Progress Report No. 32 – The Hunslet returns!

Following advice from Ainsworth Engineering that the caulking of the firebox weep had finally been successfully completed together with other adjustments and modifications, followed by a static steaming test, arrangements were put in hand for “Torpedo” (Hunslet 0-4-2T, B/n 1187 of 1915) to be collected from Goulburn and returned to Pete’s Hobby Railway at Junee. The date set was Wednesday, 5th July and formed part of an even more interesting move of two 2-ft gauge steam locomotives from the Lake Macquarie Light Railway to Ainsworth Engineering for overhaul.

Lake Macquarie Light Rail (its correct title!) is a privately owned 2-ft gauge accredited railway located on 11 acres (4.5ha) of undulating rural land near the township of Toronto, on the western shores of Lake Macquarie, about 20km south of Newcastle (NSW). Pete’s Hobby Railway seeks to emulate some aspects of Lake Macquarie Light Rail, but on land about one-third the size.

Although loading of the two 0-4-2T locomotives at LMR commenced around 0730 hours, it was not until after 1100 that this was completed (later than planned) and the road-haulage was under way. The movement arrived at Ainsworth Engineering a little before 1600 hours.

2017-3123: Not something that one would see on the Highway!

2017-3123: Not something that one would see on the Highway!

2017-3125: Two narrow gauge steam locomotives in transit from Lake Macquarie Light Rail, on the last stage of their trip approaching Goulburn.

2017-3125: Two narrow gauge steam locomotives in transit from Lake Macquarie Light Rail, on the last stage of their trip approaching Goulburn.

Not something that one would see on the Highway! Two narrow gauge steam locomotives in transit from Lake Macquarie Light Rail, on the last stage of their trip approaching Goulburn. Leading is former Fairymead No. 1, an 0-4-2T Baldwin B/n. 10533 of 1889, while the second is also an 0-4-2T, ex Mourilyan Mill No. 7, built by the Perry Engineering Co. Ltd in 1951, serial number 2714.51.1.

The weather had taken a turn for the worse, with bitingly cold winds and the occasional shower. By the time unloading had been completed (requiring the use of two cranes), it was dark. Portable floodlights were erected supplemented by a light on one of the cranes.

Image 0376: A very brief break in the clouds enabled a quick photo of Bruce Belbin’s former Mourilyan Mill No. 7 in sunlight. Photo by Rhys Harrison.

Image 0376: A very brief break in the clouds enabled a quick photo of Bruce Belbin’s former Mourilyan Mill No. 7 in sunlight. Photo by Rhys Harrison.

The Perry will be given a general overhaul at Ainsworth Engineering, while the Baldwin will be receiving a new boiler!

Image 2017.3152A: It was then time for Graeme Belbin’s Baldwin locomotive to be unloaded. By this stage, it was becoming quite dark, so this image had been enhanced/brightened.

Image 2017.3152A: It was then time for Graeme Belbin’s Baldwin locomotive to be unloaded. By this stage, it was becoming quite dark, so this image had been enhanced/brightened.

“Torpedo” was located elsewhere at the works, outside the building where it had undergone its static steaming test. I small pile of timber fuel was adjacent, together with an even smaller amount of coal. It took some time for the crane to walk the locomotive around to where loading was to take place.

Image 2017.3154: A portable floodlight, along with the crane’s own light, illuminates the scene as “Torpedo” is gently lowered on to the road transport trailer for return to Pete’s Hobby Railway.

Image 2017.3154: A portable floodlight, along with the crane’s own light, illuminates the scene as “Torpedo” is gently lowered on to the road transport trailer for return to Pete’s Hobby Railway.

Securing the loco for transport took even longer, but for a brief time, it was possible to obtain some photos (not too good, I regret to say) of the three steamers together. By now it was just on 1800 hours – we adjourned to the Office for a debrief and to warm up before my party (Ben, Nick, Rhys and yours truly) headed back to Junee.

Image 2017.3161: Under the glare of portable flood lights, Ben assists in the securing of the Hunslet for transport while Nick and Rhys supervising. Behind them is the Perry whilst to the extreme right is the rear of the Baldwin.

Advance two days…

It is a little before midday on Friday 7th July as T/Line’s heavy lift crane edged its way through my front gate with inches to spare and scraping the lower leaves of the two mature Kurrajong trees in order to get into position to unload “Torpedo”. Conditions were again damp, but our new unloading location had proved successful when the loco was loaded for transport to Goulburn three months’ earlier.

Image 2017.3164: Yes, it is a tight fit for T/Line’s Crane!

Image 2017.3164: Yes, it is a tight fit for T/Line’s Crane! Photo by Rhys Harrison, using Peter’s camera

Image 0433: And an even tighter fit for “Torpedo”, requiring much skill by Mario not to damage my front gate (or his newly acquired vehicle!). Photo by Rhys Harrison.

Image 0433: And an even tighter fit for “Torpedo”, requiring much skill by Mario not to damage my front gate (or his newly acquired vehicle!). Photo by Rhys Harrison.

Image 0499: With my rail track in the foreground and framed by one of the Kurrajong trees, “Torpedo” is gently lifted from the trailer. Photo by Rhys Harrison.

Image 0525: And then carefully returned to the rails. Photo by Rhys Harrison.

Image 0525: And then carefully returned to the rails. Photo by Rhys Harrison.

It was then left to Ben to bring down the Ruston diesel to tow “Torpedo” back to the temporary staging/servicing area to await its PHR steaming trial. But that is a story for a future Progress Report! Mario backed his vehicle out of my driveway, followed by the T/Line crane and tranquillity again returned to Pete’s Hobby Railway… very briefly, as track extension works were about to commence… again, to be covered in a future Progress Report.

For the present…
Cheers,
Pete

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