Adverse weather conditions, recent, current and forecast, are preventing the transfer of the overhauled Hunslet steam and Ruston diesel locomotives, along with the rebuilt passenger carriage, from Ainsworth Engineering at Goulburn to Junee. Depending on how the ground dries out (once this drizzling soaking rain stops!), it is now proposed that the movement will take place late this month or in early July.
Junee Shire Council staff are currently preparing a Report and Recommendation regarding Pete’s Hobby Railway for consideration at the next Council meeting, rescheduled for Tuesday 28th June (one week later than normal, owing to the State Budget being announced on the normal date for Council meetings, the 3rd Tuesday of the month). Although Council originally requested that I should obtain a “desk report” from a qualified Acoustics Engineer, it now seems that actual noise level readings from the diesel locomotive are now being sought – a little difficult when the locomotive is still at Goulburn and not on railway track. However, I am now in discussion with Goulburn to ascertain whether this can be carried out quickly, otherwise it will be a further three weeks’ delay until the July Council meeting.
The conversion of one of my four passenger carriages to include a Guard’s Compartment with an operating hand brake was all-but completed by Ainsworth Engineering as at the end of May. The works turned into a lot more than I had anticipated (including cost!) – luckily, only one vehicle was to be converted and that rejuvenation of the remaining vehicles can hopefully be done “in house” on Pete’s Hobby Railway.
On removing the concrete floor, the metal frame was found to be badly corroded, requiring replacement of some sections. The wheels and bearings were found to be in good order, requiring only regreasing. From the floor up, there was virtually nothing that could be salvaged – the side sheets were rotten, while the seat slats were also rotten on the ends. The roof support frames fell apart once unbolted from the base, so all that could be saved of the roof were the fibreglass ends and the corrugated sheeting.
The single rear cross-bench seat has been divided into two sections, with space in the centre being taken up by the hand brake pedestal (recovered many, many years ago from the guard’s compartment of an NSWGR end-platform suburban set!) and costing around $5.00 at the time. Rodding applies the brakes to all four wheels. Single hardwood brake blocks rather than steel have been used, as the friction of such a small diameter wheel with steel shoes would have been very little and almost useless. The hardwood is easily replaced, but should give good service before replacement is needed. The ex-NSWGR hand brake pedestal had originally been obtained with the view to fitting to the Perry locomotive which no longer has an operable hand brake (or steam brake, for that matter.).
New side-walls for the car have been constructed using hardwood marine ply, with new seating using merbau hardwood slats. The ply has been primed and top-coated with three coats each while the seat slats have been finished with decking oil.
The concrete floor has been finished with grey non-slip flooring paint. These works have been finished off with the fitting of new safety ropes being attached to each open doorway and held in place by brass hooks.
Attached are some photos of the carriage conversion project…
2016-0479: General view of carriage No. 2 after loading at Junee, preparatory for movement to Goulburn. “Set Track” awaiting laying in the foreground. A close-up of the carriage was included in Progress Report No. 2 dated 22/3/2016. The photo was taken on 4/2/2016.
2016-1727: At Goulburn, the body, seats and side panels have been separated from the frame and the concrete floor removed.
2016-1734 General view showing frame and wheels, seating and roof. Both these photos were taken on 30/3/2016.
Completed carriage as at late May 2016. Signwriting is yet to be applied. Photo by Ken Ainsworth of Ainsworth Engineering.
That’s all for this Progress Report.
Pete’s Hobby Railway