Time for a road trip!

With lighting now installed in the gutted end of L516, our weekend warriors focused their attention on furnishing this end of the car. This will be a top down approach, starting with the roof and light fittings. Ritchie Bros cars were synonymous with elaborate pressed metal roof mouldings, which remain in the sleeping compartments at the other end of L516.


Sourcing the original pressed metal roof moulding pattern quickly proved difficult, and copying an existing pattern was prohibitively expensive. After a great deal of research, Jean Morrison from Heritage Ceilings (www.heritageceilings.com.au) suggested we use their Lily pattern, which retains the flowing floral patterns of the original style.


Experienced carpenter and volunteer car builder Chris was happy to provide his Ute to collect the pressed metal sheets from the factory at Bathurst. Although we may have taken a slight de‐tour…


Could this be the first time “4901” has been in poll position at Bathurst?


Down at the factory, Todd ensures that the precious cargo is safe and secure for the return trip to Sydney.


Back at the shed, the Saturday working bees have the sheets installed one at a time and before long we start to get a feel for how it’s going to look. The strings provide additional support during installation, to avoid creasing the sheets. You don’t normally use these in HO scale!


Standing back to admire our handy work, its clear we have a long way to go!


But the work group have it all in hand. Chris starts by pre drilling the screw holes in the sheets.


Then, with the sheet partially screwed in place, the hole is drilled for the light fitting. Eye protection is important when drilling sheet metal.


Then the light globe is re‐installed.


At the close of Saturday, several sheets are installed.


It will take a number of work days to complete this job, but its well worth the wait.

Lights & Vents

With the metal roof progressing well, its time to think ahead and get the jewellery ready for the next part of the restoration project. Our friends at the Zig Zag railway kindly allowd us to salvage whatever fittings we could from the three former NSWGR sleeping cars which are set to be scrapped. These cars have been used for accommodation during steaming weekends at Zig Zag, but are sadly at the end of their life.


These cars pre‐date L516 (TAM502), with their timber frames and Pullman body work, but the light fittings and vents are basically the same.


Back at the Rowling workshop, cleaning started with the lamp shades


But wait! There’s more!


Before the glassware was paired up with the metal light fittings.


The vents have attracted over a century worth of soot and cobwebs, but a bit of elbow grease and they come up real nice too! Nickel plated brass was the most common type of vents.


These sleeping car vents incorporate a louver mechanism, which can be opened or closed depending on ventilation needs.


Different cars, different eras, different styles. Somewhere along the track, this plain copper vent must have been in fashion. We’ll find a place for it in L516.


When the roof is finished, this jewellery will be installed. Till next time.