May 2010 Update

Fowler #5: had the esteemed honour of being the first loco inside the new North End shed when it rolled A382, Af941 and D143 into their new home. Work on the new headlights continues but finding someone capable of making the wired edges for the fronts is delaying progress slightly.

L509: All the recent hard work on fine tuning this loco is paying off with some longer term members commenting that it has never gone so well. The brake cylinder came in for some attention recently after air was escaping past the piston. It was revealed that the seal was past its use by date so a new neoprene seal was fitted. This has sorted the erratic braking performance that had been a problem for some months. The front cowcatcher is essentially finished just final tweaking and hot riveting before it can be fitted.

Rm34: continues to make progress. The south end passenger compartment has had the wall lining finished and just awaits fitting of the luggage rack on one side before attention will turn to the north end compartment. Two of the passenger doors have been removed and the timberwork repaired or replaced as necessary, stained and vanished with one already refitted and the other should be back in place by the time you read this.

C847: also operating better than it has for sometime, 847 is currently being reassembled after being internally inspected for its annual boiler inspection. The steam test will be undertaken early in May.

C512: The new regulator castings have arrived back from Milson Foundry in Palmerston North. The two new mud hole doors have been fitted and the backhead one repaired and fitted ready for the hydro test.

Barclay 531: the new boiler for this engine is also scheduled for hydro testing. The few small jobs that needed finishing before this could happen have now been attended to including fitting the studs for the firebox door and catch , studs for the cladding and ashpan and the doubling plate for the regulator quadrant. The Blenheim Riverside Railway have kindly lent us there ‘baby’ Barclay dome cover which is currently being measured up so a new one can be made for 531. The new stainless steel cladding has been cut and just requires the mounting and washout plug holes to be cut before fitting.

Track: With the last of the tamping finished on the new concrete sleepered section the team loaded all the salvageable fittings and sleepers onto the U and Na wagons. The section between the last concrete set and the North End loop points was tamped to the correct camber to match the rest of the curve. The remains of a 70lb turnout that were in long term storage behind McKirdy station were hauled out and railed to their new location outside the new shed. The remaining parts stored behind the station were repaired before also travelling north. New wing rails had to be constructed and some new bolts fitted. The 4 sets at the extreme end of the backshunt were removed ,the the trackbed levelled and old loading ramp filled in allowing new sleepers to be laid out before the turnout components were screwed down. This was finished after a few weeks and 3 of the lifted track sets were placed into position to form the new back shunt. The salvaged pine sleepers from the resleepering work were then laid out and 70lb rail ex Trentham was fitted. Three 70lb track sets with hardwood sleepers were recovered from the long grass and there were laid out in the shed and several sleepers replaced. Before the stored carriages on road 5 could be moved the frog section of the turnout on roads 4 and 5 had to be resleepered. This was done on Saturday the 24th and the cars were then moved into their new resting place. Some tamping was required before the wide body Aa cars would comfortably fit through the doors into the shed on road 5.

Structures: Work has commenced on the repairs to McKirdy station. The paint has been stripped off the top portion of the north wall and a start made on removing the weather boards that require replacement. Sufficient replacement board of the same profile has been purchased for this. The end portion of the platform by the access driveway has also been replaced after the ‘temporary’ boards had almost rotted away. The new part is much sturdier than before.