News Update January 2012

Barclay 1749

L509. Our current regular engine, was taken out of service for a few weeks while the grate was replaced. The long 4' firebars had reached the end of their life a long time ago and it was decided to convert to 2' bars as used in our other locos. This required new carriers and a new dead bar pattern which along with the 40 regular bars were cast at Milson Foundry in Palmerston North. This has slowed the rate of ash dropping into the ash pan quite considerably. The railway has now spent close to $10,000 (not counting the time and effort that went into the projects) on putting new grates in both 509 and 847.

C847. Continued fine tuning now has the loco performing well and it still being very popular on Big Steam Sundays.

De505. In October this loco moved for the first time in many years after most of the low voltage wiring was replaced. After some work on the batteries the loco was used on a charter, double heading with 508 for some English railfans.

Barclay 1749. Recent progress has seen the boiler cladding painted and fitted to the loco along with the live steam pipes. The motion work is now complete with the replacement oil cups being machined at present. The water tanks have had their internal seams welded and are now ready for sandblasting and painting inside and out. It should not be too much longer until we will see this loco in action.

Structures. Another project that is almost complete is the refurbishment of McKirdy Station. The new counter has been built over the past few months and in mid November thanks to a grant from The Lion Foundation, the old counters were removed and new vinyl flooring laid by contractors. The new cabinets were installed the following weekend allowing the station to reopen in time for Sunday running. There are just a few minor jobs to carry out but already it is a vast improvement on before. The toilet block has also been completely repainted externally and internally greatly improving the look of this facility.

Track. The track gang has spent the last few months re sleepering in a number of locations, replacing 20 sleepers and repacking a number of joints. Following this attention has turned to our project to extend the line closer to Silverstream village and a 91lb turnout is currently being assembled ready to fit into the track by the North End cutting to allow access onto the new extension.