TAM Fans & how far they’ve come

Over the years, dust and grime has accumulated on the fans in L516’s compartments, leaving them looking rather unloved. The ventilation fans (known as “Imperiston” fans) were sent to our friends at the Rowling Electrical workshops to restore them to their former glory.

This is how it’s done:


Step 1 – Disassemble the fan units. The insulation on some of the wiring was in a very poor state, which is a common symptom of life-expired cloth coated cables.


Step 2 – Check the motor works using a suitable power supply, then remove the motor from the casing and blow compressed air through the motor to flush all the soot and dust out.


Step 3 – Hit the parts with high pressure water, removing the white paint to reveal the original black paint. Some paint stripper helps for the more stubborn paint. Leave the parts out in the sun to dry.


Step 4 – Apply 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of gloss enamel and leave to cure for a week or so.


And don’t forget to paint the fan blade guard too.


Step 5 – Remove the bearing from the motor shaft, soak overnight in kerosene, disassemble the bearing, clean, re-grease and re-install:

Step 6 – Reassemble the fan units. This needs to occur in a number of discrete logical steps. Start by securing the 2 metal “hoops” to the motor housing.


Step 7 – Fit the 3 remaining support arms for the fan blade guard.


Step 8 – Secure the motor to the motor housing, followed by the fan blades and fan blade guard.


Step 9 – Reassemble the mounting block, new wiring and the motor rear cover.


Voilà! The Rowling Workshop was doing a special 4 for 1 deal the day we visited.


A nice touch is to polish the builders’ plate and apply a wax finish to prevent tarnishing over time. L516’s fans date 1926-1929, over 10 years before TAM502 was built.


It is interesting to note that these “Imperiston” fans were made by Stones, the same English company who made the under-car axel-driven generators used on NSWGR cars. Stones made a large range of equipment, from steam locomotive booster units to train lighting to axel boxes. Once source even suggests that Stones made the fans used on the Titanic.


Images used with permission from Graces Guide and can be found at: http://www.GracesGuide.co.uk

The fans for L516 are now ready for re-installing in the sleeping compartments as time permits.

Lights Up!

With all the excitement in the lead up to Christmas 2013, L516 had its own lights up in the “Lounge” end in time to celebrate the festive season.

We’ve taken a dingy blank canvas.

Lights up 01

And installed a high quality 1920’s style ceiling to suit the rest of the car.

Lights up 02

Refurbished and installed original fittings.

Lights up 03

The results speak for themselves.

Lights up 04

This is a great time to reflect on what our volunteers have achieved in 2013, and thank all our friends and supporters for their help throughout the year.

Car Ends – Part 1

Steve has been steadily rebuilding the upper ends of the car in order to restore the timbers to a high quality weather proof finish. Some may baulk at these kinds of jobs because they quickly become major, but Steve taking the time to do this work now will help ensure the car has a long low maintenance running life.

Last time we checked in, the new matchboard timbers were back in place and undercoated:

Car Ends 01

Before the studs were replaced with the help of a large hammer and a socket set, followed by another coat of primer:

Car Ends 02

The cornivce timbers replaced:

Car Ends 03

And then undercoat ready for the Indian red.

Car Ends 04

One more quick repair.

Car Ends 05

…and Steve is onto the other end of the car to do it all again!

Car Ends 06

Work in progress. Watch this space!