Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
On looking back to last time we find it has indeed been a while, but we have been rather busy. A lot of what has been going on has not been captured in pictures partly because there has been a lot of planning for late this year and early next. There has also been a fair bit of maintenance done by small teams such that photos just have not figured in the particular activities.
Instead of concentrating on what we can't show let's deal with what we can.___________________________________________________________
Since last time standard gauge trackwork has continued with the old 17 track broad gauge siding being dismantled. The wood sleepers have been burnt and the rails put aside. The little machine has been busy digging out the formation ready for rebuilding. Mid September.___________________________________________________________
The removed 80 lb rails are in a pile on the left in front of the vans. In due course these will be discarded and replaced by newer material in longer lengths.____________________________________________________________
Towards the end of 17 track there is a fire pile consuming the last of the sleeper remnants removed from the track. After 20 years there is not that much left to burn.______________________________________________________________
Tuesday 24th September and at the end of another day there are concrete sleepers as far as the eye can see! Although the alignment leaves a bit to be desired, final alignment will be achieved by pushing about once rails are in place.
It is a bit hard to see here but the sleepers actually ran out about 10 metres short of the fence. That is quite OK as we need a bit of space at the end to get around the track with machinery to deal with the new shed over 15 and 16 track to the right.
Another week, and it is day one of October. The team now includes David supplementing the usual culprits of Dean, Brandon, Kevin and Colin, the last two out of shot. Seventeen track is being assembled with the first couple of rails dropped in.
Wednesday 2nd reveals P23 masked up and fully rubbed down just about ready for colour.
Come Thursday, Robbie is suited up and colour is going on. Don't tell us you did not realise it was going to be blue!
A couple of hours later and the long end is done. To make things easier it was decided to do the job in two parts, so the cab has bee masked over for the moment. Next week the cab will be unmasked and the long hood covered for the cab end to be done.________________________________________________________________
Same day and a little more has been done on 17 track. A panel and a half has been clipped up.
Further along a couple of extra rails have been dumped on the sleepers ready for the main team next Tuesday. To the left another four rails await pushing into position.
A final look back towards whence we came. It is usual to form curves by bolting a number of rails together then pushing the end sideways until the correct curve shape is achieved then sleepers are attached. With sleeper attached, the curve will hold its shape. With the last half of the rails in the foreground not yet clipped, they are waiting for the rails in the very lower left of the picture to be jointed up before pulling rest of the curve to shape.___________________________________________________________
Another Tuesday, this time it is the 8th, and Robbie has prepared to lower cab sides where the cover strips need to be fitted over the cab to frame junction.
Tuesday and Wednesday saw 17 track finished off. No pictures of the actual work as the Small team were totally occupied with achieving the target which is the end of rails in the distance._________________________________________________________
Although the shape of the curve is not perfect, the assembly is complete. When ballast is applied the curve alignment will be achieved as part of the tamping.____________________________________________________________
The gap, in the foreground is the bit we are leaving out for the time been to allow access into the shed site.
This marks the end of this stage of track construction. When the tamping machine is available a big day of tamping will be undertaken following which more ballast will be needed to "box-up" the track to finish off___________________________________________________________
Here is that part of the curve we saw a week or so ago. With the rails all jointed up the curve was pulled to shape and now looks pretty close to what is should be.__________________________________________________________
Onward another week. One task that has been on the list for about 25 years has been to sort out the nut and blot stocks in the old B van bodies. It is great to have lots of parts and other bits and pieces but if you can't quickly see what you have or indeed find what you need when you need it, having stuff is of no value.
A rack was but a couple of months ago. So today with ;labour available and trackwork done for the time being, moving and sorting is in hand. Gerard is placing bolts in the lower shelves whilst David is sorting the useful from the junk. There are four drums at the bottom of the picture that are the scrap stuff but many more drums worth have gone on the shelves.__________________________________________________________
The stock from the B vans are now laid out on the rack. Not surprising, we have discovered good stocks of 7/8 and 1 inch bolts in the lengths we usually need. A significant saving for bogie rebuild works in the near future.
It is a bit hard to take photos in the shed where it is a bit dark when the sun light intrudes via the roof sky lights. Something is better than nothing we are sure you will agree.
Even the louvres look sharp. The only problem with the doors and panels is there is so many of them. It seems to take ages to fill, sand prime, rub and paint every one of them._________________________________________________________
We held an open day on Saturday 19th. With part of the depot area unavailable due to standard gauge track works, space to place rollingstock was a challenge. This was eased a bit by X31 and S303 being away on hire and Y119 being outside the gate to receive 1VAM back from loan to 707 Operations.
B74 was strategically placed in full,view and has attracted some admirers.___________________________________________________________
There seems to be a conference of the rail fans here. perhaps they were waiting for the next passage of the DERM to pass by.
There was a steady stream of visitors through out the day. It was never crowded but the final head count was a respectable 450 odd. Many chose to inspect the inside of B74, P22 or T342 along with various carriages.
Upstairs in B Box to the left was a "swap meet" featuring old railway artifacts and models for sale. Those involved in this effort report a good amount of interest and good sales._____________________________________________________________
In the repair shed the steady stream of visitors inspected Robbie's painting efforts, J515 and the other works
Following the open day and a little shuffling, not every thing ended up in the same place. This view opened up. We see future restoration project X37, in front of Y171, Y102 with Y104 on the right in front of Y174.______________________________________________________________
Not all of P23 is actually in blue yet. Frank is working on the last panel which covers the end of the HEP diesel alternator.____________________________________________________________
The engine hoods are on the stands while the last doors are leaning against 1AS. In the background and glare of the sun is Shane and Melissa who are sanding the various handrail assemblies for the P._____________________________________________________________
To close we have a closer look at the last of the doors up against 1AS. In the next day or so all these bits and pieces will be fitted to the loco and then it is time to think about the second colour._____________________________________________________________
With agreements in relation to future standard gauge activities about to be signed, in coming weeks we will be beginning to advance activities in this regard.
Photos and details will start to appear next time.
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
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