Progress Report 03

This is the last of three Progress Reports to bring you up to date with what has transpired in recent months with Pete’s Hobby Railway. This Progress Report covers the activities of the last couple of days.

2016-1554: Last Load of "Set-Track" arriving

2016-1554: Last Load of “Set-Track” arriving

2016-1554: Last load of “set-track” arrives Junee by courtesy of Australian Train and Railway Services, Sunday afternoon, 20/03/2016.

2016-1570: First length of "set-track" is laid

2016-1570: First length of “set-track” is laid

2016-1570: First length of “set-track” is laid, Monday morning, 21/3. Ben is supervising as the length of “set-track” is gently laid in position using a mobile crane. The driveway to my residence is located immediately behind the “garden”. In the background is the other side of the driveway, over which the railway will be extended (once the Council consents!) at a later date to form a circular route around the whole property.

2016-1580:  The newly laid three sections of "set track", complete with a temporary raised unloading ramp

2016-1580: The newly laid three sections of “set track”, complete with a temporary raised unloading ramp

2016-1580: The newly laid three sections of “set track”, complete with a temporary raised unloading ramp in order to take delivery of the overhauled Hunslet steam locomotive and Ruston diesel. Monday afternoon, 21/3.

2016-1591: Remaining Three Carriages Laid on Track

2016-1591: Remaining Three Carriages Laid on Track

2016-1591: In this final view for the present, the remaining three carriages have been lifted on to the newly laid track. Yours truly is trying out one of the three passenger carriages, placed on the newly laid track, at the completion of work, Monday afternoon, 21/3. Thanks to Ben for taking this photo, using my camera. The fourth carriage is currently at Goulburn undergoing modifications for the fitting of brakes.

Progress report from Goulburn

Overhaul of the Hunslet steam locomotive has, for all intents, been complete for some time. The loco had been stripped right down to its barest components, including dropping the wheels and pistons out of the frame! There was minimal wear on any of the wheels, despite the sharpness of the curve at Loftus which had severely tested the engine’s operations. Minor repairs were carried to the boiler, prior to reassembly and final painting in a light green colour scheme. Lubrication will be greatly improved by the fitting of a mechanical lubricator – many thanks to the Company for locating this and carrying out the plumbing required to make it operational. Some additional work has been undertaken so as to make the loco safer to operate in the dry Junee climate, including the provision of water as desired into the Ashpan to quell any hot ashes.

The locomotive’s original name of TORPEDO has been reinstated to the tank sides. The boiler repairs were checked by a qualified boiler inspector at various stages of the work, with a new Boiler Certificate now issued for the next twelve months. A subsequent decision to have the Ruston diesel receive a major overhaul has seen it also taken to Goulburn. Like the Hunslet, it was stripped down to the basics, including removal of the wheels from the frame. A couple of impending problems were discovered and attended to. The Ruston has since been reassembled, including with a new muffler (which should make it a lot quieter to operate), and repainted into the former Indian Red colour scheme that it carried at Loftus.

It is planned that both locos will be delivered to Junee in May, making use of the
unloading ramp discussed earlier in this Progress Report.

If you would like to see some illustrations of the works undertaken, please let me know and these will be included in a subsequent Progress Report.

Other Locomotives

The Perry 0-6-2T and Fowler 0-6-0 T/T steam locomotives, both very-much non-operational, have been inspected whilst in temporary storage with Australian Train Movers, in order to get an idea of what would be involved to have one overhauled and returned to operational condition. Although I do like the Perry (others are preserved, including one at Albion Park), considerably more work (read “money”!) would be required to get it running again.

The Fowler, on the other hand, was fully overhauled about 1965, receiving minimal use thereafter. Shortly after acquisition, I had the boiler given a cursory inspection – the report at the time being most favourable. At some time, it had been converted from an 0-6-0 tank engine to a tender/tank loco, but the tender is now in extremely poor condition. The same procedure as applied to the Hunslet would be applied to the Fowler and so it is anticipated that costs would be similar, despite some modifications required to convert it back to a tank type locomotive.

Because of the unplanned overhaul of the Ruston diesel and the conversion works on the carriage, any restoration to working order of a second steam locomotive is currently unfunded. However, I have received an overseas inquiry for the possible purchase of the Perry locomotive. Should the sale eventuate, this income COULD provide seed-funding for the overhaul of the Fowler – but I am not holding out any hopes!

In fact, a separate section of “set track” has been laid on the ground here at Junee yesterday (Monday 21/3) to receive both locomotives and the tender. This transfer would also take place in May.

Okay, that’s the lot to keep you all up-to-date for the next few weeks.

Pete’s Hobby Railway

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