Progress Report 29 – The Hunslet at Goulburn

The Hunslet at Goulburn

A trip to Sydney on Tuesday 4th April enabled a brief stopover at Goulburn to inspect progress with the modifications and adjustments to my Hunslet steam locomotive following operational experience gained after its major overhaul in 2015-16.

Image 2017.1913: My Hunslet shares space within Ainsworth Engineering’s heritage workshop with a rather large traction engine.

Image 2017.1913: My Hunslet shares space within Ainsworth Engineering’s heritage workshop with a rather large traction engine.

Post-overhaul adjustments include;

  • Caulking of a minor steam weep at the front left of the firebox. See Image 24-4-17, 11 16 40
  • Adjustment of the linkages to the drain cocks.
  • Repacking of piston glands to prevent steam leakage.
  • Replacement of a defective auxiliary safety valve.
  • Work on throttle linkages and associated leakages.
  • Overhaul of gauge glass fittings (minor leakages)
  • Replacement of a broken stud of the left hand rear cylinder cover (we tightened it too much and it broke!). A stud-extractor failed to remove it, instead itself breaking!!!
Image 24-4-17, 11 16 40: With the side-tank removed, it was easier to determine the extent of the steam weep.

Image 24-4-17, 11 16 40: With the side-tank removed, it was easier to determine the extent of the steam weep. Image Updated. Photo by Nicholas Pyers.

Modifications being done include;

  • Raising the operating positions of the sand and drain cock levers in the cab, so as to be really clear of the top of the reversing quadrant. Larger handles are also being fitted for easier and more comfortable control. See Image 2017.1904
  • Relocation of the whistle cord from terminating on one side of the cab to a position in the centre of the rear of the cab roof. (I’m left-handed, and with the cord terminating on the right hand side, it was difficult for me to reach.)
  • Replacing the rear coupling arrangement at the rear of the locomotive. The former coupling and links resulted in some jerkiness when applying power and/or braking. It is hoped that the use of a fixed bar between the Hunslet locomotive and the first carriage will overcome this problem. Initially, a simple swap of the front and rear couplers was proposed, but closer examination at Goulburn disclosed that this would not be as simple as had been thought! (Miniature automatic couplers were observed in operation on the Bally Hooley Steam Express at Port Douglas during my sea cruise, but no one was able to advise which firm manufactured the couplers locally.)See Image 2017.1902
    • Image 2017.1904: The relocated sand and drain cock leavers should now be easier to operate. The original location close to the top of the reversing quadrant is evident. The hand brake mechanism, dismantled to allow removal of the left hand side tank, lies in the background.

      Image 2017.1904: The relocated sand and drain cock leavers should now be easier to operate. The original location close to the top of the reversing quadrant is evident. The hand brake mechanism, dismantled to allow removal of the left hand side tank, lies in the background.

      Image 2017.1902: Ben shows off the newly manufactured coupler arrangement for the rear of the locomotive. At this stage, it had not been permanently attached.

      Image 2017.1902: Ben shows off the newly manufactured coupler arrangement for the rear of the locomotive. At this stage, it had not been permanently attached.

      Return of the locomotive from Goulburn to Pete’s Hobby Railway will be arranged once the works are completed and on-site testing carried out.

      Possible Track Design Alterations to Pete’s Hobby Railway

      Consideration is currently being given to a suggestion from one of the PHR volunteers to a modification of the uncompleted track route which he feels would greatly enhance our train operations.

      The end result would be three-fold;

      1. Two reversing loops would be included, thus enabling a train to change direction of operation through Loftus platform from anti-clockwise to clockwise as often as desired without stopping (apart from to change points). No additional points are required and the small amount of additional trackage required is already on hand.
      2. The “train spotting” public would get additional views of the train on each trip (including both sides of the train as it travels in differing directions). In addition, there would be a longer and more interesting start-to-stop journey for train crews and my friends who would be able to enjoy the journey.
      3. The proposed track realignment on the western side of my property would be located closer to my house and further from the western boundary fence (and thus from my adjacent neighbour’s dwelling!) Hopefully, the realignment would do away with the necessity for a 1.5 metre high embankment and associated drainage difficulties.

      As mentioned earlier, there would be no increase in the number of points required – my existing two 60-lb/yard points would be used for the two loops while my home-made 30-lb/yard point would be married in to provide a second (but dead-end) track into the storage shed.

      I am waiting for Josh (who has put forward the proposal) to prepare a (scale) CAD plan, followed by a staking out of the route to ensure that it is in fact practical. Regretfully, as much as I like the idea, I have my strong suspicions that it will not be practical because of the curve radii required along with an apparent over-development of the site. While Josh reckons it will fit in with our current 20m minimum radius for curvature, from pacing it out I have real doubts.

      Accordingly, I await his plan and the preliminary staking of the route with considerable interest.

      Cheers,
      Pete
      Pete’s Hobby Railway.

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