Article Index

Part 19: Various work updates—December 2001

Workforce update

Advice has been received that the rebuild project can continue at its former pace. Accordingly, the work force is now being rebuilt.


Since the foundation ring riveting, work on the boiler has concentrated on completing the welding in of the smokebox tube plate. Following that, the new flanged section of the firebox tube plate was riveted to the copper crown sheet. During this process, some pitting of the manufactured rivet heads was noted, and after careful examination, it was decided to remove them again and carry out an investigation into the causes.

Accordingly a series of test rivets were inserted into test bars. Whilst some pitting was created, there was nothing like that found on the rivets in the boiler. These tests tended to indicate that the popular theories of over heating of rivets, or scale in the rivet snaps was not a major contributing factor. We did observe some changes with different rivet snaps. Spectrograhic analysis and mechanical property tests did not indicate anything untoward in the material. After detailed discussions with our boiler inspector, it was agreed to try again.

Work has commenced on the grate supports, and the new ash pan.


The main frames receiving an undercoat

Another problem that requires a solution is the "fish bellying" of the boiler halfway along the firebox. If left un-attended, this means that the boiler will not fit between the frames! The reason it fitted the old frames was that constant battering over the years had caused the frames to bend outwards and rub against the back of the wheels!

It looks as if the solution will be akin to putting a big G clamp on, and tightening up. It may be that a device similar to a trackman's Jim Crow will have to be made.

Concurrently with this investigation, small warps in the all welded main frames have been relieved out, and it stands ready to receive paint and axle box horns. Both new cylinders are now cast, and are expected back from the machine shop around Christmas.

John Southwell cleaning one of the motion brackets


The tender is looking fairly complete, with the tank now bolted to the underframe. "Second fixings" are now happening, with hand rails, hand brakes and the like being fitted.

The volunteers who work on this on Wednesday evenings are divided into South Australian Railways and Commonwealth Railways supporters. When they are not painting, they appear to be engaged in a battle to come up with the best (or worst) words that might match the CR which will be painted on the side. Examples include "Competent Railways" and "Constantly Rusting". The unpainted tender sides are sporting several "thoughts" on what CR means!

The foundry has been put to use again, with some pipe brackets and the fire-door protector plate being produced in cast iron.