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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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The results speak for themselves.

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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.

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

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Work in progress. Watch this space!