News Update November 2012

L4246 and PWD531

Another successful few months have passed since the last update and as per normal they have been busy ones. Since the last update we have added another steam locomotive to our operational stable, bringing the total to 4. It has been an enormous effort to get back to that number after the days when it was touch and go whether one would be available for service at any one time. For the efforts that were put into getting the Barclay to operating condition, the railway was awarded the Shantytown Steam School Locomotive Restoration Award at the FRONZ conference held in Rotorua over Queens Birthday weekend. The first time we have been awarded this prestigious award since 1984 for the restoration of C132. (Not including C847 which was restored at GVR)

L509. Continues to give reliable service as our main operating locomotive. During its annual boiler inspection in July the opportunity was taken to remove the regulator operating rods and overhaul it to give more positive closing along with reseating the valve.

C847 and Fowler #5 have given no problems recently getting our on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month respectively.

Barclay 1749. Following on from the last report a major effort to complete the locomotive in time to enter it in the annual Shantytown Steam School Restoration award. Once the Cab was refitted the remaining pipe work that passed through the cab front was fitted including the injector and blower pipes. On the 25th of April 531 was steamed for the first time since the 1950’s in preparation for a boiler inspection 5 days later. No problems were encounted and the inspection was passed with flying colours. Since this time a few adjustments have been made and the loco was used, partly to test these adjustments for our AGM in July. The loco entered public service on the 30th of September.

L4246. Final timber work and painting also saw this recent addition to our operation fleet on show at the AGM. It is expected that this wagon will be a regular partner for 531 and also during regular Sundays to give a different aspect to our passenger operations.

Structures. The new Hulls Creek station building is now almost complete only awaiting the purchase of new ColourSteel roofing. The old side door has been boarded up and a new opening cut into the front and fitted with 2 doors. The display building on the McKirdy Platform has been repainted externally, and also the interior of the members room is undergoing a tidy up and repaint.

The railway house that is owned by our society and rented out, has been completely repainted by outside contractors. This project was supposed to happen some years ago, and the committee decided the only way to complete the job was to engage outside contractors. After some rain delays the job was completed to our satisfaction and should last for many years. Some changes have been made to the members car park entrance. The gates have been shifted down to a new driveway that has been formed and graveled. This gives the tenants in the house a proper yard with out having to keep to
one side to allow vehicles through.

Track. Further progress on the extension project has seen a number of new tracksets laid and ballasted and work is  underway on tamping and leveling these. Some of the 70lb tracksets purchased some years ago have been refurbished and these will be used for the new run around loop. McKirdy loop is the current focus of attention with 5 sets to be dug out and resleepered and ballasted.