Autumn Progress

With four reconditioned fans bearing down on us, Brian and Daniel have been busy manufacturing and preparing the new timber mounting discs to replace the old ones that had fallen apart. When the paint is dry next week, we will look at installing the fans using these discs.

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In the mean time, fitting new felts to one side of each window becomes the bread and butter for the boys. The other side of each window will have felts fitted too when the windows are being installed, as each window it fitted individually – they are all a little different.

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The half-sized TAM windows have a polished nickel plated handle fitted on the left hand side, so young Cameron gets busy fitting those using his keen carpentry skills.

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But the focus has been to resolve the troublesome problem on the lower edge of the sub letter board. Over their long operational life, the crisp lines of timber cars invariably succumb to the elements and end up looking rather ordinary. So we’ve taken the time to rout out a section of timber the full length of the car on both sides and replace it with brand new timber like this.

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This is no small task, but at least big jobs make the days go quicker.

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When it is sanded and the screw holes are filled with wood filler, the satisfying crisp lines return to our old TAM once again.

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This same problem has been approached on other cars using an alternate approach of installing timber fillets immediately below the letter board with successful results. 3801 Limited are supplying funds and resources to reactivate HFA703 in the near future.

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Currently, the mechanical work is the main priority. Each bogie is receiving a full overhaul, compliments of our skilled mechanical team.

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There are normally several projects on the boil at Eveleigh at any given time. The Lachlan Valley Railway are using the workshops for their original purpose by carrying out mechanical works on both 5917 and 3237.

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In fact, quite a few groups call Eveleigh home. 42101 is finally nearing the completion of its restoration, which has been long and extensive.

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Lachlan Alco’s 4464 and her 2 siblings 4473 and 4486 all enjoy shelter in between operating trains out of Eveleigh.

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As do 4501 and 4833, which are both having ICE radios installed to meet modern radio requirements. Running heritage trains is not as laid back as it might have once been.

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4918 also has ICE radio installed so that we can continue bringing the train to the people of NSW.

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We look forward to riding behind the old 49’r aboard L516. But not until all the restoration works have been completed on L516 – more updates soon.

Window Work

L516 has 44 timber framed windows, all of which were in need of a little TLC. To make sure that the windows are painted properly, we followed our usual lead and slipped all the windows out, before our volunteers started removing the old felts to avoid them getting paint on them as well as identifying old felts that need replacing.

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The old screw holes were dowel plugged ready for when the window latches are re-fitted later on in the project.

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Following a thorough sanding, a good paint system starts with 2 coats of undercoat.

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L516 will be painted in Indian red with a custard stripe across the window line. This colour scheme is a slight variant of the “blood and custard” colour scheme that the railways employed.

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Painting onto the glass guarantees a firm durable seal to protect the timber, with the excess trimmed off when the paint dries.

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Back at the shed, Mark and Thomas work together to attach new felts. The felts allow the window to slide freely in the runners.

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While Brett and Todd attack the massive task of servicing and polishing all the window latches. TAM cars have 22 full size windows, 22 half sized windows, 44 right hand latches, 22 left hand latches…and a handful of other nickel plated sundries.

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We’ll probably take a break from all this monotonous work before we start work on the 88 timber shutters!

Car Ends – Part 2

Steve has been rebuilding the Redfern end of the carriage roof.

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Half of it looks alright.

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But the other side is a bit of a sad story.

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Somehow it seems to look worse from the inside.

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The old timbers were clearly beyond repair, so Brett sourced and started manufacturing new replacement timbers.

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This repair has been a headache for a long while now, but Steve handles it with his usual confident bull-at-a-gate approach, rebuilding this whole section of roof. Steve started by cutting out the rot with a circular saw and splicing in new timber.

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Before building out the roof hollow with solid timber, forming individual timber slices to match the roof profile in the traditional fashion.

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It takes a while, and it isn’t easy, but his efforts have the roof looking good as new.

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But the wow factor really only hits you when you see the whole job completed. Steve truly has done another magnificent job restoring this carriage roof end to a high quality finish. His efforts are an inspiration and it’s this satisfaction that keeps us coming back for more resto works each weekend.

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It’s just as well too, because the volunteers are the backbone of maintaining all the carriages that currently call Eveleigh home. Altogether, there are almost 30 carriages in our care, both publicly and privately owned.

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Tank Time

Any steel water vessel eventually succumbs to time and corrosion, and alas the time has come to replace the water tank on L516. The group went about removing the old water tank using a few choice tools:

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Time was taken to photograph key components to make the reassembly a little easier.

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While a new tank was sourced, the tank straps were stripped and repainted.

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Before Ross and Todd spent a day test fitting the tank (with the help of our trusty bottle jack).

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Garry sourced and installed vibration suppressing rubber, which is fitted between the tank and the steel straps.

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Then the new plumbing was installed. We are looking forward to the day when we can enjoy running water and a cup of tea in L516.

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