The stage has been reached where the overhauled Hunslet steam locomotive, Ruston diesel and the Carriage conversion works have all been completed by Ainsworth Engineering at Goulburn. I now have to wait until Mario of Australian Train and Railway Services can carry out the road transfer from Goulburn to Junee, at this stage scheduled for late June or early July. Depending on weather conditions, I am hoping for a morning photo opportunity outside Junee railway station, prior to the unloading.
As has been recorded previously in these Progress Reports, a short section of track has already been laid on my Junee property to receive these items. The western end of the track has been raised pig-sty to about a metre in height – Mario’s low loader will back on to this track and once physically connected to the track on the road vehicle, the Ruston diesel will be started up to unload the carriage and the steam locomotive … or at least, that is the plan!!! A photo of the ramp accompanied my Progress Report No. 3 dated 22nd March last.
Following unloading and as there are no other items to be received by this method, the pig-sty will be removed and the western end of the track realigned to its permanent position – then extended to form the remainder of the trial section.
Preliminary works have been undertaken for the rail line to cross my access driveway immediately behind the two very large Kurrajong trees (see track diagram included with my previous Progress Report). The level crossing of the driveway has been complicated by the existence of the water pipe serving the house. While it has not been possible to physically locate the actual position of the pipeline, an exploratory trench has been dug to a depth of just over 300mm (the measurement from the bottom of the sleeper to the railhead) without sighting (or more importantly, hitting) the pipe. I was greatly assisted in this work by two visitors from the Goulburn-Crookwell Heritage Railway group who swung the mattock.
Previously covered in Progress Reports 3 & Progress Report 4 was the arrival of my 0-6-2T Perry and 0-6-0 T/T Fowler locomotives from storage with Australian Train Movers in western Sydney. The two locomotives are currently located on a short section of isolated rail track near to my house. As they do not provide a pretty sight, I have commenced a cosmetic painting of the Perry and the Fowler tender – in all-over gloss black, with red outlining to follow. Adverse weather conditions have put a halt to these works. I have attached a photo of the progress to date. No attempt has been made to patch up the large expanses of corrosion, both on the Perry or the tender.
If I had a volunteer with oxy and boiler-making expertise, I would certainly like to see the rusted Perry cab sides and bunker cut out/replaced, while the floor of the cab also needs total replacement. Restoration of the locomotive back to working order is beyond my capabilities/expertise, physically and financially – the commercial cost would be in excess of $150,000.
The tender behind the Perry is beyond redemption – or at least, the tender body is, owing to major rusting and corrosion, both externally and internally. Whether it should be rebuilt is a big question – particularly as I would rather see the Fowler steam locomotive restored to its original design as an 0-6-0 tank engine, thus not requiring the tender. The estimated commercial cost of restoring the Fowler to operational is around $80,000. At this stage, I am regularly purchasing tickets in Oz-Lotto, but so far, without success!
Progress with Junee Shire Council continues to be painstakingly slow – it is now over a year since the original Development Application was lodged. Late last year, Council requested that I obtain the services of a qualified Acoustics Engineer to prepare a desk-based noise evaluation report (at my expense, of course!). This was received in mid-May and has been on-forwarded to Council for its consideration. I have previously answered every question raised by the Councillors, yet they still ask for more, such as this Acoustics Report. Hopefully, the matter will be listed for discussion and approval at the next Council meeting, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, 28th June. Time will tell!
Seeking Volunteer Support
Other forthcoming works for which volunteer support would be greatly appreciated include;
- The construction of the platform (facing, surface and waiting shed), to be located on the western side of my driveway, near the front fence;
- Overhaul and repainting of the three remaining four-wheeled open passenger carriages (the commercial conversion of the fourth carriage to incorporate a guard’s compartment will be covered in a forthcoming Progress Report). The standard of the guard’s van conversion will set the standard for the other cars!!!
- Overhaul and (hopefully!) restoration to operational condition of the former Beaudesert Shire Tramway internal combustion inspection vehicle. Zane Maber is currently preparing a Scope of Works for this project so that we can all see what is involved and how this can be progressed.
- Assisting in track-laying. The strenuous parts of this work are undertaken using machinery – a bulldozer, dump truck, road-roller and a crane.
If you are able to assist in any of these projects, I would very much like to hear from you.
That’s all for this Progress Report.
Pete’s Hobby Railway.