Progress Report 47: The Mysteries of Fowler 8766 — Assistance sought!

Previous Progress Report No. 46 posted on 1/9/2018 covered the works undertaken to prepare Fowler 0-6-0 TT locomotive 8766 of 1900 to allow a detailed boiler inspection to be undertaken, with the idea of restoring the engine to operational condition for occasional use on Pete’s Hobby Railway.

Inspection of the boiler (out of the frame) by the Boiler Inspector took place on Saturday 12th August. As indicated in the previous Report, he advised that the boiler barrel and firebox appeared to be in good condition, with pitting not deep enough to require the use of a qualified pressure welder… however, he would need to fully check his manual calculations. As there was a need to check the front and rear tube-plates for any flaws or fractures, all boiler tubes would have to be removed. Subject to these proving satisfactory, he could see no apparent reason as to why a boiler ticket at the original maximum working pressure of 160 lbs per square inch could not be issued.

Accordingly, I had authorised full time work to be undertaken on the locomotive for the next three months, commencing on the following Wednesday 15th August.

A Mystery Arises

The first job had been to dismantle all the motion rods, with the driver’s side placed on one table and the fireman’s side on another. Each was labelled with its correct name, including whether it was from the driver’s or fireman’s side. It is normal for each item to be stamped with the locomotive’s distinct identification – ie, its builder’s number, in this case, 8766. Rhys, as the apprentice-in-training, was given the job of cleaning the old paint off (using an electric wire brush) to locate and confirm the builder’s number. And this is where the problem arose – of the twelve items checked, only three carried the correct builder’s number!!!! In no particular order, this is what was found;

Connecting rod: Driver’s side = 8377. Fireman’s side = 6584.
Anchor link: Driver’s side = 11080. Fireman’s side = 8766.
Leading rod: Driver’s side = 6383. Fireman’s side = 6383.
Radius rod: Driver’s side = 11223. Fireman’s side = 8766.
Trailing rod: Driver’s side = 6383. Fireman’s side = 6383.
Vibrating link: Driver’s side = 8766. Fireman’s side = 8766.

Image 2018.1928: Driver’s side rodding, with identification inscriptions.

Image 2018.1928: Driver’s side rodding, with identification inscriptions.
 

Image 2018.1930: Fireman’s side rodding, with identification inscriptions.

Image 2018.1930: Fireman’s side rodding, with identification inscriptions.
 

Rhys also checked the three sets of driving wheels for builder’s numbers. In addition, he also found some casting numbers. The leading wheels are solid, presumably for additional weight because of the extended rear overhang. The driving (centre) wheels are flangeless; both these and the trailing wheels have holes, as per the image attached.
Leading wheels: Driver’s side = 5199. Fireman’s side = 5199.
Driving wheels: Driver’s side = 7604. Fireman’s side = 5199.
Trailing wheels: Driver’s side = 5199. Fireman’s side = 5010.

Image 2018.1959: Wheel sets standing on former inspection pit track from Loftus. The frame of Fowler 8766 can be seen in the background, sheltered under a gazebo.

Image 2018.1959: Wheel sets standing on former inspection pit track from Loftus. The frame of Fowler 8766 can be seen in the background, sheltered under a gazebo.
 

Image 2018.2068: Presumably a casting number found on the centre flangeless driving wheel.

Image 2018.2068: Presumably a casting number found on the centre flangeless driving wheel.
 

Some further numbers were located around the cylinders at the head of the main frame.
Valve spindle: Driver’s side = 8766. Fireman’s side = 8766.
Slide bar: Driver’s side = 6622. Fireman’s side = 6622.
Crosshead slipper: Driver’s side = Nil. Fireman’s side = 7076.

Image 2018.2131: The number 6626 stamped up-side-down on the fireman’s side slide bar. In the background can be seen 7076 stamped into the fireman’s side crosshead slipper.

Image 2018.2131: The number 6626 stamped up-side-down on the fireman’s side slide bar. In the background can be seen 7076 stamped into the fireman’s side crosshead slipper.
 

A summary of the various builder’s numbers found reveals ten other numbers apart from 8766!
5010 (1), 5199 (4), 6383 (4), 6584 (1), 6622 (2), 7076 (1), 7604 (1), 8377 (1), 8766 (6), 11080 (1) and 11223 (1).

I checked these numbers against known Fowler locomotives at the adjacent (Queensland) CSR Victoria and Macnade sugar mills, finding only one match – 11223, a 1907-built 0-6-2T at Macnade. I further checked against all known Fowler locomotives at Queensland and northern NSW sugar mills, but there were no further matches.

The Big Questions

Accordingly, my questions to all those Fowler locomotive “experts” out there, are;

  1. How and when did Fowler 8766 acquire parts from 5010, 5199, 6383, 6584, 6622, 7076, 7604, 8377 and 11080?
  2. What link do these engines have with the CSR Company?
  3. What have I missed?

One of those little mysteries of life (and locomotives) to which I would like some information, please!

Feedback, with your answers and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated and can be directed to me by using our Contact Form.

[Editor’s Note: Peter doesn’t always read the comments on Facebook directly… so please use the Contact Form on our website to email him directly… and I’m sure Peter will post a summary of answers here later]

I look forward to your feedback.
Cheers,
Pete
SM Loftus
Pete’s Hobby Railway

1 thought on “Progress Report 47: The Mysteries of Fowler 8766 — Assistance sought!

  1. Peter etc you certainly have a million dollar question but its just like NSWGR 1 history pars from 2 and 3 but to have so many locos part amazing

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