Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
With volunteers and employees both having days off with holidays, the new year is s soft start. As individuals became available works start up again.
Essentially at the end of last year a series of major projects were either completed or major stages were completed. That has provided the opportunity to start the new year with some new activities.
It was decided late last year that a few key tasks would be started in January.
So as works build up to normal pace over a couple of weeks, we started on the three projects._______________________________________________________________
We begin with a wander around the depot a few days before any one was about. In the repair shed 1BS in in track 2, 11BS is back in track 1 for completion of its air conditioning equipment and some other finishing off tasks and in track 3 is T382 which is to have the last cab fit out attended to._________________________________________________________________
Over the way is the view across the front of the carriage sheds. On the far side is F202 which is being prepared for a one way trip to Melbourne for 707 Operations. Just visible behind 202 is X37 awaiting instructions. Next is 4 State soon to receive attention. Next to Y119 is Dining Car which will also receive further modifications to the kitchen during the year. The next item of interest is 1AS still in orange; we expect that this car will be shopped during the year for its own restoration._________________________________________________________
Out in the yard the standard gauge track is coming together with many of the sleepers now clipped up and getting close to needing ballasting.____________________________________________________________
Our steel 1937 carriage fleet began with purchase of four carriages in 1995. Those cars were 1BS, 3AS, 4AS and 11BS. The first into traffic was 1BS and was also the first car to be repainted back into its proper colours. At the time we did what we thought was the best we could do. The car was grit blasted, prepared, undercoated and top coated with high quality enamel paint. Over the 20 years plus since then, the enamel paint has deteriorated. Compared to later paint jobs done with high spec two pack paints, 1BS has been looking shabby.
This shot shows the early stages of refurbishment with the old at the bottom and the new at the top.________________________________________________________
Progressing down the first side, the cut and polish process is producing remarkable results. We had originally contemplated repainting this car but Robbie suggested that as the paint job was very well done, it was likely that a cut and polish might give reasonable results.____________________________________________________________
With the first side complete, the result is remarkable. It looks like a new paint job. A cut and polish takes around 3 weeks compared to a repaint of around 3 months. ____________________________________________________________
Running along the other side find the work somewhat harder. This is the weathered side of the car and has been more labour intensive._____________________________________________________________
A comparison is available with T382 now. The two finishes are quite similar. The biggest challenge is to polish around the rivets. The double row at the bottom has been left for last.
The success of these works on 1BS have confirmed the next stage which will be 3AS to receive similar treatment. Although painted with superior paint to 1BS, it is still not to the same standard as 4AS and all cars since then._________________________________________________________________
A last look as 1BS. This time it is one of the side doors. Because the skin on the doors is a different arrangement to the sides themselves, we are repainting the whole door to get a good finish. The green gunge is the cutting paste. _____________________________________________________________
Inside the smokebox of J515 the concrete floor is in the course of being broken out. Below the table plate in the middle of the pic, the blast pipe rises from the floor.
We expect that the whole smokebox will not actually need to be replaced. The plan is to find out which parts are still sound, and leave them, replacing progressively the thin bits. This way we will not have to support the boiler, reset the funnel nor remove and refit the front ring. Indications are that there will probably be four segments replaced of varying sizes.______________________________________________________________________
Along one side the lower reinforcing plate effectively doubles the thickness over the saddle. The bolts holding the smokebox to the saddle are the bigger "lumps" while a line of rivets to the left hold the strengthener to the smokebox wrapper. ___________________________________________________________________
At the other end of the loco. 5ABE along side is still awaiting the signwritter to add all the lettering. __________________________________________________________
Behind 515 in the rear of the repair shed on 3 track is the new tender. _________________________________________________________
This view is from the leading end looking into the coal bin area with the floor removed. The ascending line of rivets on each side reveal the shape of the missing floor. Before the floor can be welded in, the inside of the water space needs to be final cleaned and painted. The inlet and outtake plumbing fittings will then be installed before the floor is welded back into place.____________________________________________________________
A few days after works getting under way, State Car 4 has replaced T382 in the front of 3 track in the repair shed. Good progress is being made on stripping off the old paint of the rear wall.________________________________________________________________
Attacking the paint on the end wall shows that under the white,is royal blue. Under that a couple of coats of burgundy and under that an undercoat. ___________________________________________________________________
A different angle. When all the old paint is removed we will make an assessment and decide what finish will be applied to this area. _______________________________________________________________________
The sides of 4 State are actually steel cladding that is folded to simulate the traditional boarding on wooden bodied cars. After having a good look at the arrangement we have decided to rub down the entire outside leaving the steel sheeting between and below the windows and repaint into wooden car burgundy complete with dots and lettering as originally built. The hand rails have also been removed and are being stripped back to the natural brass finish and being clear coated.______________________________________________________________
The back or end vestibule door is also getting the treatment. We are looking forward to this special car returning to traffic in matching livery to all the other wood cars. Ultimately the "Picnic" car set will be exclusively wood cars, all E type, all in Burgundy with the dots and lettering. It will look magnificent behind steam or diesel power._________________________________________________________________
Finishing where we started with a view of the front of the repair shed. T382 has gone elsewhere and 4 State is keeping company with 1BS with the resident shunter residing nearby._______________________________________________________________________
In coming days 1BS will be out, 3AS in and the next stages will roll on.
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
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