Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
A couple of early morning runs to Melbourne for the Cruise Express people. A bit of a shuffle in the shed (yes we know this seems to happen almost every other week) and the next phase of standard gauge track work but with a twist.
X31 leads B74 and seven cars into Seymour station as a positioning move on a Friday afternoon. The train will shunt back into the dead end between the platforms and wait until around 03.00 on Saturday morning.
A direct move is not possible from our depot overnight due to stabled trains in the loco depot taking up all the space. This leaves us with the expensive option of hiring another train crew for a couple of hours to get the train up to the station before the terminating trains arrive to stable.
Up in the roof of the shed we are looking at the roof of 26BE. After more years than we are prepared to acknowledge, the roof is finished and the car can now go outside for the final internal fitting out. This is actually a good idea as the light is much better for seeing what you are doing.
A couple of days later in the shed track 1 has been emptied of rolling stock. A tidy up is near completion eliminating years of stuff that just seems to accumulate at every available place. Even the old carpentry shop area beyond the end of the track has been sorted out and junk disposed of.
It is the weather for all sorts of things. This 4 foot brown snake was not one of the things we wanted to find. Some time later during shunting this reptile ceased to exist as a result of it being in the wrong place at the right time!
With 26BE now outside, locos have to find a space around about. T382 accompanies X31 and B74.
Same vehicles different angle.
Later in the same week an opportunity to move the standard gauge locos enabled P22 to be coupled to the two cars that need head end power so some testing can be undertaken.
With six blue and gold locos on site it is almost impossible to take a picture without having a few of them in the frame.
This is the before picture. Before what? Before the next phase of standard gauge. Ironically the work entails a new broad gauge turnout. This is the twist.
We hired a little excavator for this job as the task did not really need the big machine with its greater cost.
Because all the tracks to the left the excavation will be becoming standard gauge in coming months, a new connection for broad gauge into 14 track is necessary. With a bit of luck this may be the last broad gauge turnout we need to build. If we have counted correctly this is the 19th we have built, 7 of which have been three-way examples, effectively being two turnouts in one. Perhaps the count should be 26.
By lunch time the points which were pre-assembled off to one side have been installed.
The hole from the other end reveals the excavation is nearly complete at knock off time.
Some of the culprits are lined up for a portrait. All have played some role in the works although the following day the member who loaned the little orange back hoe had the cheek to collect it to use it at home! It surprised us just how handy the thing was. One leading member was believed to be teary as his new favorite toy was leaving!!
From the other direction it is starting to look like it should. The lever to the right is obviously on borrowed time. In due course it will be relocated to the other side of the track against the building.
After a couple of days off, the next Tuesday is final assembly day. A couple of hours hole boring followed by swinging the 10 lb hammer has all the rails fully spiked. The voids under the timbers have been filled and the turnout has had a preliminary packing. Kevin is anxious to clear the right hand side so that shunting movements can take place without undue hazards.
This particular Tuesday is Melbourne Cup day. Kevin has his radio near by listening as he shovels. In the sweep at the local bowling club he drew a horse about which he was pretty happy. Low and behold, his horse won.
This is the traditional end of day shot. The presence of T378 half hidden around the corner shows that rail movements have already taken place. The lever lies aside waiting for another day.
Next morning (that would be today Wednesday 7th) and the task is to fit the lever. First stage is to set the points half way and set the crank on pitch. Before it moves get a hole bored and a screw wound in. Then the remaining three screws can be put in with confidence.
A little while later and the lever is fitted by keeping the points half way, having the spring tension screw backed right off, and the lever screwed down with the lever vertical. When finished the screw is wound in to the desired tension and hey presto, it works as Mr Willett intended.
This type of lever which is fitted to all our turnouts is known as a WSa. This stands for Willett Spring revision "a". Mr Willett was a VR track man who came up with this over centre spring retained arrangement. It is not dissimilar in principle to other styles such as Thompsom levers found elsewhere. The original style WS levers came in two forms one of which utilised a Ford quadrant lever base, the other of which we have two slightly different versions have a shorter spring chamber and different lever arm.
Before we leave this area, keep your eye focused on the two B van bodies in the mid background.
The big fork is a truly useful machine. These vans weigh about 10 tonnes each and can be moved with relative ease.
A view that has not been possible for at least 20 years because of the presence of the vans near the front of the shed.
Just visible to the left of the CP brake vans the B van bodies can be seen while where they were is no quite open.
Behind the former site of the B vans is the old parts dump. Whilst dump is the name, all the stuff here is valuable and useful. A lot of springs, brake rigging and a few other bits and pieces will have to be moved to somewhere else so the ground level can be adjusted to the right height for laying track.
To bring this blog to an end... nearly, a look towards 15 and 16 and the new shed from where the lead towards the turnout will leave the present 14 track approach. In coming weeks this track in the immediate foreground will be removed when broad gauge access to 14 track in the shed is established via the new broad gauge turnout.
Now we are at the end. An overall view captures five locos, P22 is at the far end of the left hand track. T378 is part hidden behind the signal box and the usual trio are to the right.
This coming weekend will feature another open day. There was one a few weeks ago but as Seymour is celebrating 175 years over the weekend of 10th and 11th November, we have been prevailed to open the gates again.
Even if you have visited us before we would love to show you around. Perhaps you would like to have a more detailed look at what we are up to or ask those questions that have been in the back of your thinking for some time.
Gates open mid morning until around 4.00pm both Saturday and Sunday.
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
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