Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
It is somewhat past the actual end of the fortnight, but late is better than never! It was our intention to post a week or so ago but a computer change coupled with change of the employment circumstances of your blogger and issues with B74 detailed below has interfered with the best of intentions.
We started of the two weeks with a list of things to achieve in terms of preparations for gauge conversion of a loco or two and three carriages. The first few days as shown in the last post went well and generally on target. But since then, well, there have been complications.
The main complication has been nearly 65 year old B74. The B has been on hire until recently and was finally returned on Wednesday 4th. That's the good bit. The other bit (the bad bit) is advice from the hirer that the loco had high voltage grounds. Diesel locomotives have an electrical protection system that is effectively the same as a domestic safety switch which operates when there is an electrical leakage from the high voltage wiring into the loco frame.
As 74 has a birthday appointment, rectifying the grounds became the highest priority. Standard gauge bogies for carriages had to be shelved for a couple of weeks.
One of the things organised for the fortnight was a proper meal for lunch. A different variety of cooked meal suitable for winter were provided by the Engineering Manager's wife each day. Some of the slaves are bogging in. As well as enjoying a brilliant feed, lunch times were distinctly quiet as everyone was too busy eating to engage in idle chatter. There were many second helpings and a few thirds!
To get to the work rather than the food; Bill glances at the photographer rather than what he is doing. Just so you know what he is doing, we are happy to tell that he is fitting a header tank on to the replacement radiators for P22. He had previously learnt how to make gaskets and after cleaning up all the bolts, is in the final stages of swapping tanks to make it fit into the P.
Last time we saw P22 and T378 on the jacks undergoing half of the bogie swaps needed to produce the correct combination of outcomes for the final swaps for gauge conversion. Now Brandon is connecting up the brake air hoses and refitting the bolster clips.
Also last time we commented on the adaptors that had to be made to allow a diesel loco to ride on the freight bogies adapted for passenger cars.
So here we are looking at the adaptor sitting on the freight bogie with the loco above. The trunnion of the loco is in the very top of the shot with the black circular portion. To the right is one of the bolster clips pushed to the left but hanging on the bolts.
As well as ground problems with the high voltage electrical system, B74 was the victim of a graffiti attack whilst in Melbourne. Robbie is in charge of removing it with a special liquid that seems to work very well. It still requires elbow grease though.__________________________________________________________
In the first shot, it is hard to tell if Robbie is happy or not. So we took another picture and this time it is our claim that he is smiling and happy in his labours. Good on you Robbie!!
Outside in the yard it is the three Ts.
On the left H3 is in front of F202. Both these locos have had attention to make them suitable for towing on the main line. In the next few weeks they should travel to Newport for 707 Operations and our carriages Avoca, 1VAM, 216 and 219BS will all come home.
To make space for cars returning some loco shunts have been done and now T399, X37 and Y104 are all stored between the sheds in 7 track.
So now to the ground issues with B74. Tests showed a series of insulation issues to be addressed. The first was the main generator which had a low insulation figure of around 300,000 or 0.3Meg ohms. With more tests followed by cleaning and forced drying the figures were raised this to around 20Meg ohms. A very satisfactory result.
Number 4 traction motor also had contamination issues caused by oil being picked up by the traction motor blower fan. Another cleaning job. Both the main generator and a traction motor are very physically challenging things to clean and to do properly take many of hours contortionist like activity.
Now after all that we still had another fault. The picture shows the back of the parallel and series contactors in number 2 electrical cabinet. Each cable is around 40mm diameter and there is no provision for being able to get amongst things to sort out issues. Mind you it is not easy to even get to the back of the cabinet!
Now we are getting serious. This is the cam switch in number 2 electrical cabinet and testing has shown that one cable has a fault. Therefore it has been disconnected and is hanging free. The other end is also being disconnected and the insulation will be tested again.
On the other end of the cable still in the number 2 electrical cabinet but this time on the reverser James is undertaking the test. And the result? The 2 metre length of cable is "hard down" to earth. This had us puzzled for a few minutes until it was notices that one of the control air lines to the reverser had a hose that was touching the cable lug where James was testing. But we first thought that could not be the problem as rubber hoses cannot conduct electricity to ground.
But.... a closer look showed the rubber hose is actually a modern hydraulic hose, rubber coated steel braided. The outer rubber which is relatively thin had a little nick where it passed over the cable lug. So we had a total loco failure due to a nick in an air hose about 8 mm long that earthed the steel braid to the metallic end fitting to the steel air piping of the loco. Bingo!!
Because the loco has not been able to be tested under all on road conditions we have decided that X31 and T357 would accompany B74 to its birthday party.
In the wood working shop a new batch of wheel chocks are nearing completion. We do not run over many but some do get crushed in coupling up to vehicles with chocks under the wheels. In reality they are a consumable item.
After a few days cleaning all the remains of the grit blasting out of P22, Robbie has got stuck into body repairs and bogging before final preparation for painting.
Then it was time to open the cab. It is also full of garnet from the blasting and so needs to be cleaned out. This is the only down side of blasting. The clean up of the body is fantastic with it being easy to see what needs to be fixed and what needs to be bogged. The mess though is a different matter, but that is the price you pay.
Looking around the corner in the cab, garnet is everywhere. Fortunately it will sweep up and the remains will vacuum up.
To end this time. Some of the ballast for 21 track has been hand shovelled from the pile against 22 track into 21 track. The rest will be shovelled into the track over the next week or so which will leave it ready for tamping and tidy up this area.
A week or so it was announced that Seymour Railway Heritage Centre has been successful in an application for a government grant of just under $100,000. This funding is for additional shed capacity specifically to accommodate standard gauge carriages along with some of the track work needed. The shed will cover tracks 15 and 16 which currently do not exist.
Following completion of the engineering drawings and seeking of building permits we hope to be well under way on this work around early October. Progress will be reported herein.
Don't forget Saturday 21st July is B74's 65th birthday. The B accompanied by X31 and T357 are off to Geelong.
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2019 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.