Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
Although we are in the holiday or silly season depending on your point of view, there has been a bit on.The usual projects have been moving ahead, but a lot of behind the scenes planning has resulted in ins and outs and ups and downs as you will see.
We begin on December 8th following the last lot of ups and downs. Colin has started the dismantling of the GY wagon put on the ground. We want the imperial section steel in the side and centre sills of this wagon for rebuilding a portion of a BS car underframe. Whilst metric sections are similar, imperial means a perfect match to what was there and the drawings. Some of the left over bits are going to a kindred organisation who wants good serviceable parts while the rest will end up in the scrap bit. One GY down, one BS car resurrected and a few other wagons receiving vital parts. A realistic fate for a surplus wagon.
After a couple of weeks of routine (no photos this time) 23rd December sees the ins and outs. X31 and S303 have returned (come in) to Seymour for attention in various ways. The locos are just inside the signal and one of the drivers is walking back to discuss the next move.
And then it gets interesting. T357 is on pilot duties and has pushed GM27 onto GM36 ready for some shuffling. In the background is CLF2 just arrived from Laverton where it has been on hire with SCT. It is owned by Rail Power and has come in to receive a bit of attention and routine maintenance. It is on the standard gauge main line waiting at the switch lock.
Down in the loco depot, Colin is discussing the weather (maybe; without sound it is a bit hard to tell exactly what is going on) with the loco crew who are getting organised.________________________________________________________________
A few minutes later and GM27 with T357 are on their way out.
GM27 was attended to by contractors on behalf of SSR and is re-entering service. T357 is along for security as it is the first movement for the GM and it is there just in case. But there is another angle to this whole move.
In the cab of the T is a SCT loco crew who will be taking charge of 357 once the pair get to Dynon. T357 has been hired by SCT to supplement C501 and CLF4 hauling the Dooen train._____________________________________________________________
A smoky departure for GM27 with T357 behind. Not surprising for a loco ex maintenance and attention that has been idling quite a bit lately. A few kilometres and that will clear up._________________________________________________________________
Much later the same day. At SCT's Laverton depot, T357 is not required this night (it went into service the following day, Christmas eve) and because it was left where it was, the loco cleaners attacked it._________________________________________________________________
There is a gang of three and this must just be what they do. Would be nice to cycle the fleet through here and have them come out all clean and shiny!_____________________________________________________________
With the ins and outs over for a while, it is on to the ups and downs.
Wednesday morning 30th December and the view from the lunch room is as seen here.
S303 has had its bogies disconnected and is attached to Y119. P22 is coupled to GM36 and CLF2 is idling away behind. The keen eye may even see a little hint of a sprinter behind T357 and GM36. The sprinter of course is outside the fence about to head up to the station._______________________________________________________________
With the loco crew signed on, Y119 propelling S303 and P22 propelling GM36 and CLF2 were all down to the turntable.
A big crane (220 tonne capacity although not set up for that weight) was on site to do the hard part of the ups and downs.______________________________________________________________
But the first task was not a loco but the old gantry crane structure. Unused since the mid 1980s and totally non compliant with modern standards, and no longer regularly inspected, it has been a hinderance for years. The best option was controlled dismantling._________________________________________________________________
With all other persons clear, the crane driver happy, Colin cuts the structure at the ground while Robbie watches for any signs of surprises. All was well and the structure was gently lowered to the ground and taken apart, with the bits stored out of the way.________________________________________________________________
A last view of S303 on broad gauge for who knows just how long.
The purpose of the days ups and down was to transfer S303 to standard gauge and GM36 to broad gauge by swapping the bogies between the two locos._____________________________________________________________
First lift. No2 end of GM36 to remove the power bogie and place a shop bogie in its place. This then means that the loco can be moved away for the next lift in the sequence.______________________________________________________________
With the car body in the air, the power bogie is inched out by a chain attached to Y119. With the Y and bogie on the table, the table is turned away and the bogie pushed to a side track until needed to be put under S303._______________________________________________________________
The second lift under way. The broad gauge power bogie has been removed from S303 in the same way as for GM36 and put aside. Now the standard gauge bogie from GM36 is hauled onto the turntable by the Y ready for putting under the S._______________________________________________________________
During manoeuvres GM36 rides the turntable with S303 and CLF2 in the background.___________________________________________________________
All noses in the one view.____________________________________________________________
The leading end of GM36 rises up ready for the Y to haul the bogie to the turntable yet again. ___________________________________________________________
The leading standard gauge bogie comes out of GM36. It will be put aside again and a temporary fitted in lieu.________________________________________________________
Yet another interlude as locos are shuffled. Cousins side by side. The trailing bogie standard gauge bogie previously under GM36 in the foreground.______________________________________________________________
Stepping back a little and we now have three noses again.________________________________________________________
Getting well along with the lifts now and the trailing end of S303 has given up its temporary bogie which is being hauled by the front end loader clear of proceedings.____________________________________________________________
From almost under S303's trailing end. Traction motor cables and the bellows for the motor cooling are in plain sight.____________________________________________________________
S303 again. This is the trunnion or in layman's language, the bogie pivot. It is a big casting that is bolted to the frame. It has to transmit all power and braking forces between the body and bogie as well as support the weight of the loco. It is not unknown for cracks and defects to appear in this area and as it ins not usually visible, when in the air a good look around was undertaken.______________________________________________________________
Later again (we have forgotten which number lift this was) and S303 is again in the air this time the nose end. We must be waiting for a bogie to be found and put in place.____________________________________________________________
A couple of minutes later and no surprise; a bogie has been found and hauled in by the front end loader. So, down se goes.______________________________________________________________
It is a bit hard to tell from this shot but take our word for it; S303 is on standard gauge!___________________________________________________________
The last lift. GM36 leading end goes up to release the temporary bogie as the broad gauge power bogie is now available from S303. A little higher and the Y will pull the bogie out.___________________________________________________________
And with the temporary out, GM36 is now down on two broad gauge bogies. This is the second time this has occurred in our ownership of the loco. In 1995 the GM and B swapped bogies for a few years.____________________________________________________________
And at the end of the day, S303 is in the depot on standard gauge behind P22. GM36 ended up in the repair shed on broad gauge where it will reside while having minor mechanical things done and the body rejuvenated._______________________________________________________
So that's it for this time.________________________________In the next week or two both GM36 and S303 will have their "new" bogies reconnected and the necessary tests and so forth done to enable them to be operational on their new gauges.
S303 is now almost ready to fulfil its upcoming interstate passenger train commitments and GM36 will return to service on the broad gauge network.___________________________________
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
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