Part 25: Fitting the cylinders, and (almost) finishing the tender—April–May 2002
Work has been going on to install the running boards. Whilst, in loco terms rather tin plate type material, it has added a noticeable bulk to the frame.
In parallel to this, we have obtained some helpful advice from a long retired Islington Works erecting shop foreman on setting up cylinders. Because there is some inevitable weld induced distortion in the frame, it is necessary to offer up the cylinder, smeared with bearing blue, see where it touches, and grind off the high spots until an even “print” is obtained all round the bolting flange. This has taken some time, with the cylinder having been put in its place many many more times than once. Once this time consuming job is complete, the final alignment of the cylinders can be done, and work can commence on setting up the axle boxes, and ultimately the wheels.
The tender has been fully painted in its final glossy black coat, and has been transported north, to Port Augusta, where it will await the arrival of the engine unit in the next few weeks.
The smokebox has also been test fitted to the frames, and with the cylinders and running boards on, make the locomotive look a lot closer to completion.
For fiscal reasons (i.e. the $$ are going to run out), work at Panorama and Mt Barker is scheduled to finish within the next few weeks. This will mean that all the bits are then to be moved north, where it is intended that all outstanding work will become a volunteer project. There will be more details on this when plans are made clear.