Part 27: Installing boiler and wheels—July–September 2002
Since the last update significant milestones have been achieved, with the boiler being installed on the loco frame in a day of trucks and cranes which attracted quite an audience.
Following that, the majority of effort was concentrated on the driving wheels and axle boxes. Steamranger did the final boring of the axle boxes at their Mt Barker depot. Because of some problems with crown says in their Rx locomotive, our people assisted with the machining of new crown stays for that, to enable their machinist/steam fitter Ron Williams to get on with our axle boxes. In this way both jobs progressed as fast as was possible.
With some initial trepidation, the crank pins were immersed in liquid nitrogen and installed in the wheels. On the same day, the valve liners were installed using the same cold technology.
The wheely good news is that on 9 October 2002 the driving wheel sets were installed in the frame. The use of four electric jacks hired at very reasonable cost from All Transport Crash Repairs to elevate the frame made the job quite straightforward. With a considerable gallery and workers swarming over the wheel-sets, the scene was probably the busiest "cast of thousands" day on the job so far.