Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
Now the weather has moderated works have resumed normal pace.
But not for long. Commitments have been made for certain things to be pushed forward effectively increasing the "heat".
We begin Tuesday 5th February with standard gauge track work. The stock rail and point blades for the turnout between 15 and 16 tracks have been brought into position. The key element of the points is the fitting of a blade to a stock rail and the pivot arrangements. This picture shows the point blade on the right with the lead rail which runs to the vee crossing on the left. The heal block is partly visible between the blade and lead rail in front of the stock rail.
The thing to note here is the big hole inn the point blade. This is a key feature of the pivot arrangements.______________________________________________________________
Moving back a little we see the heel fishplate, and the four heel bolts. Look closely at the fishplate the counter bore of the end hole can be observed and one of the heel bolts has a ferrule.__________________________________________________________
Now the features can be explained. A heel bolt has been inserted in the right hand hole and the ferrule has been fitted in the big hole. The ferrule will not push any further in as the heel block behind prevents this. The last feature to go on will be the fishplate. The counter bore seen in the previous picture will engage with the ferrule. When the heel bolts are tightened up the ferrule will prevent the right end from coming up tight against the point blade but the other end of the plate without the ferrule will clamp the rail very firmly.
The net result is that the blade is just pinched by the fishplate at the very end but is quite free to the right. This allows the blade to pivot and swing without the blade being loose enough to roll._____________________________________________________________
From above the heel block is now seen. The obvious question is what do the letters and numbers mean?
Starting from the top, 15 0 means this heel block suits a point blade that is 15 feet 0 inches long. If the blade was longer or shorter the angle of the block will be different.
94 indicates that this assembly is for 94 pounds per yard rail.
R tells us that this is a right hand side block. Handing is determined by standing at the toe of a turnout and looking towards the vee crossing.
And finally CVD tell us that this heel block is for a curved blade or stock rail configuration. Most blades and stock rails are straight between the toe and heel but components designed for single and double compound points (known by some as single and double slips) are curved to suit the geometry needed for these layouts. We use these components in our turnout designs to maximise siding length and minimise the space taken up with turnouts.
The result of the labours of the day is points portion of the turnout is almost complete.
So the turnout work was the morning's task. The afternoon required a shunt to be ready for some extra help on Wednesday. During shunting, X31 doing the honours is coupled to X37, T399 & Y104. Along with Y171 in 8 track they have been extracted from 7 track and are being placed in suitable places for a few days._____________________________________________________________
This picture is not about track but about the green loco by the signal box. X37 has been placed here for a few days.___________________________________________________________
A portrait view. The missing number boards and front horn grill gives a hint that although the loco looks OK, it is actually not as well as appears.
Further on during shunting, X31 and X37 are on each side of the signal box.
With T399, Y104, Y119 & Y171 parked up in front of the car shed, GM28 is at the bottom of 7 track with Y174 poking out from behind T378 with T382 hidden behind 378.__________________________________________________________
As the shunt progresses, T382 is hauled out of 5 track. In the foreground there is not much ballast in some tracks and an excess in others. This is to be adjusted by a gang of people doing community service in return for their mis-doings next day.
With the shunt finished, there are locomotives cluttering up the area in front of the car shed.
Finally we can see what we used to call the "wagon yard" now consisting of tracks 4 to 7 inclusive partly emptied. Excess ballast from 7 track on the left is going to be dug out and distributed on 6 track to make the area more user friendly for shunting and general access.
Wednesday afternoon and we see the result of a few hours shovelling. Around 25 meters of track has been dug out and the fill used to fill the "six foot" between 7 and 6 tracks and the "five foot" of 6 track.
The term "six foot" is an old expression meaning the space between adjacent tracks while "five foot refers to the space between the rails of a track.
Meanwhile back on P23, Robbie has been cleaning down the long hood walkways and the bottom of the hood along side. This is the drivers side finished and primed.
Going around the other side the culprit is found at work.
Also in the shed for attention is Parlor Car. Issues with the air circulating fan have been resolved and next item on the list is repairing of some of the windows in the round end. New glass is being fitted in seven panes because of breakages and poor fitting.
The window frames in this car are aluminium and where water gets in corrosion is a problem. This picture shows the lower portion of the centre mullion of one of the "curved" windows. Water entering from the outside has by capillary action risen up the inside of the mullion and severely corroded the retaining strip. _____________________________________________________________
All windows are double glazed. The inner pane fits into a separate frame that is hinged and can be opened for cleaning and other maintenance. Here more corrosion is evident on the aluminium. All this will have to be removed and the window glass will be replaced and the new glazing sealed with modern sealants that should eliminate the problem._____________________________________________________________
As a comparison this is the top edge of the same window. There is no sign of corrosion here but the existing rubber seal is brittle and ineffective and will be replaced.
With the screws removed from the cover strip lumps of corrosion just falls away.
On the other side of the car Darren has removed the existing glass from a window and is cleaning out the frame. When the new glass was fitted a little later it was almost as clear as though there was no glass in place like this view.
That has got us thinking about the merits of either heavy cleaning of both sides of the inner and outer panes, or re glazing all the other windows in this car.
Going back a day to Monday 11th, the big fork has been loaded and is going for a trip. It has just been serviced and is going away to undertake relieving duties. It will be replacing another machine at the owners business while that machine undertakes rail track building duties.
We hope that it will return in a month or two as it has turned out to be extremely useful facilitating many tasks both with rolling stock and track works.___________________________________________________________
And now for something completely different.
State Car 5 usually lives in 14 track within the carriage shed. It arrived at Seymour around 1992 (we cant find the date just yet) in response to a request from the Public Transport Corporation to provide secure storage for state cars 4 and 5. The "rules attached" to the individual carriages were different. While we were permitted to use car number 4, we were not permitted to use car number 5 presumably as it was the current regal and vice regal carriage and not officially retired.
Over the years there has been discussion around the possibility of restoring State Car 5 but the time has never been quite right. Over the last two years though plans have been slowly coming together.
Finally we can report that formal approval to restore and operate State Car 5 has been received.
With approval to proceed with restoration, the car is outside for detailed external inspection and scope verification. Thursday 7th February.___________________________________________________________
Following scope verification, the car's next move is into the repair shed. During the shunt to achieve that, Parlor Car with window glass yet to be fitted, is between the loco and State 5.
The inspection confirmed that the body should be grit blasted to remove existing paint and prepare the steel skin for repair and preparation for a new paint job. That means masking up everything that should not be blasted. It is now Monday morning and James is masking the windows with 'corflute' and gaffer tape._________________________________________________________
With State 4 already in the shed receiving its own attention we now have a 'full house'. The repainting of State 4 has struck a stumbling block unfortunately. The paint which we have previously noted required a few coats to get a suitable finish has had a reaction with base material on the timber portions of the car. Particularly around the window frames, the existing paint has begun to lift revealing itself as blisters in the finish. Some of the preparation is also showing up as not as we could have done now the gloss top coats are going on.
The difficult decision has been made, the repaint halted and the unsatisfactory bits will be redone from the beginning.
Robbie has been diverted from P23 to State 4 and is stripping the window frames._____________________________________________________________
State 5 has a coat of arms in the middle of each side. Normally covered by a panel unless the car was conveying the person to whom the coat applied, these hand painted features will have to disappear as part of the paint preparations. They have been comprehensively photographed and subject to direction from officialdom may be recreated.
Monday evening the car has been placed behind the signal box ready for grit blasting.
The blasting has started on Tuesday morning. The contractor has stared on the lower edge where reach is easy._____________________________________________________________
With the lower portion of the first side complete we are now on the other side.________________________________________________________
Next morning the scaffold is being used to reach the next level. The left side has been done and the end is well under way. This was as far as we got that week as the contractor had other commitments on Thursday and Friday.
With two state cars needing to be in the repair shed at the same time with similar activities running in parallel, things needed to be shuffled.
Some of those things are seen here. On the left on the pit in 3 track is J515 while next track over has T342 at the rear and P23 in front. State 4 is also on 2 track but now at the front to provide more space and keep clear of other vehicles. We don't want the locos to end up covered in debris or get caught up with over spray etc from painting the carriages._________________________________________________________
A close up of one corner of State 5. On the lower end there is a portion not yet blasted. Right up high can also be seen the line where the roof has not yet been blasted.
Once metal is blasted it is important to protect it from moisture to prevent rusting that can occur very rapidly. This means every night the car is put in the shed and as soon as possible the bare metal is painted with etch metal primer.__________________________________________________________
On Thursday, James sprayed etch primer over the portions of State 5 that have been blasted. Then on Friday he started applying filler to attend to the surface defects. Most of these defects are depressions caused by the numerous spot welds that secures the skin to the car's body frame.__________________________________________________________
Meanwhile one track over this side of State 4 has had primer added to one portion and is nearly ready for the balance. The windows have been masked.___________________________________________________________
On Saturday to aide in the curing of the primer on State 4 it was hauled outside into the sun to be "baked". This leaves No.5 open for a full view. The window masking has been removed, bog applied, some trial sanding done but much more to go. More supplies of bog have been ordered and will be available for next week.
First job will be the finishing of the blasting on Monday followed by bog, bog and more bog. We think we will need around 70 litres to get the effect we are seeking._______________________________________________________________
And finally for this report. Two power contactors that are being overhauled for fitting into P22.
Nagging head end power (HEP) issues related to problems with the HEP supply contactors have meant that a change out program was needed. The overhauled units were fitted on Saturday 16th and we are pleased to report that all the HEP systems on P22 work correctly. Other matters associated with carriages were also investigated and all resolved.____________________________________________________________
The two state cars have been given highest priority so expect that the news over the coming weeks will concentrate on progress. Most other works have been temporally halted.
As well as the outside of the state cars, the insides will be receiving attention. Details as work progresses.
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
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