Progress Report 28: The Hunslet leaves Junee!

As covered in recent Progress Reports, several small but niggling problems had developed since the initial steaming of the Hunslet late last year, culminating in the discovery of a weep from the front of the firebox. Until such time as the Storage Shed with inspection pit and overhead crane are constructed, anything other than the most minor of running repairs are unable to be carried out at Junee on Pete’s Hobby Railway. In addition, resulting from the limited steaming opportunities to date, a number of minor modifications were considered desirable in order to improve operations.

Because of this limited steaming, I could possibly have survived until the facilities were constructed – but not with the boiler weep. Very preliminary arrangements had already been made for the Hunslet to be returned to Goulburn where the appropriate facilities and expertise were readily available.

Mario (of Australian Train and Railway Services) dropped in on the Sunday of the R-n-R weekend and spent a few happy hours train-riding. He had brought some heavy-rail items down to Coolac by prime mover and trailer and thus would be able to take the Hunslet on his return tomorrow, Monday – if I so wished!

It is surprising how things can be arranged as one blends in to the local community – a phone call later and we had a heavy-lift crane arranged for Monday… “just give us half an hour’s notice”!

Late Sunday afternoon had seen us prepare the Hunslet for transport – dropping all the water out of the boiler and side tanks, also removing the last of the loose timber fuel from the bunkers above the side tanks.

Monday, just after 0900 hours – with Ben, Rhys, Nicholas and Joel on site, the Ruston was fired up and propelled the Hunslet down to a point just short of where the crane lift would take place. Mario had arrived with his prime mover and trailer, followed shortly afterwards by the heavy lift crane.

There were a few anxious moments as the crane manoeuvred its way through the 12-ft wide gate and between the two kurrajong trees. Like the experts they are, T-Line soon had the crane in position and supported on blocks, ready for the lift.

Image 2017.1809: With the Hunslet already in position (and just visible in the background), T-Line’s heavy lift crane manoeuvres into position for the lift. (All images in this Progress Report were taken by Rhys Harrison)

Image 2017.1809: With the Hunslet already in position (and just visible in the background), T-Line’s heavy lift crane manoeuvres into position for the lift.
(All images in this Progress Report were taken by Rhys Harrison)

Mario then backed his vehicle into the driveway, undertaking a 90 degrees turn and still managing to miss the gate posts, finally coming to a stand with the trailer straddling the level crossing. It took considerably more time to prepare things – spreader bar and chains, than to undertake the actual lift, slew and loading, followed by the tying down. The whole exercise took less than an hour.

Image 3909: The Hunslet is in the air, swung around until it was over Mario’s hired trailer, then turned 180 degrees so the loco would face forward.

Image 3909: The Hunslet is in the air, swung around until it was over Mario’s hired trailer, then turned 180 degrees so the loco would face forward.

Image 3928: With Mario supervising and Ben carefully guiding, the Hunslet is gently lowered on to the trailer. Observe the use of thick rubber pads which prevented the chains from biting into the frame of the locomotive.

Image 3928: With Mario supervising and Ben carefully guiding, the Hunslet is gently lowered on to the trailer. Observe the use of thick rubber pads which prevented the chains from biting into the frame of the locomotive.

Image 3952: Sidewalk superintendents Pete and Nick look on as Ben guides the diving wheels onto the timber supports on the trailer. Headless Mario is on the other side.

Image 3952: Sidewalk superintendents Pete and Nick look on as Ben guides the diving wheels onto the timber supports on the trailer. Headless Mario is on the other side.

After tying the Hunslet to the trailer, Mario pulled forward, parking on the roadside and allowing the crane to return to base.

Image 3960: Mario’s vintage Kenworth only just fits through the canopy of the two Kurrajong trees and the apparently narrow driveway gate – but being the seasoned driver he is, neither were scratched!

Image 3960: Mario’s vintage Kenworth only just fits through the canopy of the two Kurrajong trees and the apparently narrow driveway gate – but being the seasoned driver he is, neither were scratched!

Image 4008: It was even a far tighter fit for T-Line’s crane to back out! The temporary bus stop signage from the weekend’s activities had yet to be collected.

Image 4008: It was even a far tighter fit for T-Line’s crane to back out! The temporary bus stop signage from the weekend’s activities had yet to be collected.

After final adjustments to the chains, Mario was on his way, via Coolac. There, he received advice that Ken was not able to receive the loco until the following day as all his staff were out on a job… so Mario pottered around Coolac until the very early hours of Tuesday morning, delivering the loco to Goulburn shortly after 0900.

Image 4048: Ready for departure, but no steam!

Image 4048: Ready for departure, but no steam!

Image 2017.1814: On the way.

Image 2017.1814: On the way.

That afternoon I had an email from Ken, advising that the left tank had already been removed so as to inspect the leak in the boiler. All it was is a minor seam leak that had developed following the welding carried out on the adjacent boiler mounting bracket which had been replaced during last year’s major overhaul. It could be easily caulked up and is not an issue of any magnitude.

I hope to be able to call in at the Goulburn works next week to ascertain progress, etc.

Time-lapse videos of the loading

Two time-lapse videos were taken of the recent loading and transfer of my Hunslet steam locomotive back to Goulburn for some post overhaul adjustments and a couple of modifications desirable from experience gained.

Both Josh and Rhys filmed the loading from differing locations, resulting in two independent coverages. Unfortunately, because of the variations in picture size, it has not been possible to collate the two into a single video. Rhys’ footage was shot from a Canon EOS600D whilst Josh’s was captured using an iPhone 6

Accordingly, I am grateful to Rhys who has taken the time to edit the two videos and prepare them for viewing.

Rhys’s video: Hunslet Steam Locomotive Loading Timelaspes
Josh’s video: Hunslet Time-lapse No. 2

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