had 100's of locomotives, huge workshops and entire teams of full time engineers, often with unique and specialised experience, to wrap their heads around the various problems. In these environments, problems could be worked on in parallel - where many problems could be solved concurrently.

Now? We're trying to restore a mere single locomotive, in a small workshop with a team of mostly volunteers each with their own varied experience. Everything is done in series and step by step. Sometimes in this process we step through the project only to discover later that something was missed or we need to change something that happened a few steps back. And the only way we can change that is to actually make those steps back, unravel the knot and then do it again.

Putting deadlines on such projects is absolute folly.

As for welded repairs, as everyone knows when you weld something and then it cools, it moves. In new designs you can allow for this in the cuts and jigs but when mixing new and old, it all becomes a matter of individual fit - any kind of plans or measurements get thrown out the window.

A few micrometres in a seam can mean an error of a whole millimetre at the other end of the boiler and a situation where nothing will fit.

I don't envy their job. I'll stick to my electrics.
  a6et Minister for Railways

One of the problems is that a blend of skills are now needed at both an engineering level and at a trade level. The advances in welding now permit repairs that would never be allowed or attempted back in the steam era. Assessing what can and can't be done to a steam loco boiler relies more on recent welding engineering knowledge than steam age riveting knowledge. Then, again,when a riveted lap seam is replaced by a butt weld the tensile strength across the join will be as good as the parent metal, but how do we assess the loss of stiffness that the riveted lap seam added to the boiler?
Old boiler people are a reticent lot and for good reason, they know full well the dangers of stepping outside tried and true practice.



Neill Farmer
Agreed.

So what we're facing in modern railway preservation is a situation where new, un chartered engineering takes place. A situation where neither the old hands nor the new generation can quite wrap their skills around the situation.

In effect, it's necessary in many of these cases to start again from scratch. Neither the old nor the new work methods can be used - a third and quite complex blend of both is called for.

This sort of thing of course was done back in the past too.. but in that case we had 100's of locomotives, huge workshops and entire teams of full time engineers, often with unique and specialised experience, to wrap their heads around the various problems. In these environments, problems could be worked on in parallel - where many problems could be solved concurrently.

Now? We're trying to restore a mere single locomotive, in a small workshop with a team of mostly volunteers each with their own varied experience. Everything is done in series and step by step. Sometimes in this process we step through the project only to discover later that something was missed or we need to change something that happened a few steps back. And the only way we can change that is to actually make those steps back, unravel the knot and then do it again.

Putting deadlines on such projects is absolute folly.

As for welded repairs, as everyone knows when you weld something and then it cools, it moves. In new designs you can allow for this in the cuts and jigs but when mixing new and old, it all becomes a matter of individual fit - any kind of plans or measurements get thrown out the window.

A few micrometres in a seam can mean an error of a whole millimetre at the other end of the boiler and a situation where nothing will fit.

I don't envy their job. I'll stick to my electrics.
zordmaker
Zordmaker a good post.

Old locomotive workshops had men with great skills right at the workface, I cannot remember the amount of times I walked through the old LES, when we had to go to Eveliegh to get a loco for our train, always when we went to Eveleigh I would go early, to go deep down and take note of the engines under overhaul.  To walk down from Redfern past all the other bays with their doors open revealing the workers, machines and all in there, meant it took more than the allocated 12 minutes to walk from Redfern to the Chargemans office. As a teenage fireman and then even in my twenty's I was always amazed or in awe of the work carried out.

Going through the LES it was great to talk to old hard headed workers. Not just those in general oily overalls but there were always senior men in there, you could tell by their dustcoats, many dirty as they got into the work as well.  The big thing was pride as you watched what they did, more often than not making new pieces to fit a locomotive to get it back into service.  Many young apprentices were also there, go also around Enfield, Broadmeadow, Goulburn (to a lesser extent) Bathurst, Lithgow and you would see similar happenings on day shift.  I never went into Cardiff but no doubt the same was there.  Chullora was the same but much bigger but by my time they were on the last 38cl overhauls and a couple of pigs.

I am now 71, how old those apprentices now? those works lasted until the 70's so even then most of those old skilled hands would now be nearing 60.  Outside of those people, as you say, volunteers and learners are involved.  Yet I have mentioned in the past and still wonder where those apprentices and other workers have gone that were involved with the Hill return of 3801 to service from the dockyard works. Where are those apprentices who worked on 3830 at the HVTC, East Greta?  

I read quite a few testimonies from the workers as to how they learnt and how they enjoyed what they did. Trouble is much of what was learnt has now been forgotten. Until there is a real concerted effort made to get new and younger people involved and that means paid for what they do nothing is going to change and it will only get worse.

The fiddly aspects of having 01 at some place at Chullora, then to see when 3016 from Canberra was on wooden blocks at Thirlmere for work shows how much an amateurish heritage operation we really have in this country and NSW in particular, and I in no way want to discredit those who are doing their best under severe limitations and restrictions.

I have read where the State Government has ordered the clearing out of the LES and the Carriage works, LES owing to electrical safety issues. A smokescreen? in order that an international electronics and internet company who was offered the old White Bay Power station and other land at Rozelle for their facility has rejected it and wants the remaining area including the LES to be their site.

Years back the battle to same the LES when 01LTD was the go and the so called safety issues was raised nothing really has changed except the new iron roof.  We lose a huge part of our heritage an rail history yes, but that's just part of it.  We lose a huge asset at a time when there is real need to keep it and expand it to service and work in a facility that just needs to have the items left to fall into complete disrepair to be fixed. Rather than hire cranes to lift boilers, fix the foundations under the overhead cranes that were used to build 38 and 58cl locomotives and assemble the garratt's. Not only that but to train up people for the future.

I'll be dead by then but I would love to see something like a York but smaller for Sydney, NSW and Australia.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Now? We're trying to restore a mere single locomotive, in a small workshop with a team of mostly volunteers each with their own varied experience.

As I understand it, the boiler is being repaired by a team of professionals in Goulburn.

They have built and repaired boilers for years.

One of the problems with the firebox, as I understand it, is that when the boiler was last repaired in the 1980s, a welded inner firebox was substituted for the riveted original.  This resulted in a welded seam being located where there had previously been a lap joint. A set of stays had been located in the overlap, but couldn't be placed there in the welded design.


The lack of this row of stays weakened the boiler and as a result, the boiler pressure was reduced from 245 psig to 215 psig.

At least one of the problems is to try to replace the row of stays left out in the 1980s while still using a welded inner firebox.

Peter
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
_I have read where the State Government has ordered the clearing out of the LES and the Carriage works, LES owing to electrical safety issues. A smokescreen? in order that an international electronics and internet company who was offered the old White Bay Power station and other land at Rozelle for their facility has rejected it and wants the remaining area including the LES to be their site._

The entire situation regarding Paintshop/LES/Chullora (and for that matter, Broadmeadow too) is still very much on the Goverrnments' agenda. THNSW are only operating in a caretaking role in all of those locations. Despite claims that a binding lease had been signed on the LES last year, it hasn't been.

Most industry observers now admit it's likely both the LES and the paint shop will ultimately be lost to Heritage, although the buildings will remain because they themselves are heritage listed and can only ever be "re purposed". The main difficulty now is that there has been a significant slump in interest by developers in these projects meaning that if the Government wants to redevelop them, they will have to remediate the sites themselves first.

The general feeling now, is that Chullora holds the future as a metropolitan heritage site where all these activities can be aggregated. However there are many issues that complicate this and in the end it's down to who'se going to open their wallet to pay for it.

Actually our push for a while now has been to try and suggest Flemington M/C as the ultimate heritage site. In future years Flemo will become less and less relevant as PPP projects take over the suburban and interurban trains maintenance and the new facility at Kangy Angy is built. It's a well developed site that has everything heritage would ever need, connects directly with the main line (not too far from Central) and as far as property value is concerned, it's pretty much useless as it is bordered by three rail lines and has only one small access road.

There's enough room at Flemo to ultimately take all the activity from LES, Paint Shop and Chullora combined, releasing these three controversial sites to be used however the Govt wants with minimal fuss. The move in to Flemo can also be easily staged over 5~10 years and thus is the cheapest option. Probably the Electrics and the Paint Shop stuff will go first, then the functions of the LES and then finally Chullora. There would even be the capacity for a section of it to open and operate as a museum.
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW

As I understand it, the boiler is being repaired by a team of professionals in Goulburn.

They have built and repaired boilers for years.
M636C
Yes, and that's one of the reasons why they were chosen.

They have done a fantastic job so far, well beyond what could ever have been expected of the original contract. I have little doubt that when the work is finally done, the result will be a good one.

However it will also be a unique one, for which a great deal of engineering has gone into essentially one locomotive. Whereas in the old days the cost of this same amount of effort would have been spread over the fleet of 40.

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