Zig Zag Railway - Project Restart & the fire

 
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman


Find below some photos taken during the Belmore Place Tunnel re-grouting that took place during February.

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8371/8509756906_b3dd3a49d0.jpg[/img]
On Monday, February 4, the re-grouting project kicked off at the western portal. At the bottom left of the picture is the portable generator used to provide electricity to the lights on the the elevated platform. Now the tunnel roof is no Sistine Chapel ceiling, but the stone mason tackled this task not all that different to Michelangelo, but had something Michelangelo did not have..... a bean bag to support his back........

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8085/8509772822_fc20ba87ef.jpg[/img]
At the completion of the work, a closer view of the western end of Belmore Place tunnel where the previous photo showed the stone mason applying the grout. The crevices created by years of rain water running down the portal of the tunnel and washing out the original grout have now been filled in again. This photo also indicates that the thickness of the sandstone blocks are near 2ft thick and packed tightly into the arch and mantained by that well known force...gravity.

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8529/8518182128_a48657b98d.jpg[/img]
Applying the grout did not involve any complex technology, just the skill of using a specialised trowel suited for the purpose.

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8087/8509756888_556acc2939.jpg[/img]
Once inside the tunnel, the two most noticeable types of erosion become visible. Acidic 'salting' of the face of the sandstone blocks from 144 years of pollution and wind, and grout erosion between the blocks from either water seepage from above, or locomotive exhaust blast from below.

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8234/8509756982_38c830b512.jpg[/img]
Mid way through Belmore Place tunnel and work is proceeding without the distraction of mid week train operations.
The Toyota Skyline Hi-Rail vehicle, imported specifically from Japan for this task, has proved more versatile than scaffolding, and has reduced the time estimated to complete the roof re-grouting of Belmore Place tunnel.

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8097/8509756922_681a274ed4.jpg[/img]
A more detailed photo taken of the tunnel roof and indicates one of the worst areas of surface and edge wear of the Sandstone block roof. The grout has fillled in some of the more worn edges between the blocks, yet the grout itself in only a few inches deep in the worst affected place. The grout is only able to penetrate only so far into the space between the blocks. The first two photos give a better indication of the thickness of the sandstone blocks of the tunnel lining.

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8235/8509772818_8d3c4ee19a.jpg[/img]Steady progress and the Eastern end of the tunnel (Lithgow end) brings the hy-rail back out into daylight nearing completion of the Belmore Place tunnel.

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8391/8509756958_c99e20892c.jpg[/img]
From the half way along Belmore Place (Middle Rd) tunnel looking toward the eastern end. The fresh re-grouted sandstone blocks in the roof are readily apparent.

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  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman


It is often said that "We live in interesting times"!
It is also a common saying that "when it rains, it pours!!!"


So!, the torrential rain that occurred over the last couple of months and, in particular, the downpour of 23rd March, has unfortunately caused major damage to the Zig Zag Reserve in several places;




  • A slip on the big embankment, 250m west of Clarence Tunnel


  • A major wash-away on Middle Road adjacent to the Bottom Points Home Signal

  • Significant scouring on Bottom Road opposite the water column.

  • Water damage at the eastern end of the Mt Sinai cuttings

  • Last, but not least, possibly a developing problem at Edgecombe.


Water from the downpours was unable to drain away and subsequently saturated the embankments. Drains were unable to carry the sheer volume of water and filled with washed-in silt and debris.The Bottom Road scouring did not only affect us, but also the main western line. We have subsequently had a meeting with Railcorp as their drain at the end of Bottom Points station blocked up with debris and overflowed onto our tracks (then subsequently down onto a Railcorp team working on the mainline below on that very same night).


Repair of the slips is estimated to cost approximately $500,000 and will depend almost entirely on the willingness of Lands and Property Management (NSW Government) to assist with repairing the rain damage.

This, the latest of blows to the Zig Zag railway, comes at a time when we were on target to submit a request to the ONRSR for a restart to passenger operations in the coming months, after more than a year of hard work by a small group of dedicated volunteers working to regain full accreditation.

It does not mean that we have given up, we are still progressing with our plans and schedule, but it does mean that we now have another extra hurdle to deal with.

I will post some photos of the damage in the next couple of days, and any updates as they come to hand.

regards
David H



  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

Photos of recent flood damage as reported above.
[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8121/8606228740_58cf4da137.jpg[/img]
The rain which has fallen on this area over the last two months has saturated the eastern end of the embankment. On Monday night (11/3/13) a large section failed. The drainage needs to be reviewed and its capacity increased when repairing this embankment.


[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8264/8606228772_d047ef3b98.jpg[/img]
The failed section has encroached upon the edge of the ballast with subsequent ballast loss, making this section impassable for anything heavier than a Hy-Rail.



[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8120/8606228684_b5e2b25bf9.jpg[/img]
The drainage on Middle Road was unable to contain the deluge and water flowed over the embankment. This image shows the resulting washaway. While the track itself has not been undermined, the embankment needs to be bolstered so that further collapse does not occur and the drainage improved.


[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8386/8606228662_fbd900d67b.jpg[/img]
Such was the volume of water, that once the drain blocked up with debris carried down the drain, the water backed up until it flowed over the wall with such force as to scour the platform and carry the disturbed spoil across the ZZR tracks and down onto the Main Western line. The wall and the drain behind it was constructed by the SRA several years ago after previous deluges impacted upon the main Western Line, and the rail authorities are currently making preparations in conjunction with the Zig Zag Railway to clear the debris behind the wall and return the drain to a more free flowing state to enable the drain to handle future deluges.



[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8546/8606228634_b70bf54c01.jpg[/img]
Scouring on Bottom Road caused by debris inside the drain piling up and blocking the drain exit resulting in an overflow. It is hard to imagine the volumes of water spilling out over the top of this wall at such a force and at such a distance as to cause such deep scouring along the base of the wall, but the evidence of the result speaks for itself. Railcorp have arranged to clear the drain and we will be assisting in the removal of this material which will involve ZZR in a series of train movements to both clear the headshunt of vehicles and provide some spoil waggons to carry the debris away from the drain.


[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8107/8606228706_89d1ef709c.jpg[/img]

There is minor damage on this embankment at Mt Sinai after RMS (Roads and Maritime Services) drains failed to carry the water away and caused three small slips. They have already bagged the affected area to minimise further erosion until a permanent fix can be implemented.

David H
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The detailed reports and photographs in this thread are excellent.
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

The detailed reports and photographs in this thread are excellent.
Valvegear

Thanks Valvegear for the compliment.
I feel that it is incumbent upon us to be upfront about what is happening and share that with the RP community.
It also helps to limit uninformed speculation, which does not benefit anyone.

regards
David H
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

As was recently posted here in the Preservation threads by my colleague Tery Boardman, the Zig Zag Railway has taken the opportunity to review it's two way radio infrastructure. I am able to post some photos of some recent activity. While there are no trains or railway tracks in this post, the operation of the railways two way radio system is very much a part of our operationally critical safety infrastructure and as such its review and upgrade where required is very much on the list of our "Project Restart" tasks.

[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7297/8735645206_3fc8980ab4.jpg[/img]



Bob Richards of Mowbray Radio is seen here at the Clarence repeater preparing to test the repeaters radio and power supply back on the 14th March. Since then Bob has been re-aligning and re-installing all the ZZR fixed and hand held radios to meet the more exacting ACMA radio frequency spectrum standards. The upgraded repeater in conjunction with a new deep cycle solar panel suitable battery, has provided a much improved performance when compared with the older repeater equipment.
Bob is continuing the modification of the rest of the radios and progressively over the next few months these will be returned to the railway and the fixed location sets reinstalled in the shops, signal boxes and vehicles.
Mowbray Radio is performing all this upgrading and the modifications without any labour charge being made and the Zig Zag Railway is very grateful to Sue and Bob Richards for this work.


[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7323/8735645222_c986dd99e1.jpg[/img]



This lonely outpost on the hill behind Clarence station provides the setting for the ZZR radio repeater. Weather-proof enclosures for the radio repeater and rechargeable battery bolted to a wooden pole with a solar panel at the top and the aerial mounted above has provided reliable radio repeater fucntionality for Zig Zag for many years.


[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7295/8735645252_4f3e2942f1.jpg[/img]
Out there be a railway



Picking a location along the higher side of the Lithgow Valley that would afford two way radio coverage along the greater length of the Zig Zag formation and further along into Clarence station was always going to be a challenging endeavour. Some years ago such a location that offered optimal (but not perfect) coverage of the railway was decided upon. Over the years (with the extra added height of an aerial extender on top of the electricity pole) it has proven to be an effective repeater location.

Now some bad news!
While it is good to provide positive progress on the Zig Zag Railways journey to restarting on one hand, it is also very sad to also have to report not just on the continuing graffitti 'artistry' on our carriage and infrastructure, but now we have had to deal with copper theft. The irony here is that telephony and signal wiring, while it looking thick and tempting, the bulk of it is nearly all heavy insulation, and once burnt off, there is very little copper value left.

In March, approximately 350 metres of cable was stolen from the Top Points outer home signal hut to the signal box. Signal cables are safety critical components of our safety system.
Our internal telephone system is also a safety critical piece of infrastructure as not only does it form part of our 'secondary' point to point communications, it also provides a back-up to our radio system. Later that same month over 750 metres of our internal phone cable was stolen.

This is not just petty theft of some copper wires, the Rail Safety Act covers all rail safety infrastructure and removal of any safety relate apparatus, including wiring, can incur a jail term for any offenders if caught.

Zig Zag is not the only railway to experience copper theft, but it is very debilitating to have to put all this effort in only to have petty thieves remove copper wiring of very limited value, but expensive and time consuming to replace.

David H
  Salty21 Junior Train Controller

Location: Canberra
As was recently posted here in the Preservation threads by my colleague Tery Boardman, the Zig Zag Railway has taken the opportunity to review it's two way radio infrastructure. I am able to post some photos of some recent activity. While there are no trains or railway tracks in this post, the operation of the railways two way radio system is very much a part of our operationally critical safety infrastructure and as such its review and upgrade where required is very much on the list of our "Project Restart" tasks.

[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7297/8735645206_3fc8980ab4.jpg[/img]



Bob Richards of Mowbray Radio is seen here at the Clarence repeater preparing to test the repeaters radio and power supply back on the 14th March. Since then Bob has been re-aligning and re-installing all the ZZR fixed and hand held radios to meet the more exacting ACMA radio frequency spectrum standards. The upgraded repeater in conjunction with a new deep cycle solar panel suitable battery, has provided a much improved performance when compared with the older repeater equipment.
Bob is continuing the modification of the rest of the radios and progressively over the next few months these will be returned to the railway and the fixed location sets reinstalled in the shops, signal boxes and vehicles.
Mowbray Radio is performing all this upgrading and the modifications without any labour charge being made and the Zig Zag Railway is very grateful to Sue and Bob Richards for this work.


[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7323/8735645222_c986dd99e1.jpg[/img]



This lonely outpost on the hill behind Clarence station provides the setting for the ZZR radio repeater. Weather-proof enclosures for the radio repeater and rechargeable battery bolted to a wooden pole with a solar panel at the top and the aerial mounted above has provided reliable radio repeater fucntionality for Zig Zag for many years.


[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7295/8735645252_4f3e2942f1.jpg[/img]
Out there be a railway



Picking a location along the higher side of the Lithgow Valley that would afford two way radio coverage along the greater length of the Zig Zag formation and further along into Clarence station was always going to be a challenging endeavour. Some years ago such a location that offered optimal (but not perfect) coverage of the railway was decided upon. Over the years (with the extra added height of an aerial extender on top of the electricity pole) it has proven to be an effective repeater location.

Now some bad news!
While it is good to provide positive progress on the Zig Zag Railways journey to restarting on one hand, it is also very sad to also have to report not just on the continuing graffitti 'artistry' on our carriage and infrastructure, but now we have had to deal with copper theft. The irony here is that telephony and signal wiring, while it looking thick and tempting, the bulk of it is nearly all heavy insulation, and once burnt off, there is very little copper value left.

In March, approximately 350 metres of cable was stolen from the Top Points outer home signal hut to the signal box. Signal cables are safety critical components of our safety system.
Our internal telephone system is also a safety critical piece of infrastructure as not only does it form part of our 'secondary' point to point communications, it also provides a back-up to our radio system. Later that same month over 750 metres of our internal phone cable was stolen.

This is not just petty theft of some copper wires, the Rail Safety Act covers all rail safety infrastructure and removal of any safety relate apparatus, including wiring, can incur a jail term for any offenders if caught.

Zig Zag is not the only railway to experience copper theft, but it is very debilitating to have to put all this effort in only to have petty thieves remove copper wiring of very limited value, but expensive and time consuming to replace.

David H
Zig Zag Reporter
One of the few times I agree with the justice system in Arabia if they are caught and found guilty you can't steal again with no hands!
  7006 Locomotive Driver

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-19/zig-zag-date/4830030?&section=news
viaprojects

Zig Zag giving the Regulator one month to review and approved the new accreditation, someone is dreaming. The Act gives the Regulator 6 months to review and this can be extended by another 6 months each time they ask Zig Zag a question about the documents.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Zig Zag giving the Regulator one month to review and approved the new accreditation, someone is dreaming. The Act gives the Regulator 6 months to review and this can be extended by another 6 months each time they ask Zig Zag a question about the documents.
7006
If the regulator is already in the review process then taking another 6 months would be unreasonable and probably reviewable by an appropriate court. Talk about negativity. Almost as though some want to see Zig Zag fail. Oh they do. That is obvious. I hope ZZ succeed in re-opening in the shortest possible time possible.
  7006 Locomotive Driver

If the regulator is already in the review process then taking another 6 months would be unreasonable and probably reviewable by an appropriate court. Talk about negativity. Almost as though some want to see Zig Zag fail. Oh they do. That is obvious. I hope ZZ succeed in re-opening in the shortest possible time possible.
nswtrains
Zig Zag taking the Regulator to court for being slow to approve the application will be interesting to watch. A few other rail heritage groups will watch the case closely.
  TheFish Chief Train Controller

Location: Pyongyang
Zig Zag taking the Regulator to court for being slow to approve the application will be interesting to watch. A few other rail heritage groups will watch the case closely.
7006
No they wont because it wont be going to court.  Ridiculous and wild speculation.  
How about next time you don't speculate and just ask Zig Zag Reporter.  
As for the time it will take for the accreditation to be reviewed I would think that the regular meetings Zig Zag have with the regulator count for something in terms of how aware they are of the new documentation.
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

In terms of disemminating information concerning the progress of any railways development (tourist, preserved or even a commercial main line operator), it is a strongly held belief of mine, that we while we, the management team, should not only be just open and honest, we also have an obligation to our members (or stakeholders) that they have a priority in the notification process.

While I may often possess information that is up to date that I could post on RP as soon as it occurs, I try to hold back until it gets out to the members first via our newsletter.
Within the last week, our regular monthly meeting with the regulator was last Wednesday morning and the Board meeting was held that night (last Wednesday night). Subsequent to these events, it allows the content of the next members newsletter to be prepared by the Secretary, reviewed by the management team, updated, returned and approved. This can delay the delivery of such news, and this month the members newsletter only went out tonight to the general membership, so now I can feel free to report or comment on its content and other related matters.

From time to time, a facebook post, a media interview, or press release can get ahead of this 'members newsletter first' intention, and this week was such an occasion. Micheal Forbes (CEO) had been interviewed last Friday, and stated our intention to submit our application for variation of our accreditation to ONRSR NSW on 20th August.

This is not really ground breaking news, as in a post (above) in this forum back on March 18, I stated;
"we were on target to submit a request to the ONRSR for a restart to passenger operations in the coming months"....
Other than stating publicly what the exact date was going to be, there were no surprises there in our intention!

In subsequent meetings with ONRSR we targeted the August meeting for our final submission, and, they (ONRSR) accepted this date as our target, but they also stated that it was not going to work if we deposited the whole set of documents on them, all at once, on this date. So, in the course of our monthly meetings leading up to this date, we have been supplying soft copies of our documentation (SMS, Safeworking, Policies, Standards, etc.) every month as we progressed them from draft form through their various iterations and versions, right through to Board approved final status.
[Any other tourist operators intending to submit their applications - take note! A regular 'drip feed' and review will achieve a more workable result for both sides]

It is, and has been, our intention that our documents contain no surprises or shocks that no-one could see coming, and (so far) the regulator has not indicated (up until now anyway) any showstoppers (that is of course, not to say that they won't encounter any).

Neither are we expecting perfection on day 1 (as much as we would like it to be), but no organisation has achieved that level of 'nirvana', as the review of any SMS, Policies or procedures in any organisation is an ongoing process and all policies and standards are live documents with review dates and version controls in place to maintain a 'culture of improvement'.

While the review period is a month, an outcome is more than likely going to take longer, and we have allowed for that.
Where anyone got the idea that only one month, starting from August 20 was going to be provisioned for the whole review process 'cold turkey' by ONRSR is quite surprising, as anyone on our restart team and the ONRSR team have an understanding and agreement on how this would be progressed.
As for anyone to suggest that we would be going to court over this, is, as "TheFish" pointed out, only being "Ridiculous and wild speculation" that I think would only be put out by someone seeking to sensationalise this or just 'create mischief' between us and the regulator.

I will update this forum during the week with some other updates from our activities.

Before I close this point though, I must acknowledge the guidance, advice and tutelage from ATRS during this whole process, as they have kept us focussed and on track in our journey targeting our return to passenger train operation and they have contributed enormously to helping us achieve the rapport and open communication we have been able to establish with ITSR/ONRSR.

I can see success on the horizon, and we, the members and management team look forward to sharing it with you.

David H
  Alonzo Trumbull Beginner

Location: Central Coast
Good on ZZR for keeping the faith and daring to do what others only pontificate about! The Zig Zag people created something from nothing once before and they ran a regular scheduled railway that was a real tourist attraction whose custom wasn't limited to us rail fanatics. The current hiatus is just that, an interruption to service and they deserve support and credit. The approach they have taken is mature and positive, so I can understand why that puts some people on RP off, but whatever has gone before ZZR has clearly learned from the experience and the railway, NSW in general and the whole rail heritage industry in this state will be the better for it.  Keep up the good work fellas.

Alonzo
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

One of my colleagues posted the facebook entry late this afternoon in a new thread here on RP, but for the record I will repeat it here and add some additional information.
Yes, there have been some thieves who persistently return to Zig Zag and steal items off rolling stock and break into containers and other things to steal pieces of scrap for what ever value they can obtain for them. Such items are of more value to us and the visiting public than they can achieve but desperation knows no bounds.

Some time last week, thieves visited the Zig Zag and, after shutting off power in an effort to disable security cameras, broke into one of our storage containers and stole a quantity of retail stock. Although most of this will be nearly impossible to trace, one line really stands out. The thieves stole between 10 and 15 brand new South African fireman shovels. We believe with a fairly small market for these items there is a chance the police can catch the perpetrators. If anyone on the railway scene sees or hears of cheap railway shovels coming up for sale, we ask that you contact Lithgow Police on 02 6352 8399 urgently with as much detail as you could provide.

Some weeks before that, we suspect that the same thieves stole door handles and luggage racks from some Evans cars stored there. The luggage racks are not brass and are really of minimum metal value, except for either small scrap value or as  resale on the enthusiast market as they have either QR or QGR letters fashioned into the supports.

Both the luggage racks and firemans shovels may try to be sold to enthusiasts, so if you are offered any items like this, be warned, they are highly likely to be this stolen property and you would do well to stay well away from any 'transferred  ownership'.
This is also on top of the stolen communications cable I reported earlier in this thread....ohh and lets not forget the smashed Evans cars windows that were broken during the last school holidays, and the fuel stolen from the mine loco, and the alternator that had been removed (for what little copper that it may contain) and some other parts that they had tried to remove but were unsuccessful but still damaged in the attempt.
We are taking steps to improve security and vigilence, so we are confident that sooner or later whoever it is, will get caught, it is only a matter of time.

I know I keep promising to provide an update on our progress here on RP, but I am just a little taken up with our documentation and process updates that it leaves me little time to report back here on RP. We are working towards a 'major development' at the moment, and I will let you know as soon as we have something to report.

regards
David H
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
Good on ZZR for keeping the faith and daring to do what others only pontificate about! The Zig Zag people created something from nothing once before and they ran a regular scheduled railway that was a real tourist attraction whose custom wasn't limited to us rail fanatics. The current hiatus is just that, an interruption to service and they deserve support and credit. The approach they have taken is mature and positive, so I can understand why that puts some people on RP off, but whatever has gone before ZZR has clearly learned from the experience and the railway, NSW in general and the whole rail heritage industry in this state will be the better for it.  Keep up the good work fellas.


Alonzo

Keep the faith this is a wonderful heritage .Other groups have overcome tragedies but pressed on to new ventures ,maybe different approaches to the past,but still keeping the aims and objects of its incorporation. Saw your early days 1974.
John Arnold ,Founder President , Hotham Valley Rly WA>we have.
Alonzo Trumbull
  Alonzo Trumbull Beginner

Location: Central Coast
I know it is early days yet, but I suppose that ZZR must be giving some thought to which steam locos it will re-introduce to service when the great day of re-opening arrives? My assumption is that they would probably kick off with rail motors or diesel hauled trains to begin with. Can we have some news along this line please?

If I can have my tuppence worth, it would be a great thing if as part of the rebirth of the line, the ex SAR 400 Class garratt could be factored in. What a magnificent sight and sound that would be and surely it would be a big drawcard, such a big narrow gauge engine on the ZZ grades and being an oilburner it could even run in bush fire season. It would be a great contrast to the smaller QGR locos.

Does ZZR know how much work is involved, I had heard the loco was received in excellent mechanical and boiler condition? Of course we can't expect too many miracles from those plucky folk at ZZR right away, after all I'm sure they are already up to their eyeballs in miracle working navigating the modern rail safety bureauacracy and staving off mother nature, but I'd sure vote for getting the 400 up and running.

Any comments or news mister Zig Zag Reporter?

Alonzo
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
being an oilburner it could even run in bush fire season.
Alonzo Trumbull
I'm not sure that this would be the case. From another thread in another forum:

on page 125 of 'Enginemen of the Victorian Railways Volume II' it states "Oil Burners were notorious for starting fires, when hot oil splashed out of the ashpan........"
Somebody
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

I know it is early days yet, but I suppose that ZZR must be giving some thought to which steam locos it will re-introduce to service when the great day of re-opening arrives? My assumption is that they would probably kick off with rail motors or diesel hauled trains to begin with. Can we have some news along this line please?

If I can have my tuppence worth, it would be a great thing if as part of the rebirth of the line, the ex SAR 400 Class garratt could be factored in. What a magnificent sight and sound that would be and surely it would be a big drawcard, such a big narrow gauge engine on the ZZ grades and being an oilburner it could even run in bush fire season. It would be a great contrast to the smaller QGR locos.

Does ZZR know how much work is involved, I had heard the loco was received in excellent mechanical and boiler condition? Of course we can't expect too many miracles from those plucky folk at ZZR right away, after all I'm sure they are already up to their eyeballs in miracle working navigating the modern rail safety bureauacracy and staving off mother nature, but I'd sure vote for getting the 400 up and running.

Any comments or news mister Zig Zag Reporter?

Alonzo
Alonzo Trumbull

Hi Alonzo

Yes, we have given much thought and internal discussion to our locomotive situation.
At this stage we are concentrating our locomotive efforts at the following priorities.

Firstly: 5802 The ex-Mt Isa shunting locomotive
[img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7423/9784968523_c2f5de967d.jpg[/img]
5802 Bottom Points Depot

We need this loco to provide motive power to enable us to shunt our depot, position rolling stock and make necessary movements as part of project re-start, and so we are working towards full accreditation of this loco, which should be soon.

Secondly: 218, the ex-QR AC16 Mikado (or 'Macarthur' in WWII speak).
[img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2819/9343652702_c41451d82e.jpg[/img]
218 Tender bogie  and wheels by zigzagrailway@yahoo.com.au, on Flickr

Requiring less work than any other steam locomotive in our fleet, this is planned to be our first steam locomotive to return to service. Currently undergoing work by our volunteer fitting team on a list of relatively minor repairs. The photo here depicts work being undertaken on the axle boxes of the leading tender bogie

Thirdly: An ex-QR Rail Motor set. To act as both a supplement to a steam service and an alternative should circumstances require it.

Additional locomotives to this list cannot be given any predictable order of return to service due to the nature of future detailed assessments that have yet to be tabled and evaluated.

402
Finally a word on 402. Yes, it came to us in a recently re-conditioned (at that time) condition, but that was over 40 years ago, and the effort required to restore to operating condition is, at this time, beyond our current resources. It would indeed be quite the attraction you have pointed out, but for now, it is not rating a high priority on our list of locomotive works.

Carriages
We are shortlisting the order of carriages that are in the best condition to return to service.

Return to public services.
Full restoration to public passenger carrying services is dependent upon two things.
(1) The variation to our accreditation that is currently being assessed by the national regulator (ONRSR);
(2) Flood damage repairs (a) to our embankment on Top Road 150 metres on the western side of Clarence Tunnel by our insurer and (b) repairs to Bottom Points embankment and drains by Sydney Trains.

For these two dependancies, we have no date that we can readily advise or confirm at this stage. More news will be provided as it comes to hand.

regards
David H
  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

Thanks for the update, David. I appreciate gaining first-hand information about what is happening.
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

Thanks Spletsie
A lot of things that are happening are fairly mundane and not (in my opinion) worthy of any great sensational set of announcements, however, we have to keep up a certain level of information so our supporters do not think that we have ceased to progress, so I will try to be more regular with updates.
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

I have taken the opportunity tonight to add a couple of photos to last nights post. These show a photo of 5802 (yes, it is still in its grey undercoat) and work on 218's tender bogies.

One of the questions I was asked some time ago was;
'how do we couple the ex-Mt Isa shunting locomotive (with autos) to hook and buffer stock?'

Answer: 5802 is fitted with a transition auto coupler, and a few weeks ago I was able to take a photo looking down (a 'plan' view) on this coupling arrangement with 5802 coupled to a hook and buffer fitted HJS gondola wagon.

[img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3742/9785150883_77e35f73af.jpg[/img]
Transition coupling on 5802 - Auto to Hook and buffer
It shows quite satisfactorily the components of this set-up.
Here is a close-up view
[img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2894/9785103012_e26b5b4b0a.jpg[/img]
Transition coupling on 5802 - close up

Regards
David H
  sam6778 Locomotive Driver

Location: Rockingham, WA
Thanks Spletsie
A lot of things that are happening are fairly mundane and not (in my opinion) worthy of any great sensational set of announcements, however, we have to keep up a certain level of information so our supporters do not think that we have ceased to progress, so I will try to be more regular with updates.
Zig Zag Reporter

G'day David,
Greatly enjoy the updates and appreciate the hard work Zig Zag's members are doing over there.
As a transplanted Tasmanian I was wondering if you could provide any info regarding ex EBR 1003 & 1004, mainly current status and future use.  Thanks in advance.
Regards
Sam
  a6et Minister for Railways

I'm not sure that this would be the case. From another thread in another forum:
Graham4405

Oil Burners would come under the same fire restrictions as coal fired loco's, the simple reason being the oil is fed into the front & bottom portion of the firebox, & there is an open flame from the end of the feeder pipe  into the firebox.

The primary oil burner in NSW was the 59, until they were converted to coal (yep many of the 55cl were also converted to oil burners as well), when in operation the flashing from the oil being lit up blew down very much to the top of sleepers, especially when the amount of atomiser was not adjusted correctly.

Also they did not burn all the oil owing to the impurities in it, which ended up sticking to the inside of the flues, a reason why they had a sand box located in the cab, on 59cl the box sat where the shovelling plate was, a scoop was provided to take sand out, & feed into the firebox via the small swing door on the firehole cover, through a funnel, the sand was taken through the tubes by the exhaust & blown into the surrounding areas, with the oil globdules being above a burning temperature, which would set alight dry grass or other along the permanent way.
  Zig Zag Reporter Locomotive Fireman

G'day David,
Greatly enjoy the updates and appreciate the hard work Zig Zag's members are doing over there.
As a transplanted Tasmanian I was wondering if you could provide any info regarding ex EBR 1003 & 1004, mainly current status and future use.  Thanks in advance.
Regards
Sam
sam6778

Hi Sam6778
Thanks for the feedback.
I will follow up on the current status of these two Tasmanian 'escapee' locos for you.

So far, 1004 has been the alternate locomotive if a steam locomotive is not available and as a supplement to our steam fleet if we needed extra horsepower. 1003 has been the 'spare parts' source for 1004.

I will look further into the status of both locos for you and post a more comprehensive reply in the next week or so.

regards
David H

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