Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
And now for something different.
So what is this? It looks like half a table and in truth that is what it is. But the real question is why does it lead this blog?
The reason for this odd looking table opening the offering this time is that this table is a genuine first class section dining table from 1906E type dining car Campaspe. It was rescued from you can guess what sort of fate around 45 years ago by a true carriage enthusiast who thought it might perhaps one day be useful.
One day has arrived. The official restoration of Campaspe has begun with the exterior of the car about to be renewed similar to 2AE recently and current project 18AE. The interior is a separate issue and we are well into the discussion of options, tactics and arrangements. having one of the original tables heads us straight down the manufacture of replicas burrow. The same source also has a chair. Fantastic! So looks like we will be making tables and chairs for the first and second class dining saloons. A fair bit to do before anything actually happens with wood being shaped but we know for sure which way to go!_______________________________________________________________
In the previous picture the table is leaning against the fork lift the right way up. Now turned over the fairly basic design can be seen. Only two legs of course as the table like the more modern dining cars clips into the wall on the inner edge.The rectangular feet on the legs are different. The tables in the later cars have the legs sit on the floor with no foot piece. In the E cars the table is screwed to the floor. That will be a good arrangement making the assembly a bit more stable.__________________________________________________________________
In the repair shed are X31 with GM36 and T320.
The T is in short term abeyance while a couple of urgent things are dealt with elsewhere. GM36 now has all the body panels removed and extraction of the rusted in and sheared off panel securing bolts in progressing. Once all bolts are out all the threaded holes will be re-tapped and the frame painted in preparation for reassembly. One of the removed panels has been cleaned down as a test. It seems that all bar about five of the panels will be able to be refurbished with the remaining to be replaced.
The X on the other hand is one of those urgent things. Some strange noises have been heard in the area of the main generator. Disconnecting the air compressor and auxiliary generator did not eliminate the issue but it was easier to locate the source. The bearing at the outer end of the main generator has a funny cyclic rumble sound that surely cannot be a good sign._________________________________________________________________
So after putting the minds together, and reading the MI (maintenance instruction) we looked at the issues with respect to replacing the bearing with out removing the generator. Not that hard to do actually once some specialist tooling is made like the diagram in the MI. But some further consideration has taken us a different direction.When we acquired X31 from PN, it was rather tired. They had removed the engine as the only thing in it that was useful and fitted it into X36 which had suffered a failure. We provided the engine which is in it now which PN fitted before it was handed over. During the refurbishment process to put it back in service we rebuilt the bogies, the engine we provided, and lots of other bits and pieces. The air compressor and main generator were both OK and so just tidied up. In the ten years since, the compressor has been rebuilt but the main generator has slowly deteriorated to the point that the electrical insulation figures are only just in the reasonable range. With two fully overhauled main generators in stock, we have taken the decision to change out the generator forthwith.So the picture shows Quentin working on the various bolts that hold the generator assembly in the loco. Friday 26th March._______________________________________________________________ The six mounting bolts are down inside the frame of the loco. Quentin has an extension on the socket as well as a series of extensions on the handle. With three of us on the end of the pipe extension we could not loosen the bolts. So a bit of heat was applied along with a few good clouts on a dolly on the bolt and then the three men applied force again. Just when it seemed that more muscle would be needed the sharp crack sound told that the bolt had loosened. Five more to go!__________________________________________________________________ Same day, totally different circumstances. Around 20.30 B74 with seven carriages is in the Arrivals Yard at North Melbourne having come empty cars from Seymour on its way to Warrnambool. It has just been cut of the train and is about to go over the South Dynon to pick up A66.________________________________________________________________ An hour or so later and at the other end of the train B74 approaches with A66 on the other end out of sight._________________________________________________________________
As 74 gets closer the shape and colour of A66 appears from the eerie yellow light._________________________________________________________________
Coupled up and ready to head off to Warnambool, A66 leads B74. Trailing are carriages Yarra, 30 AE, 2AE, Mitta Mitta, Dining, 3BCE and State 4 is on the rear.______________________________________________________________ Arrival in Warrnambool was just after 02.15, so no photos as bed was beckoning. But in the morning (Saturday 27th March) in the glorious sun B74 now leads A66 after running around. Not much is going to happen for a couple of hours until the down morning Vline pass arrives and departs.________________________________________________________________ From the platform while twiddling thumbs waiting for things to come together._______________________________________________________________ In our blog we generally do not include photos of our trains running around the place mainly because there are lots of images available in other places. We concentrate on showing things that are not generally available for the world to see. With this principle in mind, the photographer who is fully authorised to be where he or she is (just like the shots in the Arrival yard) has grabbed a couple of views. Apart from the pole above B74, we think this is a nice comparison between two B classes at different points in their lives._______________________________________________________________ In the platform is the late morning up Vline pass while B74 and A66 wait their turn to dock up.____________________________________________________________________ With the up mid morning regular pass in the platform, our special waits in 3 track._____________________________________________________________ But now the regular train has gone. B74 aided by A66 sets back our train to enter the platform from the down end avoiding safeworking complications at the other end of the yard.___________________________________________________________________ With our special train now on the platform, the train staff have been "invited" to assist the caterers move supplies from their road van to the train.Kevin seems pleased with his consignment of grog whilst Max is just doing what he has to!_________________________________________________________________ Now what do you think they have lost? Or is it they have found something? Your guess is as good as ours for we just don't know._____________________________________________________________ Now at the platform waiting for passengers and the clock for the departure time.__________________________________________________________________ By golly the loco has a big nose! Taken from the end platform of State Car 4 not far out of Warrnambool heading for Melbourne.________________________________________________________________ The second car back is 3BCE. The barn type split doors of the guard's area are very handy for out the side shots.____________________________________________________________ The 40 or so passengers spread them selves out through the train to enjoy the comforts of what has been 'badged' as the 'Royal Train'. If you are on a Royal Train there is always the change of seeing someone important. Mid afternoon while waiting for the down pass to cross at Warncoort Loop, a couple of VIPs dropped by. With her husband standing back, HRH is doing what she does best!!_________________________________________________________________ Back to more important things. The down pass is passing by while our train is in the loop track at Warncoort Loop. One passenger looks one enjoying the afternoon sun._______________________________________________________________ But then so is the end platform of Yarra. The train is coming over the North Melbourne flyover and we are barely 1 km from the destination for the passengers._______________________________________________________________ A bit further along and the other side of the train. The fencing blocks a clear view of the locos but it still worth a look.____________________________________________________________ After a weekend away to Warrnambool, Monday morning it is time to get back to work. With the local crane man and machine on site first thing. Everything on X31 that needs to be disconnected is ready to be lifted out. The lifting went so quickly we just did not get time to take a picture. So what we can show you is the aftermath and what happens next.. The generator removed is to the right, and poor old 31 has a hole where the heart should be!______________________________________________________________ So now for a few views not normally seen. With the generator out, the flywheel of the engine is prominent with the roots blowers being the oval shaped objects with the rectangular assemblies above being the air filters._______________________________________________________________ Looking the other way, with the air compressor removed the main electrical cabinet can seen. The coil of wires in the mid left are the cables that lead to the radio antennas that are mounted on the roof above the generator.Because we are sure you will ant to know what the various "things" in the electrical cabinet are, have a look at the following which are extracts from the Clyde Engineering Operating Handbook for VR G16C locomotives. For you and me that means X31 - 36.
The replacement generator is coming into view. This one of four that we had overhauled during the El Zorro era. The revenue derived from that period put a refurbed generator in GM36 and B74 and left two up the sleeve so to speak. So this one is already paid for making it a no brainer to actually decide to do the swap. By changing out the old generator before it actually fails, the cost to refurbish it will be massively lower. There remains one refurbished generator in stock which will end up in ??? Once T320 is finished in a few months time, we will be tackling X37 which does need a change out generator. ________________________________________________________________ But before the new generator can go in, the generator area needs to be cleaned and prepared. Somehow James and Quentin have picked the short straw and are on their knees cleaning up oil, sludge and rust in unequal proportions._____________________________________________________________ The generator sits on two mountings in the well. James is cleaning the pad with a flap disc in the angle grinder._______________________________________________________________ A bit later and the new main generator is in the loco and about to be aligned and secured._______________________________________________________________ During the works on X31, it was noticed that some of the lights in the shed were flickering. Next morning, they were not flickering; they did not work at all. A bit of checking soon revealed that there was no power at all anywhere in the depot but our neighbours were fine. A call to the supply authority brought the fault men within 25 minutes. After fiddling for ten minutes one of them announced "I have good news and bad news" which was explained as the good news being we know where the problem is. The bad news being the fault is in the consumers mains between the service fuses and meter links, that being the owners problem. Certainly bad news.The most likely place for a cable fault was where the underground mains were dug up nearly 30 years ago when putting the water connection to the water tank.Marshalling resources such as labour, a hired excavator and our local sparky we started digging. After about five hours we found the defect but like most of these things it was not quite that easy with more digging needed to do a proper and permanent fix.So at one stage Colin is driving the digger with Mick and James poking fun at his ineptitude on the machine. He says in his defence that it was a tight and difficult location between a wagon that is being scrapped and all sorts of stuff stored just about where the serious work was required. But we know the truth don't we!_______________________________________________________________ So on to Good Friday. This time Colin is off the machine shunting; probably something he can handle without too much supervision!T357 has finished its time on hire to SCT and is on its way back from Barnawatha. When it arrives it needs to go on the pit from scheduled maintenance and fixing of a coupler problem. This means the S had to move onto the paved area.____________________________________________________________ T357 has just arrived and is sitting on the turntable approach. The crew have exited to discuss arrangements with Colin.______________________________________________________________ Two good reliable horses together again at the turntable.Once the T is attended to, it is expected to make a trip to Laverton to pick up C501 which has also finished its hire period with SCT and is due for scheduled maintenance. ________________________________________________________________
There is another Warrnambool ''Royal Train" charter going out late Tuesday for a Wednesday morning departure from Southern Cross.______________________________________________After that we can get back to a bit of routine. Maintenance on T357, C501, and then back to the projects for a while.
This article first appeared on srhcblog.blogspot.com
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