March 2010 Update

Price 221: Other than having the cab entry door on the right hand side re welded to its hinges after they parted company it continues to give great service as our “work horse”.

L509: Continues to be the main loco for Sunday running. Recent mechanical work undertaken includes new piston rod packing for the left hand side. Also the air side of the Westinghouse pump had new packings fitted. The air pipe on the rear headstock was removed and a new pipe made up to now run under the head stock to allow the new cowcatcher to fit. The old bolts were taken out of the rear headstock and the holes filled before new holes were drilled to suit the new Cowcatcher. The headstock was then repainted in the correct colour for the locos currently represented period. The new ‘catcher was fitted and for the first time in 60 years the loco looked like its old self. New stay rods were welded up and now work is continuing with the front one.

C512:(132) work on the major overhaul continues. The driving wheels have been needle gunned and painted ready for refitting. The frame has also been needle gunned. The spring rods (that transfer the weight from the axle box to the spring) have been remade and the guides on the frame were removed, re bushed then hot riveted onto the frame. The spring hangers were also removed along with the pin bushes. Some of the hangers are bent and will require straightening before refitting. The pin bushes were well worn and have also been re bushed. New pin material has been purchased for the spring and valve gear pins.

Barclay 531: work on this engine has slowed recently with the finishing off work on L509s cowcatchers but in the background much has been achieved. The new valves for the injectors steam supply and the pipe flanges have been drilled. The clack valves have been overhauled along with most of the other mountings. New water tank filler lids have been profile plasma cut to replace the previous “lockable lids”. The smoke box door is also in for some attention with the cutting of a new baffle plate and work required to return it to its original “clock handle” latching system.

Fowler #5: The long debated headlight situation was finally resolved with the discovery of a photo of the engine in the early 50’s wearing a standard NZR acetylene head lamp. Fortunately excellent blue prints exist for these and 2 new lamps are currently being made. The main bodies are now complete and work is currently focusing on the hindged front. The new bracket for the rear of the cab has been fabricated and awaits fitting. The loco continues to operate about once a month.

Rm30: The new batteries have been fitted resulting in a much improved starter motor performance.

Rm34: Work continues on the restoration of the interior. One wall in the south end compartment is now complete and the timberwork has been replaced around the windows.

A1833: As reported in the last issue 1833s roof was damaged recently by strong winds. Further investigation has revealed that the top rail the holds the beading that in turn holds the roof covering was rotten in some places. It has been decided to do the job properly and the car is currently being stripped down for further work. The west side steel cladding has been removed and set aside for use as patterns. Most of the timber work appears sound but some of the diagonal braces will require replacement. A new set of window sills have been made up in Aluminium. It is proposed to reclad the car entirely in aluminium sheeting.

Track: The final 4 sets of concrete sleepers were laid in over frantic few weeks. On Wellington anniversary weekend 3 sets were re-laid and ballasted. The last set was laid before final ballasting. The track tamper was revived and managed to tamp about 2 sets before the motor packed up completely. A brand new motor was purchased and after a new hydraulic pump adaptor was made it was fitted. The rest of the tamping has now been completed allowing the track gang to turn their attention to laying track for the new carriage shed.

Structures: The fence at the north end of Mckirdy station is currently having some work done on it to replace the rotten top rail. Preparation work is being carried out on the station building before the real work starts on reclading and revitalising the interior.